Duties and responsibilities
A software architect is responsible for designing and developing software systems and applications. They create software tailored to a clients’ specific need or products geared for consumers. They are responsible for making high-level decisions in the app development process, determining everything from design choices to technical standards. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Collaborating with other professionals to determine functional and non-functional requirements for new software and/or applications
- Using tools and methodologies to create representations for functions and user interface of desired product
- Developing high-level product specifications with attention to system integration and feasibility. They will then need to communicate all ideas, concepts and guidelines to the development team
- Overseeing the development of applications/software and providing technical guidance and coaching to other developers and engineers
- Ensuring software meets all laws and requirements of quality, security, modifiability, extensibility etc.
- Approving the final product before launch
If you’re interested in becoming a Software Architect, you will most likely need a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as computer science or computer information systems. Some employers may prefer to hire Software architects who have master’s degrees.
All software architect’s will need experience in the field, in roles such as application development or as a systems engineer. Furthermore, even though most Application Integration Engineers have a degree, it’s possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED. You can do this by getting significant experience in other roles, such as a systems administrator.
Skills and relevant work experience
The typical skills and talents required for a software architect include:
- Problem-solving skills, as software architects need to come up with problems to many complicated problems when designing applications and software
- Attention to detail, as software architects must notice every detail when overseeing the applications progress, and when creating the initial idea
- Verbal communication skills, as software architects will work closely other developers and engineers, they must be able to effectively communicate their ideas across to others
- Leadership skills, as software architects will be responsible for overseeing the work of other developers or programmers
- Knowledge of programming Languages, such as Objective-C (for Apple IOS developers) and Java (for Android developers).
Software architects tend to work full time, normal hours. They may, however, have to work additional hours when things go wrong or when approaching a deadline.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for app developers, which includes software architects, was $107,510 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $64,240, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $164,590. However, as software architects is a more advance role in application development, you could expect to earn towards the upper ranges.
There is a growing demand for software architects due to the increasing dependency on technology, meaning lots of jobs opportunities are available. Software architects progress from other roles, such as application developers by gaining more experience.