all bits considered data to information to knowledge

31Jul/120

TOGAF 9 Advanced Bridge Exam

Last week I took - and passed - the TOGAF 9 advanced Bridge Exam :)

Here are my two cents  I can share (without breaking the NDA every candidate must agree to at the beginning of the test):

  • the main thing to keep in mind when preparing for the test is that Enterprise Architecture is NOT about building better IT systems, it is about helping to build coherent Enterprises. The TOGAF four architectural domains - business, application, information and technology - come together to support business objectives, not technology ones.
  • The exam has two sections: one is testing candidate's knowledge of the basic concepts and terminology, and the other presenting a plausible scenarios, and asking the candidate to point out the most appropriate one. The passing grade is 60%, and one must score at or above this grade on both sections...There is ample time to finish the exam - that is, if you know your stuff
  • This is an open book test but it won't help to come up with answers even for the first section, leave alone the second one. Besides the TOGAF 9 manual I highly recommend purchasing sample questions/scenarios from the TOGAF bookstore at nominal fee ($3.95); the next best thing are samples prepared by Chris Eaton; safely ignore everything else that pops up when you search the Net on "OG0-9AB sample questions" - these are worse than useless.

Good luck!

16Jul/122

DEC: Sic transit gloria mundi

I haven't given much thought to DEC/Digital ever since I had interviewed with the company back in 1990s (no, didn't get the job); then a brief schadenfreude moment  in 1998 when I've learned the company was sold to Compaq (which, incidentally, I was consulting for at the time), and then once more - when a (t)rusty VAX/VMS system was migrated to Solaris in yet another company I used to work for..

Until an article has been brought recently to my attention that summarizes the company's path in a single page, with a few links to DEC PDP manuals (hosted, ironically, by Microsoft research) as well as computerHistory.org where more comprehensive information can be found. The company had pioneered many a breakthrough in technology before fading into oblivion during what was arguably the golden age of the Internet - roaring 90s...

Historians have been pondering on what makes for a long-lived organization - be it a business entity, political or religious one - since the beginning of the time, always armed with 20/20 hindsight vision. Yet the formula remains elusive.

What was it: close-mindedness? laurel-resting or "too-busy-sawing" syndromes? ossified management? all of the above?

Victot Hugo is often quoted about power of "the idea whose time has come"; is there a penalty exacted for the ideas that were ahead of their times? Like Digg (a more dramatic fall than even Friendster or MySpace) who pioneered most of the Facebook concepts - the latter has valuation upward of 100 billions while the former was just recently sold for $500K (likely just a tad above costs of its office furniture and computers)...

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15Jul/120

Retina tracking BI: consent is not required

Business Intelligence quickly moves past analyzing our conscious responses... it is after what you really think - not what you report thinking.  Forget polls and questionnaires - the best data is collected from the subjects not even aware of the process. Take the heat-map generated by Unilever analyzing shoppers eye movements... or compare designs produced in0house with these vetted by consumers subconsciously preferring one shape over another...

No consent required - the very fact that you stepped into the store (or visited an online site)  implies that the retailer is free to track your every movement, or ambush you with colors, music or odors designed to induce specific behavior.  I could easily imagine a system tracking reaction on images of politicians, say, Romney and Obama; I bet it would be a much better indication of voting patterns than old-fashioned door-to-door pollsters - and also would open a giant can of worms on invasion of privacy issues...

Where  do we draw the line in legitimate use of data?

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