Cloud Software Architect – Software architect is the best job in 2020. That’s what job search engine Indeed claims in its recent survey. The global platform with a database of over 250 million profiles has compiled the top 25 profiles based on salary, growth potential and employer needs.
Winners leave behind official developers, data specialists, security experts and other sought-after IT professionals. Let’s see why software architects are ranked so highly and what value they bring to companies.
Cloud Software Architect
There are dozens of definitions of a software or technical architect, but in general, the person holding this position manages all the important organizational decisions of a software system.
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Software architects are concerned with important aspects such as functionality, performance, robustness, reusability, intelligibility, scalability, security, technology limitations and exchange. They also ensure that their solutions are communicated effectively to both stakeholders and technical staff.
While the specific role of a software architect depends on the size and needs of the project, it is important to understand how their role is different from that of other key professionals working with the project. on the same software solution with the same goal of delivering a successful product.
A software architect is often thought of as a super senior developer, which is not entirely true. In fact, the former is a visionary who develops a solution plan based on customer requirements and takes into account available technologies. Then put the plan into practice, applying extensive programming knowledge and skills.
Like developers, architects write code, but mostly to enforce standards for engineers so that things like scalability, performance, and security aren’t overlooked anytime soon. Besides programming, their activities involve a lot of interaction with people.
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In the standard team hierarchy, the engineering team leader supervises the engineers to ensure they build the product according to the architect’s vision. This person contributes to improved teamwork and development by focusing on tactics. An architect, on the other hand, focuses on strategy and thinks not only about the upcoming release but also to the product as a whole.
In smaller companies, however, one person often takes on both roles, managing a specific release while keeping track of the big picture.
A software architect mainly decides how the solution works internally. Product managers consider external factors such as market trends, the need for a particular solution, improvement needs, and competitor offerings. Architects explore existing technical possibilities; A product manager analyzes market opportunities for a new product.
Software architects and project managers share responsibility for delivering a successful solution. But the former is responsible for code quality and technical risks, while the latter handles everything else—namely, tasks related to budget, scope, and progress.
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As the company grows, it needs to introduce new IT architect roles with different visions and responsibilities.
A data or information architect defines how to collect, store, integrate, manage, and share data in IT systems and applications that use that data in some way.
Enterprise architects oversee technical infrastructure and processes across all departments, projects, and departments from a business perspective. This technical leader ensures that the company’s systems architecture supports its strategy and helps achieve business goals. An enterprise architect typically reports directly to the chief technology officer (CTO) or chief information officer (CIO).
A solutions architect focuses on how a particular software product can meet specific business needs. This position is often sought after in specialized industries where technical professionals need guidance on the functional capabilities of the industry. This role requires knowledge of business analytics, project management, and systems architecture.
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“In the case of a large and complex product, there may be multiple software architects working with separate teams or with separate product lines, while a solution architect provides technical management level for the entire project”.
A technical architect or software architect focuses on a particular project, undertaking the design, implementation, maintenance, support, and development of that project. Generally, this specialist oversees all aspects related to software development and programming, rather than the financial and organizational aspects. Below we will consider the duties of this specialist in more detail.
There is no pure technical architect, nor so-called perfect development cycle. Their functions are dictated by many factors, from organizational structure to specific business needs. However, we can roughly outline typical responsibilities depending on the design phase.
Software architects are an integral part of the discovery team, determining what the customer wants to build and what resources they will use.
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The architect begins by examining high-level functional and non-functional requirements related to performance, security, reliability, and other aspects of quality. It also takes into account restrictions related to compliance requirements (such as GDPR and CCPA for personal data processing or HIPAA for medical software).
The first thing to do is decide if there is a need for custom software or if we can use an existing solution and customize it to the customer’s needs.”
Ivan Mosiev spoke. In the latter case, the engineering team can handle the work without an architect, so this specialist will not be involved in further development.
Requirements review also answers the question, “Is the idea viable within a reasonable timeframe and within a reasonable budget?”
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“Let’s say we find that realizing a customer’s vision will take hundreds of years of development effort. Or the customer wants his application to load in a hundredth of a second, which is not technically possible,
It is then the architect’s job to manage expectations and suggest alternative ways to achieve the client’s business goals.
After the initial requirements assessment, the architect presents a high-level system diagram that describes only the most basic concepts and interactions.
An example of a high-level architectural diagram of an Internet banking system. It shows the overall picture of the solution and its connection to external systems. Source:
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Architects also select system engineering and implementation strategies, estimate staff hours, and build development teams. All these solutions are encapsulated in the final proposal.
If the proposal is approved, the next step is to refine the requirements and create a more granular architecture to best address stakeholder concerns. In other words, at this stage, the architect decides exactly how to build the solution.
By working on the architecture of the system, a strong software architect not only identifies ways to implement the original idea from a technical perspective, they also define constraints and risks. potential risks related to performance, reliability, usability, supportability, security and deployment, suggesting methods to reduce them. Above all, the architecture must allow for change and growth.
In summary, the development phase is the most important stage for the architect, when important choices are made that affect the performance and future success of the product. At the end of this phase, the architect provides a design drawing with the main modules, their interactions, and the most important low-level components within them.
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The purpose of this phase is to ensure that the existing development team can actually build a solution using a given technology and that the solution will be able to handle the tasks assigned by the stakeholders. fabricate. To this end, the architect creates a framework for the operation of the system or
If successful, the prototype proves that the architecture is stable and that the project is realistic and viable. In other words, it makes business and technical sense to move to the next stage.
During the build phase, software architects continue to work on developing smaller features and components. They also act as leaders, managers, and teachers. They primarily promote their vision for the project, set quality standards to ensure consistency across teams, provide code snippets to facilitate code development and testing. to comply with predefined rules.
When requirements, and thus the original design, change, the software architect must take care of the changes and prevent them from negatively affecting the expected characteristics — such as speed, efficiency, and performance. productivity, the ability to handle certain workloads, and security.
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Software architects are involved in the selection of quality assurance (QA) tools and are responsible for continuous integration and implementation. According to Ivan Mosiev,
Among other things, the architect makes decisions about code freezing (the period during which code changes are prohibited), the environment and infrastructure for implementing new features, and methods implementation.
Based on the performance test results, the architect can initiate changes to the infrastructure or structure of the project. However, if the software is well designed in the early stages, these changes will not result in costly and time-consuming system redesigns.
To successfully perform his duties, a software architect must possess broad and deep technical knowledge. So it’s no surprise that most of them have come up from senior technical positions. At the same time, the ideal candidate for this role must be able to communicate not only with machines but also with humans. Below is a list of the most important characteristics that make a good software architect.
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Extensive technical training. As a rule, an architect must have a master’s degree in engineering or computer science and a huge portfolio of different projects implemented using different technologies. The job usually requires 5 to 10 years of experience
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