What Does a Platform Architect Do?

Angela Farrer
Angela Farrer
A platform architect designs comprehensive computer systems for storing, delivering, and optimizing a variety of information, usually in an online format.
A platform architect designs comprehensive computer systems for storing, delivering, and optimizing a variety of information, usually in an online format.

A platform architect designs comprehensive computer systems for storing, delivering, and optimizing a variety of information, usually in an online format. Most platform architect duties involve creating software applications that will allow end users to access needed data quickly and efficiently. Many platform architect jobs are in industries such as ecommerce and interactive web content management. Platform architects are usually responsible for writing and editing programs, troubleshooting problems with functionality, and formulating new technology solutions to existing business problems. They also work closely with a team of computer engineers or web developers to complete projects that include developing, installing, deploying, and configuring various hardware and software components.

Experience in troubleshooting and updating web server equipment is an addtional plus for many platform architect jobs.
Experience in troubleshooting and updating web server equipment is an addtional plus for many platform architect jobs.

The typical platform architect is able to analyze a given company's need for technology that would increase online visibility and potentially improve its overall profitability. Platform architect duties frequently include back-end tasks such as examining site traffic patterns, tracking rates of user purchases in cases of ecommerce sites, and planning improvements for content delivery to greater numbers of future customers. These kinds of tasks often involve project work such as the development of a new application or add-on with the use of high level programming languages such as Java® or C++. Experience in troubleshooting and updating web server equipment is an additional plus for many platform architect jobs of this nature.

Platform architects generally have a solid understanding of the algorithms that index a variety of web content according to relevancy and quality. They typically work closely with a team of web developers to tailor site components to these algorithms. This area of a platform architect's job often requires good spoken and written communication skills for implementing these types of technical elements with team members who have varying areas of expertise. In addition to developing and testing new applications, platform architects usually need to write concise but thorough documentation of each project phase.

Some platform architects develop applications and interactivity solutions that are specific to a particular operating system, web browser, or search engine. They often work with business analysts to determine which types of technology would best serve the broadest possible customer base. Since many browsers and operating systems come with periodic updates, platform architects usually have a key role in identifying any existing errors and creating fixes for them. They also use information about the average user's requirements for creating various features to add to a new version prior to its deployment.

What is a Platform Architect?

Platform architects are professionals tasked with designing comprehensive computer systems for delivering, storing, and optimizing a wide variety of information, typically in an online format. Platform architects may also be in charge of creating software applications that will allow information to be quickly accessed by end-users in an efficient manner. Platform architects usually work in industries such as interactive web content management and eCommerce, and they are often responsible for editing and writing new programs, troubleshooting complicated issues, and coming up with new technology solutions to current business problems.

It is common for platform architects to work closely with other professionals such as web developers and computer engineers. While working with others, they may undertake projects that involve installing, developing, configuring, or deploying a variety of software and hardware components.

What Tasks Are Platform Architects Responsible For?

When a company needs to increase its online visibility or improve profitability, a platform architect may be called in to help them find the right technology. The platform architect may be given responsibilities that include back-end tasks such as:

  • Tracking rates of user purchases on eCommerce sites
  • Planning content delivery improvements to bring in a greater number of customers
  • Exploring site traffic patterns

Such tasks may require the platform architect to develop new applications or add on to an existing application using programming languages such as C++ or Java. Most platform architects have extensive experience updating and troubleshooting web server equipment.

Some platform architects may be responsible for developing interactivity solutions and applications for a specific type of operating system, search engine, or web browser. They may work side-by-side with business analysts to decide which types of technology will help the company reach the largest customer base possible. Since many operating systems and browsers are updated regularly, platform architects are often tasked with finding and identifying potential errors and coming up with solutions for them.

What Type of Education and Training Does a Platform Architect Need?

To work as a platform architect, you will more than likely need a formal education. You must be a high-school graduate, and in most cases, you will need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree. Some higher-end jobs will require you to have a master’s degree or doctorate (if you wish to work in academia). The vast majority of platform architects major in computer science, so you will need to spend at least three to four years taking courses in computer programming, mathematics, and other topics.

What Skills Does a Platform Architect Need?

Platform architects must possess a wide range of skills and abilities if they wish to succeed in their chosen careers. First and foremost, a platform architect must master at least one specific development platform and language while having a strong understanding of his or her role within a group. They must ensure every detail of the project they are tasked with meets a certain standard, and ultimately, they are charged with ensuring their project is as efficient as possible, easy to upgrade and maintain, and easy to develop. As a platform architect, you may be expected to possess the following skills and abilities:

  • Strategic planning
  • Basic IT knowledge and resource and infrastructure deployment
  • Information and data structure
  • Business process modeling
  • Technical architecture selection

Although technical competence is important, platform architects must possess soft skills as well. A platform architect with weak soft skills will have difficulty working with others in a professional setting. For this reason, a platform architect should know the basic principles behind all mainstream technologies and application scenarios. They must be able to quickly solve problems under stress, and they should be comfortable constantly expanding their knowledge base. They should also understand risks at all times and know how to explain them to others.

Who Does a Platform Architect Work With?

As previously mentioned, platform architects are often required to work closely with other types of professionals. For this reason, platform architects must possess a wide range of social skills. In an eCommerce environment, a platform architect may be required to work closely with a product manager who should have a strong technical background also. Product managers are typically familiar with the business element of a company, and their feedback is important to platform architects in charge of choosing the proper software system.

Platform architects may also work closely with systems analysts. Systems analysts and architects function as the chief designers of a software project, and they are usually the creators of new products and technology systems for software companies. With their knowledge of software development, they often work on projects with platform architects.

Discussion Comments

anon999207

After reading this post I think that it was written by someone who works closely with web service providing.

But according to my understanding Platform Architect (PA) is a bit more than this. Because PA is responisble for the platform itself, I mean for the basement or bedrock which the application runs on. It can be even web services, directory services, firewall rule planning or any enterprise service build-up (such as mail, file sharing, or instant messaging back-end server internal/external communication).

I'd say that PAs' role in some case can be pretty similar to Network Architects.

Anyway I liked your definition. Regards, Daniel

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    • A platform architect designs comprehensive computer systems for storing, delivering, and optimizing a variety of information, usually in an online format.
      By: nielshariot
      A platform architect designs comprehensive computer systems for storing, delivering, and optimizing a variety of information, usually in an online format.
    • Experience in troubleshooting and updating web server equipment is an addtional plus for many platform architect jobs.
      By: .shock
      Experience in troubleshooting and updating web server equipment is an addtional plus for many platform architect jobs.