I've been following the TOGAF forum on coderanch for some time now but never registered until today. I wrote and cleared my part 1 & 2 TOGAF exams a few days ago. I would like to thank and pay my dues to this community by sharing my experience
I took a 4 day class room training with www.jprakashconsulting.com. That training was a big waste of time and definitely rates as one of the worst training sessions that I have ever spent my hard earned money on. Turns out, JPrakash has no hands-on experience in using TOGAF. He has never been an Architect in the software industry and his knowledge primarily comes from reading the TOGAF documentation. I nearly choked when someone in the class asked him a question on SOA and he replied - ' SOA?! It is just a fancy term for software development' . And that was the only line he spoke about SOA in the entire 4 days! I must admit, I was fooled by his fancy educational qualification and the reviews on his website. They were the main reasons for choosing the training.
After burning my fingers with the training, I decided to understand TOGAF on my own. I read the first 12 chapters of the TOGAF documentation over a period of two weeks before giving up as it sounded very theoretical and it didn’t feel like I could use the information in my everyday architecture work.
I decided it was time to change track and adopt a new approach. I purchased the study pack (quick, foundation and certification guides) from the opengroup site. I spent on an average 1.5 to 2 hours each day, 5 to 6 days in a week for a month during which I read the all the three books. With every page I read, I regretted the money I spent on the classroom training . I found the books very useful. Whenever I came across a concept while reading the books, I would ask myself, does my place of work use this concept and if not, can this concept be introduced there? Constantly trying to relate the TOGAF material to my work made it easier to grasp the TOGAF concepts.
After a single reading, I attempted the mock tests that came with the books and scored around 85-90%. I grew impatient and decided to write the exams without further preparation. I scored 32 and 30 points respectively in part 1 & 2. My main objective of picking up TOGAF was to understand TOGAF and the certification was secondary for me. So while I am now TOGAF certified, I wouldn’t say I understand everything about TOGAF. In hind sight I should have done a second pass of the study guides or at least read the TOGAF documentation end to end once.