CCIE or Null!

My journey to CCIE!

TOGAF 9 Certified

with 5 comments

After passing more technical certification tests than I care to count, the concept of studying for a non-technical exam seemed surreal. Studying for exam that was not going to teach or test me about protocols, signals, or configurations just sounded so foreign. I do have to admit that there were doubts, the thought of studying for exam that created paperwork and project delays took me just as much time to get over then the time I spent actually studying for this exam. Please don’t mis-interpret that comment I truly do understand the need for architecture and aligning IT with business goals (In my time in IT I have seen my fair share of projects that went off the rails, many of which could have easily been avoided by asking a few more simple questions or involving a few other parties) I just didn’t think I would be one to consider a certification like this. Trust me I love configuring in my CLI, designing on a whiteboard, digging through a packet capture to find that needle in the haystack, Splunking through network logs, and being that guy who knows how it talks and interacts. I suppose there is nothing wrong with stepping outside your comfort zone into new territory how else would we grow if we stayed within our own little bubble?

Studying for TOGAF 9.2 was fairly straightforward. I had used the following resources:

Studying the TOGAF 9.2 standard found on The Open Group website is enough to pass for the exam, but my study routine usually always involves a physical book and some CBT videos. I found the study guides to be very beneficial primarily due to the extra examples, the practice questions and exams which was key for me in building up my confidence level. I always find CBT videos helpful especially as background noise when I am doing something else around the house, in the case of TOGAF it was nice to hear someone explain the couple of concepts I initially had trouble grasping or visualizing. Plus the courses from Udemy were not very expensive when I had purchased them so for the cost I found them well worth it.

From the exam perspective, the TOGAF certification requires passing a part I and part II exam (which can be scheduled at the same time) at a Pearson Vue testing center. I took them separately at different times, this being my first non-technical certification I took a more cautious approach.

TOGAF certification steps from The Open Group website.

I always have concerns when it comes to frameworks (TOGAF, ITIL, etc) that introduce process and structure but I do see it as an unnecessary evil (as long as you don’t go overboard), especially in today’s world when we have the Internet of Things and different cloud environments radically expanding the capabilities of both IT and the business. The TOGAF framework does a good job at keeping both the business and IT operations in sync using the ADM as business goals are introduced and grow. Think of the ADM as almost like an extension of the project management process. (highly simplistic and incorrect description but hey)

So who is TOGAF for? Well, if you want to connect more with the business side of your company I recommend taking a hard look at TOGAF. This exam is definitely not on the technical side of the house but more so how you can further integrate the IS/IT projects with your business. As projects progress the ADM framework helps to ensure the work stays in-sync with what the business goals is/are. TOGAF ADM below:

TOGAF ADM, from The Open Group website.


However, I won’t be diving into the details about the ADM on this post. Maybe in a future post. Now, I am back off to the drawing board and see which certification is next of my chopping block. I do need to see how my Cisco certifications will transition to the new schema, if you have heard the certification from Cisco Live last June I recommend you give it a run through. Till next next my friends, happy studying!

Written by Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

July 19, 2019 at 4:17 AM

5 Responses

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  1. You are not alone having IT tech background and shooting for TOGAF.- I had a colleague in the past in the software development side of things. He also studied for TOGAF. When I asked why, he replied that it is somehow helpful for managing technical projects.
    Indeed, he got the TOGAF and got a job as a technical architect.

    Keyboard Banger

    January 10, 2020 at 11:12 AM

    • Glad to hear it! TOGAF definitely has its value.

      For some of us, I think it is a logical progression. As engineers we can only do so much good for the company we work for from behind a keyboard. When we start interacting with the business and tailoring our IT solutions with the business that is when we can really start to see more positive results from our work.

      The keyboard work is still more fun and exciting to me though.

      Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

      January 11, 2020 at 6:57 PM

  2. Good luck with your studies! Nice blog, I’m going to bookmark it for later when ACI becomes a topic for me.

    Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

    January 11, 2020 at 7:00 PM

  3. My aim is to be a Solutions Architect so TOGAF is an important addition to my CV to express this commitment, that said, my plan is to take both exams on the same (most said it is better to do so) in April. I got Scott’s Part I “course” but it seems VERY shallow as he is mostly reading slides, I would say it is more of a refresher than anything else with little to no guidance, even TMForum Open Digital Architecture course covers TOGAF indirectly better. Based on what you said I was wondering if the official study guides provided you with more value than other sources.
    The biggest issue with TOGAF (like ITIL), it is somewhat vague if you do not know real life examples of their usage.


    January 7, 2022 at 12:04 PM

    • Hi there!

      Yes, the official study guides are great and was my primary source of study material. I used Scott’s videos for final review a couples days before the exam. I had it playing on my AppleTV in the background while I was doing stuff around house.

      The official study guide (and the website) is where the details are.

      Good luck in your studies!

      Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

      January 7, 2022 at 1:02 PM

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