The President of British Computer Society (BCS), Paul Martynenko, during his recent visit to Sri Lanka, said that he was hugely impressed by the standards of Information Technology (IT) professionals and the education system of the country.
Martynenko made these remarks during his visit to Colombo where he attended the graduation ceremony of new BCS.
“I attended the Software Awards on Friday night. I was hugely impressed. Because the topics they were talking about were the same I could see some of the major countries discussing. I would say fabulous. What I was looking at in terms of small software companies, opposed to big software companies producing advanced software. Fantastic. It was really good. The other thing about software is that it’s global. Anyone in the world could write a programme. And Sri Lanka has a very good education system; you have a lot of good programmers and good system. I think it’s a great opportunity and IT is your fifth most important industry and is wildly growing,” Martynenko said.
BCS President also mentioned about Sri Lanka’s potential as a country in the field of IT.
“You have a clear focus on education. I read that in your daily press. So while I’ve been here, I’ve been reading your business news and your government has a clear focus on skills and skills development education. On Friday (during the graduation ceremony), Harin Fernando (Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure) talked about his plans for schools and plans for putting technology in to schools. Brilliant. It is really enabling people to use technology. The more people you have, the better. It’s a skill. It’s not about being stronger than anybody else, not that you need any natural resources. It’s not that. It’s about people’s skills in IT. His plans I think are ones that you should really support.”
The BCS is the only Chartered Institute for Information Technology (IT), leading professional and educational society in the field of computer and information systems in the UK and now offers the chartered status to masters of the field.
“We are not a regulated profession like doctors, but we do now have chartered status which is helping people identify that people who have this chartered status is signed up to a code of conduct. It is not regulated by the code of conduct but can have their chartered status removed if they don’t behave properly and they are signed up to do an honest and ethical job, that’s good progress,” Martynenko said.
The number of people involved in IT related professions are in millions and BCS has over 73,000 members around the globe. Sri Lanka represents 10 percent of the total member population. It provides a unique service to established practitioners, students as well as those in the early stages of their careers. The regional institute in Sri Lanka has always campaigned for greater recognition and excellence in the IT profession in the country, carrying forward the noble cause of arming the masters in IT through education, training and development.
Martynenko also highlighted the importance of being responsible for the job done by a professional: “In the UK, there are 35 Professional Engineering Institutes, and it took them quite a long time to get there. In our first 60 years, we’ve made good progress. We’ve got a good base. We have a good set of qualifications but we still have a lot of work to do. As we move from engineering the back office to maintaining the payrolls, sales ledgers and online transaction processes, we are now working more closely with the public. So providing systems which help doctors, lawyers we as computer professionals have to take greater responsibility.”
BCS President concluded by saying: “Should we engage in discussions with governments, about regulations and rules whether we could help make sure things are open. Our job is to make sure those standards and skills are maintained. So the public and other professions can trust us. But we’re a young profession. Sixty years is not that long, it’s only one lifetime! Sixty years ago there was no IT. We’ve gone from that point to where we are now and we’ve got lot to catch up, This is what we want to do.”