What do we mean by training?

I was a school teacher for many years so please pardon my bias. Personally I believe training has to do more with the concept of advancement then it does with the concept of maintanence.

Its one thing to maintain a set of specific skills. You study and practice the components of that skill.

I believe training is better linked to the concept of advancement (help me learn a net new skill) then it is to mainanence.

The net new skills you grow are what help you continue to become a professional!


The economy of words

140 characters. The architecture of a small message. SMS, Tweet, condense your thoughts. Make them small. Go ahead – try and use a smaller font. It might buy you more screen real estate – but the reality is you can’t have more than the limit.

You can get around it – jargon and short hand help but again you have to have a common languague for short hand to work.

The economy of words.

There used to be a show on television that asked people to bet on how quickly they could identify a song. I can do it in 3 notes, 2 notes, 1 note. The brevity of words for 140 characters requires an architecture of understanding.

Which is my driving passion. As a former teacher I have long looked at the concept of learning and understanding. They are the same but very different. I can learn mathematics and spit out the results in a rote fashion. But if I understand matematics I can manipulate the numbers world around.

I learn and can recall.

I understand and can change.

That is the Delta. Creating an educational path that drives to the concept of understanding. Twitter is certainly a starting point – reduce the complexity of what you are saying to a small number of characters. Say it with brevity.


The fire that is still burning

Been a fan of the simpsons for a long time. Many interesting views on what is wrong with the solutions of the world we live in.

The tire fire, that has been a staple of the show for most of the time I’ve been watching (I started around season 4 and haven’t really watched all of the old shows) is still burning.

It is a problem without a solution.

As I think through transitional services (and there are new podcasts and a whitepaper coming) the reality for me is that this is not a pile of smoking tires. I will be posting scenario 2, a complete idea with not all of the components built out for improving a traditional business with transitional services. You can find that and much more here:




The concept that is critical for this going forward is the relavence. Its why I started out with a pile of smoking tires that have been burning for at least 10 years. Somethings don’t have solutions that can be implemented effectivly. This is the value proposition of transitional services, looking at old problems from new angles to see if we can solve more effectivly.


More thoughts on transitional services

I have been building out scenario’s for delivering transitional services and looking for a tool that can provide the business rules and quick migration engine that can support the required processes.

So far I’ve found the tool and have built out about 3 solid scenario’s each with several sub parts. I will be publishing those with my whitepaper.

However in the short term I will post them later this week on my podcast at http://docandersen.podbean.com for you to review. The podcast versions don’t have the technology components to the solution but do have all the other moving pieces.


Architects and training

I knew a teacher once who used to say this process (education) would be so much easier if we could cut the tops of their heads off an pour the information in.

There are times as we head down the architect education path that I feel that way as well. Its funny becuase there is so much information about architecture available. From patterns to frameworks and processes its all out there. What is missing (and what I feel like we’ve built in the IASA education program) is the linkage. We are (hopefully) bringing it all together and laying it out as a path and a process for you to work through your skills and improve them.

At least that is the dream and goal. It won’t be perfect for all people (and truly humans and snowflakes are unique) but it is a great compilation that moves us from theory to relaity.



Am I the sum of the ways you can reach me?

  • Cellular phone – I have had one of those on or near me since 1993.
  • Website i’ve had a number over the years. Mostly internal (inside my home firewall) now.
  • Home phone – been the same for ten years now.
  • email (i have several i check – doesn’t everyone)
  • podcast (2)
  • blogs (2 or 3 pending what you count as a blog)

But am I the sum of these pieces?

Am I the compilation of the components you use to reach me? Am I the architected nexus of these devices?  The sum of the parts? The parts of the whole? Can you reach me? Did you try? I left you a voicemail – but did you leave me a voicemail or did you record a message, intended for me on a machine that knows who I am?

Am I these parts?


Time vs

Time, the great equalizer.

I find that I am losing track of time more and more often as I get older. Time that I used to spend I now struggle to remember where it is. Funny how that works.

Its like rust on a ferris wheel, you don’t really notice the rush until you are 100 feet up in the air – then you realize the darn thing is covered in rust (and creaking).

What about our solutions? Are they covered in rust as well?

Do we look at our deployed solutions from 100 feet up and see if they still hold water? Are they still doing the things we hoped or expected they would do?

Why do project post mortems carry such an onerous repuation (well of course it is post death). They should in fact be the conditions and requirements for v2 of the solution. Solutions that are v1 and die are scary. No one ever wants to replace them (becuase they cost money going in) and IT ends up stuck with a solution that isn’t working – and really can’t be fixed without a complete overhaul.

It makes migrations insane. When in reality migrations should simply be turn off the old, turn on the new, sync and run. Mobile phone companies get this (even allowing you to carry a set of numbers from phone to phone on your SIM).


Process and Procedure

I have a dear friend who works as an architect for a large company. I won’t say what industry as that would be a dead give away. We talk frequently and during those conversations we often drift into a process and procedure conversation.

When you have been friends with someone for a long time (more than 10 years in this case) you stop worrying about the “building” friendship rules (keep it light, keep it simple don’t stress your new friend out) and get right to the meat of issues that you are facing. Long term friends are people you can share the issues with an not be concerned that they will freak out.

In this case he was talking to the various issues of process and procedure for deploying new solutions in the place where he works. Overhead that when added into the overall solution increases the cost by 20% or more beyond what it probably should cost.

Interesting that in that scenario they use outside consultants to avoid the 20% internal hit – getting the solution faster even though they may pay more initially for an external consultant. It is the easiest way for them to avoid the processes and procedures that slow solution development down.

What in effect has happened is that the process and procedures have actually caused the solution to die.

Interesting problem to have to solve, and of course my friend (being brilliant) came up with a great “work around.” But my mind drifts to the question “why not kill the process” rather than work around it.

It seems to me right now that busineses and IT are locked in a battle. The battle isn’t one that should exist. In fact I think the time has come for IT and the Business to partner in the simplification process.

Overall it is not that hard to remove processes and procedures that are barriers. In fact, my recommendation to most organizations would be to allow for rapid prototyping of solutions to see if the value is in affect and effect what they were requiring.

Its fall, change is in the air. So let’s let change happen in IT!


Sense and sensibility

Of course spelling is not my strong suit 🙂

Today is question day, no answers just questions:

  1. Is there a logical reason why patterns remain the focus for Archtiects?
  2. We’ve seen SaaS and SOA rise recently, what’s next?
  3. What’s so extreme about agile programing?
  4. The answers to the problem are often lost in the details of the reality arond you, why is that?
  5. How many licks to the center of a tootsie pop?
  6. How long before someone who isn’t doing their job, destroys the job they aren’t doing?
  7. How can  you win an award, while being told to never come back to one of your companies largest customers?


Mobilty, is it truly ready?

We were waiting in the car yesterday as it was raining. I wanted to know what the forecast for the rest of the day (and possbily the week) would be. I loaded my mobile weather channel application and in the short time it took to load I could tell there was bad weather coming.

Personally I am a weather junkie. I have a weather station at home and often pay attention to the weather for a variety of reasons. That truly amazed me however.

So I started thinking about the impact these mobile applications could have on my dream “transitional Services”. Moiblity where you remove the impact of replications becomes a critical application. A replication engine that is selective makes the process even stronger. Are mobile applications ready?