The role of the software architect (video, part 1)

Novantus (a Jersey based cinematic/media production company) and I have recorded a version of my recent BCS Jersey presentation entitled The role of the software architect in successful projects. This video, part 1 in a series of webisodes, introduces the session by presenting some of the reasons behind software project failure and why software architects typically have a bad reputation.

p.s. this presentation is more or less the same as Why Software Projects Fail, which I delivered last year at the "Software Architect 2008" conference.

About the author

Simon is an independent consultant specializing in software architecture, and the author of Software Architecture for Developers (a developer-friendly guide to software architecture, technical leadership and the balance with agility). He’s also the creator of the C4 software architecture model and the founder of Structurizr, which is a collection of open source and commercial tooling to help software teams visualise, document and explore their software architecture.

You can find Simon on Twitter at @simonbrown ... see for information about his speaking schedule, videos from past conferences and software architecture training.

Re: The role of the software architect (video, part 1)

Interesting, and a good justification of the need for architectural responsibility when producing software. Presumably though, this does not need an architect as such, providing the appropriate skills, knowledge and authority are present within the team.

I felt that your characterisation of "smart developers" as being capable of everything except architecting for non-functionals a bit disingenuous. Good hands-on architects do not spring into existence fully formed, but instead grow from good developers who have an understanding of architecture. Therefore at any time there must exist some number of developers who are capable of making sensible architectural decisions, despite not having the official role or job title of "architect".

Re: The role of the software architect (video, part 1)

That's right ... if those skills and are already available within the team, and those team members have the appropriate authority, then that team doesn't need an architect. Of course, this doesn't take into account that stuff can fall between the gaps when you don't have a single person responsible for the "architecture".

Your comment makes absolute sense in that there must be some architectural awareness on many/most teams, but I still don't see many teams explicitly think about their non-functional requirements upfront and factor them into their designs. I agree and have seen developers that have had architectural awareness (they are typically the people that attend our architecture course), but they rarely have the authority to contribute to the architecture. Often they don't step forward, and other times they are ignored. I'm definitely behind encouraging everybody on the team to become more architecturally aware! :-)

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