The world today works predominantly on computers. This is one of the main reasons why a career in computers is said to be one that is enterprising and flourishing. When it comes to choosing a career in computers, you will find that there are a number of options. One such option that is extremely popular these days is career as software architect. It combines your technical know how with your knowledge of engineering facts.
What is a Software Architect
The main duty of a software architect is to develop software or applications putting to use knowledge of computers, mathematics and engineering. You can develop anything from a mobile application to video games, operating systems to business applications. Many a times, you might also have to modify an existing software or application to make it more efficient, as per the requirement of the client. As a software architect, you are expected to work in tandem with clients deliver solutions based on the client's needs and expectations.
What does a Software Architect Do
A software architect has a crucial role to play in software development. Given below is the list of duties that a software development firm expects a software architect to accomplish:
- Understanding and analyzing the needs of the client.
- Coming up with ideas to develop or modify a software according to the requirements of the client.
- Designing a step by step development procedure, based on the requirements of the project.
- Developing a project that is cost effective and at the same time practical.
- Collaborating with a team which would include programmers, system analysts, technicians etc.
- Ensuring that the every stage of the project is completed within the stipulated time.
- Troubleshooting the project after every stage and modifying the software in case of errors.
- Test running the completed software to ensure that there are no apparent malfunctions.
How to Become a Software Architect
If you have made up your mind to pursue a career as a software architect, it is inevitable that you follow these steps:
- Courses in School: The course that you take up in high school should be relevant to help you gain the Bachelor's degree that is a prerequisite for this career. The courses should include mathematics, computer science and physics.
- Courses in College: Join a course that will get you a Bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering. However, a higher degree would definitely enhance your chances of landing better jobs with established companies.
- Developing your Personality: Possessing theoretical knowledge is not enough to realize your dream. You also require some technical skills, problem solving abilities, better communication skills and a creative mind. So, make sure that along with pursuing the various courses, you also work on these personality traits.
- Continue Updating Knowledge: Computers is an ever evolving field. Thus, it is important that you continue updating your knowledge even after you have earned the required degree. You can do this by reading about the various developments and joining short term courses.
- Beginning from Scratch: In order to become a software architect, you would require some experience in the field of software development. So, apply to the entry level jobs in software developing firms. You can start off as a systems analyst or a programmer.
Basic Qualifications Required to Pursue a Career as Software Architect
There are some basic qualifications that you should possess if you aim to make a career as a software architect. Take a look at what these are:
- Basic Requirement: A Bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, software engineering or mathematics.
- Certifications: Being proficient in programming languages is a prerequisite to be a software architect. You can easily learn these by joining certain certification courses in programming languages. This could include a certification in:
- Algorithms and Data Structures
Salary of a Software Architect
Wondering what you would get paid in a software architect career? Well, if you go by the current statistics, a software architect can earn anything between $83,000 to $165,000. This includes the bonus and the profit percentage that the company offers its employees. Most software development companies also offer a commission to the software architect. In case you are competent enough, you can earn as much as $60,000 in this. However, the salary of a software architect varies depending upon the experience and the size of the company. As you gain experience, you can go on to become the senior software architect who earns a salary between $93,000 to $171,000.
Career Path & Growth of a Software Architect
The field of software development is an evolving one and expected to evolve even more in the coming years. Newer positions and profiles are being added to the higher levels of hierarchy in most firms, given the nature of the complexities of various stages of developing software.
- Though you are expected to start off at the entry levels as a programmer or a systems analyst, once you gain enough experience, you can go ahead and apply for the post of software architect in other firms. You could also be promoted to this post in your own firm.
- After gaining adequate experience in this job, you can go on to be a CTO, Information Technology Director or Development Director.
- At the later stages you can go on to be the VP and head various operations that form the crux of software development.
Pursuing a career as a software architect can open newer doors of opportunities for you. So, go ahead and get equipped for a software architect career.