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To Guild or Not to Guild; Is the questio

By teburlew ·
I am moving this separate topic from within the "Certifications don't Measure" discussion. This appears to have a strong enough emotional impact to bring this topic into it's own light.

The deeper issue is not so much should we have a guild with"levels" of experience but that of a professional organization (society?) where individuals can exchange ideas and learn from others.

This topic was started by Brian Lusk with whom I have corresponded outside the other discussion. We agreed thatthis topic originally titled "A Computer Technician Guild", Messsage 287 of 320 from within Discussion: Certifications soesn't measure should be separate from the certification thread.

I am copying Brian's original topic from the other discussion to here as a frame of reference. Additionally, I am cross-referencing this discussion within the threads of the other.

My hope with this discussion is to generate enough interest that together we can draft a proposal to present to a sponsor. Possibly TechRepuclic?

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Copied by permission of author.

by teburlew In reply to To Guild or Not to Guild; ...

Date: 8/28/00

A Computer Technician Guild?
What would you think of a Computer Technicians guild, generally modeled after that of the construction trades? The type of organization I am thinking of would have skill levels similar to Apprentice, Journeyman, Technician, Master, &c, and provide the support structure necessary to help when a technician gets stuck.

I would be thinking that a guild of this type would vouch for the skills of the technicians within it, and could build a market in the community for quality. Plus, the small and medium shops with only one computer guy would have the support of the entire Guild, not just their own brains.

I was also thinking this could provide the real hands-on training that so many certification programs lack, taught by the guild members themselves.

What do you all think? Good idea, bad idea? BTW, I am NOT discussing a union. This would be a Technicians Guild, membership to which entitles you tocertain benefits. (Maybe even TechRepublic would want to run this one, eh? But I am thinking more on the lines of local chapters and meeting groups.)

Give me some ideas, or contact me directly, if you want to.

Brian Lusk

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CDP does that

by Al Macintyre In reply to Copied by permission of a ...

I do not have a CDP.

For anyone outside the tradespeople to respect the certification of the skills, there has to be the power of law.

Everyone knows what a Certified Accountant is. Certified Medical Practioners have to take certain amount ofcontinuing education & tests to keep their licenses to do their work. CDP also that way.

But it is never going to happen when everyone considers themselves to be a computer expert not needing any more than very temporary help.

What might change the climate if there is growth in legal consequences of the computer equivalent of medical malpractice.

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To Expand On This

by Brian Lusk In reply to To Guild or Not to Guild; ...

From the original thread, the primary concern with this type of an organization is the thought that we are "Professionals", not "Tradesman". The argument continues that "Professionals" don't have guilds, "Tradesman" have guilds.

Most professionshave some form of "Professional Organization", or some type of minimum requirements. CPAs have a minimum amount of schooling to achieve. Lawyers have to pass the bar exam. Nurses and Doctors also have schooling requirements. Does anyone contend that these are not professionals? I also know that some of these groups have serious professional organizations in their fields, which include continuing education and training.

Granted that the Apprentice, Journeyman, Master style MIGHT not workfor the IT type of an organization, but my contention is that we need to pass around the "hands-on" information. This includes Managerial, Technical, Personnel, and the many other roles IT plays in todays organizations. To paraphrase my original post, the idea is to have a professional organization that can vouch for the skills and abilities of it's members and provide this type of hands-on training, preferably by the members themselves.

What are the thoughts of the TechRepublic members asa whole? Yea, nay or indifferent? Problems or solutions?

Brian Lusk

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Professionals have Associations....

by SheilaU In reply to To Expand On This

I followed the thread in the original discussion, and I think that it would be a great idea to have some sort of guild (read, association) that would provide these types of services to members. I know that as a newly certified tech with years of experience but no college education, it would be beneficial if I had some sort of "proof" (other than previous employers, etc.) that I know what I'm doing. If we all had a single point of reference for issues, fixes, etc. as well as a way to share experience, it would be a wonderful thing. I know that I would definitely participate.

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Certified Data Processor

by Al Macintyre In reply to Professionals have Associ ...

The CDP has been around since before I got into computers in the punched card era & it is updated to variations to stay current with technology.

The problem with an independent industry standards committee is that it gets no respect from the end buyers & by the time they learn that something is a real good idea, like say the IEEE standard on electrical protection or the notion of getting ISO 9000 rated, the standards have advanced far beyond what the general public is aware of.

What I am saying is that general standards tend to be more helpful for the practicioners from perspective of getting good in our professions than in serving the end businesses that benefit.

Now MS & Novell & other major vendors seem to have quite a good racket going in various places getting people credentialled to have their certification & then steer customers to folks with that.

Only time will tell if that serves real needs or is an avenue to selling MS & Novell when some other platform might be more appropriate.

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Pieces of Paper

by Al Macintyre In reply to To Expand On This

I have pieces of paper saying that I passed this or that computer education class, but I know that if I do not USE the material that I learned in my regular work pretty soon I am going to forget what I learned.

Perhaps there is also a need for pieces of paper similar to what we might want with a resume.

When a software project is completed, or a hardware upgrade, there is a document from the end user acknowleging the work that we did, then 6 months later there is a follow-up document thatour project continues to work good, that with experience in the new application, the end users found no flaws with our creation.

Now this is still a bit self-serving because we technicians have to say that we wrote it in a particular language with certain techniques.

You almost need to have some kind of auditing in which the cost of the auditing will have to be justified.

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we already have orgs doing this stuff

by Dr Dij In reply to Pieces of Paper

the ACM and IEEE CS are used as forums for sharing advanced knowledge. For particular products the user groups do the job such as IBM users group, HP users group, Oracle users groups, and any big sw pkg has user groups. I think 'guilds' in their original sense were setup when there was no other option to hands on training. Nowadays, you can get hands on training in boot camps, from places like WaveTech, etc. where you use real vendor equipment, etc. even if it is not actually on the job. This and combinations of discussion groups like this one, and conferences seem to spread the knowledge pretty well. And to have force of law can only serve to drive up the price of services to the end user.

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