Two OSSG committee members, Patrick Tarpey and Mark Elkins, attended as Delegates at the BCS Specialist Groups Assembly on Thursday 7th April 2005 held at the BCS Offices in Southampton Street, London. Patrick, newly elected Chair of OSSG, gave a well received talk about our new group. This generated much interest not only amongst delegates from other Specialist Groups but also from full-time BCS staff including the BCS President and Chief Executive.
Some interesting information was given out at the Assembly. Chris Webb, BCS Press and PR Manager stated that every Specialist Group (SG) should have at least one trained and briefed media specialist. Training by his Department will be made available to SGs. Chris also mentioned that a column is available in Computing Magazine to BCS, which in theory any SG could make use of.
Matthew Flynn, BCS Commissioning Editor – Books Programme, said he was actively looking for new books to publish. The proposed book by OSSG on Open Source will be a welcome new addition to the BCS book list.
Brian Runciman, BCS Managing Editor, who edits ITNOW (formerly Computer Bulletin) was particularly interested in articles on careers and training at the moment. In addition he also suggested a theme for a regular column based around a day in the life of an IT professional.
Colin Chivers, Specialist Groups and Branches Accountant, outlined the current healthy state of funds. As a result he mentioned that money is available to SGs for special funding where a good business case is presented. He said that the best time to bid for such funding was at the start of the year but if the business case is strong enough then this can be made available at any point during the year.
A main theme of the Assembly was a call for more interaction between SGs. This might involve better ways of sharing information, sharing venues for meetings, or holding joint meetings. For OSSG this is undoubtedly well under way, because our expanding membership has already attracted quite a few to join us from other SGs.