The Opportunity to Spread the Word
Last week Stephen Ibaraki (blogger extraordinaire – congrats on being named one of the top 10 in Canada) and I attended the "Global" MVP Summit and a "World" UG Management Summit in Redmond. Most of you may have heard of the MVP Summit but the UG Management Summit was a new event organized by Microsoft. Representatives from Microsoft (Redmond), INETA, Culminis, PASS and the UG Community from most geographic regions of the world were in attendance. The significance as it pertains to “Professionalizing the Profession” is that both events provided an excellent opportunity for Stephen to communicate the culmination of several years of work by a dedicated expert group of people around the world with respect to Professional Status in the ICT sector.
Stephen facilitated an Open Space discussion and made formal presentations to MVP’s and those attending the UG Management Summit. Stephen is not only an extraordinary blogger but an equally impressive and effective presenter. His message went across loud and clear and generated a huge amount of interest. So much so that he was inundated with requests to pretty much speak to the “world”. So what is this all about? As someone who has spent a large part of their career as a Professional Engineer and fervently believes in the importance of Professional Status, I feel a responsibility to show my support. My purpose here is not to steal Stephen’s thunder but to explain the significance of the outcome.
The Need for Change
The ICT sector contribution to our existence is now totally pervasive and yet the public view of its workers has not materially changed (computer geeks, etc.). If we contrast this with other well recognized professions, such as medicine, accounting or engineering, the public may not know exactly what it takes to “get there” or exactly how it is done but there is an “image” of higher standing in society. It is time that the contribution of the ICT sector is recognized in the same manner. To do that, and stand alongside the already recognized professions with the influence that they have on society, the “IT professional” must become the “IT Professional” via some recognized accrediting body.
A New Range of International Qualifications
It is not my intention here to describe how this has all “magically” came together or how it is to be physically implemented but to highlight that in 2009 a new range of professional qualifications starting with the IITP (International IT Professional) as the IFIP global standard will come into being. This has all come together via the IP3 (International Professional Practice Partnership) and IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing) [a UNESCO body]. More information can be found at http://www.cips.ca/about/i3p/. To aid in gaining a “picture” of how this is to be structured and managed I have included a couple of graphics:
Over the next few years these events will have a profound effect upon the ICT Profession. We are at an historic moment in time. Every single person in the industry should become familiar with the goals and requirements of the new professional qualifications because it is likely that they will affect you in some way in the future. Before I finish I would like to take the opportunity to thank and congratulate Roger Hart for the part that he has played in bringing this together both on behalf of Canadian professionals and also on the international stage. Canada has always been a leader in these matters and it is appropriate that this year CIPS celebrates its 50th Anniversary of great service to the ICT Community.