John McDowall

John D. McDowall was born and raised in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. After graduating from Monticello High School in 1985, he received an appointment to the US Naval Academy, graduating in 1989. He was commissioned into the US Marine Corps, where he served as a CH-53E helicopter pilot and Forward Air Controller as well as in a number of staff positions. His service included participation in Operations Continue Hope and Quickdraw (Somalia), Operation Deny Flight (Bosnia) and Operation Assured Response (Liberia). During this time he earned a Master’s Degree in Computer Information Systems from Boston University.

Upon leaving active service in 2000, he settled in northern Virginia and pursued a career in the information technology industry, primarily working with customers in the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. He has worked as a systems integrator, a test team lead, a data architect and an enterprise architect on systems supporting worldwide operations. He earned his PhD in Information Technology from George Mason University, where he is also an adjunct professor. He has published a number of peer-reviewed papers on topics as diverse as architecture, intelligent agents and ontologies. He recently published the book "Complex Enterprise Architecture: an Adaptive Systems Approach."

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of John D. McDowall and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications, Inc., its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

Effective data modeling

It’s all about the data

It’s all about the data

Gaining control of an enterprise’s data is a key element in taming enterprise complexity. But control without understanding is a recipe for trouble. Understanding data is an obligation of every enterprise architect.

What is architecture?

What is architecture?

Traditional architecture frameworks are complicated, requiring multiple layers of interlinked artifacts. Getting down to the core purposes of architecture makes it both simpler and more effective.

The future of system architecture

The future of system architecture

Shifting the focus from deploying systems to reconfiguring existing resources to increase enterprise capability.

Learning to harness complexity

Learning to harness complexity

Increasing complexity is part of the natural order. Instead of fighting it, we should learn to take advantage of it.

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