How To Become a Software Architect
Step 1: Start By Learning A Programming Language
Your career path starts with a programming language and it is important to make a choice carefully. You can choose any programming language to start with; however, it is always best to learn more than one language. Unlike earlier days of programming, the programming tools and languages have developed in an optimal manner and most of the work can be done with the help of existing libraries. Start with a simple language such as C or C++ and improve your understanding from there on. Make sure that you have an excellent understanding of the development tools before programming. Here are some resources for you to learn programming.
- Free Resources To Learn C Programming We have compiled a big list of free web resources for learning c programming.
Step 2: Gain Expertise In Software Development And Programming
Programming is much similar to any other art. The key is to write efficient code that can improve the overall performance of the website or software. A software architect should understand the best practices for writing efficient code and should be able to reuse code for better performance. For an instance, if the same code is reused within an application with a call to the same functions, it makes the processing time shorter.
A good code development strategy ensures that other developers can easily use your code and even you should be able to understand the code written by others efficiently. It is always best to put some notes for a particular code you are using in the application.
One important thing to do at this step is to read some good books
- Must Read For Any Programmer These are some influential books that any software programmer must read including a software architect.
- Must Read For Architects These are some books that any software developer must read including a software architect.
Step 3: Understand Different Software Design Patterns
Another important aspect of becoming an efficient software architect is to understand different design patterns. A software or web application is quite similar to a physical structure, which means that you need a strong design for your project. One of the most commonly used patterns includes the MVC design, which is the dominant design pattern used in the current industry. You need to consider the usage of an application and choose a design that can improve performance while offering sufficient help to the users. A better understanding of software designs will ensure that you can understand codes written by others and amend the designing mistakes of other developers.
We have already listed the top recommended design pattern books for you.
Step 4: Work On Different Variety Of Projects
A good software architect understands the design and principles of different types of applications. For an instance, server-based applications serve as a mode to forward user’s requests to the web app’s backend and it runs applications according to user requests. Similarly, batch applications are commonly used for data import/export operations. Being a software architect, you should know the most efficient way to store and import large data. Desktops are crucial for official jobs and data processing. You should understand the best design that can use desktop resources efficiently and provide high-end experience. Above all, mobile applications have emerged as an important part of the internet and you should practice different mobile platforms and use the best strategies for mobile application development. In short, an understanding of different applications and efficient development strategies is crucial.
Step 5: Step Up And Discuss Potential Problems And Solutions With The Team
Majority of the applications require a team effort and it is a part of your job to communicate the problems to your team. At the core of effective software architecture is its ability to be reused and easy maintenance. It might help to get suggestion from the team while keeping the key stakeholders within the loop.
Step 6: Understand The Importance Of Stakeholders In A Software Product/project
A software architect should conduct timely meetings with the top management, developers, internal users, business partners, and valuable customers. It ensures that the product is going in a desired direction while fulfilling the requirements of the end customer. A software architect might have monthly review meeting to discuss different issues and their potential solutions or suggestions.
Step 7: Develop An Understanding Of Popular Open Source Projects
As a software architect, you are going to face several problems including maintenance, scalability issues, and security. It might help to get ideas from different open-source projects. For an instance, all the major social platforms including Facebook use NoSQL to manage extensive user data while keeping scalability and performance on top. You can learn from the strategies used by different open source projects and learn from their mistakes.
Here are some of the interesting projects in a architects perspective.
Step 8: Understand The Problems Of Team Developers
Sometimes the software architect might have some issues in handling the developer team. Make sure that you understand the limitations of the developers and use development tools that can actually make the project feasible and achieve optimal performance. It is important to convey your ideas to the developers and find solutions for any potential problems. In some cases, it might be difficult to implement a new idea or design pattern and a software architect must understand such problems.
Step 9: Communicate The Idea Effectively To The Team
You should develop effective communications skills so that it is possible to keep the management in loop over critical issues. Pay attention towards documentation because any developments or revisions in future would be based upon the documentation. For an instance, include any new design patterns or use of hybrid architectures during the development.
(By: Stephen R. Covey )
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Step 10: Improve Your Knowledge And Experiment Often
On top of everything else, a software architect should always try to learn new technologies, design patterns, and languages. You can start teaching others, as it will offer you many opportunities to improve and do better in your upcoming projects. Automation has come up as an excellent change in the past few years. An effective software architect must consider automation in software development as it increases efficiency and automated scripts are excellent for testing the software.
Here are some resources for you to keep gaining knowledge