Mark Richards is an Independent Consultant working in the field as an Enterprise, Integration, and Application Architect, where he is involved in the architecture, design, and implementation of SOA, EDA, messaging, and other architectures, primarily in the Java platform. Previously, Mark was an Executive IT Architect with IBM, where he worked as an SOA and enterprise architect in the financial services area. He has been involved in the software industry since 1984 and has many battle scars to show for it. Mark served as the President of the Boston Java User Group in 1997 and 1998, and the President of the New England Java Users Group from 1999 thru 2003. Mark recently completed a video series with Neal Ford for O'Reilly titled "Software Architecture Fundamentals". Mark is the author of the book Java Message Service (2nd edition) from O'Reilly. He is also the author of Java Transaction Design Strategies, contributing author of the book 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know from O'Reilly, contributing author of NFJS Anthology Volume 1, and contributing author of NFJS Anthology Volume 2. Mark has many architect and developer certifications, including those from IBM, Sun, The Open Group, and Oracle. He is a regular conference speaker at the No Fluff Just Stuff Symposium Series and speaks at other conferences and user groups around the world. When he is not working Mark can usually be found hiking with his wife and two daughters in the White Mountains or along the Appalachian Trail.