So how do I know an IT practitioner in Kenya

The other day Dr. Bitange Ndemo - who I really respect announced that ICDL training will be used as some kind of benchmark for determining whether one is computer literate. That seems to me a very useful move for the ICT industry. It definitely very useful for the Kenya chapter of ICDL. Skeptics will say Dr. Ndemo was 'enticed' to make the public pronouncement. Let us now watch to see how the growing computer training industry responds to the implied endorsement - no more questionable computer training certificates? Whatever the case, the trend should make life easier for those IT practitioners in the area of IT service support. It should be easier to tell a fellow employee to read their ICDL notes when they ask for support to prepare some powerpoint presentation.

The next thing Dr. Ndemo should scout for is the benchmark for one to be safely called an IT expert. Some of the ladies and gentlement we call IT practitioners have the perhaps outdated IMIS diploma, ACE etc. Others have MCSE, MCP, CCNA, Oracle Administrators which may not have been renewed since the first vendor curiculum was published. Then there is the educated lot who undertook went through a formal degree such as BSC Computer Science, BBIT, BSC in IT, BSC in Software Engineering and others. Others did BSC in electronic engineering, BSC in Maths and seem to have a claim to the title 'IT expert'.

It seems difficult to establish who really is the expert in Kenya. Perhaps they all are. Perhaps Dr. Ndemo should make a pronouncement. Perhaps they should all subscribe to a body that would vet them by some standards. The question of what the Computer Society of Kenya (CSK) means to this debate seems difficult - especially when my colleague says CSK is only a one man show.

This IT profession surely feels like an interesting one. Consider the question of which of the above qualifications earns the right to scale up the corporate ICT ladder. Lastly, should the head of the IT function be the IT manager, ICT managemer, IS manager, Data Manager or should they carry the more glamorous Chief Information Officer title?  Now we need an IT consultant to determine the meaning of these titles in our esteemed organisations.