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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.

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Book Chapters: J2EE Project Survival Guide Understanding J2EE technology is one thing. Applying it effectively and successfully to J2EE projects is a different story all together. Many questions arise as you apply J2EE in the real world. This book is the answer to all those questions. In the J2EE world, each scenario can be implemented in dozens of ways. The individual mechanisms for integrating these concepts together into a working application are more important. Once you know how to do it in one manner, you can easily deduce other ways and compare the pros and cons. This book is intended for developers and architects already familiar with J2EE, but want to improve their skills and get an in-depth view of strategies needed to make your J2EE project a success. The book points out various issues and then works on illustrating architectural and design concepts to address those problems.

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