Role models' Guide
to the digital galaxy

Janet Boltjes

Janet Boltjes

Solution architect, HP Nederland BV

The job

Solution Architect in multi-national company selling PC computers, printers and 3D solutions. The work entails designing and developing IT solutions for the company’s administration (business applications). An enterprise organization like HP uses a vast collection of systems to manage the company’s sales processes. As a solution architect you respond to business change requests which are the result of a changing market, new company strategy or external influence. E.g. policy or law requirements. You analyze the business request, preform research into the impacted systems and organizations/business departments and develop a solution proposal. During the process of developing this proposed solution, you are in close contact with stakeholders from the requestor, enterprise architecture bodies (infrastructure, software, cybersecurity, etc.), IT software owners, external suppliers, senior management, and others where applicable and present the proposal to get approval for execution. Following the approved proposal, a proper project is formed to deliver the solution. During this project, you verify and validate whether the deliverable follows the proposal architecture.

Professional beliefs
What does it take to be successful?

Technology provides value to mankind, it is serving mankind in order to improve life. Working in IT is for creative people which most people are (even if you think you are not), there is an enormous choice of type of work. My success is due to being non-tech person (but am knowledgeable and extremely curious in IT technology) and able to speak/understand the customer’s drivers. A lot of the mistakes one makes are due to miscommunication or misunderstanding. If you do not make mistakes you will not improve. Be open and honest about them, giving others an opportunity to learn from them as well.

Education

You generally don't become a solution architect straight out of school. After HAVO, I went to teachers college to study biology and English. In my last year in college, I decided teaching was not for me. I went over the university’s curriculum and found ‘Humanities Computing’ (Alfa Informatics) which I enlisted myself for. This was a challenge for me, as I was never a math adept, which most folk would assume to be a must. I found it to be the best choice I have ever made. The subjects were absolute fun, perhaps because they were so new to me. My internship in Vancouver (with a fantastic workshop trip to Microsoft in Redmond, WA) and student job at the World Wide Web Consortium in Sophia Antipolis, France in my last year were the cherry on the cake for me. And I was asked to come work for two of the three employers I have worked for in my career. I followed a number of trainings and courses during my work, project management, architecture, big data solution to name a few.

Skills

  • Analysing
  • Creativity
  • Communication, presenting, writing
  • Solution orientated
  • Understanding algorithms
  • Continuously keeping up to date with new technology, technology market
  • SAP (various modules in supply chain)
  • Visio diagrams

Outside work

Married, no kids; I enjoy art and am a member of the art society Pulchri in The Hague. I do volunteering work for Pulchri and for a community society, both I am web master and web developer. In my job I have the opportunity to work a lot from home.