Ever wonder what it’s like to be a Principal Software Architect at CA Technologies?
When searching for a role or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond that and give you insight on these key facts from the perspective of a real CA employee. This Software Architect profile is part of our new careers blog series “A Day In The Life At CA”.
Vitezslav Vlcek, Principal Software Architect, has been in the Software Development and Engineering space for over 20 years. In his spare time, he’s a keen music and dance fan. Not only does Vitezslav play piano and has done since he was 12, he is also part of a folk dancing group.
Vitezslav’s Career Story
Vitezslav has an abundance of experience in the Mainframe space and has been with CA Technologies for over 8 years at the Prague Technology Center.
“I joined CA 8 years ago after I finished my PhD focused on Applied Mathematics. At that point in time, I had never heard of either CA products nor CA Technologies, however I did know about mainframe technology, because we had a class on hi-performance computing at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. Sometimes, the lecturer would tell stories of his own career and mentioned Mainframe several times when he was doing some computation on ES EVM (a Russian clone of IBM360). At that point, I thought Mainframe was old and redundant technology. How wrong was I!”
Vitezslav has seen amazing support when it’s come to his own career development at CA Technologies. He’s had 5 different roles in his 8 years.
“I started as an Associate Software Engineer. After 6 months in the development team building MSM (Mainframe Software Management) from scratch. I was then promoted to Software Engineer and became part of the L2 Support Team, which was both a big challenge and opportunity to speak with customers, improve my English language skills and expand my Mainframe horizons. 3 years ago, the L2 support team disbanded as there was no business case for the team anymore, as we had solved all the solutions we needed to by which time, I’d become Senior Software Engineer. It was at the time when CA started to implement the Agile Transformation of Mainframe Business Unit. We formed an Agile Team called ‘3 Minutes’ and I was promoted to a Principal Software Engineer very quickly. This was not the last change in my career as most recently, an architect position became available. I applied, and due to my deep insight into internals of our products and knowledge of customer requirements, I became a Principal Architect.”
The Life of a Principal Software Architect
We asked Vitezslav how he would describe his role as a Principal Software Architect and why he loves what he does.
“I review incoming requirements and evaluate whether they fit our future plans. I asses how viable the product plans are and if they could be implemented. I define the architecture of products, planning both the product build and how the technical components will be connected. Sometimes I also develop small prototypes to help us better envision product plans as real products. I’m also a support resource in helping other team members with incoming issues and any product related questions they may have.”
A typical workday for Vitezslav starts with a brisk walk to work, a well brewed cup of tea and a look of his emails. He always meets with his team to have regular catch ups on progress and up-coming working.
“Come lunchtime, I enjoy having a small walk to get some fresh air. It’s important to have that time away from the desk screen. I normally have calls with our US colleagues who become active around 3pm our time in Prague (due to time difference). It’s then typically back to tackling issues and assessing new enhancements. Once a week, we get our innovation juices flowing by attending our Patent Review Board where we assess new ideas.”
Ask people what the favourite part of their job is and 99 times of out 100, people will not say “problems”. When we asked Vitezslav what his favourite part of his job is, you guessed it, he answered, “problems”. He certainly loves the challenge and compares his role to that of a detective and doctor when it comes to solving and fixing problems.
“I like solving technical problems – it is like puzzle. Customers provide a few hints, sometimes they are misleading so it can be like detective work. Once you identify the culprit (the issue), you then play the role of the doctor who must find a cure to heal a broken part. Moreover, it’s like being a doctor for humans, expect you’ve now got to fix the issue of a much larger, more complex mammal. In terms of my role, I’m having to fix issues on products that are very big and complex, which is where the challenge lies. Other challenges include building new enhancement requests that are coming from customers or internal teams. Usually we have to figure out how to develop new functionality in a very limited time to please the customer, whilst ensuring it doesn’t limit or break existing functionality.”
Life At CA
Vitezslav loves a lot about his #LifeAtCA. The office is in a very good location, and takes just 30 minutes to walk or 15 minutes by bike to get to the office. Vitezslav doesn’t have to use public transport at all. He also likes that the office is very well equipped, with shower facilities, massage room and the garage facilities are bike friendly.
“Most of my work is done sat stationary at my office chair, therefore I suffer from lack of movement. That’s why I really enjoy that we have regularly available office massages, yoga and pilates that I take full advantage of. It is a great opportunity to stretch all my muscles and it’s great for the mind. I’m lucky that both my wife (she works for CA as well) and I have participated in numerous CA Fitness Challenges. It’s very much built into our daily routine to walk to the office and back home every day.”
Vitezslav’s Career Advice
“Imagine what would happen if Google’s ‘search functionality’ or Facebook’s ‘post publisher’ was down for one day and compare it to the failure of any mission critical systems from flight ticket reservations to banking systems. Do you want to be a part of a company that creates the software that other companies depend on to succeed it this digital age and bring life to their products and services? Do you find mission critical systems interesting? If yes, then CA Technologies might well be an option for you.”
We couldn’t have said it better. Thanks to Vitezslav for sharing his Day in the #LifeAtCA of a Principal Software Architect! You can connect with his adventures on LinkedIn here.
Are you interested in a Software Architect role at CA Technologies?