The world of information technology (IT) specialists is vast and complex. But one thing that is certain is that with the advent of Java, the enterprise application development landscape has changed for good. Considered one of the most powerful programming languages, there is a lot of diversity even within Java with multiple roles emerging, enabling professionals to master its rich array of features. One such role is that of a Java Architect. And if you’re wondering whether it’s the same as a Java Developer, the short answer is “no”. But where do these two roles intertwine and what exactly does a Java Developer do? These are just some of the questions we answer in this article. Keep reading to find out more.
What is a Java Architect?
In short, a Java Architect is a software development professional. In particular, they work on developing software architecture for Java-based applications. This is done by using an object-oriented programming language to help organizations solve obstacles through technology. Some of the ways in which Java Architects do this are:
- Making strategic decisions regarding the Java platform and supporting infrastructure (this includes application servers, database engines, cloud computing, and service-oriented architectures).
- Developing and upgrading new systems to improve Java applications and systems.
- Determining what a company needs in terms of software development.
- Assisting their team members with the installation and integration of different software.
A Java Architect vs. a Java Developer: What are the differences?
One common feature between Java Architects and Java Developers is that they are both involved in rolling out new or updated software. However, that’s where the differences seem to end. For example, a Java Architect will look at mapping out the overall design and direction of the project. They will do so by overseeing that technical standards are adhered to.
However, Java Developers build the code in terms of the Java Architect’s vision. Said in another way, developers “produce” and architects “plan”. Although they may sometimes have overlapping functions, the Architect bears a lot more responsibility as a team and project leader and that’s one of the most fundamental differences between the two.
Why should these professionals learn to code?
Although coding was previously not a requirement for many Java Architect positions, today, it is becoming increasingly important that they have a broader set of skills to add value to an organization. Some of the reasons why Java Architects should learn to code include:
- You will be able to master design software by understanding its inner workings to help you create more customized products within your niche, while not facing common limitations that a Java Architect would normally face without coding skills.
- You will be able to use the right tools to overcome a number of challenges that an architect or developer would normally struggle with.
- You will learn important algorithmic or logical thinking skills, which are especially suitable for more rigorous and objective projects.
- You will be able to integrate data into your architectural designs.
- You will be well-equipped to design for the future.
Qualifications and skills
A Java Architect is a solid professional. They tend to come with a broad range of skills and experience required for the job in question because they possess a mixture of both hard and soft skills.
Among the hard skills, they often have a degree in Computer Science or a related field. However, this is just the beginning. That’s because they also need to possess a strong proficiency in OOPS concepts with Java and knowledge of RESTful APIS Architecture.
They are also often required to have experience with Spring Boot, Spring Security, Spring Data, Spring MVC together with Unit Testing, Integration Testing, and BDD Testing. But it doesn’t end there. Java Architects should also have RDBMS knowledge and/or exposure to MS SQL server databases.
They should be able to create technical documents that suggest the technical solution proposed. And of course, security is key. Some security aspects include having a solid and deep understanding of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and OWASP guidelines.
Other hard skills that come in handy include carrying out performance analysis and application tuning, alongside having a solid understanding of design patterns and microservice architecture. In some cases, a Java Architect will be required to have experience in Enterprise Integration Patterns (EIP) and exposure to Apache camel or Kubernetes and no-SQL databases.
With all these technical requirements for a Java Architect job, what are the soft skills that these professionals need to possess? The answer includes:
- Problem-solving and analytical skills
- Developing budgets
- Project management
- Communication and collaboration
- Attention to detail
- Presentation skills
Responsibilities and duties
The duties and responsibilities of a Java Architect start with a meeting of minds where collaboration takes place with senior managers in order to determine the business’ specific application needs. Then, an application development plan will be created for new or existing applications.
A team will be gathered, led, and supervised to design, test, and modify the different stages of the project. After this, project prototypes are usually developed and presented to the right stakeholders together with running diagnostic tests and debugging procedures. All this should be done within the budget allocated for the project to ensure that application integration, maintenance, upgrades, and migration are carried out smoothly.
Of course, this comes together with providing subject-matter expertise for application security, performance, and scalability. Although this is not an exhaustive list of all the duties and responsibilities of a Java Architect, it paints a pretty clear picture of the expectations from these professionals across multiple organizational settings.
Looking for your next Java Architect?
When it comes to sourcing the right computer specialist talent in this marketplace, we know how challenging it can be. The market is tight and competitive and organizations are vying for the best talent out there. That’s because these organizations know that by investing in their talent, they are investing in their business’ future success.
If you are in need of a Java Architect and you aren’t sure where to begin your search, we are here to help. At StorsenDigital, you can browse through our Experts Hub to find the right talent for your business needs at an affordable rate. And if you have any questions that we can help with, feel free to reach out to us! Our team is more than willing to be of service to you.