Inside the Computer Society

Angela Burgess, Executive Director of the IEEE Computer SocietyInside the CS highlights the work of the CS from the point of view of the professional staff. I blog to make our programs more visible, build awareness and encourage participation. Check back for postings about how to use your CS benefits, member and customer feedback, new initiatives, and opportunities for involvement.
     — Angela Burgess, Executive Director

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Focus on Computing Professionals

In 2007, after a formal strategic planning process, the IEEE Computer Society began to improve its focus on computing professionals. Since that time we have launched many initiatives with professionals in mind, including Build Your Career, CS Jobs Board, training courses, and Safari Books Online. Now, thanks to our Technical Council on Software Engineering, we had added a conference to this list. The inaugural Computing Professionals 2010 (CP2010) was held 21-23 April in Montreal.

I don’t often get a chance to attend conferences -- I hope to get to more of them in the future. CP2010 was designed to allow maximum interaction among participants, and the presentations sparked good discussion. Among my favorites was a lessons learned presentation by Ron Smith of the Royal Military College in Canada. Not only are failure case studies very rare, Ron’s candid style made it very easy for us to relate to what the team members were going through. 

Howard Brill of the Monroe Plan for Medical Care gave a very timely presentation on Healthcare IT (HIT). Howard highlighted the very near-term changes to HIT in the US and some practical advice for those being asked to implement HIT systems.

Karen Mackey of Shoreline Software Consulting used a case study from Cisco to describe how her former team marketed best practices to the firm’s software organizations. Two presentations on architecture – by Paul Croll of CSC and Elliot Chikofsky of EM&I – also focused on very practical take-aways.

On the last day I attended the workshop on IT professionalism. Many global organizations are working on IT professionalism programs, and the IEEE Computer Society is no exception. At CP2010, Pierre Bourque gave an update on a major refresh of the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK), which is going on now.

Then the IT Subcommittee of our Professional Activities Board (PAB) spent a day reviewing their work to identify where the IEEE-CS could best contribute to advancing the IT profession. This very stimulating workshop was designed to help the team hone its recommendations to the PAB at its June meeting.

 This is just a short and incomplete recap of the workshop. I congratulate the Program Committee: Paul Croll, Elliot Chikofsky, Francios Coallier, and John Harauz, for this excellent start to what I hope will be a conference that grows and grows. I also want to thank our host institution, Ecole de technologie superieure, a great location not only because of its beautiful facility but also because its practices align perfectly with our focus on professionals. 

I was glad to be a part of the first CP2010. Join me next year!

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