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What is a Software Architect?
2021-12-14 /

What Does a Software Architect Do?

A software architect is responsible for various vital responsibilities in software development. From design to engineering, learn more about this role and why your software development projects need them.

Depending on the project’s size, software development teams assign specific responsibilities to their members. One of these positions is software architect, which is considered the most demanding position. That is why companies are having a hard time finding the right candidate to fill the said position. In fact, if you head to job sites, you’d find thousands of software architect job openings.

But why are these professionals in demand? What are their responsibilities? 

This article will discuss what being a software architect is all about. In addition, we will also tackle what makes a great software architect and where you can find the best ones. Here’s a list of our coverage:

Let’s start by examining the nature of software architecture.

What is Software Architecture?

In software development, software architecture is simply the process of designing and organizing the system. This means managing all the components needed for the software development. 

Furthermore, it also involves configuring how each part interacts with one another. It also determines what environment they will be deployed, and the application of design principles. Software architecture also involves planning for the software’s upgrades for newer versions.

To perform this, an organization needs an architect who knows how to assess requirements and turn them into a system.

The Software Architect

The person responsible for all the planning and organizing of the software system is the software architect. They are in charge of making high-level design and framework standards. Also, they decide which tools, platforms, and coding standards suit their projects better.

Software Architect Roles and Responsibilities

Here’s a breakdown of some of the top responsibilities assigned to software architects:

  • Taking the lead in software development design
  • Defining the architecture and design principles and needs to create the project’s technical guides
  • Analyzing the technical needs of the project to determine which tools, technologies, and standards are the most suitable
  • Ensuring that the process complies with the chosen architecture
  • Breaking down the project into smaller parts
  • Ensuring that the right products are created by communicating their needs to the team
  • Ensuring that the product is scalable future changes and other updates   

There are different types of architects, such as cloud architects specializing in designing systems and solutions for and in the cloud. Depending on their focus, they will have other responsibilities.

How to become a Software Architect?

This is not an entry-level position. Hence, attaining this job title requires years of experience, knowledge, and sometimes advanced training.

Although not necessary, having a degree in Computer Science or any related field helps in this position. Beyond any degree, companies usually look for five to ten years of experience in software development jobs. Additionally, having attended boot camps and other types of training is a plus. Below are the technical and soft skills required from software architects.

Technical Skills

Unfortunately, there are no one-size-fits-all technical skillsets for this job title. As stated earlier, there are different skill requirements depending on the project and even on the company’s product. Here are the top hard skills that companies require from software architects: 

  • Expertise on DevOps and its different practices
  • In-depth knowledge of systems design
  • Understanding of coding and programming languages
  • Hands-on experience in data modeling and designing database
  • Expertise in the software development process and different technologies
  • Broad understanding of architectural styles and design patterns
  • Knowledgeable about various content management systems
  • Expert on Unified Modeling Language (UML)

Soft Skills

To complement their technical expertise, these professionals should also possess the following soft skills:

1. Leadership

They oversee the development of the project from conceptualization to fulfillment. As such, software architects need to have leadership skills to designate duties and coordinate with the right members.

They must also provide the needs of the project and members in terms of technical guidance. Simultaneously, they must take into consideration the available resources when designing the project’s system architecture.

Related Video: Finding and Hiring Great Employees

2. Excellent Communication

In any leadership position, having excellent communication skills is a must. Being a software architect is no different. They must explain the project, its mission and deadlines, expectations, and responsibilities.

As the in charge of creating the software development architecture, it is vital to lay out the requirements and assignments clearly. Doing so will avoid unnecessary delays due to miscommunication.

3. Conflict Resolution

As one of the leads in development, their team will go to them for advice and to make critical decisions. They should be able to weigh conflicting ideas to present the best solutions.

4. Problem-Solving Skills

Developing software or an application involves a lot of problem-solving. As the ones managing the system design, they should be able to identify risks quickly.

But it shouldn’t stop there. Software architects should apply their expertise, knowledge, and experience in finding the best solutions. They can ensure that software development will remain seamless with their problem-solving skills.

 5. Prioritizing and Organization

As the ones who design and plan the system, software architects should identify which parts need prioritization. They will be working with limited resources. Hence, it is essential that they know how to organize and appoint their team members.

Additionally, they should think about the whole picture. Meaning, they need to create and organize a roadmap that will guide the whole project.

6. Mentorship

As a lead position, software architects should inspire and mentor their members. That’s why they have to coach their members when expectations are not met.

Even though they have a lot on their plate, they should always invest some of their time in teaching their members. They can do this by providing training and even one-on-one guidance sessions.

7. Negotiation

Projects evolve all the time. Hence, software architects must know how to negotiate. They will be dealing with developers about timelines and sudden changes in the requirements.

In addition, they are in charge of making sure that stakeholders understand the features, costs, and timing. Sometimes, clients will demand unreasonable features or timelines. Hence, a good software architect should also be a good negotiator to align decisions with project goals.

Hire Full Scale Software Architects

Now we have examined the importance of having software architects in your software projects. Now, you may be wondering where you can hire the best ones without breaking the bank. In that case, your best option is to offshore your software or application development.

You may be having second thoughts about offshoring. But many companies choose to offshore with great success. Still, you have to weigh the pros and cons of offshoring and see if it fits your needs.

But don’t worry. Full Scale exists to address your offshoring needs. 

At Full Scale, we develop business solutions for companies at an affordable price. We have an impeccable record of success in offshore team management. It shows that we can help you build your dream software development team. 

Our recruitment process ensures that we only hire the top and most skilled developers, QAs, project managers, and software architects. Plus, we provide continuous training so our talent stay on top of the latest software development trends.

Full Scale is here to be your partner. Let us know what you need. Contact us today, and let us start forming your dream team!

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