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Sun's Java Center ( Sun's consulting divisiion) has a lot of architects and all of those people are programmers, too. I understand that an architect needs to be hands-on. If an architect has not written any code for 2 years, I think he/she is doing architect things for architecture. At the same time, an architect cannot be always an archect. Today, I reviewed 15 resumes for my company and I found that a lot of candidates have ever been architects. If we hire one of them, I can only use them as a developer. Even they are very experienced, they have to follow my instructions if they are hired---I have no time to hear their good ideas.
Being an architect, one must be good at corporate politics. Being an architect does not mean being savvy in technology. You should be able to deal with a lot of administrative things. All these are established on your personality and your commanding of English language, not on your technology.
I would be happy to discuss some details. If I am late in responding to you, however, please forgive me.
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