Solution Architect: 2nd week iteration on my job at Yahoo!

(Jardin des Tuileries)

It has been an exciting 2 weeks for me in my new role as a Solution Architect for Yahoo! Media

I have been meeting with a few of our customers which has helped me firm up my thinking of how to approach this role.

I break it down into 3 areas. How am I measured? What are my daily duties? What is my approach to my job?

1) How am I measured?

  • First and foremost, I represent my team and the product. I am first point of contact for my customers. I am measured by customer satisfaction. I need to understand the customer expectation, whether those are realistic, manage the expectations, and then deliver to those.
  • In order to do that, I need to find a way to measure cust sat on mailing list, the various team’s customer sat number and the overall engagement. Take a baseline, set a target, get support from my executive team, and measure iteratively.

2) What are my daily duties

  • I will break down requirements into queue items for my teams.
  • I will prototype.
  • I will troubleshoot and unblock the developers
  • I will document architectual changes, facilitate architects to reach a decision in an SLA that the customer expects.
  • I will identify large gaps early on and feed only important items to my teams.
  • I will document solutions, communicate them internally as well externally.
  • I will provide training to new engineers, editors, product managers
  • Feedback to the executive team on large pain points, proposal for process improvements, known short coming of the system.
  • I will plan ahead for my customers and my development team.
  • I will fix and write new documentation
  • I will be an evangelist
  • I will document the current process, measure, set target and figure out who needs to improve the long pole.

3) My approach to the job

  • measure and iterate on customer expectation verses what we are delivering
  • encourage dark launches of sites, so that when something is good enough, we launch and iterate. Don’t do huge 3 month long projects
  • answer a question with a link to the document or write it and send a link to it
  • hand the customer a working environment. Do the grunt work, and if it’s painful, then automate it
  • feedback to my team, and make sure my feedback is small in volume, big on importance
  • figure out a way to have peer feedback for my self, my teams, and even my customers to build in customer satisfaction one of the key feedback loops and measurement of success

Published by Tony Tam

Senior Engineer Manager, Engineering Productivity @ Splunk, &