The Role, Skills, and Duties of a Software Architect
When hiring a dedicated development team, there are several important factors to consider. Every project requires a professional who can make high-level design decisions and define coding standards, resources, and tools. This is where a software architect comes in. In this article, we’ll explore who software architect is, what their skills are, and what their responsibilities entail.
In the software industry, the role of a software architect can vary depending on the context. Sometimes, an architect may work within an established enterprise and provide instructions on technology stacks to developers. In other cases, an Agile development team may work without the involvement of a dedicated architect. Let’s delve into the role of a software architect.
The role of a software architect
A software architect needs to work closely with clients, product managers, and developers in order to visualize, design, and deliver initial models and designs that can be built upon. They may also be involved in meeting potential or existing clients.
A software architect must constantly review the code to ensure that the quality of the design is maintained by avoiding complexity, promoting clarity, and doing so with the team. This often involves hands-on work such as creating prototypes, writing code, or evaluating technologies.
Collaboration and humility are important aspects of the software architect’s role, which includes providing mentorship as needed. This allows the architect to become familiar with the team’s skills and interests, and share their knowledge with the rest of the team. It’s important to have the humility to ensure that all team members are heard, even those with more specific experience or knowledge of the issue at hand.
Considering all the key aspects involved in the role of a software architect, it is clear that this person needs to have knowledge in management, programming, psychology, communication, and even finance. So what are the main skills and qualities that this professional should possess?
The key qualities of a software architect
- Having broad and deep technical knowledge is essential for a software architect. They typically possess expertise in multiple technology stacks at a competent level and should also have a good understanding of others. Additionally, a software architect should be well-equipped to produce extensive technical documentation, reports, and diagrams.
- Responsibility. A software architect should understand that architectural decisions are often the costliest. A person in this position should take the most responsible approach to their work and the decisions they make. If a developer’s mistake costs a few days of work for one person, then the architect’s mistake could cost years for complex projects.
- Communication skills. A good professional should be able to communicate with clients in the language of the industry, managers of all levels, industry analysts, and developers in their own languages. To explain all the tasks properly, a software architect must develop a natural charisma and ability to persuade people. Typically, architects are concise, articulate, and capable speakers. When software architects participate in discussions, they should be able to convince others.
- Leadership skills. This includes both organizational and leadership abilities. A software architect must have the ability to lead a team, which may be dispersed and composed of very different experts.