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Become A Senior Software Architect

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Working As A Senior Software Architect

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

  • $109,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Software Architect 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 A Senior Software Architect

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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Senior Software Architect Career Paths

Senior Software Architect
Director Of Software Development Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Director Of Software Development Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Chief Technology Officer Chief Architect
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Architect Project Manager Program Manager
Lead Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Architect Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Architect Project Manager Product Manager
Vice President, Product Management
13 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Enterprise Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Chief Architect Director Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Chief Technology Officer Chief Architect Technical Director
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Solutions Architect Senior Project Manager Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Solutions Architect Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Solutions Architect Information Technology Manager Delivery Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Project Engineering Manager Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Engineering Manager Technical Project Manager
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Development Manager Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Software Architect Senior Consultant Technology Architect
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Software Architect?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Software Leader 3.3 years
Software Architect 3.2 years
Lead Architect 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Senior Software Architect
Consultant 4.6%
Programmer 3.1%
Developer 2.6%
Architect 2.1%
Top Careers After Senior Software Architect
Consultant 6.1%
Architect 5.4%

Do you work as a Senior Software Architect?

Senior Software Architect Demographics

Gender

Male

84.1%

Unknown

8.6%

Female

7.2%
Ethnicity

White

54.3%

Asian

16.8%

Hispanic or Latino

13.9%

Black or African American

9.7%

Unknown

5.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Russian

21.1%

Spanish

15.8%

Portuguese

10.5%

Arabic

10.5%

Indonesian

5.3%

Chinese

5.3%

Ukrainian

5.3%

German

5.3%

Japanese

5.3%

French

5.3%

Gothic

5.3%

Polish

5.3%
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Senior Software Architect Education

Schools

Texas A&M University

7.1%

Northeastern University

7.1%

University of Colorado at Boulder

6.2%

University of Phoenix

6.2%

University of Texas at Austin

6.2%

George Mason University

6.2%

University of California - San Diego

5.3%

Brigham Young University

5.3%

Johns Hopkins University

5.3%

Stanford University

5.3%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.4%

New York University

4.4%

University of Maryland - Baltimore County

4.4%

DePaul University

4.4%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4.4%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.5%

San Jose State University

3.5%

California State University - Sacramento

3.5%

University of Kentucky

3.5%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.5%
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Majors

Computer Science

46.6%

Computer Engineering

8.7%

Electrical Engineering

8.0%

Business

5.9%

Computer Information Systems

4.6%

Mathematics

3.9%

Information Systems

2.8%

Physics

2.3%

Finance

2.1%

Information Technology

2.1%

Project Management

1.8%

Mechanical Engineering

1.6%

Computer Applications

1.5%

Engineering

1.5%

Management

1.3%

Management Information Systems

1.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.0%

Biology

1.0%

Accounting

1.0%

Economics

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.5%

Masters

35.7%

Other

11.4%

Doctorate

5.8%

Associate

2.9%

Diploma

1.0%

Certificate

0.8%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$109,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$84,000
Min 10%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$141,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Nvidia
Highest Paying City
Redwood City, CA
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does a Senior Software Architect make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Software Architect in the United States is $109,760 per year or $53 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $85,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $141,000.

Real Senior Software Architect Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Software Architect On-Net Surveillance Systems, Inc. Pearl River, NY Jan 12, 2016 $219,135
Senior Software Architect Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC Redmond, WA May 07, 2015 $211,200
Senior Staff Software Architect General Electric Company San Ramon, CA Jul 04, 2016 $194,700
Senior Software Architect Robin Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 11, 2016 $190,000
SR. Software Architect Corelogic Solutions, LLC Redwood City, CA Aug 11, 2015 $188,822
Senior Software Architect Hr Link Group, Inc. Bellevue, WA Oct 02, 2016 $187,200
Senior Staff Software Architect General Electric Company-GE Global Research Center San Ramon, CA Sep 05, 2015 $180,000
Senior Software Architect Pica8, Inc. Palo Alto, CA May 16, 2016 $180,000
Senior Software Architect Hr Link Group, Inc. Bellevue, WA Sep 11, 2015 $176,800
Senior Software Architect Hr Link Group, Inc. Bellevue, WA Mar 16, 2015 $176,800
Senior Software Architect Supply Frame, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 30, 2016 $170,000
Senior Software Architect (AD Server) Gamut Smart Media From Cox South San Francisco, CA Dec 05, 2016 $165,000
Senior Salesforce.com Software Architect Slalom, LLC San Francisco, CA Oct 06, 2016 $165,000 -
$185,000
SR. Software Architect Altisource Solutions Inc. Boston, MA Nov 16, 2015 $133,349 -
$183,000
Senior Software Architect Open Text, Inc. West Windsor, NJ Jan 15, 2016 $131,500
Senior Architect-Software Sasken Communication Technologies, Ltd. Miramar, FL Sep 14, 2016 $131,078
Senior Software Architect E-Core It Solutions, LLC White Plains, NY Sep 29, 2016 $130,666
Senior Software Architect/Java Architect Playdom, Inc. Solana Beach, CA Nov 12, 2015 $130,000
SR. Specialist-Software/Sr. Systems Architect Synechron, Inc. Addison, TX Jan 04, 2016 $130,000
Senior Software Architect Livingsocial Inc. Washington, DC Jul 12, 2015 $130,000
Senior Software Architect/Java Architect Playdom, Inc. Solana Beach, CA Apr 12, 2015 $130,000
Senior Software Architect Triple Point Technology, Inc. Houston, TX May 15, 2015 $112,133 -
$124,000
Senior Software Architect Objectstream, Inc. Arlington, VA Dec 14, 2015 $111,800
SR. Software Solution Architect GOVX, Inc. San Diego, CA Feb 12, 2015 $111,717
Senior Software Architect(Software Developers, Applications) JDA Software, Inc. Irving, TX Dec 09, 2015 $110,406 -
$162,889
Senior Software Architect(Software Developers, Applications) JDA Software, Inc. Irving, TX Sep 12, 2015 $110,406 -
$162,889
Senior Software Architect Rage Frameworks, Inc. Dedham, MA Aug 25, 2015 $110,000
Senior Software Architect Comcast Cable Communications, LLC Philadelphia, PA Dec 19, 2016 $109,325 -
$150,000
SR. Software Architect-TIS (Tech. and Infrastructure Svcs) (Mult. Openings) Wipro Limited East Brunswick, NJ Oct 12, 2015 $105,498 -
$110,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Software Architect

  1. Web Application
  2. Architecture
  3. Pl/Sql
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed and developed a template-based web application development tool for the Jamaica application server.
  • Lead Engineer responsible for software development process improvement and organizational adaptation of Service Oriented Architecture.
  • Developed a custom Java/Spring framework for the migration of an existing web based application built on custom Oracle PL/SQL code.
  • Designed databases for numerous business segments within Embrace including contract management, surveys and product offerings.
  • Demonstrated feasibility of new UI architecture by building a proof of concept using AngularJS and ASP.NET Web API.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Software Architects

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. New York
  4. Texas
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Colorado
  7. Virginia
  8. North Carolina
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Delaware
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