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EA Certification

The EA (and SOA) training and certification courses will surely help, won't they? 
A few companies offer training and certification courses, but did they really help you with the EA job? The test would obviously be to ask a certified architect to design, plan and coordinate the implementation of an Enterprise Architecture. I guess you know the results. 

These courses could be also quite extensive (more than ten days) and expensive (more than $10,000). 

EA certification attempting to fill the gap to an experienced IT professional, quite frequently does not provide a clear EA framework to guide the development work. And it does not provide guidelines or templates for business, information... architectures. 

An Enterprise Architect needs to understand at least the EA IT layers not to mention the business architecture concepts and strategy. 
As such all these IT layers (applications, information, technology) are typically presented extensively in a training course. You will see long chapters about network, DB, server technologies, type of applications etc. 
Is that what you expected? It depends where you stand. If you don't have experience in IT that may be your need. But as a chartered IT professional aspiring towards an EA role, you would not need this, but the knowledge that differentiates and IT from an EA architect: an EA framework, metamodel, method and business concepts as Value Chains, Business Models, Business Process Maps... 

I would say that a true Enterprise Architect needs to understand a business operation and the framework connecting the layers and its navigation, rather than the layers in detail. 

Does training and certification provide the Enterprise Architect with a practical framework to design or lead the implementation of an Enterprise Architecture? Most probably not since it is not an objective of certification to design an EA framework but to teach and explain the existing ones. 

If such an EA framework is not provided, training and certification courses do not really guarantee the ability of the EA architect to deliver an EA. 


I found that people graduating from certification courses were unable to define what Enterprise Architecture (EA) is. Well that is the root problem, isn't it? How do you certify someone for something you can't properly define? Let's not accuse the newly certified alone. Asked an EA architect then. You shouldn't be surprised to discover that some don't have a clue. 

I make a distinction between EA training and certification. While any sort of EA training may be all right for a starter, one would only be certified for a particular method anyway. And there are many. In fact most true EA architects build their own because the existing "frameworks" are rather incomplete. For instance: 

* Zachman is only a mere taxonomy or ontology, if you listen to a self assessment. That is, it is not really a framework. It doesn't give a structure for the Enterprise or a method to transform it. 
* TOGAF is an (IT) development process framework if you really insist to call it a framework. It addresses a program management rather than architecture audience. As a process without a structure, it does not really guarantee a result. 

It might be worth getting trained in abbreviated courses but the certification what is it worth? If all you are after is a job solely, then do it because some jobs descriptions require it. But they won't help you do the job. As in most cases your manager does not know what to expect then that may be OK. You should deliver large and great documents full of side knowledge. Everybody does that. Nobody uses the documents afterwards because they are just a collections of observations, facts, methods, disclaimers, quotes... 

Assuming that one is trained, the new EA architect has to browse now EA books (each and everyone is different, do we really write about the same thing?) and articles, stay put in the EA community, publish own view, and do work, eventually as a consultant to learn that each assignment is different. 

And after all, anyone who pays becomes a certified EA architect. That shows in our EA groups discussions. This is why we have so many EA architects and so few Enterprise Architectures with so much secrecy surrounding them. 

How do you distingusigh the real EA architect? First you know what you want, and compare to what EA can do. EA is a set of integrated blueprints. That is what your architect should generate. Stakeholders then would use them for their own purposes. Just ask the question: what are you going to deliver? If the answer is long and circuitous then you surely found a certified EA architect. 
But convince me otherwise. 

EA means more Business Architecture nowadays but certifications are still IT based. 

Nevertheless, if you work for the US government, for instance, there is sense in being certified in their method, FEA.