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How to become an EAI guru

I'd like to find out more on what it takes to become an EAI guru and if it is the field I would like to pursue next in my IT career. I have an IT infrastructure background in NT/2000, Domino and firewall administration/engineering and I'm looking for a career change in IT. I work for an IT services company so the opportunites are there and I have my boss' support. But it looks like a major IT career change and I would need to re-skill a lot and get into the likes of XML and various EAI technologies such as SeeBeyond, Tibco, etc. I don't have a heavy developer background but am willing to try -- I think I have a good aptitude for it. I am not sure how much of a disadvantage this is (will I be starting from a trainee level?) Any advice you can give or resources I can go to to find out more?
"The times they are a-changing." All you need to do is look at the stock prices to see that Big EAI tools are not selling. If there is demand for this type of heavy infrastructure it is a limited interest play and either in the future or already in the past. Instead, I advise you to book up on Web services, and see how they relate to existing EAI. Becoming either a J2EE or Microsoft .NET expert virtually guarantees a full dance card. If I had to pick one or the other based upon opportunity, I would go with MS tools, such as C# and .NET on the basis that there will be fewer candidates trying to fill a larger number of jobs. The J2EE world is more crowded. Ultimately, you should follow the technology that appeals to you the most, since both camps will be in demand. Note that UNIX skill would probably pay better, especially in Financial Services.
This was last published in May 2002

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