15 best software architecture books this year [become a software architect]

15 Best Software Architecture Books for 2022 [Become a Software Architect]

Today we’re looking at how to become a software architect with the best software architecture books for this year.

What is software architecture?

Software architecture is the discipline of creating software structures and systems. These structures are comprised of software elements that interact with each other in a specific environment.

Often times, software architecture includes the evolution of software over time.

According to Indeed, the average salary for a software architect in the U.S. is $136,318.

Average salary for

$136,318

software architects

But with that large salary comes a lot of hard work.

So today we’re looking at the best software architecture books to get you started on your path to becoming a software architect. Some are for absolute beginners, others are more challenging.

No matter what your skill level, we’ve got something for just about everyone.

We’ve also included a few courses just in case you’re looking for some companion resources.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.

TLDR: Best Software Architecture Books

We picked the absolute best software architecture books based on the following criteria:

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Clean Architecture: A Craftsman’s Guide to Software Structure and Design

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
Just Enough Software Architecture

💸 Best Value 💸
Design It!: From Programmer to Software Architect

Best Software Architecture Books

We think these are the best software architecture books of all time.

1. Clean Architecture: A Craftsman’s Guide to Software Structure and Design

↘️ Ideal for: software architects of all levels
↘️
Topics covered:
architectural challenges, software design principles

Clean Architecture book cover with photo of milky way galaxy

Clean Architecture by Robert C. Martin is one of the best software architecture books out there.

With over 50 years of experience, “Uncle Bob” shows you how to make the best decisions to maximize your success as a software architect.

➡️ Clean Architecture is ideal for aspiring software architects but is also relevant for programmers working with someone else’s designs.

In addition to learning how to address architectural challenges, you’ll learn how to master software design principles. Then you’ll learn about programming paradigms and their influence on developer restrictions.

You’ll also learn how to implement high-level structures for various application types. And perhaps most importantly, you’ll learn why architectures go wrong, and how to fix them.

🔥 Geena’s Hot Take

If you get one book on this list, make it Clean Architecture. Ask around and you’ll find that most software architects will have this in their collection.

It’s a tool not only to learn software architecture, but to use as a reference throughout your career.


2. Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture: Volume 2

↘️ Ideal for: experienced software architects
↘️
Topics covered:
software architecture patterns

Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture Volume 2 was written to help you become a better software architect.

Like Clean Architecture, you’ll find plenty of material for experienced software architects.

➡️ With Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture, you’ll learn best practices for navigating concurrent and networked objects.

Using a series of patterns, it will teach you how to design application and middleware software to run in concurrent and networked environments.

You’ll learn about:

  • configuration patterns
  • event handling patterns
  • synchronization patterns

And much more.

Throughout the book, you’ll work with 17 patterns for idioms and architectural designs. There are plenty of exercises presented in C, C++ and Java.

Want to learn more? Check out the other books in the Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture series.

Lesson on concurrent and networked software in Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture

Interested in learning more about software architecture in Java? Check out the course Software Architecture in Java: Design & Development on Educative.io.


3. Software Architecture: Foundations, Theory, and Practice

↘️ Ideal for: newbie software architects
↘️
Topics covered:
modeling techniques, design implementation

Software Architecture: Foundations, Theory and Practice by Richard Taylor, Nenad Medvidovic and Eric Dashofy is one of the best software architecture books to learn a strong foundation of fundamentals.

➡️ Software Architecture is geared towards complementing curriculum for upper-undergraduate and graduate courses in software architecture.

There’s a heavy focus on the creation of real implemented systems.

Plus you’ll learn about:

  • modeling techniques
  • design implementation
  • deployment
  • visualization
  • analysis
  • system adaptation
  • deployment and mobility

And much more.

In addition, you’ll learn about designing architectures. This covers the design process, architectural conception and architectural patterns.

Also, you’ll learn about software architecture as it applies to people, roles and teams.


Looking for a good beginner course on software architecture? Sign up for Web Application and Software Architecture 101 on Educative.io.

4. Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond

↘️ Ideal for: software architecture newbies
↘️
Topics covered:
variation points, interfaces, software behavior

Documenting Software Architectures by Paul Clements, Felix Bachmann, et al. aims to provide the most complete guidance on software architecture fundamentals.

Like Software Architecture: Foundations, Theory and Practice, Documenting Software Architectures is geared towards software architecture newbies.

➡️ But Documenting Software Architectures captures architectures in commonly understandable forms, without using a specific programming language.

It’s separated into three parts.

First you’ll learn about different software architecture styles. These include service-oriented architectures, multi-tier architectures and data models.

Then in the second part of the book, you’ll learn how to complete the architecture documentation. So this includes things like:

  • context diagrams
  • variation points
  • interfaces
  • software behavior

And beyond.

Finally, in the third part of Documenting Software Architectures, you’ll learn about building architecture documentation.

See what software architects are saying about Documenting Software Architectures:

This book is the bible of documenting software architectures. It is a mandatory read for all software architects.

T Anderson, Customer


5. Software Architects Handbook

↘️ Ideal for: experienced software architects
↘️
Topics covered:
methods, DevOps, refactoring

Using design patterns and best practices, you’ll learn how to design efficient software architectures with Software Architect’s Handbook.

➡️ Software Architect’s Handbook by Joseph Ingeno is one of the best software architecture books because of its comprehensive nature.

First, you’ll learn how software architecture relates to organizations. Software Architect’s Handbook will also teach you methods to improve your software architect skills.

Then you’ll learn about how DevOps affects software architecture. Plus you’ll become familiar with architecture documentation to reflect your DevOps decisions.

You’ll learn ways to refactor, integrate and re-architecture legacy applications. Finally, you’ll learn how to create evolving software architectures.


6. Architecture Patterns with Python

↘️ Ideal for: experienced software architects
↘️
Topics covered:
architecture patterns, TDD, DDD, event-driven microservices

Architecture Patterns with Python is one of the best software architecture books for experienced software architects.

This is different than any other book on our list because of the Python testing types you’ll learn about here.

➡️ Architecture Patterns with Python by Harry J.W. Percival and Bob Gregory is a hands-on guide to enable Python developers to manage complex applications.

These include higher-level software architecture designs like:

Architecture Patterns with Python is separated into two sections.

The first part will teach you how to support domain modeling by building an architecture. The second part covers event-driven architecture.

Every pattern in Architecture Patterns with Python is illustrated and contains examples in Python. Some patterns include:

And beyond.


7. Just Enough Software Architecture

↘️ Ideal for: newbie software architects
↘️
Topics covered:
risk-driven software architecture, architecture modeling

Just Enough Software Architecture by George Fairbanks teaches risk-driven architecture.

That means it teaches you to use just enough software architecture based on given risks.

It’s similar to Software Architecture: Foundations, Theory, and Practice, but is an even lighter introduction to software architecture.

➡️ With Just Enough Software Architecture you’ll learn how to build models and analyze architectures.

It’s is separated into two sections.

In the first part, you’ll learn about risk-driven software architecture. This covers everything from defining what software architecture is, all the way up to modeling advice.

The second part of the book delves deeper into architecture modeling. Here you’ll learn about different types of models:

  • engineers use
  • domain
  • design
  • code

And beyond. You’ll also learn about encapsulation, partitioning and model elements and relationships.

Then you’ll learn how to distinguish procedural knowledge from declarative knowledge as it applies to software architecture.

In addition, there’s a strong emphasis on engineering. So you’ll look at the technical side of software development.

See what software architects are saying about Just Enough Software Architecture:

… If you are a Software Architect… that wants to grow in his career, this is one of those books that you should read, and keep on your bookcase as a reference.

Giuseppe Turitto, Customer


8. The Software Architect Elevator

↘️ Ideal for: new and experienced software architects
↘️
Topics covered:
redefining the role of software architects

According to the author of Fundamentals of Software Architecture Mark Richards, The Software Architect Elevator by Gregor Hohpe is “filled with tips and techniques to becoming an effective software architect.”

It’s different than any other book on our list.

➡️ The goal of The Software Architect Elevator is to help you obtain a more complex, rewarding career in software architecture.

It’s separated into 6 parts such as:

  • Architects
  • Architecture
  • Organizations
  • Transformation

And beyond.

This isn’t your typical software architecture book. Instead of learning concepts, you’ll learn about redefining the role of software architects.

So you’ll get real-world advice from an actual software architect. And with that comes lessons he learned while on the job.


Want to learn about domain models and CQRS? Sign up for the course Modern Software Architecture on Pluralsight.

9. Fundamentals of Software Architecture: An Engineering Approach

↘️ Ideal for: newbie software architects
↘️
Topics covered:
architectural characteristics and patterns

Fundamentals of Software Architecture by Mark Richards and Neal Ford was written to help developers transition to the field of software architecture.

It’s similar to Design It!: From Programmer to Software Architect but is a little more intense.

➡️ Fundamentals of Software Architecture focuses on modern approaches to engineering practices.

You’ll look at things like:

  • architectural characteristics and patterns
  • component determination
  • diagramming
  • evolutionary architecture

And beyond.

In addition, you’ll learn about soft skills like how to effectively manage a team and deliver presentations.

You’ll also learn about software architecture through the eye of an engineer. So you’ll focus on repeatable results, concrete valuations, and more.


10. Become an Awesome Software Architect

↘️ Ideal for: advanced software architect newbies
↘️
Topics covered:
microservices, error recovery, layering

Become an Awesome Software Architect by Anatoly Volkhover has a strong focus on the business aspect of software architecture.

It’s the only book on our list for advanced newbie software architects.

➡️ Become an Awesome Software Architect is intended for both entrepreneurs and developers interested in fast-tracking their software architect career.

You’ll start with the absolute basics like learning the exact role of a software architect. Then you’ll dive into concepts like:

  • datastore
  • layering
  • code composition
  • error recovery
  • microservices
  • runtime infrastructures

And much, much more.

Become an Awesome Software Architect is packed with illustrations and code examples.


11. Software Architecture in Practice

↘️ Ideal for: experienced software architects
↘️
Topics covered:
life cycle, technical environment, business profile

Software Architecture in Practice by Len Bass, Paul Clements and Rick Kazman was written based on architecture influence cycles for large software systems:

  • technical environment
  • life cycle of a project
  • business profile
  • software architect’s professional practices

➡️ In Software Architecture in Practice, you’ll learn how software architecture applies to current technologies like the cloud and social networks.

Software Architecture in Practice is separated into 5 parts:

  • Introduction
  • Quality Attributes
  • Architecture in the Life Cycle
  • Architecture in Business
  • The Brave New World

Here you’ll learn about software architecture competence as it applies to businesses and individuals. You’ll also examine how business goals affect architecture.


Looking for a course on software architecture? Sign up for Software Architecture on Coursera.

12. Designing Software Architectures: A Practical Approach

↘️ Ideal for: new software architects
↘️
Topics covered:
software life cycle, analysis and design relationships

Designing Software Architectures by Humberto Cervantes and Rick Kazman was written to teach readers how to design systematic and repeatable software architectures.

➡️ Designing Software Architectures is packed with case studies you can use to understand reusable design and structures.

You’ll learn about the Attribute-Driven Design (ADD) method to examine architectural concerns. In addition, you’ll use it to identify functional requirements, usability and availability.

Throughout the book, you’ll learn about architecture designs that support the complete software life cycle.

In addition to mastering core concepts, you’ll learn how to:

  • scale design
  • optimize analysis and design relationships
  • adapt reusable designs to specific problems
  • solve design problems in big data, cloud or mobile

And beyond.


13. Design It!: From Programmer to Software Architect

↘️ Ideal for: programmers new to software architecture
↘️
Topics covered:
design fundamentals and strategy

Design It! by Michael Keeling provides dozens of design methods and examples to teach you how to become a software architect.

➡️ With Design It! you’ll learn what software architecture is and what software architects do.

Plus you’ll learn about design thinking fundamentals.

Then you’ll learn:

  • devising a design strategy
  • creating a foundation with patterns
  • managing complexity with meaningful models
  • empowering architects on your team

And much, much more.

Finally, you’ll dive into the software architect’s toolbox. This is where you’ll work on a series of 38 activities to apply what you’ve learned throughout Design It!

Michael Keeling does a great job describing the architecture behind building software products… Well written and has clear definitions of software terminologies.

jazz_23, Customer


14. Beyond Software Architecture: Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions

↘️ Ideal for: business-minded software architects
↘️
Topics covered:
integration and extension, usability

Beyond Software Architecture by Luke Hohmann maintains a heavy focus on the business value of software architecture.

➡️ With Beyond Software Architecture, you’ll learn how to build software architectures as they apply to a customer’s business goals.

First you’ll learn the basics of software architecture like creating an architecture, patterns, and principles. Then you’ll learn about product development and project management.

After that, you’ll learn about marketecture and tarchitecture as they relate to software systems.

You’ll also learn about:

  • portability
  • deployment architecture
  • integration and extension
  • usability
  • installation

And much more.

So not only will you learn how to understand the business decision-making, you’ll learn how to build and maintain dynamic software.


15. Software Systems Architecture: Working With Stakeholders Using Viewpoints and Perspectives

↘️ Ideal for: new and experienced software architects
↘️
Topics covered:
scenarios and patterns

Software Systems Architecture by Nick Rozanski and Eoin Woods is both an introduction to software architecture and a reference for best practices.

➡️ With Software Systems Architecture, you’ll learn design architectures that reflect the needs of stakeholders.

Then you’ll examine overlooked designs as they relate to software architecture.

You’ll also learn how to use scenarios and patterns to design and document your architecture.

Finally, you’ll learn about architectural principles and how they’re used to make decisions.


Best Software Architecture Books: Conclusion

Let’s review the books that can help you become a software architect.

Today we looked at the best software architecture books, and three came out on top:

Best Overall
Clean Architecture: A Craftsman’s Guide to Software Structure and Design

Best for Newbies
Just Enough Software Architecture

Best Value
Design It!: From Programmer to Software Architect

So whether you’re a newbie, are on a budget or want the best for your architectural dollar, we think there’s a software architecture book for every aspiring software architect.


Up Next:

  1. What are the best software architecture books?

    We chose the best software architecture books based on the following criteria. For best overall, we think Clean Architecture by Robert C. Martin is the way to go. For newbies, we think Just Enough Software Architecture by George Fairbanks is a quality book. And we think Design It! by Michael Keeling is the best value-conscious choice. You can learn about these and other software architecture books in today's article.

  2. Is Clean Architecture by Robert C. Martin worth it?

    Clean Architecture by Robert C. Martin is one of the best software architecture books out there. With over 50 years of experience, he'll show you how to make the best decisions to maximize your success as a software architect. In addition to learning how to address architecture challenges, you'll how to master software design principles. Then you'll learn about programing paradigms and their influence on developer restrictions. You'll also learn how to implement high-level structures for various application types. And perhaps most importantly, you'll learn why architectures go wrong, and how to fix them. Clean Architecture is ideal for aspiring software architects but is also relevant for programmers working with someone else's designs. Learn more about Clean Architecture and other software architecture books in today's post.

  3. Is Fundamentals of Software Architecture by Mark Richards and Neal Ford a good book?

    Fundamentals of Software Architecture was written to help developers transition to the field of software architecture. You'll look at things like architectural characteristics and patterns, component determination, diagramming
    evolutionary architecture, and beyond. In addition, you'll learn about soft skills like how to effectively manage a team and deliver presentations. You'll also learn about software architecture through the eye of an engineer. So you'll focus on repeatable results, concrete valuations, and more. Fundamentals of Software Architecture focuses on modern approaches to engineering practices. You can learn more about Fundamentals of Software Architecture and other software architecture books in today's article.

  4. What is software architecture?

    Software architecture is the discipline of creating software structures and systems. These structures are comprised of software elements that interact with each other in a specific environment. Often times, software architecture includes the evolution of software over time. Tune in to today's article to learn more about software architecture with books and courses.