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A software architect is a software expert who makes high-level design choices and dictates technical standards, including software coding standards, tools, and platforms. The leading expert is referred to as the chief architect.
The software architect concept began to take hold when object-oriented programming or OOP, was coming into more widespread use (in the late 1990s and early years of the 21st century). OOP allowed ever-larger[quantify] and more complex[quantify] applications to be built, which in turn required increased[quantify] high-level application and system oversight.
The role of software architect generally has certain common traits:[according to whom?]
Architects make high-level design choices based on their experience on making low-level coding experience. An architect has thought through all the aspects of a software, just like an architect that builds a house. A construction architect knows where the ducts will be, where the electric connections will be and where the water outlets will be. A design that a common person sees is just the walls and windows but a detailed design that is abstracted from the outsider are also present with the architect. In addition, the architect may sometimes dictate technical standards, including coding standards, tools, or platforms.
Software architects may also be engaged in the design of the architecture of the hardware environment, or may focus entirely on the design methodology of the code.
Architects can use various software architectural models that specialize in communicating architecture.
The enterprise architect handles the interaction between the business and IT sides of an organization and is principally involved with determining the AS-IS and TO-BE states[further explanation needed] from a business and IT process perspective. UnfortunatelyDubious - discuss. many organizations are bundling the software architect duties within the role of enterprise architecture. This is primarily done as an effort to "up-sell" the role of a software architect and/or to merge two disparate business-related disciplines to avoid overhead.[neutrality is disputed]
Other similar titles in use, but without consensus on their exact meaning, include:
- Solution architect, which may refer to a person directly involved in advancing a particular business solution needing interactions between multiple applications. May also refer to an application architect.
- System architect (singular), which is often used as a synonym for application architect. However, if one subscribes to Systems theory and the idea that an enterprise can be a system, then System Architect could also mean enterprise architect.
- Systems architect (plural), which is often used as a synonym for enterprise architect or solution architect.
The table below indicates many of the differences between various kinds of software architects:
|Architect type||Strategic thinking||System interactions||Communication||Design|
|enterprise architect||across projects||highly abstracted||across organization||minimal, high level|
|solutions architect||focused on solution||very detailed||multiple teams||detailed|
|application architect||component re-use, maintainability||centered on single application||single project||very detailed|
- Systems architecture / systems architect
- Software architectural model
- Software architecture
- Hardware architecture / hardware architect
- Systems engineering / systems engineer
- Software engineering / software engineer
- Requirements analysis / requirements engineer
- Systems design
- Electrical engineering
- Electronics engineering