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12 Essential Skills for Software Architects Paperback – October 5, 2011

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321717290 ISBN-10: 0321717295 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dave Hendricken is a software architect for Thomson Reuters. Dave enjoys working closely with new product development teams to create innovative legal products for large-scale online platforms such as Westlaw.com. In his spare time, Dave enjoys mentoring the Eagan High School Robotics team, downhill skiing with his kids, fishing for large-mouth bass, golfing early in the morning, and spending time at the cabin building things like trebuchets, go-carts, and rain barrel watering systems with his kids.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (October 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321717295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321717290
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,275,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By T. Anderson VINE VOICE on October 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The two things I like least about being a software architect is doing documentation and exercising social soft skills. On a lot of projects there comes a time when there is nothing I want to do more than explain to a business user why they are wrong. Dead wrong. We all know that does not fair well with the egos most business users have, and does not fair well with your potential future on the given project. This book contains information that will show you how to use different skills to help you graciously handle the harder conversations.

This book is broken into three sections which cover, relationship skills, personal skills, and business skills.

Relationship skills has chapters on leadership, politics, gracious behavior, communication, and negotiation.

Personal skills has chapters on context switching, transparency, and passion.

Business skills has chapters on pragmatism, vision, business knowledge, and innovation.

I think the author does a great job covering the necessary soft skills for an architect. I really like the way the author shows the different skill levels using the technical glass ceiling.

The author's main point with context switching is that you must be able to do it and he provides some great tips on getting good at it. Another perspective that I find important is understanding how much time it wastes no matter how good you get at it. You also need to be aware that your team members may not be good at it. If you don't have a good project manager on the team running interference and limiting context switching, it falls on the architect to run interference. I find it more important to manage context switching than it is to attempt to master it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anto Jurkovic on December 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
Nice book with wrong title.

As the author states in preface of the book

"My goal for this book is to enable you to learn the essential soft skills that you will need to master as a software architect.

This book assumes that you already have the requisite technical skills to become an architect; as such, it does not focus on these types of skills. Instead, this book focuses on 12 essential soft skills that are critical to the daily activities of being an architect. These are the skills that are typically the most challenging for people with technology backgrounds."

He shows us soft skills from the point of architect view. But anyone, who wants to be valuable and trust worthy citizen in the business world, will benefit from this book.

The author divided the book in three parts (relationship skills, personal skills, and business skills) according to skills relative priority.

Relationship skills include: gracious behavior, communication, negotiation, leadership, and politics.

Personal skills include: transparency, passion, and context switching.

Business skills include: business knowledge, innovation, pragmatism, and vision.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JR on November 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a Software Engineering Director, I sometimes struggle to find and coach talented engineers as to what things are keeping them from taking the next step, becoming more influential and gaining deserved recognition for their smarts. This book provides the proper checklist and recipes for success to bridge the gap between being a smart person and building the appropriate relationships, business skills and influence to make your bright ideas readily understood and executable.

Hendricksen speaks from a position of experience and proven success as a technology leader on some truly complex and interesting projects. With his resumé as proof that he's walked the walk, he provides clear and reasonable coaching to grow in the areas of Relationship Skills, Personal Skills and Business Skills. I encourage all aspiring architects (and other interested leaders in this space) to give this book a read -- even if you feel fully-qualified on these fronts, it's always good to get a refresher.

I also highly recommend Hendricksen's work with regard to Architecture in an Agile world:
[...]
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By James Ashley on August 25, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's reasonably well done, but ultimately just tries to show you how to be a better middle manager.

The general impression in the software industry is that the software architect gets to her position because she is more technically capable / has memorized more obscure patterns / is quicker at the whiteboard. This book, for better or worse, grounds that impression in reality. The modern software architect is just another middle manager responsible for guiding junior developers and offshore teams. In many ways, the role is an acknowledgement that it is too difficult to hire skilled developers and so we are giving up on the ideal that all devs should be proficient in software practices and patterns.

It's a legitimate perspective, but a bit soul killing. To compensate, there are several chapters trying to make you feel good about yourself as a middle manager by talking about thinking outside the box and passion, etc. etc.

But is 'passionate middle manager' really a thing? Or even desirable?
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