Over the past few months, I have been assisting on the IITPSA membership committee. Membership committee meetings are held twice a week and comprise of approximately 5 assessors. At these meetings, new membership applications are assessed and are either approved or declined. The assessors have a tough task of evaluating each application on its own merit based on the applicant’s qualifications and experience. What is very pleasing to see is the increase in the number of membership applications. Whilst the Institute is not a statutory body it is good to observe that ICT practitioners are drawn to a professional body that subscribes to a code of conduct and ethical behavior. What is less pleasing is that some members cancel their membership because “they derive no value” from being a member. So, I thought I would base this month’s piece on “the value” derived from being a member of the Institute of IT Professionals South Africa. I will do this by sharing my own personal views and stories.

Prior to the year when the nation welcomed the world to our country and everyone learned how to use a Vuvuzela (yes, folks, the year was 2010), I had not heard of the then Computer Society of South Africa. I came across the CSSA stand at an IT conference. I asked a couple of questions and realized that this is an organisation I just have to become a member of! Not only that, I wanted to become an active participant. It was on this cold day in May 2010 that the Institute bug bit me. I was hooked (as Tony would say, I mix my metaphors). I applied immediately for my membership and joined the Gauteng Chapter Committee. After serving for a year on the Chapter committee, I was elected as a Director and appointed as Honorary Treasurer, then as Vice President and now President.

So the “value” I derived from being a member of the Institute cannot equate to a monetary amount. By becoming a member and an active participant I have met some of the most powerful, amazing, inspirational leaders in this country as well as some from other countries. By networking with like-minded individuals, I have made many new lifelong friends who share similar interests. I have a pool of mentors that are incredible and provide views and insights I would previously never have thought of.  Through my various roles, I have learnt a lot about myself, about handling conflict and managing diversity. I d

We can’t offer our valued members 25% discount on car hire or free gym membership, but what we can offer you is the prospect of a better version of yourself and an opportunity to contribute to this profession that we are passionate about. IITPSA will provide the different platforms to our members to achieve greatness. So, before you decide to cancel your membership, or if you are not sure whether it is worth renewing, please get in touch with me (president@iitpsa.org.za) so that we can address any concerns you may have.

And on that note, till next month, stay warm.