A professional without a clue of where he/she will belong in years to come is wasting time and awaiting to become obsolete which will lead to their inability to keep up with the pace in technological advancements. There are gains in career developments (Learning new things), and setting achievable goals yearly. There are gains in standing out from the crowd.
The IT industry have suffered from lack of professionalism in the past, this then lead to many failures in IT projects and over budget, because of poor project management, outdated software tools and platform, and of course, obsolete people working on the project. In this current economic climate condition, the last thing an organization would like to face is failing and over budget projects. Some projects do fail because most people are obsolete and they have been blinded by daily routines that they cannot see the advancement in the technology world and how these advancements will help shape their businesses. Most don't even understand their business.
There is now a chance for likely minded, to share their experiences and the pros and cons in using the following paradigms:
- project management,
- development standards,
- risk assessment,
- software quality assurance,
- software measurement and
- agile system.
An organization that is doing the right thing will have to bring together as a single component, the listed practices above (Although i agree that there are many more but for brevity we will mention just few).
Why Professional Membership is Good?
Like Accountants, Surveyor, Engineers, professional membership and status is an achievement that tells about your competence and your interest in developing your career. The best place to get the latest information in your profession will be through the membership of your profession. There are many professional bodies out there and The British Computer Society is just one of them which i am proud to be a member.
You have the opportunity to meet people of like minds. For example i am an Open source developer and also an advance software engineer my professional body will present me with people of like minds that we can discuss and help ourselves in emerging trends in technology. This will peer you with people around the world and you will be the first to know the latest gist in town.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Being a member of a professional body will enable you to learn from experience. You will tailor your career progression with what new thing you have to learn. In this fast paced technological driven world continuous development should be an attribute that enable you become a respected and true IT professional. Then you can measure yourself/skill sets against an SFIA level (The Skill Framework For Information Age). This will tell you were you are at the moment and areas you have to work on to get to the next level.
It will enable you and your organization to see beyond your company alone and keep you at the edge in this competitive market.
Is IT so polluted that we need a professional body?
well, some section of IT is overly polluted that we need measures in our industry to stop these pollution. Just like a doctor, you cannot be a newly graduate doctor and be given a chance to perform surgery, you need to be validated in so ways (Medical schools and year of experience) before you are given a chance.
In IT anybody can write a piece of program so far it works but not everybody will write a program that will conform to best practices etc. Anybody can manage a project because they feel project management is just overseeing (This is wrong). An IT project manager should have been an enthusiast software developer that will enable such person to strike a balance between delivering quality products and conforming to standards in our industry.