Systems Architect Resume Storytelling Example

Without Storytelling

My client was struggling to explain his work related to major game title releases and why it was important to the business. I used my storytelling process to walk him through a series of questions. As we worked through his projects, his actual achievements became much clear to him.


What was the problem and what were the challenges?

My company, a game retailer, experienced a network outage that affected the ability to process credit cards during a midnight launch (major game title release).  The outage lasted for over an hour and although store associates were still able to perform phone-based credit authorizations its believed that we lost considerable sales (estimated at 150K) from walkout customers frustrated with the long waits.

Since this happened during a major release, executive management was very closely watching this project. They asked IT to take measures to ensure this issue would not occur again.

What was produced and delivered? What was your role?

I led a project to deploy an active / active credit authorization environment.  I designed the solution working with the networking team, the POS development team and the provider of our credit authorization software.  We designed a solution that provided 99.999% uptime.

Who got value from the solution?

We have not a credit auth outage since the solution was implemented. My team and I were recognized by executive management for our work and commitment to getting it done on a very short timeline.

What was challenging?

We created a very resilient solution by profiling the different failures that could occur within a single sight and then working with the vendor to build features within the POS client to recognize those failure types and then connect to the secondary credit authorization within a seconds of a primary site failure.

Revised Version With Storytelling

My client originally described his achievement in terms of meeting a deadline and saving money.  While these issues are always important, they weren’t the most interesting part of his work.


Every company wants to save money and about 15 years ago, I saw this as a common thread in resumes.  Although it can be very important to some companies it is no longer a primary message that I consistently see. Most companies these days are more concerned about new business capabilities, automated processes, and data driven decision making because these things help them stay competitive.

Credit Authorization Global Redundancy

  • Led an executive leadership initiative with high visibility, to deploy an active / active credit authorization environment; delivered a reliable network with 99.999% uptime able to handle the fluctuating peak workloads related to major game title releases. Eliminated very costly outages that severely impacted productivity with zero outages since deployment.
    • Created a collaborative environment with a cross functional team (networking, POS development and the credit authorization provider) to design a failover solution.
    • Profiled different failure scenarios and built features within the POS client to recognize the failure types and to connect, within seconds, to the secondary credit authorization.