Celebrating 30 Years with IITPSA
We, as humans, tend to celebrate the achievements of significant milestones, and the endurance of relationships that stand the test of time. Those relationships may be personal, as in the case of marriage, for example, or professional, as in the case of service with a company, or, even, membership of a professional body! As I sit and write this piece for the newsletter, I am celebrating 30 years as a member of the former CSSA and current IITPSA, having joined in July 1988!
It has also been an honour and a privilege to be the CEO of the Institute for the past eleven years, in addition to being a member in my individual capacity for thirty years. During this time, our professional body has really changed and indeed matured. From a small gathering of like-minded computer practitioners in 1957, to a broad membership of more than 9 800 members in 2018, the institute has really come a long way.
During this time, the Computer Users Council (CUC) was established, and its exams became the de facto standard for COBOL programming and operations; the International Computer Drivers Licence (ICDL) was brought into the country in the late 1990s; the Computer Olympiads (both Computer Applications and Programming) became projects of the Institute; the professional grade of membership was introduced in 2000; the Institute was recognised by SAQA as a professional body in 2012 (and re-recognised for a further five years in September 2017), with the professional designation (PMIITPSA) being registered on the NQF; our name was changed from CSSA to IITPSA in 2013; international accreditation from IFIP’s IP3 was acquired in July 2015. Each of these achievements, among numerous others, has helped to advance the cause of increasing the practice of professionalism in the community of ICTs in South Africa.
This did not happen all by itself, or simply ‘by accident’. Many people invested thousands of volunteer ‘man’ hours to make all of this a reality – members of the SA Computer Olympiad Trust, ICDL, Chapter Committees, Special Interest Groups, Executive Council and Board of Directors over the years all helped to contribute to the growth and direction of the Institute. I, for one, am deeply appreciative of the selfless investment of their precious time, skills and talents to help fashion the IITPSA into what it is today.
And so, as I reflect back over my own thirty years of membership, as only one of the small cogs in this impressive wheel known as the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa, I am grateful for the opportunities afforded to me, the incredible support of the various Presidents and Board members during my tenure as CEO, and the camaraderie, loyalty and support of our many, long-standing members. Thank you to all of you for thirty amazing years in the professional ICT community of practice in South Africa! Let us continue to work together as we progress the exciting strategic plans and new initiatives that are on the cards for the Institute over the coming months and years.
And so, until next time…