I recently read this Book “97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know”.
It provides advice from software architects around the world on how to approach a project and avoid common pitfalls.Here are some of the learnings from the book: -1. Don’t put your resume ahead of requirements. Always recommend a solution that is best for the problem and not a solution that is based on latest technologies and trends.2. An architect should know how to communicate the goals and objectives of the software project.
The key to effective communication is clarity and leadership. Keep things as simple as possible. As a leader, you must gain the respect of your co-workers to work in a healthy and effective environment.3. Always ask for the intended value of the requested feature or requirement. This will enable you to address the real problem and provide better and cheaper solution than that suggested by the client.4.
Once you understand everything will eventually fail, you will be able to design your system’s reaction to specific failures.5. Performance of the application should be considered right from the beginning. By addressing performance testing early, you can avoid much more expensive efforts once you discover performance issues.6.
An architect is an interface between business and technology team and thus must understand every aspect of technology to be able to represent it to business. Also, must understand the business to drive the team towards serving the business.7. You should promote continuous integration methods and tools. Continuous integration ensures automatic builds and testing of an application at regular intervals. This will reduce risks and will provide a more stable and directed development effort.
8. There is no ‘I’ in Architecture. You should work together as a team. It’s the teams’ architecture, not yours alone.
9. It is very important to your success and your team’s success to give all your teammates enough freedom to exercise their own creativity and abilities. Create an environment where they come and ask you for suggestions. Make sure developers have the tools they need. Repetitive and mindless work should be automated. Create standards for consistency.10.
Software architects must understand basic architecture and design patterns, recognize when to apply patterns and be able to communicate to other architects and developers using them.11. You need to balance Stakeholders Interests with technical requirements. It’s your job to create functional, quality software for users while balancing with interests of CEO, with ease of maintenance and learning for future programming staff.12. Start with a walking skeleton i.e.
a minimal, end-to-end implementation of the system that links together all main components. This approach gives us a short feedback cycle which helps us find and address our mistakes early.13. You should be able to code your design. Don’t use a pattern, framework, technology or server you haven’t used personally before.
This will help you understand the learning curve for your team better and your estimates for the efforts will be more meaningful.14. You should avoid shortcuts during the initial development phase of a project. Any architectural problem or design flaw should be rectified as soon as encountered when it is cheapest to fix.15. You need to take care of your customer’s customer. They are the end user’s and you need to understand what all they will need even if not mentioned in the requirements.
Communicate your customer about these needs.16. The end user will access the system through the user interface. Better user interfaces lead to happier customers, therefore, involve user interface experts at an early stage and throughout product development phases.