Most Frequently Asked Software Architect Interview Questions and Answers

Most Frequently Asked Software Architect Interview Questions and Answers

24 Jun 2024
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Software Architect Interview Questions

Do you want to lead a technical team of software developers? Are you skilled in system design and programming languages? Can you design and implement complex projects? If yes, you may be looking for such opportunities. But let me tell you that though you may be well-versed in all the technicalities of system design, you can't exactly navigate the interview process for such an important role. You need a one-stop solution for all your queries and doubts.

To help you out, we're here with the most awaited Software Architect Interview Questions and Answers for beginners. In this Design Patterns tutorial, we'll cover all the important questions that can be asked in your interview as a fresher software architect. While preparing for your Software Architect interview, do keep these questions along with you to keep your interview preparation on track.

1. What do you know about a software architect?

A software architect is a technical person responsible for designing the overall structure of software applications. He ensures that the application is well-designed, technically sound, and aligned with the business and end-user requirements. A software architect is both a technical and a business leader.

He's a master of software engineering principles, programming languages, software design patterns, and system architecture. They have a good amount of experience in software development before becoming a software architect.

2. What does a software architect do?

  • Gathers functional and non-functional requirements
  • Choosing the relevant technology stack for the project
  • Estimating development time
  • Delivering a high-level architectural design
  • Communicating business requirements, criteria, and needs to software development teams
  • Distribution of the tasks to development team members
  • Researching and evaluating technical standards
  • Testing project code segments and checking for errors during quality assurance periods
  • Supervising in the deployment stage.

3. What are the technical skill requirements of a software architect?

  • Systems Design and Architecture

    He must understand how to apply design patterns such as Singleton, Factory, Observer, and Strategy. He must have knowledge of architectural styles like Microservices, Monolithic, SOA, Event-Driven, and Layered Architecture.

  • Programming Languages and Frameworks

    He is an expert in programming languages like Java, C#, Python, etc. Frameworks make development easy and feature-rich. A software architect must be aware of the application of popular frameworks and libraries in various projects. The trending frameworks and libraries are Django, .NET, Spring, Angular, React, etc.

  • Development Practices

    Must understand Agile methodologies and have experience using Scrum or Kanban. Implement DevOps practices, CI/CD pipelines, and containerization using Docker or Kubernetes.

  • Cloud Computing

    Understanding of cloud-native architecture and experience with cloud technologies like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.

  • Testing and QA

    Experience with automated testing tools and frameworks. Understanding of the best practices for ensuring quality standards.

  • Version Control

    A version control system enhances project speed by allowing developers to interact, preventing errors, and recovering the code if an accident occurs. A software architect must be proficient in using version control systems like Git and GitHub.

  • Security and Compliance

    Implementation of authentication, authorization, encryption, and secure coding. Knowledge of regulatory standards and compliance requirements.

4. What do you mean by the term SOLID?

SOLID is the acronym for the five design principles in the field of object-oriented design. They are:

  • S- single responsibility principle
  • O- open-closed principle
  • L- Liskov Substitution principle
  • I- interface segregation principle
  • D- dependency
Read More: SOLID Principles In C#

5. Any idea regarding the KISS principle used in designing?

KISS stands for Keep it Simple, Stupid.

According to this principle, strive for simplicity while designing your website or building any product. It is very easy to complicate things but very difficult to simplify them. Ex: You must have observed that Apple products are very easy to operate for any type of user. This is because they pay attention to simplicity and user-friendly interfaces.

6. Explain Microservices architecture.

In this architecture, a large and complex application is structured as a collection of loosely coupled and independently deployable services. These services are designed to perform a specific task and communicate with each other using well-defined APIs.

Advantages of Microservices Architecture

  • Higher scalability
  • Flexibility for developers to use different technologies for different services
  • Highly resilient
  • Small code base
  • A single team can build, test, and deploy
  • Increases agility

Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture

  • System design complexity
  • Complexity in interservice communication
  • Testing is difficult
Read More: What are Microservices? Advantages and Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture

7. What is the single responsibility principle?

This principle states that a class should have one and only one responsibility. There should not be more than one reason for a class to change. SRP makes the classes compact and neat where each one is responsible for a single problem, task, or concern.

8. Explain the DRY principle.

DRY stands for "Don't Repeat Yourself". According to the DRY principle, every discrete chunk of knowledge should have only one, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system. Functions, classes, and modules should be made reusable.

Read More: Different Types of Software Design Principles

9. What is parallelism in system design?

Parallel computing, or parallelism, is a computing architecture that divides a problem into smaller tasks and runs them concurrently. It can process multiple tasks simultaneously in large-scale applications. You can create responsive, capable of handling higher loads, and scalable to meet growing demands.

10. What is coupling in software architecture?

Coupling measures the extent of software modules' dependence on each other. For low-coupled classes, changing something major in one class should not affect the other. High coupling would make it difficult to change and maintain your code; since classes are closely knit together, making a change could require an entire system revamp. A good software design has low coupling.

11. Differentiate cohesion from coupling.

Differentiate cohesion from coupling.

CohesionCoupling
It is the degree to which the elements inside a module belong together.It is the degree of interdependence between the modules
Depicts the relationship within the moduleDepicts the relationships between modules.
High cohesion is goodLow coupling is good
Cohesion represents the functional strength of modules. coupling represents the independence among modules
the module focuses on a single thingmodules are connected to the other modules

12. What is session affinity?

Session affinity is a system design strategy used in load balancing. It ensures that all requests from a specific user during a session are directed to the same server. Session affinity is also referred to as session persistence, server affinity, server persistence, or server sticky.

 What is session affinity?

This maintains the continuity of user experience. It is particularly helpful for applications storing session-specific data. For applications that require stateful interactions, session affinity ensures that critical session data is not lost or corrupted due to switching between servers.

13. Explain fault tolerance.

Fault tolerance in system design is the ability of a system (computer, network, cloud cluster, etc.) to continue operating without interruption when one or more of its components fail. It is the linchpin of system reliability. Rather than preventing failures, fault tolerance focuses on minimizing their impact.

Explain fault tolerance.

14. Describe load balancing.

Load balancing distributes incoming network traffic across multiple resources, ensuring high availability and reliability by sending requests only to online resources.

Describe load balancing.

A load balancer is placed in front of the servers, and routes client requests across all servers capable of fulfilling those requests in a manner that maximizes speed and capacity utilization. This ensures that no single server is overworked, which could degrade performance. If a single server goes down, the load balancer redirects traffic to the remaining online servers. When a new server is added to the server group, the load balancer automatically starts sending requests to it.

15. What do you understand by high availability?

High availability refers to a system's ability to remain operational and accessible even during failures or disruptions. It's measured in terms of uptime, i.e., the ratio of time that a system is operational to the total time it is supposed to be operational. It ensures that users can access the system without significant interruptions or downtime.

To achieve high availability, various strategies, such as redundancy, load balancing, failover clustering, distributed data storage, health monitoring, regular system maintenance and updates, and geographic distribution, are followed.

16. What is concurrency?

Concurrency is the ability of a system to execute multiple instruction sequences simultaneously. In order to achieve concurrency, tasks must be able to share resources without interfering with each other.

What is concurrency?

You can implement concurrency in two ways:

  1. Process-Based Concurrency: Each process has its own address space and can, therefore, run on a separate processor without competing for resources with other processes.
  2. Thread-Based Concurrency: Threads here share the same address space and can, therefore, communicate directly with each other without incurring the overhead of interprocess communication.

17. What is the CAP theorem?

What is the CAP theorem?

The CAP theorem defines the challenges faced in distributed systems, focusing on three fundamental attributes

  1. Consistency: All nodes in the system see the same data at the same time.
  2. Availability: Every request receives a response, which is not guaranteed to contain the most recent version of the information.
  3. Partition Tolerance: The system continues to operate despite network partitions that prevent communication between some nodes.

18. What are the differences between monolithic and microservices architecture?

ParametersMonolithic Architecture Microservice Architecture
Basic It is built as one large system and is usually one code-base It is built as a small independent module based on business functionality
Scale It is not easy to scale based on demand It is easy to scale based on demand.
Database It has a shared database Each project and module has its own database
Deployment A large code base makes IDE slow and build time increase. Each project is independent and small in size. So overall build and development time gets decreased.
Tightly Coupled and Loosely coupled It is extremely difficult to change technology or language or framework because everything is tightly coupled and depends on each other Easy to change technology or framework because every module and project is independent
Fault Tolerance The entire application may fail if a part fails Individual services can fail without affecting others
MaintenanceEasier to maintain due to its simplicityRequires more effort to manage multiple services
TechnologyLimited technology choicesFreedom to choose the best technology for each service

19. What is an elastic system?

Elasticity means a system's ability to handle an increase or decrease in workload without performance degradation. An elastic system dynamically adjusts its resource allocation in response to changing demands. The system automatically scales up or down based on workload fluctuations, user demand, or performance requirements.

There are two design approaches for ensuring elastic systems:

  1. Static Provisioning: It involves manually provisioning the resources that will be needed to meet peak demands.
  2. Dynamic Provisioning: It involves using automation to dynamically provision the resources that are needed to meet changing demands.

20. What is clustering?

 What is clustering?

A computer cluster is a group of two or more computers, or nodes, running parallel to achieve a common goal. This allows workloads consisting of a high number of individual, parallelizable tasks to be distributed among the nodes in the cluster. The tasks can use the combined memory and processing power of each computer to increase overall performance. The cluster behaves as a single system.

For cluster formation, multiple nodes should be connected to a network to enable internode communication. The software can then be used to join the nodes together and form a cluster. It may have a shared storage device and/or local storage on each node. In the cluster, at least one node is designated as the leader node that acts as the entry point to the cluster. The leader node may be responsible for delegating incoming work to the other nodes and, if necessary, aggregating the results and returning a response to the user.

21. What are threads?

A thread is nothing but a lightweight subprocess. It has a different path of execution, runs in a different stack frame, can contain multiple threads, and shares the same memory space.

22. What are the differentiating points between clustering and load balancing?

ClusteringLoad Balancing
It combines multiple servers or resources to work together as a single unitIt distributes incoming network traffic evenly across multiple servers or resources
The goal of clustering is to enhance scalability, reliability, and fault tolerance. The goal is to optimize resource utilization, improve performance, and ensure high availability
operates at the system levelworks at the network or application layer
implemented through clustering software or middleware that manages the clustercan be implemented using hardware load balancers or software-based load-balancing algorithms
offers vertical scalability by adding more powerful servers or resources to handle increased demands.Provides horizontal scalability by adding more servers or resources to handle increased traffic.
Can redistribute workloads if a node fails or becomes unresponsive.Can automatically route traffic away from failed or overloaded components.
Requires shared storage or shared databases among the clustered nodes.Does not require shared storage among the load-balanced servers
Less costlyMore costly
Hard to manage and maintain Easy to manage and maintain

23. Explain deadlock.

Deadlock occurs when each process holds a resource and waits for resources held by other waiting processes. No processes are executed, causing a pause in program execution and breaking the code at runtime.

Explain deadlock.

There are four necessary conditions for a deadlock to occur:

  • Mutual Exclusion: No resource sharing among the different processes at the same time
  • Hold and Wait: A process is holding at least one resource and waiting for resources.
  • No Preemption: A resource cannot be taken from a process unless the process releases it.
  • Circular Wait: A set of processes waiting for each other in circular form.

24. What is a livelock?

A Livelock condition occurs when a request for an exclusive lock is repeatedly denied, as many overlapping shared locks keep interfering with each other. The processes keep changing their status, further preventing them from completing the task.

What is a livelock?

In the above figure, both processes, “process 1” and “process 2,” need a common resource. Each process checks whether the other process is in an active state. If so, it hands over the resource to the other process. However, as both processes are in active status, they keep on handing over the resources to each other indefinitely.

25. What is eventual consistency?

Eventual consistency is a consistency model in which a system eventually becomes consistent but may not always be consistent. For example, if you make a change to a database, it may not be immediately visible to all system users. But after waiting for enough time, all users will eventually see the change.

Eventual consistency allows systems to achieve high throughput at the expense of consistency.

26. What is smoke testing?

What is smoke testing?

Smoke testing is a type of software testing performed at the beginning of the development process to fix any major issues with the software before more detailed testing is performed. It's also known as “Build Verification Testing” or “Build Acceptance Testing". It is so-called because it is a mini and quick regression test of major functionalities. It gives a quality check for the quality assurance team so that they can proceed with further testing.

Smoke testing saves time and resources on extensive testing if major functions aren't working properly. It reduces the risk of failure.

27. Explain the term, responsive design.

It is a method of making your webpage or website compatible with the display on any device, whether a desktop, phone or even a smartwatch. It tries to make the site easy to navigate with a minimum of scrolling, panning, and resizing across all devices. React, Angular, etc., are some of the popular frameworks for building such designs.

28. What are the types of software design patterns?

There are three types of software design patterns:

  1. Creational Design Pattern: The object generation mechanism is seen by the JavaScript Creational Design Pattern. They aim to make items that are appropriate for a certain scenario.
  2. Structural Design Pattern: This pattern explains how the classes and objects we've generated so far can be combined to construct bigger frameworks. It defines a straightforward way to create relationships between items, making it easier to do so.
  3. Behavioral Design Pattern: It highlights the patterns of communication between objects in JavaScript, allowing greater freedom in communication.
Read More: Gang of Four Design Patterns

29. What is GOD class, and why should it be avoided?

A god class is a software development anti-pattern. It is also known as a giant class or a monolithic class. A GOD class violates the Single Responsibility Principle. Such classes become large and complex, take up a lot of opportunities, and perform unrelated tasks. They tend to be highly coupled to other classes and become a central hub for the entire system. This can make the codebase difficult to understand, maintain, and extend.

30. What is the Chain of Responsibility Pattern?

The chain of responsibility pattern is used to process a list or chain of various types of requests, each of which may be handled by a different handler. This pattern decouples the sender and receiver of a request based on the type of request.

What is the Chain of Responsibility Pattern?

In this pattern, normally, each receiver (handler) contains a reference to another receiver. If one receiver cannot handle the request, it passes it to the next receiver, and so on.

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Summary

Software architecture is a vast topic. It's much more than software or web development. If you want to reach the position of a software architect, take a good amount of expertise in your development job. Along with your job work start learning the system design seriously. Try to develop the architecture of small projects to get hands-on experience. Self-learning along with certifications like .NET Solution Architect Certification Training, Software Architecture, and Design Training, and these interview questions will make you a suitable candidate for the coveted job role.

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About Author
Shailendra Chauhan (Microsoft MVP, Founder & CEO at Scholarhat by DotNetTricks)

Shailendra Chauhan is the Founder and CEO at ScholarHat by DotNetTricks which is a brand when it comes to e-Learning. He provides training and consultation over an array of technologies like Cloud, .NET, Angular, React, Node, Microservices, Containers and Mobile Apps development. He has been awarded Microsoft MVP 8th time in a row (2016-2023). He has changed many lives with his writings and unique training programs. He has a number of most sought-after books to his name which has helped job aspirants in cracking tough interviews with ease.
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