Enterprise Initiatives

This blog focuses on Enterprise IT topics such as Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio Management, Change Management, Business Process Management, and recaps various technology events and news.

I just realized that I wrote my first blog post over a year ago on March 18, 2007. Since one of my main reasons for blogging is to share my lessons learned, why not share what I learned my first year blogging? Last year I wrote a post called Why I started blogging and mentioned these benefits...

...I have benefited from it in many ways:
  1. It has taught me how to write better.
  2. It forces me to research topics thoroughly.
  3. I have built a network with some top notch people in the industry.
  4. It allows folks at my work to see what my thoughts are on different topics (I lead the architect group)
  5. I get feedback (good & bad) on my thoughts and opinions.
  6. I am able to see other point of views. People tend to challenge ideas more readily in blogs then they would face to face.
  7. Most importantly, I learn from other people's experiences
Now after a year worth of writing, I believe that this was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my career. Not only have I increased my knowledge of enterprise architecture, SOA, open source, and other areas of interest, I now have a tremendous network of experts in various fields across the globe. Prior to blogging, most of my research came from books, conferences, and magazines. As I have mentioned in the past, books become outdated and conferences and magazines are usually influenced by vendors and/or people without hands on experience. There is nothing better then collaborating with real architects like Nick Malik, Todd Biske, and Eric Roch. If you want to know how stuff really works, read their blogs. I was so impressed with Eric Roch's knowledge of SOA that we hired him and his team to help us implement SOA.

I have also started building great working relationships with various thought leaders in the world of SOA. We had Jason Bloomberg from Zapthink come in for an excellent 4-day boot camp (see recap here) and I am presenting at Zapthink's Practical SOA event on the 25th. We also had testing expert Randy Rice come in for a 3-day training session on SOA testing. Having smart people like Eric, Jason, Randy, and Ron Schmelzer and Dave Linthicum of Zapthink in your network can only help.

Another great benefit I have received from blogging is being able to show case my thoughts and improve my product (me) in a very competitive world. I have had so many people reach out to me for interviews, job offers, advice, or to simply discuss certain topics. Scores of people have invited me to their LinkedIn network or have subscribed to my blog. All of these people in my network present countless opportunities to help in my career. These people may wind up assisting on one of my projects, collaborate on ideas that may help me solve a problem, or present me with an opportunity that could help me meet my career goals.

Another benefit of blogging is that I have gained a huge competitive advantage on my competition. People with similar career aspirations who don't write and/or read blogs will fall further and further behind those of us who are learning and collaborating daily with some of the smartest technologists in the world. Also, blogging has turned me on to numerous types of Web 2.0 technologies like wikis, social networks, Twitter, and all kinds of other innovative tools. I believe that the more in touch a person from my generation (born in '65) is the more prepared that person will be to lead the younger generation as they enter the work force.

And finally, blogging has kept me from becoming complacent. I have been at the same company for almost 13 years. It would be real easy to get complacent and only focus on the technologies that are currently in house. Before I started blogging I was not investing anywhere near the amount of time I spend now researching various technologies. The best part about it is that it is fun and is not a burden like reading book after book. The beauty of a good blog, whether you are writing it or reading it, is that it is short and to the point and you don't have to invest hours on it like you do with books.

So my big lesson learned after my first year is that blogging is a great way to get connected with the world, improve your product, and stay current in technology. And if you are good and attract some traffic, you can even get paid (Thanks ITToolbox)!


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"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there"

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