How Do You Become a Software Architect?

Savvy computer users who become a software architect will be responsible for creating optimal software designs for clients. Their creations must meet business objectives, provide expected functionality, address technical requirements and minimize security vulnerabilities. Software architects will work on project teams to create conceptual designs and architectural framework for enterprise solutions.

Understand the Job Requirements

Software architects must have technical expertise, programming proficiency and the ability to design projects for high-performing systems. They must have the ability to establish facts, process critical data, analytically resolve problems and generate quality conclusions. They should have documented experience in service oriented architecture. This means that they will know how to design and implement enterprise packages and applications through SQL Server, .NET technology, Microsoft technology and integration middleware.

Software architects should have a solid understanding of the cross-disciplinary relationships between business processes and cross-functional interdependencies. Software architects will regularly interact with business leaders, so they should comfortable liaising with managers, external experts and senior employees. They should have the ability to collaborate with diverse end users and the ability to comparatively view all viewpoints determining the final solution. Software architects may work with opposing teams and departments, so they will need to have the ability to improve relationships with various IT and business groups.


Some software architects have a degree in software engineering or development. The first degree will provide students with the skills required to handle architecting systems and software-intensive infrastructure. This degree program teaches students about the concepts, principles and methods used by software architects. Students will learn about software engineering process models, management design approaches and large-scale systems infrastructure. Classes on requirements engineering focuses on the standard, systematic process for developing project requirements through problem analysis, representation and validation. Students may take classes in scalable software services, engineering team management, agile project planning, lean software development and distributed software platforms.

Software architecture coursework studies the scope of software system components, such as architectural styles, connectors, languages, middleware and domains. Classes on model-based systems engineering introduces the approaches for modeling systems using standard software packages like SySML. Students learn about modeling systems, requirements, structures, behaviors and parameters. They also learn how to map hardware languages and generate behavioral codes through modeling and simulation. Systems architecting coursework covers the conceptual phases and acceptance heuristics used for electrical, computer and manufacturing systems.

Gain the Right Experience

Anyone who wants to become a software architect should work on software and systems development tasks and projects. This will introduce them to enterprise systems, applications and solutions that meet specific business objectives. This work will teach them how to evaluate solution reliability, flexibility, performance, scalability and maintainability. It will also help them understand the delicate balance between practical designs, architectural visions, technical limitations and customer expectations.

Working with software development is a great way to work closely with interdisciplinary development teams who define, select and architect products. This requires significant cross component coordination and communication. Working with software architects may involve domain analysis, design artifacts, case models, actor identifications and executable architecture assessments. It will certainly involve the development and presentation of proposed prototypes to audiences of various technical levels and business disciplines.

Related Resource: Business Information Technology

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, anyone who wants to become a software architect will need to have a bachelor’s degree in programming, computer science, information systems or software engineering. They should have a few years’ work experience in the software development life cycle.