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Whats the difference between a Software Architect, a Software Engineer, and a Software Developer (Programmer)?

I have had many discussions about the role of a software architect and did not reach a conclusion. So I decided to change the question.

What the difference of Skills between a Dev Senior and a Software Architect?

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marked as duplicate by Joel Etherton, Adam Lear Sep 23 '11 at 15:15

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

These definitions are not set in stone. They completely depend on where you work. – Oded Sep 23 '11 at 15:00
It's very dependent on what a company thinks they are: I've worked at a company where 'architect' was the person who made all the high-level and overarching decisions as to the design of the software/system/whatever, as a whole. That same company had senior developers who had the ability to design smaller parts of those systems, and could be a technical team lead. Other companies I've been in, a senior dev could fill the exact same role as the 'architect'. – birryree Sep 23 '11 at 15:02
You didn't ask a new question, you just truncated a previous question - making this one a duplicate. Note that you could have edited your previous question, rather than posting a similar one again. – Cyclops Sep 23 '11 at 15:11

I think the biggest difference is that the Senior Developer will more than likely be expected to act as a mentor to other programs, be looking for better solutions, and possibly be leading projects etc.

The architect role is most defined by someone who is designing the high level components of the system. This would include things like framework choices, platform decisions, interoperability decisions. An Architect is less likely to have the responsibility for mentoring and in larger organizations for even being involved in the primary development. They are not the ones making color choices, algorithm designs, etc., that is left to the development team and designers.

That all being said, it is not unusual for someone to take on both roles at the same time.

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