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Home » Roles » Software architect

Software architect

The role of a software architect is critical in shaping the design and structure of complex digital systems. 

This expert serves as the mastermind behind the decisions that ensure the final product meets functional requirements while aligning with organizational goals. 

What is a software architect?

A software architect is a senior-level professional in charge of planning and supervising the creation of software systems. 

Software architects conceptualize the overall structure of the system, make high-level design choices, and define technical standards and guidelines.

While they typically do not delve into coding details, they guide the development team on the implementation of architectural patterns and best practices.

Duties of a software architect

The duties of a software architect encompass various aspects of software development:

System design

Software architects are involved in designing the overall structure of the software system, including its components, modules, and their interactions. 

They consider factors such as scalability, performance, security, and maintainability during the design phase.

Technical leadership

Software architects provide technical leadership to the development team, guiding them in implementing the architectural vision effectively. 

They ensure that the team follows best practices and adheres to architectural principles throughout the development lifecycle.

Risk management

Software architects identify potential risks and bottlenecks in the software design early in the development process. 

They devise strategies to mitigate these risks and ensure the successful delivery of the project within the specified constraints.


Collaboration with stakeholders, including clients, product managers, and developers, is a crucial aspect of the architect’s role. 

A software architect gathers requirements, elicit feedback, and incorporate stakeholders’ inputs into the architectural decisions.

Technology evaluation

Software architects stay abreast of emerging technologies and trends in the software industry. 

They evaluate new tools, frameworks, and platforms to determine their suitability for the project and recommend adoption where appropriate.

Skills and requirements needed in a software architect

To excel in the role of a software architect, one must possess a diverse skill set and meet certain requirements:

Technical proficiency

A deep understanding of software engineering principles, design patterns, and architectural styles is essential for a software architect. Proficiency in programming languages, such as Java, Python, or C#, is also advantageous.

Problem-solving skills

Software architects must be adept at analyzing complex problems and devising innovative solutions. They should have strong critical thinking and decision-making abilities to address architectural challenges effectively.

Communication skills

Effective communication is paramount for software architects to convey technical concepts clearly to both technical and non-technical stakeholders. 

They should be able to articulate their ideas, listen to feedback, and foster collaboration within the team.

Leadership abilities

As leaders within the development team, architects must demonstrate strong leadership qualities, including mentorship, coaching, and team-building skills. 

They should inspire trust and confidence in their team members and lead by example.


The software landscape is constantly evolving, with new technologies and methodologies emerging regularly. Architects should be adaptable and open to learning to stay ahead of industry trends and incorporate relevant advancements into their architectural designs.

Where to hire a software architect

Finding a skilled software architect can be a challenging task for organizations. Several avenues can be explored to hire the right candidate:

1. Internal recruitment 

Organizations can promote talented developers from within their ranks to transition into the role of software architect. 

Internal candidates are already familiar with the company culture, processes, and domain knowledge, making them valuable assets for the role.

2. External recruitment

Recruiting externally through job portals, professional networks, and recruitment agencies is another option for hiring software architects. 

Organizations can leverage the expertise of external recruiters to identify and attract qualified candidates with the desired skill set and experience.

3. Freelance platforms

Freelance platforms offer a vast pool of talented software architects who are available for short-term or project-based engagements. 

Organizations can post their requirements on these platforms and select architects based on their expertise, ratings, and past project experience.

5. Outsourcing

Through partnering with outsourcing firms, you can get vetted software architects who can work for you remotely. 

Outsourcing is growing as a business strategy due to its cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and opportunity to access skilled talent from around the world. 

Salary comparison

Consider the table when comparing the salaries of a software architect in the US and an outsourced one from the Philippines. 

Annual salary figures are taken from Indeed and Glassdoor, respectively:


On-site vs. Remote setup for a software architect

The setup of software architects’ work environment can significantly impact their effectiveness and productivity. Both on-site and remote setups have their advantages and considerations:

On-site setup 

In an on-site setup, the a software architect works from the company’s office premises, facilitating direct interaction with team members, stakeholders, and management. 

This setup promotes collaboration, fosters a sense of belonging, and enables real-time problem-solving and decision-making.

Remote setup 

With advancements in technology and communication tools, many software architects prefer working remotely, offering flexibility in their work schedules and locations. 

Remote setups eliminate the need for daily commutes, reduce overhead costs, and attract talent from diverse geographical locations. However, remote work may pose challenges in terms of communication barriers, collaboration, and team cohesion. 

Maintaining effective communication channels, utilizing collaboration tools, and establishing clear expectations are essential for overcoming these challenges in a remote work environment.

Software architect job description template 

We present this job description template for your use in your efforts to hire a skilled software architect. 

Interview questions for a software architect

You may adopt these sample interview questions for your purposes when evaluating potential software architects. 

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