All wrapped up with the SFIA Conference for another year, and what a success. SFIA is largely run by volunteers, and the framework itself is available for free, making it a sort of mediated open source movement before its time (SFIA v1 was launched in 2000). The only paid member of the set-up is Operations Manager Ron McLaren. Everyone else contributes as they can.
For all this, the conference was (thanks to Ron) a well-run event, which sold out a few days before opening. Given the tough economic times we’re in, that was a great result. In fact, Ron must have sold some extra tickets, because I had to stop proceedings between speakers twice to direct those standing at the back to the few free seats.
There were plenty of good speakers, but I’ll just mention the opening key notes.
Karen Price of e-skills UK, who keynoted at the first conference in 2000, did a great job of spelling out where we have come from, and why we should not be afraid to continue to recruit and develop IT professionals in an economic down turn.
Here are three programmes run by e-skills UK which deserve greater profile:
- Computer Clubs for Girls – aiming to reverse the declining numbers of women in the IT profession
- The IT Management for Business degree – the hugely popular new degree that helps people develop two vital skill sets
- Big Ambition – making computer careers cool, or at least worth considering
Karen was followed by Andrew Gay, a non-nonsense South African who is interim CIO at the Ministry of Justiceand who is clearly facing the difficult challenge of integrating a new and many-parted Ministry with gusto. If you ever want a speaker to wake people up and make them understand the importance of both adequate project management and developing employees, Andrew is your man.
SFIA’s international growth continues, with a Chilean consultancy recently agreeing terms to translate SFIA v 4 into Spanish for the South American market. Find out more about the Skills Framework for the Information Age at http://www.sfia.org.uk/. It’s nice for once to write about something that definitely does not fit into my category of Ghastly farragoes of UK incompetence.
(And no, this isn’t a sales job. You can download and use SFIA in your own organisation for free. If you want help, of course, then yes, InfoBasis would be happy to help you.)