Snippet: Everything you should know about the Software Architect – learn about the role, the skills required, and the possible impact on product development
According to modern practices, almost all technical projects desperately require a professional to make major project-related decisions. The expert should be proficient in high-profile design, software coding standards, as well as relevant tools and platforms. As a rule, Software Architect can streamline the development process and, of course, your business. So, who is Software Architect? Let’s see this in more detail.
Software Architect: Who Is It?
One can find a myriad of definitions for a Software Architect; however, in general, an expert holding this role runs all strategic decisions about the proper organization of the software system, including:
– a structure of software architecture, key components, and interfaces;
– adequate interactions of components with each other and external systems;
– architectural vision to direct the company
– secure mutual understanding between all stakeholders engaged in product development.
So, it is clear without saying that Software Architects regulate all critically important aspects such as performance, scalability, functionality, resilience, complexity, security, and emerging technological constraints. Moreover, Software Architects monitor their decisions to be effectively communicated to stakeholders and technical staff to secure smooth workflow.
While the range of software architecture services depends on project scope and final objectives, it’s essential to clarify how their responsibilities differ from other key IT professionals working on the same software solution and doing their best to deliver a successful product.
Key Responsibilities and Duties
One should understand that the responsibilities of a Software Architect may vary regarding various internal structures and business requirements. Here, you can find the generalized responsibilities based on the engineering stage.
Discover Stage: A Software Architect is typically engaged in a discovery team to determine what customers seek to build and what resources will be used. In this case, the expert explores high-level functional and non-functional requirements and needs related to security, reliability, and other quality aspects. The Architect should study and examine all emerging constraints placed by compliance requirements.
After the project requirements assessment, the Software Architect provides a high-profile system diagram to outline basic concepts and interactions. In addition, he identifies the technical stack and deployment strategies and approximate working hours for developers and then builds a development team.
Elaboration Stage: The requirements should be clearly specified when the proposal is approved. Software Architect creates a thorough architecture that can best solve the problems of stakeholders. To put it short, the Architect determines how to create the solution.
During this phase, an Architect should map out the possible ways to integrate the idea from the technical perspective, evaluate potential related risks, and offer methods to minimize them. Eventually, the Software Architect brings to the table design blueprints demonstrating modules, interactions, and critical low-level components inside them.
Prototype Stage: Here, the Architect develops the architectural prototype, which covers the biggest issues and addresses key architectural risks.
Construction Stage: The Software Architect designs less important features and components and performs as a leader and mentor. The Architect also promotes his vision of a project, identifies quality standards, provides code snippets, and secures compliance with predefined rules.
Transition Stage: The architect works cross-functionally to define the product release. He is entirely accountable for continuous integration and deployment. Finally, the Software Architect changes the infrastructure based on the performance testing result.
Core Skills and Competencies
In order to function successfully, Software Architects should possess deep technical expertise. So, it is unsurprising that most have grown from senior technical roles. Here’s the list of the most essential skills that make a good Software Architect:
Substantial Technical Background: As a rule, a Software Architect must have a Master’s degree in Engineering or Computing Science in addition to a solid portfolio of projects realized with different technologies. The position also requires from 5 to 10 years of experience in programming.
Coding skills: Software Architects should consistently keep abreast of programming trends and emerging technologies since they write code examples, POCs, and prototypes. Besides, a Software Architect codes oftener than a Solution Architect who deals with higher-profile concepts and diagrams.
Expertise in Cloud Technologies: A Software Architect must be proficient in cloud technologies since Cloud service providers speed up software development, offering numerous ready-to-use solutions. This level of expertise should be proved by over 3 years of experience with a particular provider and certification from Microsoft Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud.
Business Communication: Since this role requires much communication, rapport-building skills are critical. Software Architects should be able to explain technical aspects in simple terms.
Leadership: As a rule, the Software Architect mentors and supervises technical teams, promoting the right solution and quality standards. To earn respect, solid leadership, and dedication skills are required.
During the software development process, there are plenty of disturbing issues, such as testing difficulties, integration problems, scalability, and inefficiency. However, having a Software Architect on the project can minimize failure risks and improve your digital solution’s quality, stability, and scalability. Software Architects have extensive senior-level experience, ensuring the incorporation of best practices to support digital transformation.