Presenting at conferences…

James McGovern asks why more enterprise architects aren’t speaking at industry conferences? As an enterprise architect who has presented at an industry conference, I offer the following opinions:

  • As James suggests, the conference chairs don’t have a good network of practitioners. I established my contacts not through my employer, but through participation in the online community on my own time. Those enterprise architects that don’t do this go unknown. I, like James, would love to see more participation from our peers.
  • On the other side of the equation are the enterprise architects themselves. Rightly so, their primary interests are in helping their company. Their thought leadership needs to be directed internally, first. This is the same reason why you’re far more likely to see a vendor, consultant, or analyst quoted in the press than an enterprise architect or other corporate practitioner. Unless you happen to be one of the lucky few who work at a company with a very liberal external communications policy, it can be very difficult to get approval for outside communications.

I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak at industry conferences in the past, and in the future. I am a strong proponent of giving in order to receive. The more willing I am to share my knowledge, the more likely people will open up to me and share their own knowledge. I’m of the opinion that most companies have people just as smart or even smarter than myself, and therefore, that means they’re probably thinking about many of the same things that I am, at least from a technology perspective. It’s not a competitive advantage situation if we’re simply discussing the merits of open source software versus commercial software; Java, C#, and Ruby; etc.

2 Responses to “Presenting at conferences…”

  • Sadly, many enterprise architects have never even considered making an effort to change their company’s external communications policies. Enterprises can no longer be insular…

  • Administrator:

    Well said. I’ve always had the attitude that the worst thing they can say is no. If you don’t ask, there’s no chance at all that they’ll say yes. The hard part is in justifying benefits that are hard to quantify, however, there’s usually someone in the enterprise who has been part of industry peer groups and can vouch for the benefits.

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This blog represents my own personal views, and not those of my employer or any third party. Any use of the material in articles, whitepapers, blogs, etc. must be attributed to me alone without any reference to my employer. Use of my employers name is NOT authorized.