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12 Essential Skills for Software Architects

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As you start reading this book, I hope you are prepared to keep an open mind and are willing to try some new approaches to your daily life.

My name is Dave Hendricksen, and I have the privilege of being a software architect for Thomson Reuters, where the focus of my work is on producing intelligent legal information. This includes everything from data capture to data display of legislative, regulatory, and intellectual property materials on Westlaw.com. I have been married for 22 years to a beautiful lady. We have two great kids, one cat, one dog, and a koi pond.

As a technology person, I have always considered myself to be slightly different from the rest of the “normal” world. Thinking analytically, focusing on problem solving, building things, and gaming for hours on end all come quite naturally to me. I love to learn new things. For me, going to school has always been great fun; I have a bachelor’s degree in math and Bible and two master’s degrees (one in computer science and one in the management of technology).

I love to work hard and am willing to put in whatever amount of effort is needed to get a project done on time. I love to hear my boss say, “Great job, Dave.” Of course, my thinking would be this: Do great work, get promoted, and life is awesome—and to a degree, this has been true, at least up to the point where technology enters management. An invisible ether exists here that prevents a large number of talented individuals from moving up the organizational hierarchy and any further in their careers. This magical ether detects a lack of soft skills and quietly prevents these individuals from advancing to the next rungs of the ladder.

My goal for this book is to enable you to learn the essential soft skills that you will need to master as a software architect.
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