BCS membership

Paul Robinson paul at iconoplex.co.uk
Wed Apr 27 15:24:26 BST 2005

On Wed, Apr 27, 2005 at 03:12:47PM +0100, Ben Tyson-Norrman wrote:

> Now I can't really get the energy together to do the next part, the whole 
> thesis thing, 20,000 words is rather scaring me off :-)

Half the work is in the starting.

> At the end of it I would be a Chartered IT Practioner, question is, would 
> anyone take me remotely seriously....? Does that mean I'm trying to claim 
> to be on the same level as a Chartered Accountant / Surveyor...?

I don't think it carries that weight, I have to say. And I work in a
department within a University that tries to do it's best to ascertain
what professional accreditation schemes should be and how they should
work, so I do know a bit about this.

> Would be interested to know what other options there are, that are not 
> commercial (i.e. not MCSE, CCNP) maybe there is room for a new 
> acreditation, G33k, with appropriate ways of getting it...?

Well, there's a can of worms. There are of course employers who want the
commercial stuff (MCSE, CCNA, etc.) to screen out the knuckle-draggers.
Unfortunately, 80% of the best people I know in the industry don't
bother with those. Then there is the IT-related degree. Some of the best
guys I know have their degrees in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics,
English Literature... and many, many, many of them don't have more than
5 GCSEs.

The project I work on was meant to address some of this, but the
commercial partners just weren't up for it. What we said was that
businesses and SMEs and Freelancers didn't want accreditation. They
wanted Just-In-Time Learning so that as they realised that they needed a
piece of knowledge to complete their next task, they could quickly grab
it. Lots of modelling of Learning Objects and re-casting tacit knowledge
was done. I was employed to turn an academic paper into a portal. It
failed miserably for two reasons:

- They didn't believe me when I said people did all this already and
  didn't pay for it either.

- The commercial training providers and professional bodies didn't
  believe us when we told them nobody really wanted their material apart
  from those who trying to sandbag their way into the industry.

Accreditation is a valid part of your CPD (Continuous
Professional/Personal Development) Program, but you shouldn't be relying
on it.

Know how when you're asked to do something, and you've not done it
before so you can and find out how to do it? That's what makes you a
good IT expert. The guy who needs 5 days training might do what they're
told, but would you want to employ them? Really?

Going to a workshop on how to network or reading up on how to improve
your marketing, well... that may pay for itself in weeks instead of
years and actually extends your latent talent and knowledge rather than 
tries to replace it.

I would do something very open source around these ideas, but my current
contract prohibits it. One day maybe...

Paul Robinson

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