Organizations, Certifications Keys to IT Professionalism

What makes a good Information Technology professional? Is it simply good training, gritty determination, logical thinking, and the ability to put in long hours alone at the keyboard?

That may be part of it, but a more complete answer would include communicating effectively, understanding business needs, dressing smartly, belonging to professional organizations, and acquiring certifications.

My company, Nicom IT Solutions, pays particular attention to these organizations and certifications and I will summarize the ones that exist in Nova Scotia. If you are in IT, you’ll want to check these out. If you want to find good IT organizations and individuals who can help your business, this article is a good place to start.

ITANS. The Information Technology Association of Nova Scotia promotes the growth of the IT industry in this province. Nicom has been a member since its formation, and believes in continuing to make ITANS a strong organization that can help shape the industry and provide members with good networking opportunities. (http://www.itans.ns.ca)

CIPS. The Canadian Information Processing Society is an organization that fosters individual professionalism. It offers an Information Systems Professional (ISP) designation; if you have an IT background you may already be well on your way to qualifying. An ISP demonstrates that you value continuous improvement and ethical behavior. (http://www.cips.ca/bluenose)

PMI. The Project Management Institute is a worldwide organization with an active Nova Scotia chapter. We at Nicom support this organization and hire project managers with the PMP (Project Management Professional) designation because we know they have the skills to manage large projects and we know our clients look for this designation. (http://www.pmi.ns.ca)

IIBA. The International Institute of Business Analysts exists to help business analysts do their job better by offering courses as well as a Certified Business Analyst Professional designation. They have an active Halifax chapter with frequent events. (http://halifax.theiiba.org)

itSMF. The IT Service Management Forum promotes frameworks and standards for the delivery of IT services, including certifications such as ITIL, ISO20000, CoBIT and others. (http://www.itsmf.ca/branch/atlantic)

NovaKnowledge. NovaKnowledge is an advocate for Nova Scotia’s knowledge industry, which includes information technology. (http://www.novaknowledge.ns.ca)

Vendor Certifications. Perhaps our proudest achievement at Nicom is our Microsoft Gold certification. It’s not all that difficult to get basic certification, but reaching Gold is a whole new level that our clients appreciate. Having individuals who have achieved the Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) accreditation makes them much more valuable to us and to our clients. Other vendor certifications that have relevance in Nova Scotia include Sun Certified Java Developer, SAP Certified Professional, and Oracle Certified professional designations.

My colleagues at Nicom and I are active in the above organizations and I’d be happy to speak with you at any time about what they mean to your business.

2 replies
  1. Laurel Nickerson says:

    Hello Pat

    I really enjoy your column in the Chronicle Herald and learn something from each one, thanks. I’m wondering if you have any recommendations for a mini laptop? I’ve started doing cruise ship presentations (great way to travel on the cheap 🙂 and would like something more portable for the travel than my Toshiba which is bulky for what I need it for. The laptop just needs to run PowerPoint on Windows. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance and keep up the great columns.

    Laurel Nickerson

  2. Pat d'Entremont says:

    Actually I do! I did a study of the “Acer Aspire One” a couple of months ago although it didn’t quite make it into a column yet. It is about 10 inches by seven inches by one inch thick, the size of a hardcover novel, but it’s full-function, with a real keyboard and a high-resolution display. The one I was testing was bought at Best Buy for only $400. The person who owns it is just down the hall and she’s telling me it is just great.

    I am a little hesitant about making product reviews because to be complete and fair I should look at competing products. However given that I don’t get paid for any of this I only dabble here and there. There may be others that are as good as the Acer but I know that one is good.

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