Sunday, 9 July 2006

Where's the profIT?

I really should have written about the ProfIT conference immediately so this may be old news to some of you.

On Monday 8th May 2006 I attended the Prof IT conference in London. The tagline: 'Building a World Leading IT Capability'. Not world-class, but world-leading.

My interest in the event stemmed from a desire to see IT become a recognised profession in the same way that say, accountancy is. I've heard people talk about IT staff as a 'protected species' but without perhaps the understanding of why we may be protected and what it is we actually deliver to the business. I don't want to be a member of a protected species; I want to be recognised and valued as a professional (but that's another blog entry).

The seminars throughout the day explored the issues around what constitutes a profession as well as a professional, and having defined this, how to go about making it happen.

There was an impressive array of people on the guest list ranging from MDs and CEX across both private and public sectors which inspires some confidence that there is a commitment to seeing this vision become a reality. Curiously, some comments from people in the private sector suggested that they believe real change can only happen if government embraces it. They seemed particularly pleased to hear Katie Davies, Director of IT Professionalism for e-government introduce the Government's take on the SFIA framework, etc.

The highlight of the day for me personally was the motivating presentation from David Taylor, author of The Naked Leader. He hates us calling recipients of IT services 'users' which he pointed out was akin to calling them druggies and suggested we come up with something else (but such is the dependence on IT these terms that the term is rather apt in my opinion) !

The culmination of the day was the signing of the ProfIT Programme Alliance by representatives of E-Skills UK, Intellect, the National Computing Centre and British Computer Society.

Anyhow, presentations from the conference are available for download. So if you want to know how IT professionalism is progressing be sure to take a look.


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