December 19, 2005

SOA Certification

Now that it's announced, I feel I can reveal one of several things I've been working on at BEA for the past several weeks: BEA's SOA Enterprise Architecture certification, particularly phase 2, which should be available at the end of December.

A number of people, including David Linthicum have suggested there should be some kind of SOA architecture certification, and have been publicly debating the kinds of questions it would ask. Well, here are the exam objectives. I welcome comments.

My perspective behind the exam: BEA's interest is in promoting SOA as an IT strategy; certainly software-as-a-service has a broader implication on the consumer and social realms, but we sell "bet your business" infrastructure to would-be service providers and existing IT shops, and have a large installed base both on Tuxedo and WebLogic. So, while we believe in Web 2.0 and SaaS and all the changes to the industry it's bringing, we're biased towards a practical, results-oriented method to adopt SOA in existing organizations, not green-field startups. We want to certify architects that have a broad and deep view of the terrain.

The certification is not about understanding BEA's products, and we never mention any. We use industry neutral terminology, though of course BEA has its own dialect of this terminology, such as referring to SOA-enabling stacks as "service infrastructure", for example. The certification is about understanding both the business, process, and technology ramifications of services, and especially being able to understand the practical ways in which to move a legacy IT base towards SOA. The kind of candidate we're looking for is someone who will help guide an SOA transformation program at an enterprise (for phase 2) and someone who intends to lead an SOA transformation program (for phase 3). And yes, there hopefully will be more collateral (study guides, papers, etc.) in support of this certification in the coming weeks.

Anyway, take a look, I think it's a unique take on the challenge of SOA.

Posted by stu at December 19, 2005 04:30 PM