Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

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sksbog
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:14 pm

Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by sksbog » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:47 pm

Hello Bogleheads,

I have been in IT all my life, starting from a developer.
Now in mid forties and stumbled into EA from a re-organization. Been in this field for the last 7 years.
This level, still is individual contributor, but considered as senior management level. Of course, the money is more than technical architects.

I have also observed that, EA is a shared services organization and very low recogonization of hard work. More emphasis is given to organization that implements the vision created by EA. I like the end-to-end view of enterprise IT systems.
But at the same time, insecurity kicks in as to I am not hands-on with IT systems and eventually will be out of touch.


Would appreciate your perspective, who are in IT and how do you see your career growing.

Thanks

Soon2BXProgrammer
Posts: 445
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:30 pm

Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:03 pm

some people at my megacorp really like EA... and others view it as purgatory. personally i'm more in the later category.

I did my year in EA. Now i'm back to delivery.

stan1
Posts: 5899
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by stan1 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:08 pm

My simple advice in IT is to move around and be recognized as an expert in many areas. Specialization today leads to obsolescence tomorrow. You want to be known as the person who picks things up, gets them done, and then moves onto the next big problem (whatever that is). That's how you show your value compared to the other people you work with who are undoubtedly younger and more expert in specific technologies. EA may get you into retirement but it may not.

KlangFool
Posts: 10190
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by KlangFool » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:20 pm

OP,

1) Can you find the next job as Enterprise Architect?

2) How could someone outside your organization (aka future employer) know that you are a good EA? What is your industry-recognized credential?

3) Do you know the customer/industry well enough that you could be hired by someone else for other Enterprises in this industry?

4) Are you horizontal or vertical?

A) Horizontal aka technology/area specific

B) Vertical -> Industry-specific but not technology specific.

5) Do you network outside of your current employer?

KlangFool

sksbog
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:14 pm

Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by sksbog » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:58 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:20 pm
OP,

1) Can you find the next job as Enterprise Architect?

I am not confident. have TOGAF certification, but really feel its not of much sought for anymore.

2) How could someone outside your organization (aka future employer) know that you are a good EA? What is your industry-recognized credential?

none

3) Do you know the customer/industry well enough that you could be hired by someone else for other Enterprises in this industry?

no

4) Are you horizontal or vertical?

A) Horizontal aka technology/area specific

I used to be. not anymore.

B) Vertical -> Industry-specific but not technology specific.

I used to be. not anymore.

5) Do you network outside of your current employer?

sometimes.

KlangFool

KlangFool
Posts: 10190
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by KlangFool » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:27 pm

sksbog wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:58 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:20 pm
OP,

1) Can you find the next job as Enterprise Architect?

I am not confident. have TOGAF certification, but really feel its not of much sought for anymore.

2) How could someone outside your organization (aka future employer) know that you are a good EA? What is your industry-recognized credential?

none

3) Do you know the customer/industry well enough that you could be hired by someone else for other Enterprises in this industry?

no

4) Are you horizontal or vertical?

A) Horizontal aka technology/area specific

I used to be. not anymore.

B) Vertical -> Industry-specific but not technology specific.

I used to be. not anymore.

5) Do you network outside of your current employer?

sometimes.

KlangFool
sksbog,

1) Once upon a time, I read an article from "VAR Business Review". It coined the phrase "Next Job Security". You have job security if you can find the next job.

2) The other choice is to be Financially Independent (FI). Then, you do not need any job.

3) The third choice is the concept of skill/capability inventory. Fundamentally, what are you capable of?

A) Can you sell?

B) Do you know database/data structure?

C) Do you know Hadoop/Cassandra/Container aka cloud computing?

D) Do you know cloud networking?

E) Are you certified to be AWS Solution Architect? Or, Microsoft Azure?

Check out:

www.asktheheadhunter.com

4) I wish I have a straightforward answer for you. But, you should not be defined by the job/role that you have now. You should be defined by your skill and capability. The problem is in some cases if EA is no longer the place for you, you need to translate/map your capability/skill to a new area. As in the askheadhunter web site, you need to show your future employer how you can do the future job. If you can do that, you can move from one place to another.

KlangFool

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LiveSimple
Posts: 1067
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:55 am

Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by LiveSimple » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:47 pm

EA role us business focus, so when you do 20% technical stuff, the other 80% is relationship build8nf and championing emerging technologies to enhance business.

If you are using EA internal facing into the IT organization, you will become more obsolete, quickly.

I know EA, calling themselves as business architectures, and work with business defining the next wave of business technical transformations.

I know EA who sit in review meeting and ask the ask question or clarification, over and over.

So you choose ?

Can you become a CTO ?

Freelance in the evening and keep your hands on skills.

gotester2000
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:59 am

Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by gotester2000 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:44 pm

I was an architect - certification can get you in the door only,but you need to have passion,leadership and managment skills to sustain and make it big. Architecture comes by years of designing and building code experience - not through certification or reading books. EA is no magic pill for your career.
I was helping pre sales and delivery as well. After a long time,I realized that I have lost passion for this stuff and the work stress started to have an impact on my health and family. I was FI and broke the bond. Now enjoying casual work but looking for something regular in a functional role.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by ClevrChico » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:13 am

I think cloud/agile teams will be more in control and design than architects in the near future. A simple script can get them near limitless cloud resources and technology today, requiring no high level coordination or complex planning. And they can tear it all down and change technology just as easily.

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Watty
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Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by Watty » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:32 am

sksbog wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:47 pm
Now in mid forties.......

Would appreciate your perspective, who are in IT and how do you see your career growing.
I retired out of corporate IT a few years ago. My position was a lot different since I was a software developer/software support person.

I worked for a good size company with around a hundred people in the IT department. There were lots of mergers over the years but the company has been around in one form or another for at least 50 years. The amazing thing is that I was the first person to actually voluntarily retire out of the IT department. Over the years the other older workers has all be laid off whenever there were layoffs or forced out. This included managers since there were management shake ups about every five years or so.

I retired just before I turned 59 and for at least the last ten years my company and industry specific knowledge was a lot more valuable to the company than my technical skills. No one is indispensable but keeping me around was the easiest path for the company. I could have probably kept my job for at least another five years if I wanted to.

Part of that may have been specific to my company but if you have not been to many retirement lunches for people in your IT department then you should thinking about if you could retire early in your 50's if you needed to.

carolinaman
Posts: 3252
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by carolinaman » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:38 am

EA can be an important function within a large organization and those that are good at it (many have limitations and are not effective in the role) are quite valuable. It is hard to say what upward opportunities there are for you in that role without knowing more about your organization. If it were me, I would be looking for a management role either within IT or the business that allows future growth and opportunities.

In a business downturn, positions like yours are more vulnerable because a) they are higher cost, and b) the benefits are longer term, meaning the business can do without for some period of time. Also, some businesses do not fully understand or value this function.

Best wishes.

Elysium
Posts: 1252
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:22 pm

Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by Elysium » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:29 am

There is no such thing as building a career upon any specific technology oriented title or function within IT. If you are on to Project Management there is a career to build on, and it is a one way street, no going back. Technology architecture and delivery on the other hand will keep you employed as long as you have the skills and ability to transition into various roles depending on the demands on the origanization. You would need to be willing to learn all the time, and fliexible enough to transition in and out of roles. There is no hanging your hat on any particular role forever, that will only lead to getting purged from the organization eventually. The most important thing for anyone in IT is to become financially independant by the time you hit 50, so that every year after that you are employed is a bonus. The reality is that even the most established and well entrenched technology careers get derailed after age of 50. The exception is always IT management, who gets to stay on and manage people and projects.

quietseas
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:43 pm

Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

Post by quietseas » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:50 am

carolinaman wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:38 am
In a business downturn, positions like yours are more vulnerable because a) they are higher cost, and b) the benefits are longer term, meaning the business can do without for some period of time. Also, some businesses do not fully understand or value this function.
This would be my worry. When they rack and stack what must be done, what's nice to have, and what's not needed you may find your position in the bottom two and they may not reassign you to duties in the "must have" category especially if your pay is high compared to others. If your company has tied the EA job function is tied to statutory or regulatory compliance such as HIPAA, FDA, or SOX you might be a little better off but at this point those requirements have been around for a long time so they are implemented and in an upgrade and monitor mode until the law or policy changes.

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