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Compared to some of the IT industry’s more imaginative job descriptions, “software architect” appears to be a clear-cut role with a generally accepted set of duties and responsibilities. Upon closer inspection, however, this seems to be one of those things that everyone agrees on until one starts looking for a common consensus on the delineation of the role, tasks, and responsibilities of software architects.
For one thing, the day-to-day work of software architects is often characterized by having to fill other roles as well, such as project manager, requirements engineer, or lead programmer. On the other hand, there are organizations that actually strive for a clear differentiation between persons responsible for different architectural levels or domains. Lack of clarity about the role and responsibilities of software architects not only leads to risks in projects and reduced job satisfaction, it also implies different expectations about the training and skill set required for architects. This presentation will explore and analyze the various perceptions of the role of software architects, based on current literature as well as feedback from practitioners and training participants. Its objective is to make an informed contribution to the ongoing debate on relevant issues, such as: What is the actual core set of tasks and responsibilities? What are typical deviations from this and what are the reasons behind them? Which consequences does this have for the work of architects, their integration into the organizational context and their training?
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