Main image of article Software Architects Earning Top Dollar: Report
What’s in a job title? A better salary, for one thing. According to new survey data from infrastructure-automation firm Puppet, tech pros with “architect” in their title make far more than sysadmins (system administrators), system and DevOps engineers, and software engineers. For example, some 7 percent of surveyed architects said they made more than $200,000 per year, versus 3 percent for software engineers and 1 percent for DevOps engineers. Another 28 percent of those architects made between $150,000 and $200,000 per year, outpacing software engineers (10 percent) and DevOps engineers (9 percent). That data makes sense, considering how architects are considered senior positions at many firms. For engineers and developers, the most popular salary range (at least according to Puppet’s survey) is the $50,000 to $150,000 range. Architects have gained some salary ground from Puppet’s previous surveys, although the company has a hard time explaining why. “We don't know if this change is due to market forces, or whether it's because we included cloud architects in the architects group this year (the first time we've done that),” read the report accompanying the data. On Dice, the number of job postings for cloud architects has risen steadily over the past few years. As more companies shift from on-premises infrastructure and datacenters to cloud-native services, there’s an accompanying hunger for tech pros who can effectively design, deploy, and maintain next-generation architecture. Those tech pros who want to get into cloud technologies—and eventually rise to the “architect” level—need to master a broad portfolio of skills. For starters, they should become as familiar as possible with cloud (and hybridized) platforms, as well as configuration-management tools such as Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and SaltStack. In addition to “hard” technical skills, cloud architects need good “soft” skills, such as communication abilities, in order to deal with other stakeholders and divisions throughout an organization. Cloud deployments touch pretty much every employee in a given company, all of whom have very specialized needs. If you’re a high-level developer or engineer, or an architect, you’ll need to not only discover and prioritize those requirements, but explain decisions in an easy-to-understand way to employees.