June, 2008

Blog - About

About Architecture & Stuff

I thought that I would start off by introducing myself and letting you know a little bit about what I will be focusing in future posts.

My name is Bill Zack and I am an Architect Evangelist in the Developer & Platform Evangelism group at Microsoft.  Although I live in Connecticut I am based out of Microsoft's New York office.  I have written a few books and assorted magazine articles. Most recently I was a contributing author to the book Programming SQL Server 2005. I currently focus on presenting on the architecture of current and future Microsoft technologies at Microsoft events.

I am also pretty active in the area user group community, both as a user group leader and as a supporter of the local user groups.  Before I joined Microsoft I founded several user groups myself including the New York Enterprise Windows User Group and the New York City .NET Developers Group which I currently still run together with several other community leaders. I also founded the New York City Chapter of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA) and am on their International Board of Directors.  I started these groups before I joined Microsoft and still do run them even though I have "swallowed the blue pill". In fact my stock answer to people who asked me why I joined Microsoft is "I have been an unpaid evangelist for Microsoft for over 15 years.  I just decided that it was time I got paid." :-)

And that brings me to the focus of my blog.  There are two things that I am passionate about 1) Solving interesting architectural problems using Microsoft (and other) technologies, and 2) Helping to legitimize the IT Architecture Profession. My posts will probably alternate between the technical issues that confront Architects and the issues that affect the IT Architecture Profession as a whole.  The later will include topics such as: What is the difference between an Architect and a Developer? (And yes I have heard the joke: "about 10K a year"  That's not it. :-)); how does a Developer who aspires to become an Architect map out a career path to get there and what skills does an Architect have to have?  Indeed helping Aspiring Architects (and Developers) advance their careers is why I started the IASA chapter and this whole user group thing in the first place.

More to come later.

  • Architecture & Stuff

    What topics are architects interested in?

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    We recently held a New York IASA chapter  planning session to determine the topics that the chapter members are most interested in having covered at future meetings.  We did a brainstorming session with about 25 of our members that resulted...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    The New York City IASA Chapter Membership

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    As some of you may know, in addition to working for Microsoft I also run the New York City chapter of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA).  IASA is a vendor-neutral association of/for/by IT architects all over the world. The...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Microsoft Aspiring Architect Webcast Series 2008

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    Last year Microsoft held a Web Cast series for aspiring architects that was attended by over 1200 individuals and covered a number of strategies that can help developers and IT professionals to transition to the architect roles. The Aspiring Architect...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    IT Architect Regional Conference in New York a Major Success

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    On May 22nd and 23rd  the New York chapter of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA) held its first annual two-day IT Architect Regional Conference .  This event received the highest rating of any conference run by IASA...
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