I've been reading Malcolm Gladwell's latest work, Outliers, which is packed full of interesting observations about people who rose above the rest and achieved incredible success in their respective endeavors.
An interesting point Gladwell makes is that all people successful in their respective fields all have one thing -- just one thing -- in common: they have spent at least 10,000 hours learning and internalizing and perfecting their crafts. That applies to all the top artists, musicians, writers, and IT leaders. (Bill Joy is cited.) They all spent 10,000 hours or more doing what they do, and were born at the right time to have opportunities presented to them.
Okay, are there individuals that have spent at least 10,000 hours at SOA yet? If a hard-working SOA proponent has spent an average of 40 hours a week working with service orientation, that's at least 2,000 hours a year. Thus, someone that has worked a solid five years with SOA is likely to be one heck of an expert by now. And since SOA first emerged on the scene about five years ago, that means some people may have now spent 10,000 hours with the methodology.
Are we starting to see the emergence of a generation of stellar individuals that really understand the strengths and weaknesses of SOA, and know what it takes to move it forward? It seems over the past year there has been a maturity emerging with SOA -- the question is no longer what it is, but how to put it into practice. Experience levels are growing, and we may be reaching the tipping point with SOA know-how.