ITx, IITP, CITRENZ: It all spells good news for NZ’s IT industry
The 2014 ITx conference is only a few days away. As well as sponsoring ITx itself, we’re keen supporters of two of the groups behind it as well. CITRENZ and IITP play different, but equally important, roles in New Zealand’s IT landscape. Our Chief Innovation Officer, John Ascroft, explains more.
ITx is New Zealand’s premier computing conference, and one of its great strengths is its scope. "Innovation, Technology, Education" isn't just a catchy tagline, but a true summary of what you get when IITP, CITRENZ, and CSANZ come together.
If those acronyms lose you, ITx is brought to us by:
- the Institute of IT Professionals,
- Computing and IT Research and Education New Zealand, and
- the Computer Science Association of New Zealand.
The intersection between the IT profession and computing education is a really important place. We all know how crucial information technology is, not only in our day-to-day lives but also to a growing, ambitious economy like New Zealand’s. A productive industry today is nothing without strong education bringing new keen minds into the fold.
CITRENZ, one of the three groups behind ITx, brings together the IT industry and tertiary institutes of technology (as well as some some universities) to develop courses and qualifications that produce work-ready graduates. We were a founding member, back when CITRENZ was known by a different acronym, NACCQ (National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications).
Today, we're an industry representative to CITRENZ. I sit on the focus group for research and professional development, which helps institutes support the development of both students and staff. As part of that role, I have been acting as an industry representative on the steering committee of the Government's Mandatory Review of Qualifications (MROQ), being undertaken by NZQA to review all computing qualifications below Level 7.
IITP is New Zealand’s oldest and largest IT body, going back to when it began as the NZ Computer Society. We’ve been involved since becoming a sponsor in the 1980s. Today Jade is a corporate partner, and a number of our people are individual members. The combination of industry and individuals is one of IITP's strengths, as we work to promote IT as a true profession, rather than just a job.
We're pleased to have the chance to play our part in this, both as a corporate member and through involvement like my place on the Canterbury Branch Committee. One of my best IITP experiences was working with education experts to suggest ways to teach computing in schools: again, the all-important crossover between education and our industry.
We've seen first-hand how IITP is increasing the professionalism and expertise of New Zealand’s IT industry, and there’s no better example of that than this week's ITx conference.
Here in New Zealand, ITx is in its own league. We'll be there to learn as much as we can, while exhibiting and sharing our own innovative work. I'm looking forward to hearing the latest on some of the great research that’s happening around the country, as well as catching up with a great bunch of friends.