If you're in a position to hire an integration architect, prepare interview questions designed to reveal not just candidates' technical and project experience, but also their ability to collaborate. An integration architect makes sure all the various software applications and databases used in a company can work together without compromising overall information system integrity. To accomplish this complex goal, the architect must be able to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with users in the business community as well as colleagues in information technology.
The Degree of Complexities
A small company with a handful of locations has fewer complexities to address than a corporation with a wide global footprint. Ask candidates to describe the level of complexity they've encountered in previous positions from an IT perspective. Find out about the size of companies candidates have worked with and the number and extent of the applications involved. You'll be looking for a close fit -- if not a distinct match -- with your company's needs.
Knowledge of Architecture Methodologies
Integration architects design models to represent how applications will function and work together in the workplace. Ask candidates what methodologies they've used to create these models for both distributed and service-oriented architectures. Dig deeper into candidates' expertise by asking them to describe the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. For a test of communication skills, see whether candidates are able to provide clear, non-technical answers for the benefit of any non-technical members of the interview team.
Applications and Languages
Integration architects should have a broad range of experience working with a variety of software applications. Ask candidates to describe what experience they have working with databases, middleware, data governance, web services and security applications. You'll also want them to tell you about development languages they've used. Taking these questions one step further, find out how motivated they are to learn new applications and languages by asking them to describe any training they're currently pursuing.
Documentation and Project Skills
Integration architects must be highly organized and well-versed in creating documentation to support architecture development. Ask candidates what software tools they've used to diagram application architectures and what experience they have depicting business and application logic. To find out how effective their documents are in use, ask candidates to describe their interaction or involvement with project teams to transition designs into implementation projects.
A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.