Friday, July 13, 2018

Searching For A Decent Job ...

Always looking.

TheHackerCIO is looking for a decent job.


TheHackerCIO just applied for another job. I'm not really in need of a job. I've got plenty of work. Too much work, in fact. But one of my Heros has convinced me, with ample reason, that I should *always* be in search of work. The economy is supposed to be "roaring" right now, if you listen to Fox. But it was fine and wonderful if you listened to the other side of the fence under the previous administrations. But everyone old enough to remember 9/11 knows that the economy has never been "roaring" since. So you have to protect yourself.

My hero spends a couple of hours a day looking for new opportunities! My resolution is not so strong. I only target one per quarter. My rationale is this, now arranged from most to least important.

1. I need to keep my interviewing skills fresh, and having at least one interview per quarter forces me to.
2. I need to keep my resume up to date, and this makes me do it.
3. I have to review technical material in order to be on the top of my game for an interview. Review is always good. And part of career self-development.
4.  Knowing that I have a quarterly quota keeps me looking at industry trends, such as whether an enterprise architect is a thing of the past. (see yesterday's blog posting!)

As a bonus to the active readers from the fans who follow TheHackerCIO, if anyone can figure out why #2 is more important (to me) than #3 -- the *reason*, that is, I'll give you a "shout out" in Monday's followup posting. email me at: thehackercio at gmail dot com.


So I've presented 5 reasons to be always on the look-out for a new job, when you add protecting yourself in an eternally crappy economy to the 4 personal development benefits. It's a pretty compelling case! Overwhelmingly so, actually.

But I saved the best reason for last. It's like your dessert.

It's pretty cynical, I suppose.

As a clue to why I say this ... the image at the top of this post shows a statue of Diogenes the Cynic. He always carries a lamp. Because he's said to have always been "looking for an honest man." He should have met me! I would have told him more truth than he wanted to know -- especially about cynicism. But cynicism is a topic for another day ...

Getting back to work, and looking for it ... and the reason to always do it ...

Frankly, .....

Jobs suck.

It's not that work *has* to suck. Work *can* be good, challenging, fun, and satisfying.

It's not that co-workers *have* to suck. They *can* be intelligent, comprehensible, helpful, and dependable.

It's not that management *has* to suck. Wait, I'm not sure about that one ...

But we all know that (unless you're super lucky) the job you're in right now DOES suck. The work sucks, the people suck, and the managers suck.

But you can't resign yourself to that! To do so, is to give up on life. As Steve Jobs put it in his commencement speech:

You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
I think I've been fairly lucky to be able to recall a few times (maybe three or four years) in my career where I was able to do what I loved and do a great job at it. And I loved it. That time is not now. In fact, that time has not been around for far too many years. This, then, is the MOST COMPELLING reason to NEVER STOP LOOKING for a job. Yeah, I shouted that. It needed shouting.

Don't settle.

Never stop looking for your next job.

I remain,


Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Enterprise Architect Is Dead ... Long Live the Enterprise Architect

I got pinged by a headhunter this week.

They are seeking an Enterprise Architect.

Since I recently vowed to *always* look for a new job, I told them "Sure! I'm interested for the right opportunity and compensation." Then I promised to get an updated resume out by tomorrow. After that, I grabbed a cup of ...

... my favorite beverage during work hours ...

Then I called up my friend and colleague, whose name has been changed to protect his innocence, "T. Mountain", who used to work as an Enterprise Architect for a 6 Billion dollar a year company. And a darn good one, I might add, based upon my personal experience and knowledge of his experience, attainments and manner of working. We had worked together at a brokerage firm many years back. 

I called T. Mountain because I remembered that he had been laid off from, oh what the heck!, the company shouldn't be protected from the guilt of their stupidity! ... He got laid off from Lexis Nexis. When I got T Mountain on the horn, we had the following exchange...

TheHackerCIO: "So tell me, you got the Ax at Lexis right?"

T.Mountain: "Yes, ... actually they eliminated the role."

TheHackerCIO: "What did they say? Was it like, 'So we no longer have an Enterprise and therefore we have no need of an Enterprise Architecture." Or was it, "We no longer desire to pay any attention to architecture, because we'd rather be agile and not plan anything we do."

T.Mountain: "Actually, they kept Domain Architects and Solution Architects. So they just eliminated the Enterprise Architecture role. 

TheHackerCIO: "What is s Domain architect?"

T.Mountain: "They handle a particular subject area domain, so they are kind of technologists who are also SMEs about some aspect of the business."

TheHackerCIO: "I see! So did they say, 'We've decided that we no longer want to have enterprise-wide integration and planning. We want to move back to where each Domain can be a separate, uncoordinated "tower," or "stovepipe," unconnected to any other system in the enterprise. We want to avoid having systems in separate groups aligned to a common strategy or business purpose?"

<laughter on both sides >

T.Mountain: "No, they just said they no longer required the role, but of course what you say is the natural implication of their actions."
TheHackerCIO: "I'm asking you about this partly to laugh about the Dilbertian nature of their stupidity, but also for a serious purpose. I'm applying for a contract as an EA and I thought that those kinds of roles had died. I knew you got axed."

T.Mountain: "Yes, the EA role was eclipsed for a period, but it was a brief cyclical downturn. Many of the people at LexisNexis are upset that we are now gone. And I've seen a lot of resurgence in enterprise architecture demand recently, especially in my LinkedIn searches."

TheHackerCIO: "Well, that's good to know. And of course the key to such a position is that you have to have some power as well as responsibility, or else you can't succeed.

T.Mountain: "That's right. Be sure that your boss has executive sponsorship, so that EA is actually respected and has enough power to actually deliver value. At Lexis this was not the case."

TheHackerCIO: "Of course not."

T.Mountain: "We had the Domain Architects and Solution architects ... they just ignored our direction and suggestions."

TheHackerCIO: "Of course. Thanks for your time ..."

And so, I remain .....