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Certifying the Software Architect Role


In 2009, the U.S. Army mandated that all Project Executive Offices (PEOs) appoint a chief software architect (CSWA) to be responsible for oversight and management of software development within each PEO. The memo specified that the CSWA must earn a Software Architecture Professional Certificate from the SEI (or equivalent). The decision was based on an understanding of SEI work in software architecture and its impact, in particular an impact study of the use of SEI architecture evaluation techniques in the Army (see Army Requires PEOs to Appoint Chief Software Architect, 2009 Year in Review).

The Army's mandate reflected appreciation for the value of more than 15 years of SEI innovation and leadership in software architecture definition, evaluation, analysis, and documentation. SEI work included the first software architecture book for practitioners, Software Architecture in Practice, winner of the prestigious JOLT award from Software Development magazine. Three other equally seminal books followed. All SEI software architecture books are cited often, have been updated in multiple editions, and have collectively sold more than 150,000 copies.

These books form the foundation of training courses and certificate programs, in which people from more than 900 organizations in industries such as defense, finance, health care, insurance, and energy have been trained by SEI experts. The SEI software architecture curriculum has been adopted by more than 80 colleges and universities around the world. The work also spawned the annual SEI Architecture Technology User Network Conference (SATURN).

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