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What is Professionalism in Computing?
Professionalism has not for everyone exactly the same meaning. According to the dictionary Lexicon “Definition of professionalism in English: 1. The competence or skill expected of a professional. 2. The practising of an activity, especially a sport, by professional rather than amateur players.”
This definition very general and do not explain in detail this term in every field therefor in this text I want to concentrate only on computing, so what competences and skills should we expect from professionals in computing?
The first what comes to our mind when we hear professionalism in computing are the hard skills, like problem solving or coding, they are important, but people forget that to be a professional in IT, soft skills are also necessary. A truly professional can be called only if they present these ability’s:
Communication – professionals are characterized by a high communication culture, there is no place for unclarity, the message is short but contains the essential information, additionally the communication must be free form any ambiguity. A expert is a good speaker but also a good listener, the main point of communication is to send a message and receives a response, a different point of view is sometimes very important when making decisions, in this way the entire company will profit. Professionals can be reach through a wide variety of channels: meeting, letter, email, chat, phone, these are only a few examples, nowadays there should be always a way to communicate in case an emergency.
Presenting the Work
Punctuality shows us that a person is organised, do not waste the time of other people. Of course, there are different cases, everyone can oversleep or an accident can happen, but a professionalism will inform you immediately, thought an email or phone call. It is not without reason that saying time is money has become so popular, experts knows how value is time and will try at all costs do not waste it, no matter if they own or others.
Teamwork and leadership
People we call professionals are often in professional associations such as BCS – British Computer Society, the main purpose is : “To promote and advance the education and practice of computing for the benefit of the public”. Every member have to observe the BSC Code of Conduct. The code comprises four key principles:
- You make IT for everyone – Experts are working together on problems in their profession, but also on everyone’s access to IT, without discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, nationality, colour, race, ethnic origin, religion, age or disability, or of any other condition or requirement
- Show what you know, learn what you don’t – Professionals have honesty and competence, but they know that they do not know everything, that is why they constantly learn and develop and never take tasks without the right skills and resources. They respect alternative viewpoints, accept criticisms of the work and are ready to objectively review someone’s idea.
- Respect the organisation or individual you work for – Specialists acting in the company’s best interests at all the time, they perform their duties with due care and diligence, trying to avoid conflict of interest, accepting professional responsibilities for the work of the whole team. Professionals will never leak confidential information for personal or third party benefit without permission.
- Keep IT real. Keep IT professional. Pass IT on – A BSC member is an ambassador of the IT industry, they should support IT co-workers in their professionally and personally rise. Accept the obligation of the profession, protect the reputation avoid action which could damage it. Respecting all members of BCS and people from other field with whom they working together to achieve a common goal.
- Lexico Dictionaries | English. (2019). Professionalism | Definition of Professionalism by Lexico. [online] Available at: https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/professionalism [Accessed 16 Sep. 2019].
- Halley, R. (2019). Definition and Top 8 Features of Professional Communication. [online] HRDevelopmentInfo.com. Available at: https://hrdevelopmentinfo.com/top-professional-communication/ [Accessed 16 Sep. 2019].\
- Bcs.org. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.bcs.org/membership/become-a-member/bcs-code-of-conduct/ [Accessed 16 Sep. 2019].