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IT Architecture as a profession – how the CAEAP is driving forward June 5, 2010

Posted by Chris Eaton in architecture, CAEAP, EA, Enterprise Architecture, profession.
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Lawyers, doctors, accountants and building architects are a profession – when you employ someone from one of these professions (a professional) you expect a certain level of skill proven by education and examination as well as a high level of accountability that their work will be to a high standard and will keep you on the right side of the law.
Calling yourself a lawyer or doctor, etc. is a protected term in many countries because the public automatically trust people who use these titles.

Personally i am highly in favour of protecting the term Architect, in the IT sense of it, to those who people who truly are Architects proven through qualification – hence i have taken just about every architect qualification i have found

One of the biggest challenges in my mind is:
what is an IT architect?
what do they do and produce?
what education and qualification is needed to prove you are an architect?

the sheer breadth of IT software, hardware, methods, business applicability and pace of change within all of these facets makes an IT qualification look out of date very quickly

However, the Center for Advancement of the Enterprise Architecture Profession (CAEAP) is trying very hard to define what the IT Architecture profession should look like
They are taking ideas like the Doctors hippocratic oath and creating Enterprise Architect version of this.

Today I received a notification of their latest deliverable – the Professional Practice Guide This attempts to define, at a high level, the expectations of someone calling themselves an Enterprise Architect and what the public might expect from an Enterprise Architect. This document is worth a look. It is a useful first step and there is more to do

There is not yet a statement about what an Enterprise Architect is, or is not, there are certainly lots of people using this title and in my experience you cannot be certain about what skills they have

There is not yet a statement about what education and qualification is needed to call oneself an Enterprise Architect and no corresponding course, examination or experiential qualification to prove yourself as an Enterprise Architect. CAEAP could do well to start off looking at the Open Group IT Architecture Certification and building on this

IT or Enterprise Architect is not yet a reserved name, i don’t even know how a job title like that achieves reserved status in law? (anyone know?)

not to belittle the efforts the CAEAP are driving in the right direction and every journey starts with a single step…