Thursday, January 05, 2006
Some may debate that a professional is one who gets paid for whatever they are asked. This of course is a simple explanation that pretty much fits every aspect of society. These folks may be more analogous to a five letter word that starts with the letter W and ends with the letter E.
Here are several questions you should ask yourself to determine if you are a professional:
- Do you keep up with the state of the art instead of merely the state of the competition?
- Do you ever say to your customer: "It's my ethical responsibility to advise you that using this inferior language/portal/ESB/framework/etc will double the time to market?"
- If you work for a software company or insulting firm, do you act as if programming were a profession by seeking written indemnification for working in what you know to be an inferior language?
- Do you ever assess the cost of a project if done using this language/portal/ESB/framework/etc versus that other language?
- Do you ever say "this is a design / modeling job and I'm not qualified to do that" or "this requires expertise which I simply don't have"?
- Do you belong to societies such as the IEEE, ACM, or WWISA which seek to expand the practices within your domain?
Maybe us architects in Fortune 500 enterprises are too busy pontificating about inaccurate building analogies and not thinking about things that matter. Maybe we are too busy being delusional in our belief that we actually understand economics? Maybe someone can tell me if it makes economic sense to have developers bust their butt to overhaul their mind in order to fit a different paradigm...
In the same way, you can't teach an old dog new tricks, you can't teach any of us architects to be professional. For the record, I am an amateur!
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