“Software is a great combination between artistry and engineering.” Bill Gates
Let me begin by asking you a question; “As an IT professional do you want to pursue a technical track or the management track in your career?” Confused! Am sure most of you would have come to such a crossroad in your career or may come to one in near future. There are numerous opportunities in the ever-growing IT sector. However, the choices you make shape the future of your career.
In this article, am going to talk about how learning Software architecture can reap you benefits as you move ahead in your career path.
A Career in Software Architecture
There has always been confusion about what becomes of programmers as they progress in their careers? The trend says that some continue to be programmers forever, while others reluctantly or eagerly become managers and move upward in the corporate ladder. However, the software architecture career path divides the difference in a puzzling variety of ways.
The software architect job title comes with a lot of variances; it has many flavors to it. You can be a software architect, technical architect, application architect, solutions architect, and an enterprise architect. There is a wide diversity in the responsibilities attached to this title. Some software architects are highly technical, approving solutions, mentoring developers, while others are literally just programmers or maybe project managers or business analysts. There is a lot of variance in the roles and in this variation lies the opportunity. You can grab the opportunity that suits you well in terms of responsibilities while it helps you in career advancement as well.
Before we go into further details let’s understand what is software architecture all about?
A Brief About Software Architecture
The basis for any software system is its architecture and every efficient software system is an outcome of a sound architectural base. To put it simply, it is the organization of the system, where a set of components that completes the defined functions are represented by that system. It is basically a broad subject and there are various aspects to it and to become an effective software architect you need to do a comprehensive 360 degrees understanding of the subject.
The software architecture primarily enables the software to achieve its expected qualities such as reliability, usability, scalability, performance, and security. The three main reasons why we need software architecture are-
- Software architecture is a basis of communication- It is a kind of plan of the system and is primitive for the understanding, the communication between all stakeholders that includes; customer, user-side, management etc., and the negotiation. It makes it a lot easier to understand the complete system and helps in making the decision-making process more efficient.
- The initial decisions are made in this stage. These decisions have huge significance on the rest of the project.
- Transferability of the Model- It defines the model of software and its functioning. The model can also be reused to make other software. Similarly, codes and requirements can be reused as well. In fact, all the experience while doing the architecture can also be transferred. To put it simply, you can reuse the consequences of initial decisions which were taken.
The Roadmap to Become a Software Architect
There are thousands of factors to consider when coding and designing software. You need someone who can provide overall direction when people are working on multiple applications for various clients. And that person is the software architect.
A software architect is an expert who is able to make high-level design choices and commands technical standards that involve software coding standards, platforms, and tools. Therefore, it is essential that the person has a core understanding of the theory autonomous of definite programming languages or the latest paradigms and patterns. And the best way to learn theory is through practice. The important skill here is the ability to write the code. However, it does not necessarily mean that as an architect you need to write code on a constant basis but you should be able to learn the syntax of the specified language so as to create a prototype for a challenging architectural problem.
The roadmap for becoming an efficient software architect begins with becoming a good programmer. You need to spend a good quantity of time learning various languages, libraries, and languages so that you can get a clear understanding of problems areas and potential solutions. I also recommend a lot of reading and in fact, go ahead and do some experiments and don’t bother if they end up in partial failure.
Also, an experience in playing the core roles in software development lifecycle is a must have to become an effective software architect. This includes; business problem analysis, requirements management, deployment, testing, maintenance, and operations.
Additionally, it is essential that you learn various methods of analyzing and reasoning at the different levels of development. It is worthy to note that there is a range of techniques which can help an architect to understand the degree of righteousness of a specified architecture.
Since inception, software architecture has shown a significant growth. According to CNN Money, a software architect job ranked at no.3 position in 2015 amongst the best jobs in America. To add, according to a recent survey, in March 2018 the median annual salary of a Software Architect was $131,221 and it typically ranges between $118,769 -$145,650, however, this depends on various factors such as; education, experience, location etc.
I would like to emphasize that the skill of architecting software is no longer reserved for the few experienced ones. You can learn the basic fundamentals of software architecture in graduate courses offered by various colleges, in training programs, and even from books. In fact, the practice of software architecture is now being made accessible to all the engineers. Large numbers of analysis tools, methodologies, and paradigms have been developed to support the various aspects of software architecture discipline.
Finally, if you aspire to become a software architect then you should never stop learning. Your continuous involvement in learning about new technologies, techniques, methodologies, and community of practice will be needed to maintain a superior status as a software architect.
So start now, keep your eyes on the reward, and adapt as you go.
TetraNoodle provides technology consulting services in most of the cutting-edge technologies. We offer Fractional CTO Services, where we offer a wide spectrum of Software and Cloud Computing Consulting Services; Business-Technology Consulting, Internet and E-Business Consulting, System Integration, Custom Application Development, training & workshops from global software experts and application re-engineering. With a single-minded focus on bringing success to your product, we work collaboratively with you throughout your product’s lifecycle. Our expertise, experience & skills ensure that your idea or product would be validated, developed, tested & delivered to be an investor and market ready.
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