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Becoming a Pega Certified Lead System Architect can transform your career

Patty Lenz Bovie, 7 minute read

The Path to Pega Lead System Architect Certification

Every field has its experts. Wine connoisseurs become Sommeliers. Accountants become CPAs. White belts become black belts. At Pega, our elite developers become PCLSAs (Pega Certified Lead System Architects), one of the most prestigious technical certifications in the industry.

As more and more businesses adopt the Pega Platform™ globally, the demand for experienced Pega developers has skyrocketed. PCLSAs are sought-after resources because they have the highest level of Pega technical certification – and they are highly compensated as a result.

The individuals featured here have achieved the PCLSA gold standard and are leading Pega projects around the world. Here’s a quick look at how certification has changed their lives.

Jyoti Batra, Sydney, Australia

Born and raised in Delhi, India, Jyoti embarked on her Pega journey in 2012 when she joined Pega, India after an extensive interview process. There, Jyoti had the opportunity to work on various aspects of the product and on framework applications like Agile Studio. Her last project – building Intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) for channels like Facebook, webchat, etc. – is still extremely close to her heart. “It fills me with pride when I see organizations getting tremendous benefits from using this capability.” After working on the Pega product for six years, Jyoti wanted to move to more customer-facing projects. “I took a leap and joined Virtusa, Australia and haven't looked back. It has given me a deeper understanding of business processes and helped me grow personally and professionally.”

To achieve PCLSA certification and take her career to the next level, Jyoti spent six months completing her three-part exams. “Learning to balance work and study was the key to success, but knowing the fundamental concepts through hands-on experience helped tremendously. Now, I’m able to build better solutions, solve complex business problems and make the right architectural decisions. All aspiring Pega professionals who have gained enough experience as a [Pega Certified Senior System Architect] PCSSA and are ready to get to the next level should. It gives you ample opportunities to design solutions for real-life problems and puts you in the driver seat to make enterprise-wide architectural decisions.”

Emily Camardo, Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A.

Originally from South Burlington, Vermont, Emily studied math at the University of Maryland. After graduating in 2017, she joined srcLogic as a consultant. There she quickly earned her Pega System Architect and Senior System Architect certifications within a few months.

After a couple of years, her mentor encouraged her to go for her Pega Lead System Architect certification. Emily started seriously studying for certification in July 2019, passed the architecture exam in late August, then dedicated a few hours a week to prepare for the build in December. “That was definitely the most challenging part. Most people I work with know how much I value a good night’s sleep and time away from problems I’m working on. Both things are not quite possible when completing an application build in 72 hours.” Certification has increased the confidence she has in herself and in her abilities, and she really valued the overall learning experience. “LSA certification is well-suited for people who like to solve problems in creative ways.”

Mohammad Ziauddin, Irving, Texas, U.S.A.

“Zia” was born in India, earned his computer science degree from SRM University, and began his career in IT at Tata Consultancy Services in 2010. That’s when he first encountered Pega technology. Four years later he moved to Irving, Texas with the company and eventually achieved Pega’s coveted PCLSA certification in 2019.

Over the past decade, Zia has helped transform several legacy applications to Pega, including building some solutions from scratch. “PCLSA certification helped me get recognition from my co-workers and friends and built my confidence, and it’s opened up several opportunities for me. Any CSSA who’s spent at least a year as a senior developer should pursue it. Pega is a market leader, and achieving the highest level of certification will cement your place in the technical world.”

Dharshana Robertson, Melbourne, Australia

Dharshana grew up in Nagercoil, the Southern tip of India where the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, and Arabian Sea meet. She attended Anna University and began her career as a Java Developer, then moved onto J2EE technologies. “When one of my pipelined J2EE projects was delayed, I began my Pega journey at Cognizant Technology Solutions, Chennai. I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time.”

Her prior experience helped pave the way for a better understanding and appreciation of Pega’s low-code technology. In 2016, after the birth of her second son, Dharshana decided she wanted to earn her PCLSA. “I did not want to be left behind in my career.” She had to juggle work, kids, and exam preparation, which she did after putting her children to bed at night. Her husband often took the boys and let her sleep in after her late-night study sessions. “It took time to understand all the Pega concepts and the application, but certification definitely opened up career opportunities for me. Because of the time I spent preparing for the exams, I now have a better approach in solving complex problems.”

Dinesh Kumar Nithyanandam, Chennai, India

Dinesh grew up in southern India, a region famous for its lovely beaches. He worked as a Pega IT consultant for more than 15 years in India, Canada, and the U.S. before becoming certified as a PCLSA. Today, he’s the Pega Global Center of Excellence (COE) Lead in Hexaware at Enterprise Solutions, a Pega partner.

To prepare for the certification exams, Dinesh spent time on the sample exercises from Pega’s Collaboration Center and read all the design patterns. “Real-time experience also matters. PCLSA certification provides a new dimension in learning architecture principles, which lets you to apply the best practices and allows you to participate confidently in the Architect review board meetings at an enterprise level. It also encourages you to think out-of-the box and bring the best Pega practices to scale across projects to help customers be successful in their digital transformations. With a PCLSA certification, you’ll never be without a job.”

Achieving PCLSA Certification from Pega Academy validates a commitment to optimizing the value Pega technology can provide

PCLSA certification is a mark of excellence and an investment that pays for itself many times over. For more information on Pega Certification paths or how to become a PCLSA, visit Pega Academy.

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About the Author

As a Senior Communications writer at Pega, Patty Lenz Bovie develops compelling articles about technology innovation, client success, and the Pega community.

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