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12 Essential Skills for Software Architects

12 Essential Skills for Software Architects

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  • Copyright 2012
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-269616-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-269616-6

Master the Crucial Non-Technical Skills Every Software Architect Needs!

Thousands of software professionals have the necessary technical qualifications to become architects, but far fewer have the crucial non-technical skills needed to get hired and succeed in this role. In today’s agile environments, these “soft” skills have grown even more crucial to success as an architect. For many developers, however, these skills don’t come naturally–and they’re rarely addressed in formal training. Now, long-time software architect Dave Hendricksen helps you fill this gap, supercharge your organizational impact, and quickly move to the next level in your career.

In 12 Essential Skills for Software Architects, Hendricksen begins by pinpointing the specific relationship, personal, and business skills that successful architects rely upon. Next, he presents proven methods for systematically developing and sharpening every one of these skills, from negotiation and leadership to pragmatism and vision.

From start to finish, this book’s practical insights can help you get the architect position you want–and thrive once you have it!

The soft skills you need…

…and a coherent framework and practical methodology for mastering them!

Relationship skills

Leadership, politics, gracious behavior, communication, negotiation

Personal skills

Context switching, transparency, passion

Business skills

Pragmatism, vision, business knowledge, innovation

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xxi

About the Author xxiii

Part I: Relationship Skills 1

Chapter 1: Gracious Behavior 3

How Would Others Describe You? 3

The Technical Ceiling 4

The Road to Becoming a Gracious Professional 6

Summary 23

Bibliography 23

Chapter 2: Communication 25

Communication Principles 26

Communication Strategies 31

Communicating with Executives 41

Summary 45

Bibliography 45

Chapter 3: Negotiation 47

Negotiation Principles 48

Negotiation Strategies 52

Negotiation Prep Work 57

Negotiation Wrap-Up 62

Summary 66

Bibliography 67

Chapter 4: Leadership 69

Leadership Principles 70

Leadership Strategies 76

Leadership Timing 80

Leading Others 85

Summary 89

Bibliography 90

Chapter 5: Politics 93

Politics Defined 93

The Political Marketplace 94

Political Context 98

Political Principles 104

Political Strategies 108

Political Timing 111

Becoming a Good Politician 115

Bibliography 116

Part II: Personal Skills 117

Chapter 6: Transparency 119

Architects Live in a Glass House 119

Types of Transparency 121

Self-Transparency 121

Project Transparency 126

Relational Transparency 133

Becoming a Transparent Architect 136

Bibliography 137

Chapter 7: Passion 139

What Is Passion? 140

Discovering Passion 141

Using Passion as a Guide 145

Protecting Your Passion 151

What Is One Thing You Can Do Today to Pursue Your Passion? 153

Learn to Jump in and Enjoy the Ride 154

Becoming a Passionate Architect 155

Bibliography 156

Chapter 8: Context Switching 157

Self-Awareness Context 160

Architectural Awareness Context 162

Elephant Context 164

Decision Awareness Context 167

Conversational Context 169

Audience Context 169

Project Context 171

Becoming a Context-Aware Architect 173

Bibliography 174

Part III: Business Skills 175

Chapter 9: Business Knowledge 177

Understanding Business 179

Understanding Your Company 183

Understanding Your Customers 185

Understanding Your Domain 188

Help the Business Better Understand Technology 190

Becoming a Business-Savvy Architect 191

Bibliography 192

Chapter 10: Innovation 193

Innovation Defined 194

Establishing Margins 195

Developing an Internal Compass 200

Blending Essential Concepts 204

Becoming a Innovative Architect 210

Bibliography 211

Chapter 11: Pragmatism 213

Pragmatic Architecture Defined 213

Scope Management 214

Risk Management 217

Communication 221

Becoming a Pragmatic Architect 224

Bibliography 225

Chapter 12: Vision 227

Vision Defined 227

Finding and Establishing a Compelling Destination 228

Developing and Establishing a Strategic Roadmap 232

Establishing Aligned Partners 235

Vision in Practice 238

Becoming an Architect with Vision 241

Bibliography 241

Index 243


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