Vol. 19, #13 - March 31, 2014 - Issue #973
Does the IT Profession need to be Regulated?
- Editor's Corner
- From the Archive
- Does the IT Profession need to be Regulated?
- Tip of the Week: Windows PowerShell Errors
- Recommended for Learning
- Microsoft Virtual Academy
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Asia Pacific
- Webcast Calendar
- WindowsNetworking.com Webinar: Information Governance - What IT Pros Need to Know
- Register for Webcasts
- Tech Briefing
- Enterprise IT
- Cloud Computing
- Windows Server
- Windows Server News
- Cloud benefits demand fine-tuned orchestration
- Considerations for virtual desktop patch management
- Server admins: Don't ignore SDN, but tread carefully
- Open source graphics editor GIMP is a good Photoshop alternative
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- Unbelievable Bus Shelter
- Genki Sudo - World Order - 'Have A Nice Day'
- How Dogs React To Magic
- Personal Metamorphosis
- Firestone Pick-Up
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- Simplify Office 365 & Active Directory with Admin Assistant 2.7
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER to a colleague who you think might find it useful!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
This week's newsletter is all about whether or not the IT profession needs to be regulated along the lines of how engineering as a profession is regulated. In other words, should an individual need a license from an accredited professional body in order to be able to call themselves an IT pro similar to how a professional engineer (P.Eng.) does? Or should anybody with a laptop and a screwdriver be allowed to call themselves an IT pro?
I know that talking about this matter is likely to ruffle a few features especially with the older crowd who have been playing this IT game a long time. But a recent news item about a major IT project failing made me think this might be a suitable topic for this newsletter to address.
Of course, the topic of project failures and engineers is one that Scott Adams has visited at least once in his Dilbert comic strip:
That one was for all you cat fans out there.
From the Archive
Speaking of managing IT projects, we previously examined why large IT projects often fail in at least three issues of WServerNews:
- Keeping it simple (Issue #955)
- IT and the Intelligent Business (Issue #956) see the Mailbag section
- iOS in the Enterprise (Issue #957) see the Mailbag section
Check them out and let us know at [email protected] if you have any further feedback on these matters.
Does the IT Profession need to be Regulated?
I recently stumbled across the following article in The Copenhagen Post:
"New governmental IT disaster raises old questions"
The article basically says that a government agency in Denmark has been advised to shut down its new IT system called PROASK after investing about 164 million kroner (about 27 million USD) in its development. The article then goes on to ask "Why do so many systems fail?" and says that "PROASK is just one of many public IT systems over the last ten years that has been delayed, cancelled or gone way over budget."
This news item got me thinking again about whether the IT profession needs to be regulated similar to the engineering profession. Let's be clear though, I'm not suggesting that all practitioners of IT need to be licensed, just those who work on projects that are critical to the success of society as a whole.
Let's look at an analogy. If I want someone to patch a hole in my drywall because I got mad and punched the wall, I'd probably just ask my brother-in-law to come and do the work for me. He's done some minor reno work like this before, and I trust him to do a decent job. But if I want someone to raise my house up and repair a broken foundation, then I want a qualified professional to do the work--someone who is licensed, certified, bonded, the whole nine yards. In other words, I want a P.Eng. involved in the project at some level.
Maybe the IT profession needs some degree of stratification like this. For example, I might hire someone with a couple of Microsoft certifications to set up a small network with a few PCs for a small business. I might even hire someone with no certifications if he or she has the necessary years of experience working with computers. But if I'm building an airport or hospital and need its IT infrastructure designed and implemented, then I want more than just someone who has passed a bunch exams and maybe built a few PCs from scratch.
Of course, I can hear the arguments on both sides of this issue:
Against: Buildings can collapse and bridges fall down even if they've been designed and built by professional engineers.
For: But the training, discipline and mindset of the engineering profession means this kind of thing rarely happens. Passing a few IT certs doesn't give you this kind of mindset or discipline, so it's no wonder many large IT projects fail.
Against: But IT projects often fail for reasons beyond the control of the IT pros who design and implement them. Factors such as underbidding and changing business requirements can sink even a well-designed project.
For: But professional training and licensing would enable IT pros to anticipate such difficulties so they can factor them into the project.
Against: Aww, licensing the IT profession is just another cash grab from the entitled class to add more layers of bureaucracy making it harder for ordinary working people to make a living...
For: Tell that to the public the next time you so-called IT pros waste another hard-earned ten million dollars of taxpayers' money...
Against / For / Against / For / and so on and so forth...
Which side of the issue to you align with? Should there be a professional licensing body, either national or international in scope, that governs who is licensed to call themselves an IT pro?
Here in Canada we have an organization called the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) that calls itself "Canada's Association of I.T. Professionals" on its website. CIPS has been actively promoting the idea of establishing a profession for IT since the organization was founded in 1958. They are the only professional organization in Canada that offers an IT designation (Information Systems Professional or I.S.P.) that is recognized by law ("legislated as a self regulating designation") currently in six provinces of Canada. The I.S.P. designation is apparently also recognized by the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. You can read more about the I.S.P. designation here:
CIPS also has a mutual recognition agreement with the Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) to facilitate easier cross-border movement for professionals in IT. You can find out more about the ICCP here:
Now from the above it would appear that efforts are already underway in some countries to establish IT as a "profession" in the sense that engineering is recognized as a profession. However, I have two problems with this observation. First, CIPS has been working towards this goal for more than 50 years. How close are they to achieving this goal? Or in other words, "Are we there yet?" I really have no idea.
Second, I personally know dozens of IT pros across Canada, maybe over a hundred, but I only know one who belongs to CIPS. I even joined CIPS awhile back and attended a few meetings, but I let my membership expire because I didn't see the value to my business. But then I don't design and implement IT systems for government agencies or large enterprises, so maybe I'm not the target audience for such membership. In other words, I'm not saying CIPS membership has no value; I'm just saying it doesn't seem relevant to the needs of my own IT career.
I'll end my editorial by repeating my earlier question from above: Should there be a professional licensing body, either national or international in scope, that governs who is licensed to call themselves an IT pro? I'll also add a second question: Are you currently a member of such a professional licensing body, and if so, why?
Send me your thoughts on this matter to [email protected]
This week's tip has been contributed by Ashley McGlone, Microsoft Premier Field Engineer.
PowerShell Errors Tip
Do you ever get that red text at the PowerShell console? Yes? So do I. The only person that doesn't is Chuck Norris. The PowerShell error text is usually quite descriptive, but sometimes you need to know more about what happened.
When you are working in PowerShell all errors by default go into the $Error array. This array stores up to the last 256 errors that occurred, and the most recent error is always inserted at index zero. You can view the most recent error by typing:
To get all of the juicy details, you can pipe it to Format-List like this:
$Error | fl * -Force
You have to use the Force switch, because normally the extra details are hidden.
To find out more about where the error originated use this:
To find out what happened leading up to the error view the stack trace:
These few extra moves should get you closer to the root cause of your error. Happy hunting!
About Ashley McGlone
Ashley McGlone is a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer (PFE) at Microsoft.
You can find more of Ashley's PowerShell tips on his TechNet blog here:
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]
Need to gain the skills needed to use Windows Server networks, applications, web services and other technologies? Check out the Windows Server Training page on the Microsoft Learning site here:
And for self-paced training, there's also my book:
Microsoft Virtual Academy
This week we have some on-demand courses from the Microsoft Virtual Academy.
On-demand from MVA: Windows 8.1 Deployment Jump Start
Now available to view at your convenience, this Jump Start features MVPs and Microsoft experts who walk you through the basics and then dive deep to teach you how to plan, configure, and manage client deployment to Windows-based computers in Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit. View the course here:
On-demand from MVA: Faster Insights to Data with SQL Server 2014 Jump Start
Are you all about data discovery, visualization, and collaboration? If you're trying to make sense of ever-growing piles of data, and you're an Excel power user, get ready for Power BI. Excel is now even more powerful with Power BI for Office 365 and the new tools you need to provide faster data insights to your organization. Watch this demo-rich Jump Start at your convenience, and learn about Power Query, Power Map, and natural language querying. This on-demand session provides a drilldown into Power BI features and capabilities, led by the team of Microsoft experts who own them. Watch here:
System Center 2012 SP1 Automation: on-demand MVA course
This course focuses on automation with System Center 2012 SP1, using Windows Server 2012 PowerShell and System Center Orchestrator. After completing this on-demand course you will be proficient at automating your System Center 2012 SP1 environment using Orchestrator and PowerShell. Take the course:
Quote of the Week
A couple of issues ago I included this quote in this newsletter:
"It's not the most powerful animal that survives. It's the most efficient." -- George St. Pierre, aka GSP, aka Rush, Canadian MMA fighter and former UFC Welterweight Champion
A reader named David who is a Senior HRIM Analyst responded to this as follows:
Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: "It's not the big that eat the small, it's the fast that eat the slow." I'm afraid I don't know who first said it, but nevertheless it is true.
You betcha. Gotta run--bye!
Until next week,
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Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
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Microsoft Build Developer Conference (Build 2014) on April 2-4, 2014 in San Francisco, California
TechEd North America on May 12-15, 2014 in Houston, Texas
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) in July, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
Microsoft SQL Server PASS Summit 2014 on November 4-7, 2014 in Seattle, Washington
European SharePoint Conference on May 5-8, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
TechEd Europe on October 27-31, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
TechEd New Zealand on September 9-12, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand
Add your event
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WindowsNetworking.com Webinar: Information Governance - What IT Pros Need to Know
Join e-Discovery and Computer Forensics expert Karen Schuler and Sherpa Solutions Architect, Rick Wilson to learn about the key factors a good information governance strategy should include, why such programs are critical to the success of your business, and gain a better understanding of the key role that IT professionals must play in corporate-wide governance initiatives and managing eDiscovery efforts. This live, interactive event will take place on Wednesday, April 16th at 2PM EDT.
Don’t miss this informative event with two industry experts. Sign up today:
Register for Webcasts
Add your Webcast
PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
Dell Management Packs now support Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 (Dell TechCenter)
Deploying Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Spaces on Dell PowerVault (Flo's Datacenter Report)
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New virtual labs: Get hands-on experience with Windows Azure Pack (TechNet Virtual Labs)
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Free Tools for Active Directory Administration (WindowsNetworking.com)
Windows Server 2012 R2 Products and Editions Comparison (Microsoft Download Center)
Automatic Maintenance in Windows Server 2012 R2 is EVIL! (Deployment Research)
Developing an Information Security and Risk Management Strategy (Part 1) (WindowSecurity.com)
Important Changes To The Forefront Product Line (Jorge's Quest for Knowledge)
Forefront TMG and UAG services explained (ISAserver.org)
Cloud benefits demand fine-tuned orchestration
Cloud orchestration can help you successfully build applications in the cloud, but only if implemented correctly. Inside this tip, explore various orchestration approaches, from script-based to model-based, and review a step-by-step guide on how to effectively use cloud orchestration universally.
Considerations for virtual desktop patch management
It's crucial to be careful when transitioning from physical to virtual desktops to prevent disrupting patch management – a common VDI pain point. Inside this essential guide, explore the top considerations to keep in mind during VDI deployment to avoid problems with patching.
Server admins: Don't ignore SDN, but tread carefully
Software-defined networking (SDN) is blurring the lines between traditional IT silos in today's "virtual-first" data centers. But is this technology a realistic option for your organization to utilize? Find out why IT teams like yours should take a special interest in SDN in 2014.
Open source graphics editor GIMP is a good Photoshop alternative
The GNU Image Manipulation Program, otherwise known as GIMP, is a free graphics editor program and a great alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Easy to learn and cost-free, GIMP is well on its way to becoming an industry standard. Should your enterprise switch to GIMP or stay with your current graphics editor setup? Find out more inside.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
Unbelievable Bus Shelter
We'll start off with the following CRAZY video submitted by reader Mark Thorndyke:
Wasn't that amazing? Now go and treat yourself to a Coke! ;-)
Genki Sudo - World Order - 'Have A Nice Day'
Japanese modern dance group 'World Order' does it again with a fascinating roboto-style music video in Tokyo's Akihabra district.
How Dogs React To Magic
Magician Jose Ahonen performs a disappearing treat trick for a bunch of dogs. Their reactions are hilarious.
Raul Seixas, a legend of the Brazilian rock scene, goes 10,000 years back in time to explain internet technology to cavemen.
The story of a young man using his truck to run away with his bride-to-be.