Just saw the above job ad from my linkedin feed and this one talks about the company needing a security with a T skill profile. Meaning have deep dive skills in one or two areas and broad based skills in other areas. Togaf that way has been mixed and matched with other architect skills like Security , Infra , Business , Data , Domain , Functional , Technology architecture domains. This helps a professional have a broad based skill or outlook when they reach a certain career progression path. So one typically gets into the question of what is needed to be an architect . Here is a link on what would be needed to become a good architect for the ones who may want to make that career progression. Steps to transition into an architect path .
The ancient definition of an architect was that he/she should be a many of letters , arts , science , literature , music , architecture ( building / landscape ) etc. Meaning that you should be a Da Vinci to really have that title. But it is not that bad if you are planning to become a solution , IT or enterprise architect. As we all can’t be Da Vinci’s to fill that slot.
Kiran , so if you are wanting to make that transition happen or be exposed to that body of knowledge to help you with having an architect’s mindset then Togaf comes to the rescue.
Mind you it is not really needed to have a certification to become a good architect. But certifications expose one to a body of knowledge that companies and peers value. You may possess this knowledge by virtue of being in a certain role or vantage point in a company.
Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success. Scott Adams
I had given my car for a service recently and it so happened that I was driving it around the city for couple of days post the service. Was getting a wobbling feeling on the left front wheel of the vehicle it then occurred to me that there could be something that could be a problem on that side of the wheel.Took the vehicle back to the car clinic only to find that the wheel post service as fixed back in place using only two nuts out of the four . It was lucky to have noticed it at least at that point of time. Did advice the floor manager to put back the wheel tightening part in the vehicle checklist before commissioning the vehicle that it is fit for the roads. It was an eye opener for the importance of having set rules and checklist for anything in your life , be it planning a trip with friends and family , checking items off your to do list or even it that means delivering software or architecture the right way. A checklist’s value is immense and is only known when you have missed something in the case of the car the crucial wheel nuts itself . As we could see that the lynch pin if it goes missing then it can be life threatening. Similar is the case with creating a product or a service , it can be mission critical if you miss that important nut or bolt that shall latch the end product.
Let’s us look at the above process which is detailed as a part of the Open Group Togaf which talks about creating an architecture compliance review process . As you can see the whole process starts off by having an architecture lead who leads the process and continues the whole chain of activities in between looks at a checklist to see all the nuts and bolts are in place and tight.
So What can be few of the checklist
- Hardware and Operating System Checklist
- How does the system design impact or involve end-user devices?
- What is the quantity and distribution (regional and global) of usage, data storage, and processing?
- What applications are affinitized with your project by similarities in data, application services, etc.? To what degree is data affinitized with your project?
- Software Services and Middleware Checklist
- Applications Checklist
- Security Scrutiny Checklist
- System Engineering Methods and Tools Checklist.
- Application Integration Checklist….etc
So what is your story around checklist . We all agree that they are the must have in an software professional’s toolkit.
This is to bring to your notice that elearning for Togaf has been introduced by Eturnti . This helps you stay where you are and learn Togaf almost like a classroom. You can pause when you get busy or want to take a break and come back to it when ready. This is also useful if you are on the go , traveling and catch up the learnings on your journey from anywhere.
The highlights of the elearning are as below.
Taught by an experienced faculty two decades of IT experience with plenty of real world use cases thrown in to complement and facilitate easy learning.
- A blackboard in the background which gives you the feel for how the training shall actual look like an classroom session with plenty of scribbling on the powerpoint screen using an electronic pen.
- Post the training can clarify the doubts related to the concepts by means of a skype session or google hangouts.
- Enough practice sessions to get a feel for the actual exams using the mock tests provided by the Open group.
- We understand people can’t always make it to a classroom, so we have leveraged virtual technologies, to extend the classroom to you – at your workplace or home to provide you with the same feel.Attend TOGAF Trainings from anywhere with self-paced eLearning sessions. Key Features of the Online Self-Paced Training
- Similar to a classroom based training except that the material will be presented over recorded video sessions. The class is made quite interactive using bamboo presenter as an illustrator which gives the classboard feel with scribbling where appropriate.
- All students will be provided with URL information, to link to the self-paced eLearning class that they have signed up for, a mail with the user id and password unique to each registered candidate shall be sent on registration confirmation.
- The candidates are encouraged to make notes of the training and if there are doubts check with the trainer by means of a pre agreed / scheduled skype session.
- The material of the course (hard copy) shall be mailed to the folks attending the course and a full ebook of the TOGAF 9.1 body of knowledge shall be mailed to the course attendees.
- Tea/coffee/bio/ session breaks are at the disposal of the candidate. Having said this the candidate shall be provided a login access for initial period of six months and renewed later.
Pre Requisites for attending the Self-Paced Elearning
People attending the training need to have a decent internet connection to be able to access the materials.
A case study will be running throughout the course to co relate the concepts with real life examples , interspersed with puzzles , crosswords and quizzes apart from time boxed activity sessions to reiterate the learning during the sessions and make way for enhanced learning experience.
Clarifications on Concepts:
Post the self-paced learning or in-between the course if the candidate has any queries regarding the concepts then a mail could be sent to email@example.com to schedule a skype or google hangout session with the trainer from Eturnti Enterprise Consulting at a convenient time for both parties.
- Hard copy of the training material shall be couriered to the physical location of the candidate.
- Entire Togaf 9.1 BOK in e-book format ( 692 pages – pdf ) shall be provided. ( shared on a google drive )
- Course Examination Voucher for taking up the certification exam is included. This shall be ordered from the Open Group and the test can be taken from any Pearson Vue center anywhere in the world. The course Voucher has a one year validity from the date of issue.
- Mock tests provided by Open Group are included. ( shared on a google drive )
- Additional pdfs and related material for preparation. ( shared on a google drive )
- Post training any kind of support needed on clarification of concepts shall be provided by means of a skype or google hangout call.
- A whole lot of live practical examples from the industry shall augment the learnings and reinforce the concepts learnt. This is introduced in the content to enable easy understanding of the concepts.
Terms and Conditions :
This topic came to my mind while I was chatting with my cousin over the weekend who was presenting on this topic as a part of the CII ( Confederation of India Industry ) conference. He works for a mechanical company and was to present the business benefits in his company. They had optimized their existing set of process to reduce the cycle time of churning new products. They had mapped their existing process structure from the point where the raw materials are procured to the place where they undergo various levels of transformation / integration to finally give that polished output. This happens as a part of various business process work flows. He had his presentation ready and was to explain how useful this technique is for extracting maximum enterprise value in an organization.
What does Value Stream mean to an architect ?
A value chain diagram provides a high-level orientation view of an enterprise and how it interacts with the outside world. The purpose of this diagram is to quickly on-board and align stakeholders for a particular change initiative, so that all participants understand the high-level functional and organizational context of the architecture engagement.
Porter’s Value Chain analysis is used to develop a focus on those activities within your Company that significantly add value and thus give you a competitive edge. For instance, if your team is very good at analysis and design such that you can define and bound a problem better than anyone else in the world, you could put in a process to continually implement new design and analysis methods and disseminate that throughout the organization so that you are always the best. And you can lead with that in your marketing efforts by calling that out as a “feature” and highlighting the benefits to the customer of lower development cost, more robust solutions, etc. Value Chain Analysis is a way to get at your key competencies which create differentiated products and services.
Although the above diagram can look like more of an MBA kind of material trying to unify the business problem and the IT solutions to plug the same. As you progress in your careers you are expected to understand both the business and the IT sides of the equation well and this is a useful tool to help one with the mental model for the same. This is very useful in getting discussions started with the customer and quite handy during consulting and internal process revamp exercises.
As far as architects are concerned their efforts should be focused on activities that bring the highest business value to the organization and the customer. This needs them to understand in the sense of what constitutes primary and secondary activities that bring value to the end customer. Once this is understood the organization can pull the strings in the right direction and focus its efforts in the right direction. Here is leaving you with a brief intro video on what is value chain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8p2H7EvoGM.
This week here is sending you some thoughts on whether an architect needs to be a specialist or a generalist as one progress along the career path.
Specialists increase the depth of small ideas. Generalists connect small ideas into bigger ideas. We need them both to advance as a species. – Kenneth @leadershipABC
We need to know that an architect is support to have a lot of skills under his belt . An with the onslaught of technology changes every passing day. It is like changing the tires when the vehicle itself is going through an overall. An architect is supposed to be good at one or more skills and tech stacks . He needs to have full stack experience and should have handled at two end to end project in his lifetime meaning he saw the product or the solution go from concept to cash . This means that he was involved in every aspect of the delivery from start to finish and involved in all areas of the design , development and test and finally solutioning. All of this is still ok but what about the changing nature of the tech landscape and how does one keep pace with changing parts of the puzzle. The ancient greek definition of Architect meant that he was a man of words , arts , literature , interested in music and a tinkerer of sorts. All that we can think of someone who would fit that profile would a Da Vinci. Given the work pressures we all know how difficult it is to be someone of that level. It takes effort and years of practice to reach or play at that level.
But what is expected of an architect as he progress in his career path is that he should have broad experience in many areas of work and deep dive experience in one or two of them . This does not need us to be Da Vinci and looks like an within reach target. What are the skills that you felt inadequate to turn into a Senior IT professional ?