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Working As A Software Architect

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

  • $99,000

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 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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Software Architect Career Paths

Software Architect
Solutions Architect Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Project Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Program Manager Product Manager
Vice President, Product Management
13 Yearsyrs
Enterprise Architect Program Manager Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Enterprise Architect Senior Project Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Enterprise Architect Information Technology Project Manager
Enterprise Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Software Development Director Business Development Director
Solutions Director
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Architect Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Architect Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Architect Lead Architect Technical Project Manager
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Architect Technical Project Manager Delivery Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Principal Consultant Development Manager Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Software Development Director Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Team Lead Systems Architect Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Software Leader 3.3 years
Software Architect 3.0 years
Software Developer 2.6 years
Lead Architect 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Software Architect
Consultant 5.7%
Architect 3.2%
Programmer 2.5%
Developer 2.5%
Top Careers After Software Architect
Consultant 8.3%
Architect 5.8%

Do you work as a Software Architect?

Average Yearly Salary
$99,000
Show Salaries
$74,000
Min 10%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$133,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Intuit
Highest Paying City
Redmond, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Software Architect make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Software Architect in the United States is $99,667 per year or $48 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $74,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $133,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Software Architect Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Architect Continuum Analytics, Inc. Aug 15, 2015 $300,000
Software Architect Continuum Analytics, Inc. Aug 01, 2015 $300,000
Software Architect Lendingclub Corporation Feb 16, 2016 $250,000
Principal Software Architect, Ambulatory Practice Solutions GE Healthcare IITS USA Corp. Oct 19, 2015 $235,000 -
$255,000
Software Architect Lendingclub Corporation Aug 02, 2016 $225,000
Director, Software Architect Upwork, Inc. Feb 09, 2016 $220,000
Software Architect Faraday & Future Inc. Jul 25, 2016 $210,000
Software Architect, Database Internals Salesforce.com, Inc. Aug 15, 2015 $210,000
Software Architect Faraday & Future Inc. Jul 18, 2016 $210,000
Software Architect Philips Electronics North America Corporation Aug 12, 2015 $203,500
Software Architect (Biomedical Software) Medstreaming LLC Feb 25, 2016 $200,000
Software Architect Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Jul 14, 2016 $200,000
Software Architect Wikia, Inc. Jan 05, 2015 $200,000
Software Architect CNH Industrial America LLC Jan 07, 2016 $113,922
Web-Community Software Architect/Developer Forum Foundry, Inc. May 23, 2016 $113,880 -
$120,000
Software Architect Veritas Total Solutions LLC Nov 05, 2016 $113,464
Associate Software Architect Virtusa Corporation Jan 03, 2016 $113,422
Cognos Software Architect Virtusa Corporation Jun 23, 2015 $113,000
Associate Software Architect-Prpc Virtusa Corporation Dec 21, 2016 $113,000
Software Architect Cerner Corporation Oct 20, 2015 $112,800
Software Architect Enterprise Cloudworks, Corp Nov 05, 2015 $112,757 -
$150,000
Software Architect Cerner Corporation Jul 02, 2016 $92,643
Software Architect Cerner Corporation Apr 29, 2016 $92,643
Software Architect Cerner Corporation Aug 07, 2016 $92,643
Software Architect Cerner Corporation Dec 07, 2016 $92,643
Software Architect Cerner Corporation Jul 13, 2016 $92,643
Consulting Software Architect JDA Software, Inc. Oct 01, 2015 $92,500 -
$109,891
Consulting Software Architect JDA Software, Inc. Jun 10, 2015 $92,500 -
$109,891
Software Architect Isync Solutions Inc. Jan 10, 2015 $92,498

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Top Skills for A 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:
  • Developed the next generation architecture for the company s business intelligence web application product suite for telecommunications companies.
  • Developed alternatives to the encryption/decryption process which included a proprietary implementation of the AES standard that is compatible with GPU architecture.
  • Worked extensively with Oracle databases, designing database structure and developing PL/SQL functions/procedures.
  • Performed numerous database design and performance optimization based on needs and requirements in MS SQL using primarily ado.net and entity framework.
  • Planned and executed customer migration from previous generation platform into G3 with minimal disruption and maximum retention of the customers.

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Top 10 Best States for Software Architects

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Oregon
  6. New York
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Texas
  9. Arizona
  10. Vermont
  • (7,025 jobs)
  • (17,204 jobs)
  • (4,063 jobs)
  • (412 jobs)
  • (1,212 jobs)
  • (4,448 jobs)
  • (1,016 jobs)
  • (7,109 jobs)
  • (1,502 jobs)
  • (126 jobs)

Software Architect Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,911 Software Architect resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Software Architect Resume

View Resume Examples

Software Architect Demographics

Gender

Male

84.9%

Female

8.7%

Unknown

6.4%
Ethnicity

White

53.4%

Asian

19.1%

Hispanic or Latino

12.8%

Black or African American

9.4%

Unknown

5.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

20.8%

French

10.4%

Russian

10.4%

Mandarin

10.4%

Chinese

8.3%

Japanese

6.3%

Carrier

6.3%

Gujarati

4.2%

Hindi

4.2%

Korean

4.2%

Portuguese

2.1%

German

2.1%

Dakota

2.1%

Hebrew

2.1%

Latvian

2.1%

Arabic

2.1%

Thai

2.1%
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Software Architect Education

Schools

Georgia Institute of Technology -

7.7%

University of Colorado at Boulder

6.5%

George Washington University

6.5%

University of Chicago

6.0%

University of Washington

5.4%

New York University

5.4%

Pennsylvania State University

5.4%

More Tech Institute

5.4%

Stanford University

4.8%

University of Southern California

4.8%

Columbia University

4.8%

University of Florida

4.2%

University of Houston

4.2%

University of California - Berkeley

4.2%

Colorado Technical University

4.2%

National University

4.2%

Texas A&M University

4.2%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4.2%

University of Texas at Austin

4.2%

Colorado State University

4.2%
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Majors

Computer Science

42.6%

Computer Engineering

10.7%

Electrical Engineering

10.5%

Business

5.7%

Mathematics

3.1%

Information Technology

2.8%

Physics

2.7%

Management Information Systems

2.5%

Computer Systems Security

2.5%

Computer Applications

2.0%

Computer Networking

2.0%

Information Systems

1.9%

Finance

1.8%

Engineering

1.5%

Computer Information Systems

1.5%

Project Management

1.4%

Mechanical Engineering

1.4%

Systems Engineering

1.2%

Accounting

1.2%

Management

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.6%

Masters

41.1%

Doctorate

5.0%

Associate

2.8%

Certificate

2.5%

Diploma

1.1%

High School Diploma

0.8%

License

0.1%
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Updated May 18, 2020