What's the Difference: Solution Architect Vs Software Engineer

Blog / What's the Difference: Solution Architect Vs Software Engineer

table of contents icon

Table of Contents

    Sheraz Sarwar
    Sheraz SarwarMay 25, 2022

    I ensure that our clients & developers are happy as we build exciting products.

    Project managers, business analysts, engineers, compliance experts, and more. Digital health projects are complex operations. So many roles are critical to the success of a project, and each step is important. 

    Each provides an invaluable service within the software development life cycle and ensures the end-user receives a quality and secure product. Within one digital health team, software engineers might be considered the most critical role. Ultimately, without them, the project goes nowhere. 

    Solution Architects and Software Engineers might seem one and the same. After all, they both oversee the build process of a project. However, there are variations in the roles. 

    So what’s the difference? And why is the distinction between the two roles so important?

    What is a Solution Architect?

    Solution architects take on a varied role within the development process. Fundamentally, they might be a software engineer by trade, as this forms a key base for the rest of their role, and helps them to understand the project fully. 

    A solution architect also takes on the role of project manager, researcher, designer, and business analyst. That is to say, they will analyze and understand the project from a variety of angles. They must handle the project from a business perspective, as well as manage the process as a software engineer would. 

    Ultimately, a solution architect role is what it sounds like. They generate the architecture for a project, using their varied understanding of the aims and objectives of the solution. 

    They begin by choosing the right tools, ie languages and platforms, that suit the project. They should overview the project, identify risks and challenges, and organize the project to avoid any problems. They need to understand the project issues, from both an engineering and business point of view. 

    Their organization and architecture efforts need to take into consideration the future of the solution, and how updates will fit into the wider plan. 

    Communication is a critical skill for solution architects. They work closely with most roles within a project, including engineers, project managers, business analysts, and more. 

    What is a Software Engineer?

    Software engineers might be one of the most commonly understood roles within a tech development project. On the surface, they are the people that build the software or solution. 

    Digging further, software engineers might specialize in different areas of development. For instance, they might favor front-end development or back-end development. They might be well equipped in specific coding languages, or focus on mobile app development within their space. 

    There are multiple facets to a software engineer, but ultimately they need to have the knowledge and coding skills to build a tech solution. They need to be able to think on their feet and respond to problems during the development process independently. They are responsible for their specified element within the project. When working within a larger team, they might work to Agile or DevOps requirements. 

    Needless to say, the software engineer is critical for efficient and quality digital health development. 

    What’s the Difference?

    There are clearly overlapping skills between these two roles. Communication is always critical, and they both need to have a firm understanding of the project requirements and engineering skills. They should both be keen problem solvers and pay close attention to details. 

    A solution architect needs to be able to do everything that a software engineer can do, to further their understanding of the project. In many cases, a software engineer might progress into a solutions architect along their career path. The role is certainly an advancement of an engineer's skill set. 

    Ultimately, however, they both serve very different purposes within a digital health project. The software engineer sees the build process through to completion, by using their programming and problem-solving skills. The solution architect creates an overarching plan for the project, to meet clear business goals. A software engineer carries out that plan. 

    In simple terms, the main distinction is that the solution architect manages the big picture, and the software engineer manages the smaller details. 

    solution architect vs software engineer

    Why Your Digital Health Projects Need Both

    Digital health is a challenging tech industry. Requirements are stricter than most, and the final product must meet the needs of the end-user. There’s little room for error, where health is at stake.

    Not only that, but the industry faces challenges in regulatory compliance. The industry is highly regulated, and protecting patient data is a priority. In the digital world, health tech solutions are necessary, but so is the transmission of loads of data, as a result. 

    Software engineers are vital to delivering high-quality, effective, safe, and compliant software solutions. They monitor each stage of the build process, and their attention to detail is critical to ensuring an effective and compliant solution. 

    Solution architects ensure the marketability of your project, as well as its overall completion. They ensure that your solution is right for the market, and make changes accordingly. They generate a project architecture that meets appropriate deadlines and ensures that the end product is what was promised. Without a solution architect, there’s little control over the end result. 

    How to Recruit for your Digital Health Projects

    It’s no secret that recruitment is a serious challenge in today’s digital health industry. There’s a shortage of talent in tech, and the US in particular is battling a labor shortage. Not only that, but the Great Resignation has seen workers’ expectations increase, and job-hopping become the norm.

    Ultimately, most industries are finding it challenging to retain employees. As engineers and developers are so in demand, they can afford to demand higher salaries, specify preferred projects, and expect a better work-life balance. 

    solution architect vs software engineer

    Unfortunately, most digital health projects struggle to meet these expectations. Engineers seek a varied workday and want to continue enhancing their skills. In-house teams cannot offer this. 

    Consider recruiting a digital health development partner instead. Your partner handles recruitment and the challenges associated with it. However, outsourced development companies can offer engineers a variety of projects to focus on, making for a more attractive role. A development partner has access to a wider talent pool and can offer a series of experts for your projects, according to your requirements. 

    At Vertrical, we have teams of digital health specialists available to staff engineering roles within your latest project. We can provide compliance experts, software engineers, solution architects, and more so that you don’t have to worry about retaining employees in a challenging job market. Instead, you can focus on your project and growth potential. Get in touch with us today to staff your digital health project.


    You may also like

    Hiring & Culture
    Nils Widal

    The Benefits of Offshore Web Development

    Offshore outsourcing is considered risky in the world of digital health development projects. However, it...

    Nils WidalMay 19, 2022
    Hiring & Culture
    Nils Widal

    How to Source IT Engineers for your Digital Health Projects

    The IT recruitment market is challenging. Post-COVID, more people were leaving their jobs than ever befor...

    Nils WidalApril 29, 2022
    Hiring & Culture
    Nils Widal

    Hire Remote Developers for your Digital Health Solutions

    Digital health is a growing industry. The COVID pandemic meant that the world had to find new ways to rec...

    Nils WidalApril 27, 2022


    facebook share
    facebook share
    facebook share
    facebook share
    facebook share