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An Architect
An Architect

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Mastering the Art of Software Design: Must-Have Tools for Architectural Success!

Behind every successful software project stands a dedicated Software Architect, Who shapes the whole blueprint. -Anks

There are a lot of items Software Architect [ to be called SA later in the post ] need to care about so SAs take helps from their best friends. I will talk in details about An Architect's best friends, who are they

1. Knowledge and Detailed Requirements:

First and foremost the depth knowledge of the domain and detailed requirements of the system, they want to build. in order to get this you should know how to ask questions and get the details. Most of the time Product Owners feel overwhelmed with your good questions, so never hesitate to ask questions.

2. Architectural Modeling Tools:

These allows us to create sketches of our system components, their relationships and interactions visually, which offer easy understanding to other team members about the details a much before system's existence and create a better documentations for later. Enterprise Architect, Lucidchart and are a few of them, you can add more in comments if you use other. These tools are being used to create UML, flow charts, entity relationships diagrams in to make it easy to communicate complex ideas.

3. Version Control System:

In present era's distributed development teams and collaborative software development this is must have tool for teams, but also for the SA because they are the code owner and should review every piece of code before making that to live. A few of version control tools are GutHub, Git and BitBucket, Tortoise SVN [this is old now but still seen this being used in industry]

4. Design Patterns:

Design patterns are some set of rules for some kind of problems, they should know this in details so that they can map it to similar level of problems easily and make it easy to understand for the team. This helps in saving their precious time. There are some design/architectural libraries are also available in eco system which you can use.

5. Project Management Tools:

Understanding of this is much needed as you can directly extract the reports and see who is doing what? You can easily break the tasks and allocate the developers [in case your team don't have project manager]. A few of them are Jira, Azure Tickets, Asana and Trello.

6. Collaboration and Communication Tools:

Whether we consider SA an individual contributor but technically we aren't because many a time people look at us. Plus effective communication is a key to any project's success. Thus we should be good in that and know how to use tools effectively, you organisation might use any for scheduling meetings, share progress and clarify doubts. Here are a few widely used in industry Zoom, Slack, MS Teams.

7. Deployment Tools:

Where your code is being deployed whether on physical servers or on cloud servers, you should know that platform's basic understanding at least for designing and deploying cost effective solutions.

8. Code Reviews and Quality Tools:

We should define set of rules for code quality, consistency, security and compliance. Then which can be checked automatically, pass those to taken care by tools like ESLint, SonarCube or Checkmarx or any other of your choice. Which can not be taken care automatically should be checked in manual code review [will add the link; when I write in detail about this].

9. IDEs/ Code editors:

This is the most important for developers but same for SAs too, There are multiple but as a team working together we should agree upon a single IDE(Integrated Development Environment). Which will help not adding additional space or other non programming stuffs in code for code review and save everyone's time. Also keeping only required changes to reduce the margin of human error while reviewing. A few of the famous IDEs in industry are Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and Visual Studio and code editors are VS Code, Sublime text, Bracket.

A Software Architect's role is much diversified including creating and evolving design, coding, communicating and management. Above mentioned tools are SA's go to partner in navigating this intricate landscape and saving time. By leveraging these tools, I am streamlining my workflows, making informed decisions, and ultimately contribute to the success of my projects so you can. Just as an Architect relies on right tool to build a master piece, I would recommend every developer to start using what they currently aren't in order to be ready to hold the power of becoming an Architect some day.

Till the next time keep Learning-Coding-and-Growing.

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