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Showing posts from May, 2016

Architecture Training

Earlier this month, I spent a week on a BCS training course.  This combined two three-day courses on the topic of Enterprise and Solution Architecture – the first course being Intermediate level and the second Practitioner level. Both courses had an exam on the Friday afternoon.  This is the first time that I’ve taken an exam in almost 30 years!  I was quite tense.  The outcome is not actually that important (hardly comparable to my son's Advanced Highers which determine University entry), but I still wanted to do well.

The intermediate course covered the range of enterprise architecture: business, applications, data and infrastructure, as well as solutions architecture.  With such a breadth, it didn’t have time for much depth, but did present some useful ideas and concepts.  The terminology and structure was given in the BCS “reference model” (really more of a glossary than a full model), which is different in detail to more widely-used frameworks such as TOGAF.

By contrast, the pr…

User Experience and Architecture

Architecture descriptions tend to be dry and technical-looking affairs, with pictures of structure and process flow.  I’m pleased to say that we are seizing an opportunity to present a much more visual explanation of what our target architecture will mean for our users, particularly for our students.

For the last couple of months, we’ve had usability consultants on site working with our students and staff to review the “online experience” that students receive from university systems.  They presented their findings last week, including an outline proposal for a better approach.

To no-one's surprise, the mirror they held up to us showed a rather fragmented set of systems, with unhelpful names, instructions that were often unclear, different versions of the same information, important e-mails buried among less important information, inconsistent look-and-feel, and so forth.  The details of their report are fascinating but far too long for this blog.

What is relevant here is that t…