This week I attended the BCS (British Computer Society, that refers to itself as ‘The Chartered Institute for IT’) ISEB (Information Systems Exam Board) ‘Certificate in Enterprise and Solution Architecture – Intermediate’ four day course and exam. I’ll share my thoughts and impressions of the course and exam.
One the first day my hopes of the week being useful were actually low, as with many of these courses the main purpose was clearly about learning by wrote the facts required to pass the exam. While this did indeed turn out to be true, the course turned out to be a lot more useful than expected.
This was due to a combination of factors;
– the instructor / tutor we had was actually very knowledgeable around the various architecture frameworks / ontologies such as TOGAF and Zachman.
– interaction with peers from a variety of industries and backgrounds. As with any course / conference this is one of the key benefits as it gives you the opportunity to gain a wider viewpoint and see how developers and business analysts etc from different industries view architectures / business issues and what their concerns are.
– As the exams itself is largely about architect roles, frameworks and how they link together the course provides a good insight and overview of some of the most common frameworks and how there different terminologies used relate to each other.
If you want to know more about the course and topics covered, or just gain a greater insight into enterprise and solution architecture terminology then the web sight maintained by our tutor is is a great starting point;
Which also gives a clue as to his name. If you do want to do the course and are UK / London based I’d recommend choosing a course with him instructing if you can, as he has many years experience in IT and the course material. Graham also has some strong ideas and opinions which made for some great classroom debates.
I’d recommend this course to anyone wanting to improve their knowledge of enterprise / solution architecture frameworks, tools and terminology whether this is to aid a career in architecture, or just to better understand the concerns and considerations of the architects you work with. Don’t get me wrong, the overall material is pretty dry as is the case with many courses around frameworks and terminology etc. but overall this course was well worthwhile.
Onto the exam – there is not a lot to say here, it is a one hour, forty question multiple choice affair. If you have paid attention in the class and have a reasonable understanding of the reference model (pdf can be freely downloaded from the BCS web site or use the slides coving it from Graham’s site) , you should find the exam pretty easy, he says not having yet received confirmation of passing it!