A day in the life of a Cloud Native Architect


Hi there! My name is Dennis Present, and today I’d like to share a description of my role at CloudFuel. I’m one of our Cloud Native Architects, so I’m the go-to person for everything that concerns cloud-first development. Since we’re a competence centre that focuses on Microsoft’s Azure environment, that is my area of expertise as well. Want to know more? Then read on! 

As a Cloud Native Architect, I focus on projects that develop new software with the cloud in mind from the get-go. This means that I have to translate client requirements into technological solutions that are part of the Azure ecosystem. By immediately developing in the cloud, we can often create services for our customers that take a load off their shoulders. On-premise solutions tend to require a lot of manual effort, so it’s definitely nice to be at the forefront of innovation. 

Having the title of Architect means that I am the bridge between the business and IT sides of a project. I need both my technical and architectural skills but also needed a certain amount of experience to get started in a role like this. Soft skills like communication and networking are essential, but take some time to acquire.  

I would say that being a Cloud Native Architect also means that you have an average amount of technical responsibilities compared to other Architects. This also changes as a project progresses. In the beginning of a project, I tend to have a 70-30 split between architectural and executive (technical) tasks. Once the initial architecture has been determined, my focus generally shifts to writing and validating code and configuring environments. 

Something that I would like to highlight is that CloudFuel factors in your workload preferences. When I started as a Cloud Native Architect, I noticed that it was sometimes challenging to balance multiple projects at once because of all the context switching. CloudFuel was happy to provide me with some breathing room and change my planning to one large ongoing project, just as they accommodate my colleagues who prefer juggling several smaller projects at once. 

When I start my weekly and daily stand-up meetings, I don’t yet know what the coming period will bring exactly, but I do know that I will not have to focus on one side or the other too much. Those meetings are the perfect moment to identify any roadblocks and set the project’s priorities for the coming period. In larger projects, I sometimes have to clear up the specifics for other Architects as well. I often have to weigh the short-term wins against the project’s long-term goals, but I like putting the pieces of the puzzle together. 

In case it wasn’t clear yet, there is plenty of variety in the life of a Cloud Native Architect. This is actually one of the things I like the most about my job. I also love that I can spend my days answering people’s questions and coming up with creative solutions. As an Architect, you really feel like a problem solver! There is plenty of social contact with customers and colleagues alike, so this definitely helps to sharpen those important people skills. I especially like to help out the junior developers on my projects when I’m validating their code.  

Of course, one of the main benefits of being a Cloud Native Architect specifically is getting to work with the latest technologies and staying up to date as your career progresses. There’s plenty of opportunity to delve deeper in container technologies (like Helm, Kubernetes, and Docker), quality control systems (like WhiteSource, CAST, and Sonar), various programming and scripting languages, and of course a wide range of applications and PaaS Services in the Azure ecosystem. 

Gaining and further developing that expertise requires time and effort, but luckily, we have a comprehensive onboarding process. I already talked a bit more in-depth about what you can expect when you start at CloudFuel in one of our previous blogposts, so I suggest you give it a read here! As long as you are willing to learn on the job, you will do great. As someone who works with cloud technologies, there’s always something new to learn. At CloudFuel you get all the support you need through our knowledge sharing moments, and access to various training courses and certificates through the Cronos Group. 

Do you know your way around a meeting room just as well as a Java or .NET IDE? Interested in learning more about the Azure ecosystem and keeping up to date with the latest cloud technologies? We are looking for more Cloud Native Architects, so be sure to apply!