Thursday, 16 May 2013

My IEng application up to now with the BCS

My IEng Application

I have been working towards the IEng title with the Engineering Council for some years. Last month I finally sent the application into the British Computer Society for assessment. 

Why?

Why have I made an IEng application? It all started when I was working for a construction company called Terrapin. There were quite a few people in the technical and research departments that had professional membership and others had titles such as EngTech, IEng and CEng. They seemed to get respect for these titles and they were deemed useful in tenders. Being a technician there (doing estimates and drawings and mainly programming), I thought it would be good if I could get involved so I begun to research the titles. 

I was pleased when I realised that the British Computer Society could issue the title and even more pleased that my course partially met the requirements for IEng too. After I finished my course I carried on doing professional development and even though I had left Terrapin and the new company (a software house) hadn't really heard of the titles I kept the IEng title at the back of my mind. 

I have always felt the work I do is mixture of engineering and craft. Some of the fiendish maths problems we solve would give any engineer a run for their money although a lot of the time the work is just run of the mill bread and butter. However I found that it was essentially the same in engineering when I worked in that area. Most of the calculations were done ( I had automated things, or we used pre bought software) and the services and buildings we sold we generally the same each time with only minor problems or variations. This is the same for a lot of the time in software development but everything we do is still underpinned by the basic rules that it's all built on. 

I think certifications like IEng are a great sign that someone has made a dedication to take their profession seriously and to keep learning. A day doesn't go by when I don't read part of a technology book, watch a tutorial video or read a blog on some new development technique or pattern. I go to courses regularly and enjoy learning new things at local programmer meetups and conferences. When employing people, I have found without exception, that people that do the above are worth a hundred of those that don't. They're forward thinking, innovative and interesting people to be around (especially when you are trying to drive technical change in the company). IEng is just another sign that a person has all of the qualities above. 

What next?

I have sent in my application and my supporter has sent in their bit now so it's with the assessor. I don't think I have done a great job of the application, my only complaint about the process with the BCS is that it's very unclear what they really want. I have sent all my professional development notes for the past year and a half (I didn't take notes before then :-( ) as well. Further learning was required after the 2005 intake of my course but I don't know if I will need to do so. I am fairly confident that I know thousands of times more than a computing graduate and am not really willing to go and do a top up year for my HND as it will be costly and I will learn nothing. If it comes to a technical report, I have been told I will get some good advice from the assessor so  I will keep you updated!

You can find out more about the Engineering Council here -> http://www.engc.org.uk/ and specifically about the application process with the BCS here -> http://www.bcs.org/category/14958

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