Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Enterprise Architecture and Career Planning

So, what do I want to be when I grow up?

Before heading off to school, my older son commented on what he wanted to be when he grew up. His current thinking is he wants to be CEO of a food company as he understands at an early age that everyone around him is fat and getting fatter and that selling to them is easy. He of course asked me about my plans of which I didn't have a good answer and therefore spent some time thinking about it.

The funny thing is that I am happy with what I am currently doing and not only wouldn't want to change anything but wouldn't want anything to change. This doesn't mean I don't have aspirations like everyone else, but I guess the vast majority of them don't really have anything to do with work. At some level, I guess my career planning has a strong element of work/life balance so I can focus on things more important than money.

I do however see myself being the CTO of a mid-sized technology firm (around 500 employees) in the next ten years where I can leverage my background to help change how software is fundamentally built. The one thing that I have concluded is that as much as I enjoy Enterprise Architecture, I don't want my next position to be the same as what I am currently doing.

Part of my aspiration isn't around innovation but invention. I need to invent new things, create intellectual property on an extreme scale and most importantly prove to myself that I have what it takes to be better than others in the technology ecosystem. Innovation is the application of novel ideas using existing inventions which is what Enterprise Architecture tends to focus on. I think I have had consumed enough and need a change of diet.

Fifteen years from now, I do see ending my career by becoming an industry analyst. The thought of working from home and periodically travelling to industry conferences in cool destinations such as San Francisco, Orlando and London is appealing. More importantly, the ability to have conversations with Enterprise Architects from diverse companies and backgrounds is of even more interest to me. My ideal situation would be to either work for the Burton Group or RedMonk when they purchase Gartner and make it more open...

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