Do you belong to a professional organisation?

Discussion in 'Professional Associations' started by JK2447, May 30, 2009.

  1. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    ha ha you've got to laugh mate :lol: First time I've seen someone rip into a Charity like . . . . . .(runs)!
     
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  2. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Private Schools are registered as Charities, I've witnessed many folk rip into them! Just because it's a charity it doesn't mean that I am prevented from disagreeing with their purpose.

    I understand that my comments don't fit in with the majority on this particular thread, but that is no reason to move it across to 'p*ss taking'. I have raised many valid concerns and real life experiences with professional bodies and charity or no charity I do not think that they have a place in any industry. They are too many hidden agendas and very little regulation which allows these charities to make outlandish claims, one being that you are somehow at a disadvantage by not being member. Not true! The best consultants and project managers I have met are not members of any professional bodies, it is their reputation alone that gets them hired!
     
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  3. itskillsguy

    itskillsguy Nibble Poster

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    haha, loved you post drum_dude - you are a legend. Its a bit strong to say that their only there to grab your money though. I can assure you that CompTIA does not overpay its staff. In fact I know someone who started there as an account manager and was paid £15k p/a!

    CompTIA have helped me and others in the past, and I do see value from it. I have got new job opportunities and sold more through CompTIA events than any other methods in the past. You meet people with the same mindset of advancing the it industry.

    Most people expect that once you pay to be a member of a trade association, the benefits automatically fall into your lap. This is not the case - you have to give back to your industry what you want to take out.

    And James Caan - I dont care if he's not involved in IT - I think he's cool and an inspiration to any businessmen out there! Apparently his session will focus on running and growing a business in the current economic climate and will be interspersed with stories about Caan’s own experiences and successes. www.comptia.org/events/emea2009
     
  4. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    I didn't mean any offence so apologies for that. Just thought you'd see the funny side but fair enough, I don't know you. Cheers, Jim
     
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  5. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    I agree mate. I don't care if I don't get all kinds out of the BCS. It makes me feel like I;m supporting my industry and that does me. Would I brag that I'm in it? Course not, I don't need to, but I do think they are doing a good job trying to promote Chartered status in a similar way as a Chartered Accountant or Architect etc. Jim
     
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  6. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    No offence taken Jim and I'm not really aiming the previous post at you. As you can no doubt see that some i.e. UKDarkstar, do in fact step up and defend what they believe in and I appreciate and respect that just as he respects and appreciates what I have put across. Then they are others that just hit back with pointless jibes. I'm not interested in that and something that is massively lacking in a lot of people is an explanation as to why they believe in something and not just a 'I think its great'. They're those out there who do not think 'it's' great and believe that these organisations, no matter how well intentioned, are acting - or trying to act - as a barrier into the industry.
     
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  7. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    BCS aside, I thought the idea of professional bodies was generally an attempt to enure that it's members ahered to and met certain standards.

    Anyone can use huge sweeping generalisations about how somone who is a member of a particular organisation was useless. I have met MCSE's who are clueless in IT and I have also met people who don't have certs who are usless at IT. Therefor everyone must be useless at IT .... Doesn't work like that though does it.

    I would hope that somone who is an MBCS or a CITP represents someone who is intersted in bettering themselves and doing a good job. Of course it doesn't guarantee this, but lets face it, nothing in really life is. :)

    I'm not currently a member of any professional body, but have applied to the BCS. Will give it a year and see what it's like tbh.
     
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  8. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Yup ! Democratic debate - we agree to disagree !

    Each to their own :thumbleft
     
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  9. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    Applied to become an AMBCS today, still considering IET membership as well
     
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  10. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    I belong to the Geological Society and (through the misplaced generosity of a previous employer, who has only just rescinded membership) the BCS. Sadly for the BCS, I think the GS sends me more stuff that is useful for my career in IT than the BCS does :biggrin

    The problem I've always found with the BCS is that it has always seemed to me to be skewed extremely heavily towards people with degrees in IT. Unfortunately, of the hundreds of people I've worked with in IT I can count the number of them with IT degrees that were actually good at their jobs on the fingers of one knee.

    IT 'at the coalface' (i.e. not in development or managerial roles) just isn't suited to people from an academic background - its far too fast moving for it. For instance, I worked with a guy about three years ago who got a first in his MSc Computer Science. He could give you a long lecture on the benefits of running a network application that used TCP instead of UDP. Couldn't actually configure a network firewall to block DNS zone transfers whilst allowing DNS resolution through though. He could wax lyrical for hours about the benefits of centralised (terminal-based) computing, but couldn't configure a Citrix client on a workstation. He could tell you at length about theoretical campus switching arhchitectures - but couldn't configure a VLAN trunk if his life depended on it.

    If the BCS was more oriented towards the actual job (like some of the trade bodies that regulate and promote industries like heating engineers, electricians etc) then it would be a lot more relevant to the vast majority of people than the BCS is. Sadly, as is hinted at above, bodies like that only exist by charging members to belong and ensuring that they do so by preventing them from working legitimately in that trade without membership. Maybe the BCS could move towards that model instead - and away from people whose actual working knowledge of IT was last current when the BBC micro was the height of technology :)
     
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  11. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Zeb, can't say much atm as it's embargoed but there are some MAJOR changes coming with the BCS over the next 18 mths. I think you'll find it more to your liking :biggrin
     
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  12. dmarsh

    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    Try working on a deathmarch project sometime, developers are often very much at the coalface. Also when the work is done often they get given their P45 and told to move on. Support by its very nature tends to be ongoing.

    Other than that I have to agree with your points.

    I find all this cloak and dagger stuff about 18 months most irritating, if they have a set of changes in mind what are they ? We are the members that pay the fees, keep us in the loop. Otherwise why should I take out another sub not based on the current sub par performance assuming things will improve ?

    Its all rather NUlabour, vote us in again, it will be better next time, honest !
     
  13. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    I shall closely be monitoring this major change and would be more than willing to jump on the bandwagon if it's promising and relevant to my IT career progression.:)
     
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  14. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    That means there is hope for me in progressing in IT even without a degree, can't configure a Citrix client on a workstation? :)
     
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  15. dmarsh

    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    I can't configure a citrix client on a workstation either, in fact I intend to spend my entire life never learning anything about citrix.

    Different folks...Different strokes

    I totally agree there are far too many chancers in IT, the possession or not of a degree however is not the best indicator, many of the best people in IT have maths, engineering or computer science degrees.

    Did the founders of Cisco and Google have degrees ?

    IT is half the problem, it has become a field so diverse and watered down in its definition that people can now get an 'IT degree' that measures very little whatsoever. It used to be clueless talentless people went and got art or business degrees, now they study business and IT.

    You shouldn't be able to graduate from a computer science degree without being able to program. The minute people can write an essay to pass whats the point ? Its not an english or history degree.
     
  16. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    OK, you have been "officially" advised via the "Update on the future of BCS" insert that came with May issue of IT Now.

    Apart from that, there's no "cloak and dagger". However, those who attended the recent Member Groups Convention were privy to a more detailed granular look at what is coming. As with all change, some of it can be viewed as "commercially sensitive" i.e. things not yet fully completed/agreed etc. As such we were instructed not to comment to the general Membership or public as yet. I see nothing wrong with this and I was merely trying to be helpful in pointing out that I am aware that the concerns of many Members have been addressed. I am certainly not going to breach that request to keep things confidential on a publicly viewable forum.

    If you want to know more of what is going on at a detailed level then you have the option of getting more involved via Branch Committees or standing for Council. As I'm sure you appreciate, as in any organisation, it is not practical or necessarily desirable to have every single individual kept informed of every single change at all times. This applies whether they are members by a fee, shareholders etc.

    The document you were sent states "The new BCS will take shape between now and the end of 2010. A wide range of new qualifications, products and services will be delivered, beginning in September 2009". That is the timescale and I'm sure you'll appreciate the why's and wherefore's at the September launch.
     
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  17. dmarsh

    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    I have the IT now leaflet, it consists of nothing but a set of marketing platitudes. I can see no definition any progams designed to benefit me as a member, most of the objectives seem targeted at benefitting the BCS itself rather than the profession.

    I thought you said it was a members organization and a registered charity. Now you mention 'commercially sensitive', so what is it, the BCS seems more intent on operating like a commercial entity.
     
  18. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Let's get one thing straight - I don't speak for the BCS. I do not hold office as a Council or Trustee Member and any views expressed are those of myself as an individual.

    I do view it as a Members organisation but I also realise it is not practical to consult all 70,000 members on every individual aspect of running the organisation. The same is true of any similar organisation.

    To try to put this into perspective, Ken recently started a thread on LinkedIn about being disenchanted with the BCS. One intersting comment today said :

    "If everyone can come up with a list of things that are wrong and need to change then what would be the method of implementing the changes. Are the people that are making the decisions voted in??? "

    This was replied to by Charles Chang who is an Advisory Council Member who said :

    "Your earlier point is a good one and can be sent to BCS as suggestions for improvement. Depending on what is being suggested, different parts of BCS would need to be involved.

    Your last question is not simple to answer as BCS is a charitable trust and is governed by a Trustee Board (TB) made up of several execs as ex-officio members and many more Trustees. Most of the Trustees are elected and the rest are appointed. Below that is an Advisory Council, 12 of whom are elected by members at large. Right now invitations are being solicited via the BCS website for new candidates. Another dozen or so councillors are selected by various BCS groups such as branches, specialist groups and forums, and the rest are trustees (some of whom may fall into the elected categories).

    Below the TB are several boards not dissimilar to a commercial organisation:
    Audit Committee, Membership Services Board, Forums Board, Professionalism Board, Qualifications & Skills Board, Products & Services Board (PSB), External Relations Board and so forth. These comprise of trustees, execs (ex-officio) and a few invited members. All the appointments (apart from ex-officio members) are made by the Nominations Committee who are made up mainly of Trustees.

    So the members of the exec: CEO, Deputy CEO, Membership Director, Professionalism Director, Forums Dorector, Sales & Marketing Director, Finance Director, et al take operational decisions. But strategic decisions are put to the TB for approval, usually via one of the Boards, who consults the Advisory Council.

    So the short answer is "The people who make the decisions include those whom you have voted in."

    BTW - I am an Advisory Council member and a member of the PSB, and chair of the Management Forum. BUT the description above is my personal understanding and NOT a formal response on behalf of BCS. Also, as you will have noticed in the 'Update on the future of BCS' leaflet that came with the recent issue of ITNow, there are a lot of changes and no doubt some of the above will also change before the year is out. "


    In terms of your queries then I would suggest that if you want to have it so every strategic change is agreed by the Members (which I regard as impractical) then you instigate that change by making your views felt to your elected Council Members.

    I just happen to feel that the actions taken are appropriate and you don't - a difference of opinion and view which I wholly accept but you do have a mechanism for change via Branch and Council Members. As they are looking for Council Members you could always put yourself forward for election :biggrin
     
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  19. dmarsh

    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    I never said that, you did, If a decision has been made then why can't that decision be made publicly available ? If they hold meetings etc why can't the minutes of the meetings be published ? Why the need for secrecy ? If the programs are not finished then fine say that, maybe state what they will hopefully be ? It's a members organisation, I see no reason to try to run it like a commerical company with a board of directors or like a local council.

    As drumdude said, why should I pay to have people to represent me and my industry, that don't represent me and my industry ?

    I'm interested in computers and technology not politics ! :biggrin
     
  20. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Interesting. There was comment at the convention about making all minutes available and if I recall correctly they are working on this (in conjunction with the development of the new website). Personally, I think it should be run more like a commercial organisation but then maybe that's because other professional bodies I have been involved with in the past operated that way, and very successfully.

    Personally I think there is a big danger of never achieving change as it can become bogged down with too many people having input (I'm NOT saying Members don't have the right to have a say) and at some point you have to delegate to elected representatives which we do have via local branches and Council.

    For me, I'm quite happy with that.

    As with anything, you always have the option of not being a Member but if you feel your views aren't being represented then why not communicate that to branch or Council ?
     
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