Software Architect

Location: Houston, USA
Degree: Bachelors, Mathematics
Institute: University of South Florida
Start Date: 2002
"With Schlumberger, I can not only work on just about any kind of software system, I can do it from just about anywhere in the world."


Career Profile: Joe

What is it like working for Schlumberger?

“Schlumberger is an extremely diverse company. As a Software Architect, I have the opportunity to work on software product development, where the product could be software that monitors and collects real-time data from an oilfield operation via satellite linkup. Or, I can work on one of the many IT business systems used to support activities ranging from payroll to technical community collaboration (a kind of social software) to knowledge management software to support our vast operations around the globe. I'm the kind of person that loves technical challenges - I certainly like to be able to work on a diverse range of software systems. With Schlumberger, I can not only work on just about any kind of software system, I can do it from just about anywhere in the world.”

What type of skills do you need for this job?

“As a Software Architect, I use three different skills sets: Software Development, Software Project Management and Requirements Analysis. Architects in Schlumberger are expected to be able to communicate effectively with the various business owners and stakeholders. Software Architects help the business owners and stakeholders to visualize the role of software systems within their various business processes. Business owners and stakeholders depend on the architect to guide them to technology solutions that will provide value for their business. In addition, architects help the business owners and stakeholders to determine whether to use an off-the-shelf software product, or, to embark on the development of a custom software solution.”

What does the future hold for your career in Schlumberger?

“The great thing about Schlumberger is that I can continue to work in a technical role for as long as I want. Or, if I choose to move into a management role, I could do that as well. So far in my career with Schlumberger, I have worked with more than 20 different software systems in 5 different business segments. I started out working as a software architect for a single project, and I have progressed into having an entire portfolio of software systems that I am responsible for. My next step will either be to move to a different portfolio with Schlumberger, or, to take a position managing one of the architecture teams.”

How has your background in IT helped you?

“Being an IT architect would be very difficult if I had not been both an architect for a number of software development efforts, as well as a project manager for a number of software development projects. You really need to have an IT background in order to be effective as an IT architect. There are just so many things that you are expected to already know that I think anyone without an IT background would not be able to keep up with the pace or the demands of the position.”

What kind of training have you received since you joined?

“I came to Schlumberger from NASA. So, I have had an extensive amount of oilfield domain training since I joined Schlumberger, including training on the specific business processes used by Schlumberger and how they are different from the rest of industry. I have also had training to keep up my skills up on things like Agile Software Development. Schlumberger has a program for managing the skills of their workforce. And, part of this program includes "Training and Development" as assigned by a mentor.”

Why did you join Schlumberger?

“Building good technical solutions is every software architect's dream. But, in my case, I also wanted to work on software systems that made a difference. I wanted to work on software systems that provided immediate value to the business. With Schlumberger, my contribution both matters and is appreciated. While I was working with NASA, I was also teaching at the local University a couple of nights a week. A number of my students were hired by Schlumberger. And, at some point I was recruited to do some consulting for Schlumberger. These people were willing to pay me to do the things that I loved to do, and they were allowing me to contribute to efforts that made a difference and provided value to the business. After a short period of consulting, I was hooked on Schlumberger.”

Is there anything else you would like to add for people considering applying for an IT job at SLB?

“If you love to work with computers - software or hardware - and you want to work in a diverse environment with the ability to live anywhere in the world, this is the company for you. If you love technical challenges and a competitive environment, this is the company for you.”