I'm in sunny San Diego for the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit. I'm presenting a sponsor session and case study tomorrow (MSFT is a platinum sponsor for the event) but I came in yesterday so I could attend a few sessions, meet a few customers and work the MS booth in the Solution Showcase. It's my last event and deliverable for my old team before switching to the new role full time.
The first of two keynotes today was Richard Buchanan's session on The New Enterprise Architecture: Time for Leadership. Pretty decent session, though much of it was pretty obvious. He even said at one point that this was "Strategic Enterprise Planning 101". Not exactly the best way to kick of an EA summit, IMHO. However, he did make some interesting points:
The second keynote was Werner Vogels talk Order in the Chaos: Building the Amazon.com Platform. This was a great talk. I know a little about how Amazon has evolved, but I had no idea that it powered websites like Target and Bebe. His talk was a little scattered - I'm guessing he's not as used to speaking at events like this than the Gartner folks. There's no way to do the talk justice without basically repeating it verbatim, but my key takeaways were:
The final session I went to today was Nick Gall on Architecture for the Agile Enterprise: Integrating EA & SOA. The use of the term "agile" in this context was unfortunate, as he had no discussion of agile principles. He primarily focused on what he called Web Oriented Architecture or WOA. His formula for WOA was 'WOA = SOA + WWW + REST" which seems redundant. Isn't REST an attempt to capture the architectural style of the WWW? Anyway, this session wasn't very good. He had about 15 minutes of really good content but you had to wade thru the other 45 minutes of crap to find it. For example, he spent about ten minutes talking about the value of using a small set common modular operations (i.e. the REST / WS-Transfer approach) before he used this great analogy:
Modularity can be open or closed. Closed modularity is like a jigsaw puzzle. There are lots of individual pieces, but they can only be put together one way. Open modularity is like a tangram puzzle. There are only seven pieces, but they can be put together in hundreds of different combinations.
That was a great analogy that really got the point across! Why not just start with that and skip the mumbo jumbo?
I missed the last session as I had to prep for booth duty. Even though this audience is very different from a typical MSFT event like TechEd, they still mobbed the booth for swag and a chance to win an Xbox 360. I had a few interesting architectural discussion, but mostly it was about the swag.
My session is tomorrow at 11am. I'm presenting Beyond SOA and a case study session on the Dell Integrated Desktop . Then there's two more hours of booth duty tomorrow, but I'm hoping it's more content and less swag this time as 1) I will have just presented so I'm hoping to get some questions and 2) everyone has already gotten their swag ration for the conference.