5 Qualities of a Great Software Architect


In this article, we look at some of the important qualities of a great software architect. Although we chiefly focus on application architects, most of these also hold true for enterprise architects as well.

Five Qualities Of Architects that we look at are

  • Great Communication
  • Great Technical Skills
  • Forward Thinker
  • Super Diagnostic Skills
  • Hands-on

This is the third article in the following series of articles on Software Architecture :

Great Communication

Architecture is all about conveying your vision to every member of the team. There are multiple stakeholders who are interested in knowing how we achieve business needs. Within a business, there are architects at multiple levels:

  • Enterprise Architects
  • Application Architects
  • Core Architects

Apart from them, there are other stakeholders such as:

  • Development Team
  • QA Team
  • Operations Team

It is vital that all these stakeholders have a clear view of the future direction of the business and technology.

Great Technical Skills

You being an architect, it is but natural for us to expect a great understanding of technology from you. You need to have a good grasp of concepts such as tools, languages, frameworks and tools used in the application.

This is something taken as a given!

Forward Thinker

As an architect, you need to be forward thinking and proactive. You need to understand where technology is heading, what kinds of architectures are trending, what programming languages are becoming popular, in what direction is the business headed, and what could be the business needs of the future.

You need to be able to have a plan of how to evolve the application to meet future business needs.

In the modern world of Agile practices, you should be able to break down these future expectations into manageable chunks, in order to evolve the application.

Super Diagnostic Skills

You need to be able to resolve real world problems the application might face. This is not just about handling exceptions. If the application has a security, scalability or performance issue, then the architect needs to get involved and work out a solution. This requires the ability to look at the big picture, and at the same time understand the minor details.

Hands-On

When needed, architects should be able to get the system up and running, checking out code from the repository, and start fixing bugs.

I loved working in organizations where even Enterprise Architects could get their hands dirty when needed. At a minimum, atleast the application architects should be able to write production code.

Do check out our video on this:

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Summary

In this article, we looked at the top 5 qualities of a great software architect has. Those are great communication, great technical skills, forward thinking, great diagnostic skills, and being hands-on.

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