Friday, September 29, 2006
So you want to become an Enterprise Architect?
What future do you think enterprise architects have? What do you want that future for yourself? Have you acknowledged your own self-worth as a human on this planet earth? You are the most important consideration in making the choice to become an enterprise architect where everything else is secondary.
Do you like listening to the advice of others? Yes, acknowledge upfront that the vast majority of advice you will receive is of questionable quality. The worst and best advice usually comes from those who have been in IT for 30+ years. While I tend to refer to these folks as dinosaurs, they have something to say and more importantly you need to listen.
In my travels, I have met COBOL developers who have had one years of experience twenty times but haven't met an architect who has spent a lot of time repeating the same mistakes that developers do. The most difficult part of being an architect is the human aspects of technology (understanding people and their unstated desires).
Of course you understand the importance of people, then process, then tools in that order but you also need to figure out what tools you will keep in your toolbox. Don't attempt to beg, borrow and steal the tools of others as they may be of questionable quality.
Whenever you run across an HR-type pitching logically flawed notions such as competencies, run in the opposite direction. Everyone is weak at something so focusing on this will only handcuff your progress. Instead, focus on areas of strengths.
To be a good architect, you need to have skills in the following areas:
- Don't talk about paradigm shifts, but instead ensure that shift happens
- Lots of folks have knowledge but don't know how to apply it.
- Know when to hush your mouth
- You need some aptitude in technical matters. You don't need to be the best developer, merely competent
- Only say things that can be heard