What’s the difference between a Janitor and an Enterprise Architect?

“What’s the difference between a janitor and an enterprise architect? If the janitor stops doing his job, eventually someone will notice.”

“EA’s are the guys who program in PowerPoint."

“We’re okay now, we just hired a TOGAF certified architect as our EA”.

The last one is certainly the biggest joke of the three. I must commend the entrepreneurial spirit of some training vendors though. I recently saw the following statement in an advertisement for a 4-day long TOGAF certification course. “Become an architect in 4-days for $X,XXX!”. TOGAF has improved, expanded and updated on Zachman, is relevant to SOA. complementary to others and is a worthwhile investment of an extra-long weekend for some. It does not however make you an architect. So the people who walk up to me and say “Hi , I’m Jim, I’m TOGAF certified” I think they are a little confused.  What I heard when they said that was “Hi , I’m Jim, I went on a 4-day course recently”. It really didn’t impress me and I always ask them if their course was at least in a tropical location. A quizzical look normally follows.

Now the course is good, some of the TOGAF masters I have met actually deserve to be called that but the certification means you took the course and passed. That’s all.

So I have decided to start a new certification process. It is the “Best Architecture Reference Evaluated Last Years” certification, so architects can be BARELY qualified.

Now this approach has two benefits.

1) For prospective clients it provides some sense that an architect has been evaluated by their peers, has actually done some real architecture work (other than on a 4-day course) and it is current (last few years).

2) It’s funny.

  • “Hi, I’m Chris. I’m BARELY qualified for this position.”.
  • “we’re looking for candidates that are BARELY qualified” ,
  • “applicants that are BARELY qualified are preferred”

Track record is what counts. I think a certification process that reviews your work, reviews the results of your work, reviews the business benefits of your work might be a more valuable certification. Maybe you could be BARELY qualified too. You’ll get a cool logo for your business card too!


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1 Response to What’s the difference between a Janitor and an Enterprise Architect?

  1. Pingback: Infinite Shades of Grey – A year later and a little greyer | Infinite Shades of Grey

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