When reading blogs on SOA or technology in general, what strikes me is the amount of misleading information that exists in the space or even worse, the lack of information. When tackling new technologies in open source or standards, the lack of documentation or practical information is quite often missing. Once in awhile, I find a clear and concise document that is able to help me learn a technology rapidly. An example of this was some work I was doing debugging a Hibernate issue. To really understand the process/facilities that Hibernate provides, the base documentation provided a solid basis and was able to get me to completion within a couple of hours.
Compare this with work I was doing with some WS Standards, where the only information I could find was the specification and a poorly documented reference implementation.
As part of my business diversification towards providing training in the SOA and Open-Source marketplace, I will be trying to distill how SOA, the available tools and design standards can be applied to people that have little to no experience. An example of this is a group of QA personnel who I will be training in SOAPUI.
Another group I am training is around building a SOA Application that is front-ended by FLEX and back-ended by MySQL.
My current experiences is always focused on the KISS principle. Don't assume the audience is familiar with XSD, WSDL, Service-Orientation etc.
To date these students are getting the examples and are helping evolve these heterogenous scenarios into potentially valuable training offerings. So I can definitely answer that SOA is not easy however if approached properly, a wide audience can participate and incorporate the core principles and technologies.