How to Become a Java Software Architect

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Step 1: Understanding the Software Architect Role

A software architect is a software technology expert who makes high-level design choices and dictates technical standards, including software coding standards, tools, and platforms. The leading expert is referred to as the chief architect. Their day-to-day tasks include:

  • Creating a design for a business problem

  • Creating software architecture documents

  • Deciding the best design choice between different options

  • Consider future changes

  • Being able to consider both functional and non-functional requirements for creating a design

  • Must be a technical expert in latest design patterns

  • Must be a technical expert in latest frameworks or COTS components

Step 2: Understanding the Java Software Architect Role

A Java software architect should have knowledge in the following areas:

Java SE

  • Threads

  • Concurrency

  • Applet

  • Java Webstart Application

Java EE

  • JSP

  • Servlet

  • JSF

  • EJB

  • JPA

  • JAX-RS

  • JAX-WS

  • JNDI

  • Application Servers

  • Web Servers

Java EE 7 Changes

  • Web Socket API

  • Cocnurrency API in Java EE

  • Batch API in Java EE 

Java ME

Design Patterns

UML

Step 3: Improve Your Java Design Skills

The best way to improve your Java architecture skills is by reading more patterns and frameworks. You can find tons of patterns and framework solutions for the Java EE platform on the web.

  1. List the patterns used so far in your projects
  2. Search on the web and find patterns for Java SE and Java EE
  3. Draw a class diagram and sequence diagram for these patterns
  4. Just create a few code examples to run and understand the flow
  5. Download open-source projects, analyze the code, and create design diagrams
  6. List down the patterns used in the projects and consider applying your patterns to improve better

Step 4: Improve Your Architecture Skills

In general, a software architect must have knowledge in many areas, especially technology used. You may need to have general knowledge — starting from hardware sizing to coding. This could include:

  1. Compare web technologies (PHP, ASP, JSP) and compare pros and cos
  2. Compare enterprise application technologies (Legacy, Java EE…) and compare pros and cos
  3. Compare database integration technologies (JPA, Hibernate…etc) and compare pros and cos
  4. Compare security technologies, like SSO, Encryption/Decryption, SSL, etc.
  5. Compare different type of attacks (SQL Injection, DoS attack, etc.)
  6. Compare different type of hardware architecture (web server at DMZ, web server inside DMZ, application server inside DMZ, etc.)
  7. Compare different type of load balancing design (Clustering…)

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