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    TIPS FOR BECOMING A GOOD SOFTWARE ARCHITECT

    These are some tips and tricks I could gather (and continuing to gather) to be a good software architect:

    1. An architect should have a very good depth and breadth of knowledge of technologies.
      • Depth denotes the expertise in some technologies.
        • Depth or expertise in certain technologies or processes will allow you to design and develop quality systems that is scalable, secure and perform well.
        • This will also allow you to be a better leader or mentor, and also to guide the team better in the area of your expertise.
      • Breadth denotes the exposure to a wide variety of technologies and processes.
        • Breadth or exposure to a wide variety of technologies and processes are also important as it gives you the ability to see beyond the area of your expertise when you are architecting something.
        • Otherwise you may try to fit the architecture into your area of exposure. 
        • Good breadth of knowledge also allows you to think better and communicate better.
    2. An architect should analyze technology and market trends and keep updated with the latest trends.
      • The biggest issue and opportunity facing the architectural profession (in general and not limited to a software architect) is the ever changing nature of architectural practices. So an architect needs to keep up with the ever changing nature of architectural practices.
    3. An architect should analyze the current technology environment  or processes and recommend solutions for improvement
    4. An architect needs to verify that the actual implementation is in accordance with the architecture, at every stage.
    5. An architect’s knowledge base needs to be extensive, detailed and reflective on many different topics and areas. 
    6. An architect should have exposure to a wide variety of technologies, platforms, methodologies and environments (Technical Breadth). Otherwise you may be limiting what you can do with an architecture to the things you only know about.
    7. An architect should also have soft skills like communication skills, interpersonal skills, team work, negotiation etc.
      • Negotiation and political skills are sometimes very essential for an architect, as you may want to convince (or please) many people some of whom may be with contradicting thoughts. 
      • Skills to effectively communicate about your architecture to the stakeholders, as appropriate for their role, is very important.
        • Here stakeholder is anyone who has a vested interest in the project, like a developer, tester, a product manager or even a CIO.
    8. In addition to the technical skills and soft skills, an architect should also have good business domain knowledge.
    9. An architect should define the architecture and design principles that can guide technology decisions for the enterprise. An architect may or may not make technology choices, but the architecture should guide the technology choices.
    10. An architect should be able to go back and ask questions to the business about why that particular feature is required. It may happen that the actual need might be something else and there might be a better solution which the architect could suggest.

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