[Linux-aus] question without notice

Scott Ferguson scott.ferguson.it.consulting at gmail.com
Fri Nov 9 21:58:29 EST 2012

> On 09/11/12 16:14, Brenda Aynsley wrote:
>> Hi folks
>> As you might have noticed in my infrequent posts to the list that I am 
>> the chair of the IFIP International Professional Practice Partnership 
>> (IP3) (www.ipthree.org).  Our mission is to create
>> "A global partnership that will define international standards of 
>> professionalism in ICT; create an infrastructure that will encourage and 
>> support the development of both ICT practitioners and employer 
>> organisations; and give recognition to those who meet and maintain the 
>> required standards for knowledge, experience, competence and integrity."

That's the same thing a number of "professional organisations" propose
IIA, SIIA, and many more.) And every week it seems some altruist
proposes "cleaning up" the industry by providing a certification of

What is it that your new organisation offers that would motivate FOSS
practitioners to sign up and endorse it, that the other organisations don't?

Note: "Global GDP is nearly 60 Trillion USD and the global program for
computing as spearheaded by IP3 and IP3-GIC will be a catalyst for a
more than a 20% increase in global GDP in the next 10 years to 80
Trillion USD." isn't the answer I'm looking for.  :-)

>> I have been invited to speak on the topic of "Professional Certification 
>> for FOSS engineers and practitioners" early next year and I wanted to 
>> canvas views on what that means to you who are in the field living this 
>> experience?
>> Without wanting to prejudice the conversation, my view is that it 
>> doesn't matter which paradigm you embrace in computing and ICT, to be a 
>> professional can and should be defined in the same way. 

And what way is that? (serious question).

>> But is it 
>> different to 'main stream and proprietary' engineers and practitioners? 

Perhaps if you defined what you mean by "professional" we could better
answer the question.

>>   If so how does it differ?
>> What are the elements that would make the FOSS practitioner a professional?

An understanding and dedication to the principles of FOSS would be a
prerequisite. That influences the standards of the work the practitioner
does i.e.. a non-FOSS professional lives in a closed world were
self-appointed peers judge "standards", I tend to believe that FOSS has
higher standards (put up or shut-up, hands on, all that matters is the
products etc).

An example would be, as a FOSS practitioner and employer, I tend to
judge a company by the quality of it's website. So I wouldn't join or
endorse an organisation whose website didn't validate and wasn't fully
accessible to all visitors. It might indicate they make up their own
standards, it certainly doesn't support the idea that they support Open
Standards. Perhaps they just don't get FOSS?

>> Is it technical skills and mastery?  Is that enough?  Does Project 
>> Management and business acumen factor into it?  What else?

Well... it's FOSS, so ultimately it's judged by the community. Certainly
technical skills count. Business acumen isn't always relevant e.g.
contractor developers/graphic designers/technical writers etc

>> Can a one person business as some FOSS practitioners are, ever be 
>> defined as professional?

Can a one person business as some closed source practitioner are, ever
be defined as professional? The Tax Office what's the difference between
a hobby and business. It's a profession if it's a living and you don't
wear overalls or gumboots. Professional "standards" are a different matter.

>> <snipped>

>> Many thanks
>> brenda

Sincerely, Scott Ferguson

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