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12 Essential Skills for Software Architect Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Essential Soft Skills

Any Software Architect need to have 12 soft skills to be a successful architect. These skills can be grouped into 3 groups:
1. Relati­onship skills
2. Personal Skills
3. Business Skills
These classi­fic­ation are based on relative priority; that is, if you don't have relati­onship skills, the other two areas don't matter.

Pyramid of Skills

Gracious Behavior

Behavior is a mirror in which every one displays his own image.
-- Johann Wolfgang
The Technical Ceiling
One of the challenges that the very best technology folks (the gurus) often have is that they are often a complete pain to deal with. Their approach and means of intera­cting are completely focused on correc­tness to the minutest detail.
The road to gracious behavior begins with the following steps:
Choosing relati­onships over correc­tness
Learning to delegate
Realizing that life is reflexive
Acting as though words are seeds
Dealing with others with integrity and honesty without bluntness
Confro­nting issues in a timely manner
Providing a profes­sional service
Forgiving and forgetting past offenses
Learn to smile (Be approa­chable)
Learn to proper posture (Stand up or sit up straight with your feet directly under you, shoulders back, chin up.)
Learn to engage others in small talk. (Prime the conver­sation, put others at ease, begin to build a relati­ons­hip.)
Learn to focus on others, not yourself.
Be present; be where you are.
Learn to be helpful. (What the other person needs? How can you best help the indivi­dual?)
Learn to be concerned. (The world is not just about you.)
Learn to be friendly. (Become a friend – the more you interact with others, the higher the likelihood that you will enjoy the work you do.)
Learn to build trust. (If you say something, do it. If you have an issue with someone, deal directly with that person, rather than discussing it with others.)
Learn to listen. (Repeat what you have heard; don’t draw conclu­sions; ask questions of genuine interest.)
Be knowle­dge­able; share inform­ation not conclu­sions.
Allow choice. (One of the best ways to direct a decision is not to dictate, but rather to present selectable altern­atives – it allows the other person to take ownership.
Do not stay at the point at hand and go off on a tangent.
Be aware of the entire context of the discus­sion, and do not repeat unnece­ssary inform­ation or stay outside it.
For the more senior archit­ects, remember that executives are people, too. Treat them like normal people, and they will respond as such.


Learning to commun­icate effect­ively is a lifelong process – there is always rooms for improv­ement. Commun­ication of Architects is based on
1. Commun­ication Principles
2. Commun­ication Strategies
3. Commun­ication with Executives
Commun­ication Principles
Listen First, Talk Later --
Commun­ication Strategies
Commun­ication with Executives