In light of recent comments made about the underlying validity of software architecture on ZDNetUK, I was interested to chat yesterday with Matt Deacon who is Chair of the UK Chapter of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA UK).
Deacon told me that a newly launched IASA Certified IT Architect (CITA) programme for the UK will now be delivered in partnership with Skills Matter Ltd and in association with Microsoft UK.
I’m not sure whether Microsoft and Skills Matter seem like incongruous partners. After all, Skills Matter describes itself as offering Europe's largest selection of training and events on Open Source technologies and Agile Software Development.
Not exactly Microsoft’s most infamous areas of development are they? No matter, let’s press on.
As IASA is now keen to reaffirm the need for a defined programme of education and certification for IT architects that “scales” worldwide, we must surely recognise the benefits of having some professional credibility measure in this space right?
NB – When they say education that “scales” worldwide, I think they just mean that it should “extend” for global relevance – use of the term “scale” is probably just one of those architect things.
Speaking directly to Deacon, he told me that, “With the need to control costs on one hand and the need to innovate more on the other, the role and importance of the IT architect has never been more clear cut than it is today. As the world becomes ever more globalised and we move ever closer to a multi-sourcing model for IT and business services, the importance of IT architects will only increase.”
Deacon’s concern is that we should we recognise skills where they exist and provide the certification to affirm those abilities. He also wants to provide a clearer channel to develop new architects, so they have a more defined goal to strive towards professionally.
But perhaps more than either of those two factors Deacon said that, “We need to ensure that there is commonality of what one architect is, does or says against another? IASA is key to solving this equation, in providing an independent, local and global body dedicated to representing the profession.”
Skills Matter will be responsible for delivering IASA-Foundation training and will act as a host and reseller for IASA CITA-Professional, which will be retained and managed but the UK IASA organisation itself.
For completeness, let me mention that Deacon works for Microsoft UK who has been a principal sponsor of IASA UK over the past five years, but this certification is internationally recognised and independent.
So, ‘onward and upward’ then as they say in architecture circles! Actually, do they say that? Yeah, they probably do.