- Written by Jeff Summers Jeff Summers
As a child, I was not what you would call a perfect student. It would seem I was always in trouble. It was not that I went looking for trouble, it just seemed to find me. A lot of it stemmed from the fact that school came very easy for me. At one point, I was tested only to find out that I was gifted, borderline genius. From that point, I was treated differently in school. I was given extra assignments and workload to try and keep my mind occupied. I should have felt picked on since I was doing more work than the other kids. Instead, I took it as an opportunity and accepted these challenges. This personality trait has followed me throughout my life. Today, this behavior expresses itself through acquired skills. I am constantly trying to challenge myself by learning new skills.
Web development has become my passion. It started as a curiosity as I began to surf the web. Instead of taking content for face value, I was instead interested in seeing what was under the covers. I began dissecting pages to determine how they were made. This led to me learning HTML. Soon that was not enough and I began to try and determine how to introduce graphic elements into content seamlessly. This led to an understanding of graphic design and PhotoShop. Then I began to become interested in web traffic patterns. I began to study network and packet analysis using tools such as Network General's Sniffer and Novell's LANalyzer. This in turn led me to develop skills in network architecture.
I have always had an interest in strategic planning and attempting to predict how technology will fit into future organizational goals. In my career, I have had some success in predicting how these two sometimes dissimilar realms can be brought together. Given this skill, I have found it invaluable for project management. It has allowed me to anticipate how technology will change and therefore how these challenges can be mitigated to minimize the disruption to the project. Based upon my experiences, I have developed a methodology that can be used for implementing technology into an organization through a repeatable process.
As I began studying technology architecture I read through theories such as the works of John Zachman and others. I also studied the TOGAF methodology to identify how they may be implemented into both a new and existing organizational structure. Through this work I've developed a methodology that takes the principles described by Zachman and establishes centers of influence that encompass functional disciplines. This has been used to create an overreaching architectural framework capable of assisting an organization develop technology roadmaps that are tied to business objectives without the overhead of an Enterprise Architecture model.