Name: Austin Hubert, CEA
Alumni member since 2013.
Question #1: When did you get your CEA certification? Which program FEA(F) or DODAF?
March 2013. DODAF.
Question #2: Please give a brief description of the work you are doing now.
I am supporting the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity (MCTSSA) at Camp Pendleton. I am working on a System of System technical study. A system design view using tailored views within the DODAF framework. Created views specific to customer needs to help relay their needs. I’m working with several different organizations within the Marine Corps. The views help to give others an idea of what is going in different tests within the laboratory and sync the efforts occurring around the United States. My job is helping to document the information, ideas and concepts that often existing in the minds of others to create views and models to help communicate this across to other stakeholders.
Question #3: How has learning Enterprise Architecture shaped your thinking?
EA has taught me to be more flexible than I might be if I were looking at strictly compliance. I understand how to translate between engineer, the manager and the headquarter commander without sacrificing their knowledge through the use of Enterprise Architecture views.
I am more patient in gathering information and how to use it in shaping the views I am required to put together. I’m more flexible in my approach in diagraming and creating a use case that reflects the customers desires.
EA has changed my life. I view so many things differently. Talking with John A Zachman recently has also shaped how I view things and increased my interest in the various applications of EA.
Question #4: What types of continuing education activities do you engage in to further your EA skills?
I am looking at different frameworks, in particular Zachman as well TOGAF. The reason is because the contracting community can be a fickle environment. I need to be able to talk with different groups of clients. Knowing these different Frameworks and applications of EA helps me in my own business acumen. I find myself being able to translate between the business and IT lexicon.
I have not done any other formal courses. Most of my education is self-study. When you go to college you learn how to learn. I continue to build upon my knowledge on my own, but also look forward to taking some formal Certification courses.
Question #5: What advice would you offer to other EAs looking to advance their careers?
Learn and know the frameworks. Be flexible in the use of the frameworks. Understand the whole range of the views and products. You have to keep the client’s needs in mind at all times. You have to translate EA jargon into the client’s needs . You need to keep the client happy.
You need to be flexible, but you also need to share your knowledge. Everything you touch is going to impact some other area. Teaching and growth cannot happen if you are closed off. Not one framework is the end all, be all to everything.
Question #6: What do you see as one of the challenges facing Enterprise Architects in the work place?
I think people are afraid of EA. It means change, but it also means coming to a consensus about efficiency. A lot of folks are not interested in efficiency, they view it as the possible loss of a job. The language and the concepts are not really understood. Sometimes people have their shields up and are not accepting of outside ideas or concepts. The challenge is that an EA needs to be open to the reality that not a lot of people understand the concepts. They need to know the requirement for EA, but more importantly they need to understand how to be flexible with the frameworks and views in order to communicate clearly. EA need to understand how to tailor views by borrowing from other frameworks.
It goes back to understanding a variety of frameworks. We need to know how to express different concepts between frameworks. Not just focus on strict compliance. Don’t be overly rigid. Give the customer the ability to communicate. Without that they may not be able to use the finished product and it ends up being shelfware.
Question #7: If you could pick one superhero power, what would it be and why?
The Flash. I appreciate the need for speed. With speed comes a knowledge about time and the ability to alter it.
Question #8: What do think are important characteristics for an EA to possess?
Flexibility, patience, and speed with accuracy. Those things help you deal with change. You need to be able to communicate to include the ability to translate what the customer is telling you. One of the things I love about EA is that you have to be adaptable.
Question #9: Is there anything you want to share with the community of Enterprise Architects?
EA’s should definitely and wholeheartedly believe in their craft. They need to maintain the ability to communicate the value of their knowledge. They need to be confident in your academic knowledge and overall experience, and in turn be able to communicate that.
Don’t just throw the EA lexicon at the customer. Translate that it into terms that communicate with the customer. Don’t water down the concepts, but instead be able to talk to them in direct terms. Explain to them in a manner that gets your point across, without over powering them. Help the customer understand the language of EA while letting them know that you understand what they want. We have to be a translator and make our customers feel comfortable.