Sunday, April 5, 2020

Top 5 Courses to Learn Software Architecture for Experienced Programmers - Best of Lot

Every Programmer wants to grow in their career, but it's not easy, and if you don't pay attention to your job, you will likely stay in the same position for many years. The growth in the initial few years is generally fast. Still, once you reach the barrier of 5 years, you need to decide which direction you want to move like - people management, product management, or software architecture. For tech guys, who don't want to go on people and product management, the software architecture or solution architecture is the final position, which is not surprising.

If you want to be close with coding and technical discussions, like to try new technologies and want to use them in your organization to solve a challenging problem, software architecture is an excellent position to be in.

Most of the Java developers I have met or interacted with wanted to become a software architect, though only a few succeed, and most of them are still either a technical lead or Senior Software developer.

But, the big question is, how does a senior developer become a software architect? What books or courses you can look forward to learning the skills a Software or Solution architect should have? It's also one of the most common questions I receive from my reader, apart from how to prepare for Java interviews.

To help you with this question and to answer many such questions from my readers, I'll share a few online courses you can take to learn more about Software Architecture and how to become a software architect.

In the past, I have shared a couple of books you can read to learn some software architecture skills, and these courses will supplement whatever you have learned from them. You can also use these courses and those books to get the best of both worlds.

Top 5 Courses to become Software Architect 

As I have said, a Software architect position is not a comfortable position. The architect is responsible for all technology decisions in the project and also a significant role.

You need to know a lot of things, not just the technology but also the business. You should not only be familiar with general software architecture, design, coding, and programming best practices, but also with the latest technologies, libraries, and framework and knows their pros and cons to choosing the right technology for your solution.

In these few courses, I have tried to include most of the things you need to learn Software Architecture, but this list is by no means complete, and I am keen to get some suggestions from some of the experienced Software Architects which come across this article.

Anyway, without any further ado, here is my list of some of the best online courses to learn Software Architecture and become a Solution Architect or Software Architect.

1. Software Architecture on Coursera

When it comes to online learning, Coursera is one of the reputed websites and also one of my favorite places along with Udemy and Pluralsight. It has some of the best courses on machine learning, Algorithms, and Software Architecture, and this is one of them.

In this course, you will learn how to represent a software architecture using visual tools like UML, which is very important to communicate the architecture with shareholders as well as developers who will implement it.

You will also learn some of the standard architectures, their qualities, and tradeoffs. The course also talks about how designs are evaluated, what makes a good architecture, and architecture can be improved.

And the best part of the course is that you will do some hands-on practice in the last module by documenting a Java-based Android application (Capstone Project) with UML diagrams and analyze evaluate the application’s architecture using the Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM).

And, if you find Coursera specialization and certifications useful, particularly like this one, then I suggest you join the Coursera Plus, a great subscription plan from Coursera which gives you unlimited access to their most popular courses, specialization, professional certificate, and guided projects. It cost around $399/year but its complete worth of your money as you get unlimited certificates.

Books and Online Courses to become Software Architect

2. How To Become An Outstanding Solution Architect

This is another excellent and must take the course for all the programmers who aspire to become a software architect. In this course, instructor Mark Farragher will teach you all the skills you need to become an outstanding solution architect.

He will not only teach you how to create an excellent architecture design but also show you all the soft skills you will need to really shine in this role and make an impression on your peers. This is extremely important as you need to do a lot of talking and probably need to interact with most of the people in the organization, including CEO and CTO.

This course also covers how a Software Architect or Solution Architect operates in an IT team, which soft skills are required to become an outstanding architect, and which extra responsibilities you can take on to really make an impression on your peers.

Talking about technical skill, the course will teach you how to create high architectures, explains common architecture design patterns, and shows how to design these patterns in UML.

It also covers what to look at architecture, both high and low levels, like caching, exception management, and deployment scenarios. In short, an excellent course for all programmer and senior developer who wants to become a Solution Architect.

3. Basics of Software Architecture & Design Patterns in Java

This course is a more low level than the previous two sessions and talks about software architecture and design patterns, somewhat more concrete things than abstract design.

The course uses Java programming language to solve problems, which is great for Java developers. Still, the theoretical background is language-independent and useful for all programmers irrespective of their programming languages.

I highly recommend coding out the implementations several times on your own to get a good grasp of it.

It also covers things like SOLID principles and design patterns, which are vital for any good architecture and robust application.

How to become software architect

4. Developer to Architect

This is another fantastic course for all the programmer who wants to become a software architect. In this course, you will learn what the role of a software architect in a team and organization is and why it is so important.

You will learn about the skills and knowledge required to become a competent software architect and responsibility during each phase of the software development and project life cycle.

Lastly, you will learn one of the most important aspects of being a solution architect: how to design and communicate a solution to both technical and non-technical stakeholders.

In short, this course is your roadmap to becoming a capable and successful software architect. Even if you are a software architect, you can also take this course to further hone your soft skills. If you need more resources, you can also check out this list of books to improve your Soft Skills as a Programmer and Developer.

5. Clean Architecture: Patterns, Practices, and Principles

This is another excellent Pluralsight course on Software Architecture. In this course, you will learn about Clean Architecture, if you think what a clean architecture is, it's nothing but a set of modern patterns, practices, and principles for creating a software architecture that is simple, understandable, flexible, testable, and maintainable.

There is a lot of focus on an organization to write Clean Code and create Clean Architecture, and this course will help you in that direction.

This is an introductory course, which means no prerequisites for this course. However, having essential experience with at least one the C like a programming language, and basic knowledge of software architecture is beneficial.

Btw, it's totally different from the Clean Architecture book by Uncle Bob, which is also a worth reading book for programmers wants to become a software architect.

5 Courses to become Software Architect or Solution Architect

That's all about some of the best online courses to learn Software architecture and become Software Architect or Solution Architect. As I have said, the role of a Software architect is significant, and he also needs to do a lot of talking, hence not just subject matter and technologies, he also needs to be good at soft skills.

It's a gratifying career, both in terms of pay and work, as you get a lot of limelight and get to talk to both higher and lower levels in your organization like from CEO to Developers and knows most of the things about your application and solution.

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Thanks for reading this article so far. If you found these courses useful in becoming a software architect or learn software architecture, please share it with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions or feedback, then please drop a note.

P. S. - If you are looking for a free course to learn Java design patterns, which are also crucial for Software architects, then you can also check out Java Design Patterns and Architecture course on Udemy. It's completely free and has loads of useful information on using design patterns for Java programmers.


Nishant singh said...

What are the growth opportunities for Software Architect or Solution Architect? I am under an impression that a project manager has better chances of growth as they climb up to become Senior Project Manager and even the CTO. Moreover, they can manage teams with different technologies like .Net, Android etc.

javin paul said...

Hello Nishant, Management is always valued more and has a better opportunities. A technical manager is even more required but if you interest is not on management then software architecture job is the best one. You got to work with all sort of technology and that's what some people like including myself. So, yes, it's an alternate path to grow for developers.

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