When I joined Microsoft in 1996 I was most certainly a developer first, solution architect second. During the last 11 years I have tried to stay competent in both roles. However year on year we are asked to do more - engage with more organizations, increased technical account management, engage more with senior decision makers, work with more technologies. At the same time, more and more of the UK ISVs I engage with also have the option to get their development assistance from their Microsoft Partner Advantage Application Design Consultants (ADCs).
Ultimately something had to give - and after a two year battle I have elected to step away from development and focus on solutions architecture.
Although to be clear, Visual Studio 2005 (and "Orcas") will remain a must have install on my machines for many years to come 🙂