What Does a Software Architect Do?

Software architects are experienced at understanding your project and product goals, and helping you define solutions that meet your goals in an effective and efficient way.

Define Your Project

The start of a project is very important—if you don't consciously know where you're going, you can't direct your energy toward reaching your goals. A software architect can help you understand and spell out your requirements, nice-to-have characteristics, and to clearly state what you're not trying to accomplish.

So the first step is to define your project.

Create a Design

With a clear definition, the next step is to create a design that will be both cost-effective (which usually means efficient) and relatively low risk. Using standardized components, technology packages, open source technologies where available, are all part of this stage.

There are opportunities to evolve your definition, requirements, and goals to take advantage of off-the-shelf or easily modifiable technologies. Remember, the least expensive line of code is one you don't have to write!

Develop and Deliver

Moving beyond the definition and design we move to the develop and deliver stage.

Unlike the old school “waterfall” processes, in modern projects there should be agility in how the requirements and design play together with the development and delivery stage. To be cost-effective, we need to use what we learn during the project to improve the final result.


The design, define, and deliver stages overlap in time and information from each stage informs the other stages. Carefully defining what your project or product is to do makes the entire process from definition to delivery more effective.

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