Principal architects are the subject matter experts for information technology projects, helping guide these projects to completion. They must be able to handle multiple projects, be innovative, and be able to communicate effectively across multiple departments in different degrees of technical detail. When dealing with software, they code new projects, maintain existing ones, and ensure information technology policies are adhered to. They serve as a team leader and are the main point of contact for many major architectural issues. For subordinates, principal architects provide guidance, support, and discipline as needed.
Principal architects often work in a team setting to resolve complicated issues. They may also work alone, gathering information on industry standards, software, technologies, and tools. Principal architects generally work full time during regular business hours; however, they may also need to be available on-call and work overtime as required by their employer.
Principal architect positions usually require at least 15 years of experience in software development or architecture, as well as at least a bachelor's in computer science. Some principal architects have only a high school degree but many years of software development experience. These professionals often need to be fluent in a computer scripting language as well.
Principal Architect Tasks
Delegate work and provide oversight of group work plans.
Manage an architectural team of junior and senior architects as well as administrative personnel.
Responsible for all architectural design aspects of large or complex projects.
Ensure project deliverables are met on time and on budget.