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Become An Architect & Project Lead

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Working As An Architect & Project Lead

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $105,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Architect & Project Lead Do

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Duties

Software developers typically do the following:

  • Analyze users’ needs and then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
  • Recommend software upgrades for customers’ existing programs and systems
  • Design each piece of an application or a system and plan how the pieces will work together
  • Create a variety of models and diagrams (such as flowcharts) that instruct programmers how to write software code
  • Ensure that a program continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
  • Document every aspect of an application or a system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
  • Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They may begin by asking how the customer plans to use the software. They must identify the core functionality that users need from software programs. Software developers must also determine user requirements that are unrelated to the functionality of software, such as the level of security and performance needs. They design the program and then give instructions to programmers, who write computer code and test it.

If the program does not work as expected or if testers find it too difficult to use, software developers go back to the design process to fix the problems or improve the program. After the program is released to the customer, a developer may perform upgrades and maintenance.

Developers usually work closely with computer programmers. However, in some companies, developers write code themselves instead of giving instructions to the programmers.

Developers who supervise a software project from the planning stages through implementation sometimes are called information technology (IT) project managers. These workers monitor the project’s progress to ensure that it meets deadlines, standards, and cost targets. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

The following are examples of types of software developers:

Applications software developers design computer applications, such as word processors and games, for consumers. They may create custom software for a specific customer or commercial software to be sold to the general public. Some applications software developers create complex databases for organizations. They also create programs that people use over the Internet and within a company’s intranet.

Systems software developers create the systems that keep computers functioning properly. These could be operating systems for computers that the general public buys or systems built specifically for an organization. Often, systems software developers also build the system’s interface, which is what allows users to interact with the computer. Systems software developers are creating the operating systems that control most of the consumer electronics in use today, including the systems in phones or cars.

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How To Become An Architect & Project Lead

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

Education

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. A degree in mathematics is also acceptable. Computer science degree programs are the most common, because they tend to cover a broad range of topics. Students should focus on classes related to building software in order to better prepare themselves for work in the occupation. For some positions, employers may prefer a master’s degree.

Although writing code is not their first priority, developers must have a strong background in computer programming. They usually gain this experience in school. Throughout their career, developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Software developers also need skills related to the industry in which they work. Developers working in a bank, for example, should have knowledge of finance so that they can understand a bank’s computing needs.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in software development by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Some software developers first work as computer programmers and then are given more responsibility as they gain experience. Eventually, they become developers.

Advancement

Software developers can advance to become information technology (IT) project managers, also called computer and information systems managers, a position in which they oversee the software development process.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Developers must analyze users’ needs and then design software to meet those needs.

Communication skills. Developers must be able to give clear instructions to others working on a project. They must also explain to their customers how the software works and answer any questions that arise.

Computer skills. Developers must understand computer capabilities and programming languages in order to design effective software.

Creativity. Developers are the creative minds behind new computer software.

Detail oriented. Developers often work on many parts of an application or system at the same time and must therefore be able to concentrate and pay attention to detail.

Interpersonal skills. Software developers must be able to work well with others who contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software.

Problem-solving skills. Because developers are in charge of software from beginning to end, they must be able to solve problems that arise throughout the design process.

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Architect & Project Lead Career Paths

Architect & Project Lead
Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Lead Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Information Technology Director Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Solution Architect Information Technology Project Manager
Enterprise Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Solution Architect Information Technology Project Manager Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Solution Architect Information Technology Project Manager Senior Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager & Leader Vice President Vice President Of Engineering
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager & Leader Director Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Project Manager Delivery Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Architect/Developer Software Development Manager
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Architect/Developer Development Manager Software Development Manager
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior Technical Consultant
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Operations Manager Infrastructure Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Architect & Project Lead?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Software Architect 3.2 years
Lead Developer 2.5 years
Lead Architect 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Architect & Project Lead
Developer 6.1%
Consultant 5.4%
Architect 4.4%
Programmer 2.7%
Top Careers After Architect & Project Lead
Architect 7.6%
Consultant 5.1%

Do you work as an Architect & Project Lead?

Highest Architect & Project Lead Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Architect, Project/Program Management The Bank of New York Mellon Jersey City, NJ Nov 30, 2015 $140,000
Application Architect-Project Lead William O'Neil + Company, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jan 01, 2014 $110,000
Oracle Architect-Project/Technical Lead Iconsoft Inc. OFallon, MO Jun 23, 2015 $108,000
Oracle Architect-Project/Technical Lead Iconsoft Inc. Loveland, OH Jun 23, 2015 $108,000
BI Architect/Project Lead Erp Analysts, Inc. Miami, FL May 20, 2016 $80,000
Lead Project Architect Eurofins Medinet, Inc. Chantilly, VA Nov 19, 2010 $80,000 -
$85,000

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Top Skills for An Architect & Project Lead

  1. Architecture
  2. Web Application
  3. Pl/Sql
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked with several levels of management and technical architects to develop a communications plan for a corporate architecture effort.
  • Designed web application architecture and enterprise object framework for a real time Policy premium reporting system.
  • Performed hands on database and application design, development and testing in Java, Oracle, PL/SQL, and Windows environments.
  • Reviewed and validated Data Warehouse project plan for BI reporting requirements with offshore development team.
  • Documented design solutions and helped technical analysts/writers to document business requirements, data mapping document, and functional design document.

Architect & Project Lead Demographics

Gender

Male

78.1%

Female

12.4%

Unknown

9.5%
Ethnicity

White

44.8%

Asian

29.6%

Hispanic or Latino

10.6%

Black or African American

8.6%

Unknown

6.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

23.5%

French

17.6%

Nepali

11.8%

German

11.8%

Hindi

11.8%

Portuguese

5.9%

Japanese

5.9%

Russian

5.9%

Korean

5.9%
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Architect & Project Lead Education

Schools

More Tech Institute

8.3%

Tennessee Technological University

8.3%

New York University

6.3%

Stanford University

6.3%

University of Portland

6.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

6.3%

University of Southern California

5.2%

Western Michigan University

5.2%

University of Texas at Austin

5.2%

Duke University

5.2%

California State University - Los Angeles

4.2%

University of Houston

4.2%

University of Phoenix

4.2%

Northeastern University

4.2%

Purdue University

4.2%

Montclair State University

4.2%

Syracuse University

3.1%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

3.1%

University of Florida

3.1%

Arizona State University

3.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

27.0%

Business

9.6%

Electrical Engineering

8.3%

Computer Applications

8.2%

Architecture

7.3%

Computer Engineering

6.9%

Engineering

5.8%

Computer Information Systems

4.7%

Management

2.9%

Information Technology

2.9%

Information Systems

2.9%

Management Information Systems

2.0%

Mathematics

2.0%

Project Management

1.6%

Finance

1.6%

Mechanical Engineering

1.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.3%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.3%

Computer Technical Support

1.1%

Physics

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.3%

Masters

38.0%

Other

10.1%

Certificate

3.1%

Doctorate

2.3%

Diploma

1.7%

Associate

0.6%
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