The completeness and accuracy of the application package is the best way to improve your chances at a successful defense. While the actual defense flies by in roughly two hours, candidates have worked on their designs for weeks and months. As panelists, it is easy to predict which candidates will be successful based on the strength of your documentation alone. Focus your time wisely, draw on your experience, seek guidance from advisors, and submit an application that displays your proficiency as an architect.
There are three phases covered in the development of a design. The first phase is the development of a conceptual model that maps the requirements and constraints used to influence the logical design. The logical design provides the platform to make technology choices. The physical design includes the implementation details with specific vendor, product, and configuration information.
Within a design, consider the justification and impact of a design choice. Justification supports a decision. Impact is the result of a decision. Justification can result in either a positive or a negative impact. Impact of a design choice occurs in other areas than the decision point. Impact can affect budget, technology, training, and other decisions. Consider each of the items above when developing your design for submission. The panel looks at how you address these phases in your design and how each design choice is justified.
In this section, we illustrated the steps to developing a design submission. The following is a checklist to help prepare for your defense. Several of these are detailed in their relevant chapters.
- Understand the timing and flow of the panel defense.
- Understand the requirements for the design defense (Chapter 5).
- Understand the requirements for the design scenario (Chapter 6).
- Understand the requirements for the troubleshooting scenario (Chapter 7).
- Know all aspects of your design.