Chair’s Report 2015

 

Chairman’s Report 2014/2015

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Chartered IT Institute (British Computer Society) Jersey International Section.

I am pleased to be able to report our voluntary sections activities for the past year and am delighted and proud of the continued support from our members, non-members, local groups and businesses.

Membership
Membership has fluctuated throughout the year and has for the first time decreased with just over 260 members. It is assumed this reflects the expiration of student memberships and it is confirmed several members have left the island.

Committee
The committee has some changes with some members leaving the island, increasing workloads and job roles changing. The core team remains the same and details of the new committee will be updated on the website immediately after the AGM. We have advertised some new roles of which some have been applied for, some have not. The committee now has several members who while not on the committee are regular helpers extending our capability for which we are most grateful. You see our committee members here – http://jersey.bcs.org/committee/

Events
We are pleased to have delivered, sponsored or collaborated on the following events:

26th January 2015, Prof Liz Bacon, BCS President: The Future of Teaching and Learning: Teaching models have barely changed for centuries however technology is starting to revolutionise education in the same way as the rest of our lives. This talk will discuss the impact of technology on education, the changing expectations and needs of both students and lifelong learners, and the factors that support successful learning and teaching in an online world. Finally it will look at the role of BCS as a champion for change. Approximately 100 people attended this event.

27th January 2015, Prof Liz Bacon, BCS President: Cyborg Vs Avatar: A repeat of the teaching models talk, this time delivered at the college to students from a selection of degree and BTEC programs at the college. More than 100 people attended this event.

27th January 2015, Prof Liz Bacon, BCS President: Education meeting: Members of committee, the principal of Highlands College and the Minister for education met to discuss technology and education in the island.

30th April 2015, BCS Networking Series: The first in a series of BCS Jersey member only networking events. Join other members and the local committee to share ideas, debate challenges and help drive the strategic direction of the group. Your opportunity to help ensure that the committee is working towards the goals of both BCS and that we remain informative keeping you up to date and when required address important local issues that impact you our members.

18th May 2015, Colin Butcher: System Performance Engineering: This session covered the principles governing systems performance when designing and trouble-shooting systems and their associated infrastructure. There are a wide range of issues to be considered, especially those affecting throughput, response times, scalability and availability. Performance is not something that can always be dealt with by system tuning or simply buying bigger hardware. Performance issues frequently result in systems failing in some form or other, which affects availability and causes disruption to service. Understanding the characteristics that govern performance helps us to design and implement better systems.

6th June 2015, BCS, sponsorship and support: Jersey Junior Hackathon: Primary school children as young as seven tested their digital skills in a competition at Hautlieu School. This was the first ever Junior Hackathon, sponsored by the Jersey branch of the British Computer Society. Almost 150 students from years 4, 5 & 6 had just three hours to design and program a computer game using Microsoft’s Kodu Game Lab. The award ceremony was attended by the BCS Chairman.

6th June 2015 , BCS, sponsorship, exhibiting and organisers team: TedXStHelier 2015: BCS Chair, Ronnie Isherwood supported by committee members and members of the committee ran the Mini Techfair and Ideas Lab as well as the BCS Jersey being one of sponsors for TedXStHelier. This all day event saw some amazing creations from home projects to business ideas. From electronics to cyber security, Minecraft, Lego Worlds, artificial intelligence and much more. More than 300 people attended this event.

11th June 2015, Motion Studios: Stop Frame animation, Digital Drawing, 2D animation and Graphic Design: Discussing and demonstrating digital drawing complimenting the students exhibition in the bar gallery. The session covered Stop Frame animation, Digital Drawing, 2D animation and Graphic Design. Students and teachers work (David Gregory, Joanna Brown, Liam Nunn and Abbey Austin) was shown to demonstrate different disciplines and use of various programs and tools. Demonstrations also showed how traditional techniques of drawing, storytelling and animation underpin the use of technology.

26th June, Vizuality Studio, Ronnie Isherwood: A Virtual Reality Smackdown BCS Chairman Ronnie Isherwood was invited to give a talk on virtual reality to celebrate the launch of one of Jerseys most innovative technology companies, Vizuality Studio. The session covered Virtual Reality in a fun and informative way and covered just how big Virtual Reality is about to become and how the audience can be part of it. The talk looked at Health, Education and Entertainment and who the big players are and the smack down covered a reality showdown of why it didn’t pick up the last time versus what is different now to make it successful. More than 150 people attended this event.

16th July 2015, Ronnie Isherwood, Kevin Miller: Multifactor Authentication Uncovered Ronnie and Kevin were invited to represent BCS Jersey at the Sapphire Defence in Depth conference. We provided a history of authentication, explored today’s authentication risks and challenges then looked at how modern multi-factor authentication services help keep businesses and access to data, secure and compliant. The talk covered cloud services, on premise servers, RADIUS and mobile devices. It also explored what’s next with Windows 10 Hello and Passport technologies. Around 100 people attended this event.

24th September 2015, Gordon Porter Software Defined Networking, myths, facts and benefits. This session discover what Software Defined Networking (SDN) really is, this was an exceptional talk covering the history, uses and benefits of SDN along with dispelling typical myths. The event included interactive quizzes ensuring the audience where truly engaged and involved in this highly informative event.

25th September 2015, HackJSY: Digital Health Hackathon BCS Jersey sponsored visiting judge, Ewan Davis, BCS Primary Healthcare Group for what was an amazing event created and run by the HackJSY team. Many BCS members participated in the event and we thoroughly enjoyed being there. I am particularly proud that the BCS Secretary and well known Cyber speaker Paul Dutot won second place with his Health Stage hardware and software hack.

2nd October 2015, BCS Jersey, Digital Jersey, Fort Regent: Techfair chat: This open invitation saw as many as 50 speakers, sponsors and exhibitors attend the Digital Jersey Hub for a discussion on the format and opportunities for the Jersey Techfair.

6th & 7th November 2015, BCS Jersey, Digital Jersey and Fort Regent: Jersey Techfair 2015: This year’s truly inspiring event ran with more than 50 speakers, exhibitors and sponsors participating. More than 4500 members of Jersey public visited with schools, government, business and volunteers showcasing amazing technology and delivering valuable training all for free. Many BCS committee and many members were behind this event, speaking, organising and exhibiting. It is by far the most collaborative and innovative technology event the island has ever seen. Collaboration with co-hosts and organisers Digital Jersey and Fort Regent has kept the event cost low and given it an identity to be proud of. It is my opinion that this event is a clear demonstration that hundreds of technologists are now collaborating together in Jersey and I’m pleased to say that many more technology interest groups, have approached me requesting to join next years event. Several companies have stepped forward to propose sponsorship going forward. You can see some images and find out more about the event here – http://www.techfair.org.je

13th & 14th November 2015, Techtykes Youth Hackathon: Another first event for Jersey and this time an under 18’s youth hackathon. This truly fabulous event was organised by 17 year old student Benedict Lewis with support from Stuart Hughes, Deputy Head, Hautlieu secondary school. The event saw as many as 60 students in 17 teams and I was honoured to be a judge. Having circulated through the teams in the evening and again the following morning I found this incredibly challenging as so many great projects were delivered in such little time and by very young people. BCS Jersey sponsored the event along with headline sponsor KPMG and the event was hosted and supported by Digital Jersey. A great success and to be repeated. You can read more about the Techtykes event here – http://techtykes.co.uk/ and in Benedict’s post event summary here – https://eightbyt.es/organising-uhack-1-0/

2015 Strategy
This year I maintained both a focus on education and business through collaboration with local groups, companies, schools and colleges. There has been a continued push to develop more local technology speakers and I see this as being successful with many people delivering first public talks and many more members becoming regular speakers. With more than 50 specialist groups in BCS, I have continued to explore each one and have visited BCS Entrepreneurs in London and begun some collaboration with the Animation and Games Development group for some possible future events. Between now and December the 2015/2016 a new strategy will be approved, this continues through the push to develop the future workforce, promote professionalism and collaboration for a push for more Women in IT.

The OpenROV schools project
An ambitious project designed as an island collaborative Techfair launch project and being the third BCS Jersey pan island competition. 6 Entries have been marked fully at the deadline and 6 OpenROV 2.8 Adventure kits are being awarded. The project was about building a small document that outlined what a team would do with an OpenROV. A list of judging criteria was provided and all entries were judged the evening before the Techfair. The projects will run throughout the year and we will remain involved from an organiser’s perspective. I must say I am delighted at the support from Judges, Digital Jersey, Techtribes, Ports of Jersey, Zach Johnson at OpenRov, Nicolas Barbeau from LeFabShop. You can read more about the OpenROV project on the Techfair website here – http://www.techfair.org.je/secondary/ and the November 30 update here – http://www.techfair.org.je/openrov-schools-competition-update/. It is hoped our schools will share their knowledge and join us at the 2016 Techfair to present their experiences.

Financial
The opening balance for the financial year 2014/2015 is £8783 and at the end of the financial year (31 August 2015) the book balance for BCS Jersey is £5648. The total income being £2000 with a total expenditure of £5135. I must thank Ray Parker our treasurer who has provided an outstanding service to the committee, the group and to me as chair helping with ideas, events and raising additional funding.

Communication
The committee have noticed that there are many senior BCS members who do not often visit events. Their knowledge and opinion is very much sought after, especially during this crucial time when the island invests in economic diversity, continues to raise its profile globally, and endeavours to meet current and local challenges such as a demand for more online Government services, reductions in business cost through technology, and the skills gaps to mention a few.

It is perhaps communication as much comes through our events and many events are held in the evening. Our senior members are working in industry during the day, thus more readily available during the lunch period. If this is a barrier, we will try to address this through balance between lunchtime and after work events and in discussing communication as part of our strategy and objectives. The Webmaster and Publicity Officer, we will endeavour to incorporate better communication into the website and monthly updates.

And finally
As the person who created the first ever BCS Jersey presentation for the founding group in 2003, and who’s technology implementation formed the first ever BCS technology talk, I could never have imagined what the group would achieve. It brings me great satisfaction to work with a dedicated and passionate team of volunteers and just leaves me to just say thank you again, to our outstanding committee members, local businesses, members and the many supporting individuals who share our vision. Special thanks to Digital Jersey, especially their Education and Skills Director Carla Harris for the unwavering support these last 2 years. I look forwards to another truly successful year, with new committee members, a larger committee, increased funding, and more engagement with our UK volunteer groups allowing us to promote the technology profession and promote Jersey as the best place to work in and to invest in, the IT industry.

Ronnie Isherwood, MBCS Chairman (BCS Jersey)