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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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1 comment so far

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hardware, methods, business applicability and pace of change within all of these facets makes an IT qualification look out of date very quickly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

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useful article on TOGAF certification June 1, 2010

Posted by Chris Eaton in EA, Enterprise Architecture.
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3 comments

useful article on where to find the base materials for TOGAF certification

http://certification.8-c.org/where-to-get-materials-for-the-togaf-from/

TOGAF 9 Certification Multiple Choice Questions August 24, 2009

Posted by Chris Eaton in Uncategorized.
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76 comments

there has been a lot of requests for TOGAF 9 questions so here is a set I made up for the multiple choice sections of the Certification and Bridging exams. I have not taken the exam yet but i have seen some of the example test papers

download the sample questions

*** update*** download the TOGAF 9 part 2 exam examples – these are the scenario questions
enjoy!

*** update *** I just posted an updated version of the questions following excellent feedback from Yuriy pointing out an error or two!

I should be taking the exam myself in the next couple of weeks, just as soon as our overdue baby arrives…

Whats the value of TOGAF certification? August 27, 2008

Posted by Chris Eaton in EA, mentoring.
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152 comments

A mentee wrote to me with the following questions on whether TOGAF certification is worthwhile and where it might lead, here is my take on what he asked about…

  • How do I become TOGAF certified?
  • What kind of insight you will be able to give in terms of the Return on investment of TOGAF certification?
  • If I take the TOGAF exam right away what kind of opportunities should I look for and who are the potential employers?
  • At this stage what would my typical work profile be if I get a EA job?

How do I become TOGAF certified?

There are two routes to TOGAF certification, the first is simply to sit the exam, the second is to attend a TOGAF certified course which takes 4 or 5 days to go through all of the TOGAF material and results in certification and there is no exam.  I have TOGAF certification through the course. I have read that the exam is relatively straightforward but like all exams preparation is key and a decent knowledge of TOGAF is needed Take a look at the Open Group website for TOGAF Certification

What kind of insight you will be able to give in terms of the Return on investment of TOGAF certification?

For me TOGAF certification has been a great investment. I achieved certification by taking the certification approved course and I should add that the course was paid for by IBM. My own situation is about to change and I am about to leave IBM to work for another multinational based here in the United Kingdom. My new employer has checked my TOGAF certification credentials and I believe this gives an indication that they considered this very important. I also want to add that holding TOGAF certification alone is not likely to convince a potential employer that you can work as an Enterprise Architect. Some work experience in the Enterprise Architecture area is likely to be very desireable. This leads into the question how do I find my first EA role?  That is a great question, one not easily answered and perhaps the subject for a future post 🙂


If I take the TOGAF exam right away what kind of opportunities should I look for and who are the potential employers?

EA remains a relatively specialised field, it is likely that most work will be with larger organisations. In my mind Enterprise Architecture is very much about the optimisation of available IT spend to ensure that available investment money is directed to strategic IT systems rather than wasting money investing in short term or legacy systems. Larger organisations are more likely to have problems with these aspects of investment since often they have disparate IT offerings and duplicate systems resulting from a lack of coordination across companies and countries or because they are making acquisitions who have made their own IT which may or may not match the IT of the buyer.
In terms of potential employers there is tremendous interest in EA at the moment in all sorts of organisations. You can either look to work directly for organisations like banks, manufacturers, retailer etc, or look for work in an Enterprise Architecture consultancy. If you wanted to move into EA consultancy then most of the large consultancies have EA practices. I know IBM, HP, Cap Gemini all have EA practices and are recruiting at the moment and I am sure there are other smaller or specialised companies in the EA space.

At this stage what would my typical work profile be if I get a EA job?
This is a really good question. EA is very broad in its scope, and the EA means different things to different people and organisations. The major interest area tends to be creating strategic ‘to-be’ architectures which often (always?) includes looking at the as-is architecture and what exists today and making decisions on what the strategic architecture should look like in future. A huge part of EA in general is communicating and selling your ideas and vision.  The main area that I work in is the evaluation of IT offerings against the business processes and business requirements and selecting the strategic applications and middleware to meet those requirements. I would call this Enterprise Application Architect. In my mind there are four technology specialties which coincidently match how TOGAF splits EA into Business, Applications, Infrastructure and Data. In no particular order they are:

  • Enterprise Applications Architect, as described above this looks mainly at creating strategic architectures focussed on software, both applications and integrations
  • Enterprise Infrastructure Architect looking at hardware, networks, operating systems, server locations and capacity etc, and within this further specialization would be Security and Networking.
  • Enterprise Business Architects, looking specifically at business processes design and optimization
  • Enterprise Data Architects looking at data requirements, placement, maintenance and reporting

Deploying or improving governance processes like architecture review boards, IT spend planning and change management is also likely to be part of the work.

So in summary you could be doing anything in the EA space 🙂

looking for mentees July 18, 2008

Posted by Chris Eaton in communications, IT Architecture, mentoring, people, Uncategorized.
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1 comment so far

I am looking to mentor people in IT architecture. Part of the Open Group IT Architect Certification (ITAC) requirements is ‘giveback’ to the profession and mentoring is one of the most important. I have experience as an application, integration and enterprise architect with particular technology experience in SOA and most IBM software

Mentoring is not just about technology, it is also about careers, coaching and soft skills…

I also have quite a few certifications which i can help with too, including TOGAF, ITAC, Sun Enterprise Architect and Project Management Professional

I am also a dab hand at reworking CVs and Resumes…

If you are interested in discussing mentoring please contact me at gruffoot@gmail.com