What are the characteristics of a software architect?

Good architecture is, first and foremost, a beneficial architecture that makes developing and maintaining a program simpler and more efficient. That is, it is possible to formulate a list of reasonable and universal criteria:

System efficiency. First of all, the program must solve the tasks set and perform its functions well and in various conditions. This includes reliability, security, performance, ability to cope with increased load (scalability), etc.

System flexibility. Any application has to change over time – requirements change, and new ones are added. The faster and more convenient it is to change the existing functionality, the fewer problems and errors it causes, and the more flexible and competitive the system is. Therefore, during the development process, evaluate what you get in terms of how you might have to change it later.

System extensibility. This means adding new entities and functions to the system without violating its basic structure. At the initial stage, it makes sense to put only the basic and most necessary functionality into the system.

Development process scalability means reducing development time by adding new people to the project. The architecture should allow the development process to be parallelized so that many people can work on the program simultaneously.

Testability. This means code that is easier to test will contain fewer bugs and be more reliable. But tests do more than just improve code quality.

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What traits a software architect needs to have?

An IT architect is a specialist responsible for how the product structure will look from a technical point of view. At the same time, architects can be responsible both for creating a complete information system – the entire service or product, and for small features that need to be implemented. In small teams, there may be one architect who simultaneously performs the role, for example, CTO – and they come up with how the whole project will look like from a technical point of view, and what tools and programming language to use. 

One of the main goals of the work of an IT architect is to reduce development costs by selecting competent solutions, tools, and templates at the stage of preparing a project concept. When it comes to high-load, large, and complex projects, the participation of IT architects will be required.

Types of architects

There are several types of architects – solution architects who specialize in evaluating current technology issues and challenges to plan for future changes – they communicate more with customers and start from business challenges. There is also another type of architect – technical architects, who implement various tools depending on the needs of the business and the models that solution architects build. This type of architect is more likely to work directly with developers rather than clients or businesses.

Architects, in essence, must provide a solution to business problems through how the product will be built. At the same time, architects not only develop a structure and take responsibility for creating a system even before it actually appears, but also control the development process. In addition, architects work out patterns of interaction between components within the program, prescribe interaction scenarios, and determine the format for storing and transmitting data.

Responsibilities of an architect

One of the main skills in this profession is the ability to design and analyze the subject area: at the very beginning of development, the architect needs to find out all the requirements of the customer who wants to get their own service. It can be both an external client who needs to develop a product, and an internal one. For example, in a company where an architect works, they believe they need their own messenger. To do this, the architect draws up a plan and terms of reference for designing a new system, analyzes all the requirements, and then creates text and graphic materials describing the entire architecture of the solution, data, and information systems. As a result, a project document should appear, according to which the developers will work in the future.

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