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United Kingdom Politics IT

British Computer Society Is Officially At Civil War 275

Posted by kdawson
from the band-of-brothers-with-maces dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A vote of no confidence against the current board of directors has erupted in what is possibly the first nerd war, raging throughout the British Computer Society. More financial- and spreadsheet-related fixations and less computer science have made a few members cross; plus they don't like the new name 'The Chartered Institute of IT.' Here are more specific details on the extraordinary emergency general meeting on July 1, where members will vote to decide the fate of the board of directors."
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British Computer Society Is Officially At Civil War

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  • Civil war? (Score:5, Funny)

    by gzipped_tar (1151931) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:21AM (#32507742) Journal

    At first I thought it was about British Computer Society declaring war against the UK government.

    Meh. nothingtoseeheremovealong

    • Re:Civil war? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:29AM (#32507804)
      This is not just a couple of nerds throwing a fit. It is an important professional organization and whose interest it should server. More information: here [computerworlduk.com]. The question is whether or not the organization should represent practicing IT professionals or management.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Captain Hook (923766)
        It wants to be an important professional organization, but I hardly know anyone who actually is a member or employers who ask for accredited training courses from them.
        • Re:Civil war? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by jimicus (737525) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @07:13AM (#32508330)

          Seconded.

          I was a member for a while, I cancelled the membership when I figured I was paying £80/year for the privilege of putting MBCS after my name and... er... that was about it.

          The only way I can see it being important is if the computing industry ever reaches the point where there's a real benefit in being able to call yourself a "Chartered IT Professional" or somesuch (much as you can be a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Accountant or Chartered Surveyor and if you are, you're legally allowed to do some things you wouldn't otherwise be able to).

          • yeah, lets face it, with all the off-shoring that goes on, the idea of increasing your income by being better trained in any given field of IT has been shown to not work. Management don't want the best trained, they want the cheapest who can do the job.

            Maybe Safety Critical applications should be restricted to 'Chartered' status employees, that would provide a reason for the BCS to exist and provide a benefit to being a member.

            Until then, they are nothing more than a University Alumni type of organisation.

          • Re:Civil war? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @07:50AM (#32508564) Homepage

            It will never happen. Corporations DESPERATELY do not want IT to rise back to a "skilled" level where they have to pay premium wages for it again. They want IT to be the next Factory job where you get low wages and bad hours...

            Requirements = higher pay rates. And companies dont want that. They want IT people they can hire for $10-$13 an hour USD and keep them cheap. They dont want to hire a guy that is highly skilled and educated for $23.00 an hour and higher... Because he is hard to replace, while the MCSE kid that will take a paltry $11.00 an hour and think he hit he jackpot is very easy to replace.

            This is why you dont see companies demanding certifications and education levels... Because they will be forced to double pay rates. and they do not want to do that.

            • Re:Civil war? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by TapeCutter (624760) * on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @08:15AM (#32508702) Journal
              Aussie, degree qualified developer, 20yrs experience - $US23.00 an hour is nowhere near enough to get me out of bed.
              • by corbettw (214229)

                American, high-school dropout, 20 years experience - I'd laugh in someone's face if they offered me $23 an hour.

      • by Skater (41976)
        What is with people typing "server" instead of "serve" lately?
    • They're British. The war is implied, but they're being civil for appearances.

      Pretty soon someone will call out Mornington Crescent :)

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm sorry, I don't have a clue what you are talking about!

        -Samantha

      • by johanw (1001493)
        Being civil because thei're Brittish? That must be the reason every mainland country in Europe associates "Brittish soccer fans" with the worst kind of hooligans?
        • Re:Civil war? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @08:06AM (#32508642)

          That must be the reason every mainland country in Europe associates "Brittish soccer fans" with the worst kind of hooligans?

          Sure, and the French go around with stripey T-shirts and wearing necklaces made of onion, while the Germans live on a diet of beer and 15 different kinds of sausage.

          Or maybe decades-old stereotypes that apply to a tiny fraction of the population aren't very helpful.

          • It may only apply to a tiny fraction of the population, but it's more than a stereotype - during the 2004 Europe Cup in Portugal there were much ore British people arrested than other countries, and in fact one of them is still fighting in courts to avoid extradition after he managed to return to England.

        • by jonbryce (703250)

          They are really English football holigans, but that is another story altogether.

      • by Stooshie (993666)
        Oxford Street!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by xaxa (988988)

          Oxford Street!

          At first I wondered why you chose a street, rather than a station, but presumably we're using the 1923 "Queen's Admiralty" rules?

          In that case, it's Chiswick High Road for me.

        • by jonbryce (703250)

          That's not a station. The stations on Oxford Street are Marble Arch, Bond Street, Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road. All are on the Central Line. Bond Street is additionally on the Jubilee Line, Oxford Circus on the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines, and Tottenham Court Road on the Northern Line.

  • When I finished my BSc and MSc we were given application forms and things to join the BCS but I didn't see the point. What benefits does it have?

    • by beelsebob (529313) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:25AM (#32507766)

      Basically, you can attain levels of experience that you can then use to demonstrate to potential new employers that you have experience, and skills used in industry. Unfortunately, it's all very management biased, and anti actually doing any computing biased. For example, IIRC, the various programming skills start at level 1 qualifications max out at level 6, while management skills start at level 5 and max out at level 10.

      • And what exactly does this crude grading system represent? If it's across-the-board for IT personell, the test would either be toothless or unfeasible due to sheer scope.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by beelsebob (529313)

          It represents bragging rights when applying for new jobs –a CV with "I have BCS level 9 qualifications" on it helps at some companies.

      • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:46AM (#32507890) Homepage

        ... so you have to double-class to manager to join?

        (All this stuff about skill levels sounds funny. :P )

      • "Basically, you can attain levels of experience that you can then use to demonstrate to potential new employers that you have experience,"

        If people already have a computer science degree how are some noddy certificates from a self important club going to help? Potential new employers will be a lot more impressed if you have a first or 5 years doing hard core development at a blue chip.

      • Basically, you can attain levels of experience that you can then use to demonstrate to potential new employers that you have experience, and skills used in industry.

        Cool. Like getting modded up at /. Can I trade in my Karma?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        the various programming skills start at level 1 qualifications max out at level 6, while management skills start at level 5 and max out at level 10.

        Call me an out-of-place mathematician, but what's the difference between a scale from 5 - 10 and a scale from 1 - 6? They both have six levels. The fact that they re-use known symbols (sequential Arabic digits) to name those levels is just convenience. Numbering management with a minimum qualification level of 5 is consistent with standard assumptions about managers (that they don't know what a baseline is), so maybe the numbering system is really a subtle joke?

        • by GIL_Dude (850471) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @08:02AM (#32508626) Homepage
          I agree with that, but I would point out that they probably try to represent this to folks outside their organization as being one scale instead of separate programmer and manager scale. Which would tend to show a manager at level 7 as more experienced than a programmer at level 6.
        • by beelsebob (529313)

          Nothing particularly, except that most people *aren't* mathematicians. Most people see "ah, I see you're a level 6 manager, you must be as experienced, and wonderful as this level 6 programmer", despite the programmer having to have 20 years experience and done crazy amount of testing, and the manager basically being a basic line manager.

        • by IBBoard (1128019)

          The difference is that Level 1 is "newbie with no experience and easy to achieve" where as level 5 is "experienced professional requiring a reasonable amount of evidence".

          I had to use the levels when I did an "Industrial Experience" year and found that even moderate programming experience shot you up to about level 3 without much effort. The problem was that I was supposed to show development, but level 4 required more specialist things that not everyone does.

    • by malkavian (9512) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:26AM (#32507778) Homepage

      Under the "old way", the benefits were lots of lectures that you got to go to on various subjects, plus the chance to network with other professionals. Useful stuff really; some of those lectures were great.

      Under the 'new way', they've altered the way the "chartered" membership works; as it was in the old days, you could become a chartered IT professional without having to prove anything other than you'd stayed in the IT sector for 5 years. Now there are a series of exams to pass and frequent re-evaluation to maintain it (more in line with chartered engineer status from the engineering professions).

      Really, I think a lot of the new changes are to make the BCS more relevant to what commerce wants to know, rather than being a comp sci enclave. The thrust has changed direction, though this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    • by orbitalia (470425)

      you get some letters after your name...

      • by oiron (697563)

        Quite a few, it seems...

        Rajan Anketell DIC CEng CSci FBCS CITP FIBC CMC FORS MIET FRSA

        That's quite a collection you have there, Mr. Anketell...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by PeterBrett (780946)
          • CEng: Chartered Engineer (awarded by a chartered engineering body, probably the IET in this case)
          • CSci: Chartered Scientist (awarded by a chartered scientific body; it isn't clear which)
          • FBCS: Fellow of the British Computing Society
          • CITP: Chartered IT Professional (awarded by the BCS)
          • CMC: Certified Management Consultant (haven't heard of this one before)
          • FORS: ????
          • MIET: Member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (so am I!)
          • FRSA: Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by AHuxley (892839)
            FORS could be Fellow of the Operational Research Society
          • by digitig (1056110)

            • CEng: Chartered Engineer (awarded by a chartered engineering body, probably the IET in this case)

            More likely awarded by the BCS, since he's a Fellow of the BCS and only a Member of the IET. It's impossible to tell, though. If he were a Fellow of both or a Member of both then he should put the awarding membership first, but I think the rule about listing Fellowships before Memberships overrides that rule.

        • by xaxa (988988)

          Xaxa MEng ACGI

          More effort needed?

    • by NekSnappa (803141)
      BCS? What does college football have to do with IT?
  • Brilliant! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:26AM (#32507776)

    I had to meet with a bunch of BCS reps when my course was re-accredited, and the experience matches up with what the summary says. They were obsessing over whether the mathematics of CS were too difficult and all kinds of bogus concerns

    I think their problem is that higher level courses are (inherently) not an "everyone's invited" thing. Because not everyone will succeed. And that's how it should be. They're difficult if they're done right, because they include a lot hard-line theory behind the soft 'Let's do Java' exterior. The BCS just can't seem to accept this though. They want to pervert the courses to make them easier, basically

    More people on courses = more power to them? Or maybe they get extra money for getting a certain % of the population onto courses? I have no idea of their motives but whatever they are, they're going about them the wrong way

    • Re:Brilliant! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CrashandDie (1114135) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @06:51AM (#32508196)
      I did a quick course after the equivalent of high school. Mostly because I was bored, and my buddies were going that route.

      I'm one of those guys who's not particularly bad at math, but just sucks at the way it's being taught in school. Anyway, this is a course mostly directed towards students who completed electronics and electrotechnics degrees. Those degrees are aimed at people who have a "scientific" mind, but didn't score well enough in math and science in the previous years. Something for everyone, right?

      The first day of that degree, our math teacher informed us that most of us were going to fail math. Not because we were bad or stupid, not because we'd be smoking drugs and getting wasted every weekend, but quite simply because the stuff he'd be required by law to teach us was way out of our league, and that he expected almost half the class to be dumped by the end of the first semester.

      What he aimed for, was not for most of us to ace, he would be trying to get us to not fail too badly. Out of 24 students who started the course, 10 dropped out by the end of the first year, partly because they didn't like CS, but mostly because they were completely drowned in math and physics. Out of 10 students who got to the final exams in the end, 2 or 3 passed Math.

      The problem is that (in France), what the teacher has to teach the students is decided by some fat guys in suits who haven't seen nor remember what a student looks like for the past 20-30 years. They are stuck, getting insane requests from the industry, about 10 years too late, and trying to work out what might help. By the time the new stuff reaches the teachers and students, 15 or 20 years have passed. What you end up with are continuously deprecated degrees, where students come out, filled with hope and joy based on the lies their schools and teachers told them for the past few years, and are hit in the face during their first job interviews (if they ever get one) where they realise that nothing they've learned will be useful.

      Now, I got my degree, and most of friends did as well (only 1 didn't get it, as I recall, so 10%), but seriously, what's the point of giving uber-hard math, where kids just drop off and don't give a shit anymore, and doesn't stop them from getting their diploma in the end anyway? I went to maybe 3 math classes in my last year, and still got my diploma with flying colours. It's not about making it easier, it's about making it useful.
      • Re:Brilliant! (Score:4, Informative)

        by jayegirl (26328) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @08:24AM (#32508754) Homepage

        what's the point of giving uber-hard math, where kids just drop off and don't give a shit anymore, and doesn't stop them from getting their diploma in the end anyway? I went to maybe 3 math classes in my last year, and still got my diploma with flying colours. It's not about making it easier, it's about making it useful.

        Perhaps some of the point is, for once in the cess-pool that is the modern, utility and mediocrity obsessed tertiary education system, to attempt to provide broad-ranging bases of abstract knowledge to the students who actually want to learn, and are capable of doing so. That way we'll at least get some people who can work at the coal face of knowledge creation as opposed to just another batch of clueless, money-grabbing code monkeys?

        The sort of useful you're talking about is concerned with places where all the interesting, hard problems have already been solved. Sounds dull as dishwater if you've got a brain in your head.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CrashandDie (1114135)

          the modern [...] education system [...] attempt[s] to provide broad-ranging bases of abstract knowledge to the students who actually want to learn, and are capable of doing so.

          (Editing mine)

          Sure. And there is are degrees for that. Math degrees. Physics degrees. Teaching abstract stuff is useless unless you explain, at some point, how those theories can be applied to real world situations.

          What you end up with are stupid problems where all the variables are given (or easily findable) in the context of the problem, and absolutely NO "education" of how to find the variables, nor anything else. What you end up with are kids (or young adults) who can probably work a Laplace trans

    • Re:Brilliant! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Spad (470073) <slashdotNO@SPAMspad.co.uk> on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @07:10AM (#32508316) Homepage

      It's the misunderstanding de jour, at least in the UK, that the ideal situation is for everyone to be getting top marks in every exam they take - mostly due to bloody school league tables and the "everyone must go to uni" mentality. This does of course defeat the entire point of exams, which is to differentiate people based on their level of ability in a given field, to the extent that some universities are finding that *every* applicant for certain courses have 5 A's at A-Level and so deciding who to take is often a crap shoot. The (previous) government's brilliant solution to this issue? Add an A* grade at A-Level and carry on as normal.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by amw (636271)

        The (previous) government's brilliant solution to this issue? Add an A* grade at A-Level and carry on as normal.

        Much as I enjoy kicking them now they're down, to be fair the main reason for that was the range of marks an 'A' grade covered. 'B' could, in theory, cover 60 to 69%, whilst 'A' covered 70% all the way up to 100%. 'A*' simply made it possible to differentiate between the increasingly common (for other, more fundamental reasons) 'A'-grades.

        The danger is that in the future, people will forget exacrly when A*s were introduced, and judge 'old' A grades as being inferior.

      • by mike2R (721965)

        The (previous) government's brilliant solution to this issue? Add an A* grade at A-Level and carry on as normal.

        I'm all for bashing Labour, but to be fair I got some A* GCSEs when John Major was PM.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Patch86 (1465427)

        Student's in the UK are in an awful catch-22 at the moment. If they do well, people complain that their exams were worthless, and that they've only achieved what they have because everything's so much easier than "back in the day". If they get a mediocre (what might once have been considered "normal") grade, they're made to feel like failures, as A*s are supposedly so common.

        It's lose-lose.

  • by niks42 (768188) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:29AM (#32507800)
    Having membership of the BCS gives you nothing when it comes to getting a job. A CV glowing with past achievements; actually doing things, delivering things and demonstrating that you have the cuts and weals from real-world engagements is worth much more than being a fellow of a society. I'd have to explain to potential employers who the BCS are and what they do.
    • Aside from when a friend of mine was flat out told he got the job because from a bunch of otherwise pretty much identical candidates, he was a member of the BCS, and none of the others were.

      Other than that I've been struggling to see why I should join myself.

      • by digitig (1056110)
        And I wouldn't have my job if I were not a member of the BCS. I think the English speaking world has a problem with the distinction between technicians and engineers. The BCS is an engineering institution, and is relevant to jobs in IT engineering, but most IT jobs are technician jobs.
      • by niks42 (768188)
        An exception that proves the rule ;-)

        Having applied for over 200 jobs in the last 18 months, been turned down for the other guy because they had slightly more experience of Government Security standards, or were slightly younger, or had more sexual appeal to the (non-technical) Technical Director, landed a great job with a CV that just demonstrated experience, and the cuts and bruises of encounters with hostile customers, a willingness to be flexible, and the wisdom to know when not to be. Cut out all of
        • I have a fair bit of experience interviewing programmers. I tailor my own CV to please the HR grunt who ticks boxes so that they will pass it on to the manager who will interview me. Mostly this just means mentioning all the acronyms that were in the job advertisment.
  • Slow.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:36AM (#32507854)

    I think the no confidence voters have been a bit slow to get their message out, the BCS has already sent out shiny information packs explaining why you should vote for them (I abstained due to this information shortage). I voted no about scrapping the rule of 50 members for a vote of no confidence though, seems like a nice democratic safeguard to me.

    Definitely the BCS has been dumbed down successively over the past 16 years I have been a full member, I suspect that this is because they basically want more members so lower the entry bar, in order to get the membership funds in their coffers. I definitely did not like the CITP membership level, it is the British COMPUTER socienty, that should cover anything in the field of computing and not just information technology.

    Anyway, I think a rocket up the ass like this is good for any organisation so we will see what comes out of it.

    • I recall that many years ago the Australian Computer Society ditched the IT mob, so that you had to be a computer scientist to get in. I was a "member" when I was a student, because it was free for me.

      • Heh, I was a free student memeber of the ACM in 1990, couldn't see any value in it after I graduated.
    • by digitig (1056110)

      I think the no confidence voters have been a bit slow to get their message out, the BCS has already sent out shiny information packs explaining why you should vote for them (I abstained due to this information shortage). I voted no about scrapping the rule of 50 members for a vote of no confidence though, seems like a nice democratic safeguard to me.

      Yes, presumably the BCS (ie, our) resources are being used to put out the material opposing the original motion, whereas those who called the EGM probably don't have the resources for a publicity campaign. The key issue seems to be one of financial transparency, with suspicion of irregularities [wikispaces.com].

    • by IBBoard (1128019)

      Definitely the BCS has been dumbed down successively over the past 16 years I have been a full member, I suspect that this is because they basically want more members so lower the entry bar, in order to get the membership funds in their coffers. I definitely did not like the CITP membership level, it is the British COMPUTER socienty, that should cover anything in the field of computing and not just information technology.

      The odd thing is that I agree with the sentiment, but not with the votes. If you read t

  • Oh come on (Score:4, Funny)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:49AM (#32507918) Homepage Journal
    It's not a real nerd war until someone gets hit in the head with a plastic light saber!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)
      What? I thought it would have been with a LIGHTNING BOLT! LIGHTNING BOLT! LIGHTNING BOLT!

      Either that, or a Nerf projectile.
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @06:14AM (#32508026)

    Its a society run by and for people who cut their teeth on 1950s and 60s mainframes. Nothing wrong with that, but people seem to assume it has any relevance or authority today. It doesn't. No one I know in IT belongs to it or is even the slightest bit interested in it. Its the computing equivalent of a historic car club with similar types of people as members.

    • by Tim C (15259)

      I belong to it, but only because my employer pays the membership fee. For that, I get a monthly glossy magazine that I sometimes flick through, invitations to lectures, events, etc that I never attend, and the ability to put "MBCS" after my name - not that I ever would. (I don't put my real qualifications after my name, why would I put that there?)

      • For that, I get a monthly glossy magazine that I sometimes flick through, invitations to lectures, events, etc that I never attend...

        Okay, I get it now, it's just like IEEE!

    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @07:02AM (#32508268) Homepage

      I've always viewed it as a cabal of ancient gummy git-wizards, with a three foot beard and lifetime membership of the Campaign for Real Ale [camra.org.uk] being pre-requisites for membership.

      As far as I can see it, the current Grand High Git-Wizard rescued the BCS from total irrelevance, and is actually in danger of making it an organisation with a purpose. This angers the other git-wizards, who want to get back to the real business of the BCS: finally concluding the debate over whether the PDP-11 was a retrograde step from the PDP-8.

    • by niks42 (768188)
      Hah! you're so right .. like the MG Owners Club trying to tell Toyota how to design the next-gen Prius .. oh, wait ..
    • by Alioth (221270)

      Is it? I'm not a member (it seems too much "IT and management" and not enough "computing") but I do go to their talks reasonably often (and indeed have been a speaker). Most of the talks are about things that are of interest for today and the future. I've not seen any evidence at least in our local group of "historic car club" type attitude.

      As I said, the reason I'm not a member is that it has an overwhelmingly business IT focus, and I'm not really interested in joining an organization focused on business m

  • by houghi (78078) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @06:14AM (#32508028)

    Officially at war would mean a deceleration of war. Even though the intend to use deadly weapons is not needed, it is to be expected. I doubt that that is the case, even without reading the articles.

    After reading them, it is clear that is is a bad use of the word war. In the linked article one talks about "a row" and the other talks about "concerns". Now I understand that the British are very good and underplaying, but calling a war a row or a concerns is even to cool for them.

    Even the fake war on drugs, terrorism and piracy is more of a war then this.

    Sure it is a headline catcher. But if people are not willing to read it if it isn't, you should not make it louder, you should consider not posting it at all. This is not (yet) Foxnews.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @06:30AM (#32508092)

    When they introduced the Chartered status they automatically upgraded every member. Then the set the boundaries at a certain number of years experience, plus qualifications. Then they changed it to a framework whereby you had to have managed a certain number of people, and had a certain size budget. Then they changed it so that you had to have complete strategic accountability in a significant organisation. They're completely alienating a significant proportion of their members, who are technical professionals, not guys in boardrooms.

  • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @06:50AM (#32508194) Homepage

    Here's how it goes: Somebody has a great idea to form an association of some sort. Then, the idea of the actual association gets lost. Why? Narcissistic empathy-lacking morons are attracted to it because they can control the apparatus instead of deliver actual services. Then, the people who started the service get angry and fight back, and we get the situation we have here. Usually, the good guys lose and are forced to start their own splinter group. The new group never gets as big as the original because the original group has all the clout and relationships.

    I know a local "chamber of commerce" type organization. They spend all their time in committee meetings, electing general secretaries, and deciding who gets what title than actually promoting local business. Their association is a joke - it's obvious to everyone but them. To themselves, they're king ding-a-ling and they strut around like they're important people.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arethuza (737069)
      I seem to remember at least one society at University (I think it was the Economics Society or similar) that only existed so that the members could take turns holding various posts so they could put it on their CVs. I don't think they ever did anything other than hold meetings to decide who was going to do what for the next month.
  • Bad Summary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dcollins (135727) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @06:54AM (#32508214) Homepage

    "More financial- and spreadsheet-related fixations and less computer science have made a few members cross"

    I've read all the links provided, I don't see anyone referring to this whatsoever. All of the discussion centers on whether BCS remains a member-driven professional group and charity, or a top-down corporately-structured business. To quote the second link in its big-font and boldface summary:

    Among the active members of the BCS, there are many dissatisfactions with how the Society is run; but when it comes specifically to why this EGM has been called, it all boils down to the issues of governance and probity. [http://bcsreform.wikispaces.com/Message+re+EGM+call]

  • Maybe we should have an icon for articles about Australia as well. I am not sure what though. I don't think a picture of a Sydney bus would convey the right impression. So whats our icon? A can of beer? A kangaroo diving head first through a windscreen?

    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      Maybe we should have an icon for articles about Australia as well. I am not sure what though. I don't think a picture of a Sydney bus would convey the right impression. So whats our icon? A can of beer? A kangaroo diving head first through a windscreen?

      The icon should be a cap, symbolizing how Australia is well known for it's bandwidth caps.

    • From what I know of Australia your icon should be a passport. Because every single last one of you must be somewhere else by all the aussies I meet around the world. If you sit in the middle seat of an aircraft, one person next to you will be from Australia/New Zealand. Same thing.

      Runs for it.

      Still I wonder. What makes you such globe trotters. Want to see the world or just want to get the hell out of that place?

  • I'm a drop out. 10 years ago I dropped out of a VR design course to do programming for a living. I have always had mixed feelings that I should have done a CS degree. I say mixed because I have met such varied results. I have met some that have been taught exactly what I wanted to know and had to find for myself, but I have also met hordes that I don't feel know what they should. They can't program anything but C#/Java and I wouldn't trust them to with what they know about compilers, registers, stack and he
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ledow (319597)

      Most uni courses are an absolute waste of time. Anything real/interesting is saved until the MSc / PhD years, at least in the UK. By then, if you *don't* know your stuff, you're dead in the water anyway. Learning is 99.9% to do with user motivation... if someone doesn't want to learn, no course in the world can teach them. Other people, though, will absorb knowledge like it's going out of fashion and be far ahead of the class before they even start.

      I have a CS degree from a good London university. I ca

  • A vote of no confidence against the current board of directors has erupted in what is possibly the first nerd war,

    Seriously? Nerds have been fighting for centuries, and you think this is the first?

    What about the British Boffins (including Alan Turing) versus the Nazi Boffins (some of whom would later work on NASA missions). What about Tesla versus Edison? Plato versus Aristotle? Star Trek nerds versus Star Wars nerds? Amiga nerds versus Atari ST nerds?

    • by Skater (41976)

      I was thinking of the old Fidonet message boards that had three topics banned in the Star Trek forum, because they always devolved into flame wars:

      1. Kirk vs. Picard
      2. Religion in Star Trek
      3. O'Brien's rank
  • It's World War III, no wait ...
    It's Civil War, no wait ...
    It's only in UK, no wait ...
    It's only a society, no wait ...
    It's only some nerds, no wait ...


    It's nothing.
  • You just don't see the word "cross" used very much anymore. It's just the perfect word sometimes.
  • Oh, ChIT. I can see how that might be a problem.

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley

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