(prompted by discussions of ethics)
Many people claim to be IT professionals. Most Enterprise Architects I have met see themselves as IT professionals. It always makes me wonder what they mean by the word professional.
The word comes from "profession" in the sense of a public declaration, such as an oath -- so the word had an ethical sense from the start. In most of the traditional professions this was intended as a guarantee that the professional (priest, lawyer, doctor, etc.) would act according to a code of ethics and provide advice consistent with that code, rather than whatever was best suited their self-interest or misrepresenting the truth to suit a paymaster.
It seems that people now use the word in several different ways now, for example:
- People, such as athletes and sex workers, who get paid for what is normally a pastime and no particular ethical sense is implied. In the former case gamesmanship replaces sportmanship (winning is more important than honest effort); in the latter play acting replaces genuine passion.
- Profession to a code of ethics, such as medicine, law, or architecture, where there remains an ethical sense of someone who professes to the code.
- Being a member of a professional body: this implies a level of training (e.g. academic), a set of recognised approaches or methods, and a professed set of standards that are adhered to. This is the sense more commonly used in trades.
Many EA's would recognise a common body of recognised practice, and many when questioned know what they should be doing, and how they should be advising people - though they don't bother offering this advice (because they know it won't be well received). They are often asked to do things they know do
See: Justifying EA