Engineering the Future of Software
November 13–14, 2016: Training
November 14–16, 2016: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

Training: I’m a software architect. . .now what?

Nathaniel Schutta (Pivotal)
9:00am–5:00pm Monday, 11/14/2016
Location: Yorkshire

What you'll learn

  • Discover the skill sets needed to juggle multiple priorities, meetings, and time demands
  • Learn why your best team leadership tool is not a hammer but a shared cup of coffee
  • Hear the best ways to give and take criticism
  • Understand the necessity of writing effective email and formal architecture documents
  • Get tips for delivering confident career-building presentations to any audience
  • Review essential techniques for stakeholder management and relationship building
  • Explore the critical needs for architecture reviews and an effective process for conducting them


Becoming a software architect is a longed-for career upgrade for many software developers. While the job title suggests a work day focused on technical decision making, the reality is quite different. Nathaniel Schutta leads a workshop exploring a real-world job description in which communication trumps coding, helping you understand what it means to be a successful architect.

Through lecture and small group exercises, Nathaniel helps you understand what it means to be a successful architect. Working through various problems, you’ll have the opportunity to think through architectural decisions and patterns and discuss the importance of nonfunctional requirements and why architects cannot afford to practice résumé-driven design.


Day 1

9:00am–10:30am: Introduction—What does it mean to be an architect?

  • Course logistics and introductions
  • Roles and expectations of an architect
  • It isn’t what you think it is

10:30am–11:00am: Break

11:00am-12:30pm: Communication

  • The communication continuum
  • Effective meetings
  • Presenting

12:30pm–1:30pm: Lunch

1:30pm–3:00pm: Modeling

  • Why do we model?
  • Formal versus informal
  • Team exercises: Building models

3:00pm–3:30pm: Break

3:30pm–5:00pm: Modeling (cont.)

  • Team exercises: Building models
  • Reviewing architectures

Day 2

9:00am–10:30am: Architecting for the “-ilities”

  • Architecture is all about trade-offs
  • How do we determine which “-ilities” matter?
  • Team exercises: “-ilities” and trade-offs

10:30am–11:00am: Break

11:00am-12:30pm: Architectural decisions

  • How do we make architectural decisions?
  • What factors do we need to consider?
  • How do we document architectural decisions?
  • Team kata presentations

12:30pm–1:30pm: Lunch

1:30pm–3:00pm: Leading technical change

  • How do we keep up with technical change?
  • How do we decide what to pursue?
  • Technology radar
  • Team exercise: Pick a technology

3:00pm–3:30pm: Break

3:30pm–4:15pm: Leading technical change (cont.)

  • Team technology presentations

4:15pm–5:00pm: Stakeholder management

  • Silence isn’t golden
  • The art of influence
  • Relationships
  • Wrap up
Photo of Nathaniel Schutta

Nathaniel Schutta


Nathaniel T. Schutta is a software architect focused on cloud computing and building usable applications. In addition to his day job, he’s an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches students to embrace dynamic languages. A proponent of polyglot programming, Nate is the author of multiple books, including Presentation Patterns, with Neal Ford and Matthew McCullough, written to rid the world of bad presentations. He’s also appeared in various videos and is a seasoned speaker, regularly presenting at conferences worldwide, No Fluff Just Stuff symposia, meetups, universities, and user groups.