Is it time to start professionalizing the emerging field of SOA? Yes, SOA is more of a design philosophy than an actualprofession at this point. But maybe that is the point. Maybe it's time to start building on current work in SOA and Web services to create a more cohesive and capable network of professionals -- albeit one that spans many conventional boundaries.
Anyway, this thought struck me when I got an email from a group sponsoring professional certification for business process management (BPM) practitioners and project managers. BPM is a related field to SOA -- and may offer some useful lessons as we determine how best to build professional leadership,alliances, skills, capabilities and best practices.
In an excellent piece on "SOA governance," ZapThinks Jason Bloomberg introduced us to a range of emerging roles for SOA professionals. He spoke of"domain owners" who manage a set of services "sharing some common business context." He also mentionedroles for"Service-oriented business analysts," "line of business representatives" and "domain developers." But where does one go to learn how to excel in these roles? There are no real associations of any consequence that I know of.
Maybe this is a track to be more aggressively pursued in 2005. But the idea begs some questions: Who would lead? What would they certify? What could we accomplish through professional certification?
Perhaps, there's an even better question to be asked: What do you think? If a Service Oriented Architecture Association (SOAA) was established, what would it have to providetoencourage you to be a member?