I attended a meeting of the BCS Roadshow, with Chief Executive David Clarke and President Elizabeth Sparrow, on Friday.
The background to this is the EGM to be held next month (see previous post) – and the current BCS transformation programme that has seen (amongst other things) the disappearance of the words “British”, “Computer” and “Society” from the BCS.
I’ve added my report from the roadshow to the long EGM discussion in the BCS group on LinkedIn. You’ll find my report on the sixth (!) page of comments.
I was impressed during David Clarke’s presentation at his ability to avoid using the word ‘computer’, in favour of the term ‘IT’. I asked David about this, pointing out that my students probably don’t consider themselves to be studying ‘IT’. His answer seemed to reflect his narrow focus – he said he understood that “academics” don’t always see what they do as IT. This seems to me to continue a trend to disassociate the BCS from engineering and scientific areas of computing.
But elsewhere he did say that BCS would be putting more energy again into the Chartered Engineer and Chartered Scientist programs – so he should understand the problem. Indeed, the introduction of the CITP was troublesome, and I’ve seen many complaints from Chartered Engineer members over the introduction of CITP (no space to repeat here). This highlights an area where the BCS acted without first listening to members affected. The impression I got was that the BCS has been forced into changing plans here because of the sheer number of members who feel the IT qualification is not relevant to their career in computing. But perhaps an organisation that spent as much time listening to members as it did wondering about how to communicate its message out to members could have handled the development of CITP better.