Tag Archives: bcs

If you’re in London tonight…

If you are in London tonight and you want to see a great gig then you could do far worse than going to see some mates of mine play at a great venue – the Camden Roundhouse.

This historic venue used to be an old railway shed with a turntable where they could turn engines around. It was also the only British venue that The Doors ever played in – though I never really rated the ‘poetry’ of Jim Morrison myself.

The BibleCode Sundays are supporting the Dropkick Murphys tonight, so at one gig you get to see the best British and American flavours of Irish folk/rock/punk… all in one night. I hope Diageo have supplied extra Guinness to the pubs of Camden for the flood of London Irish that will be on the streets later.

I was supposed to be flying from Brazil to India for a conference next week and I was going to stop in the UK to see this gig, but my travel plans were changed so I’m still at home. It’s a real shame, but I’m working hard to ensure that the BibleCodes get down to Brazil this year – once the London Olympics are over…

Buy tickets for the show here

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Reboot: The Book Launch on Dec 2nd @ Waxy’s

There is a great blog post here by Rod Trent of 1e that outlines the book launch planned for Angelica’s book on December 2nd in London. It’s going to be a great party and a great way to launch the new book. You can see Angelica’s video invitation here. If you are still not sure about coming then think about this:

  • The first 50 people to arrive get a free copy of the book
  • Everyone gets a free EP of music from the BibleCode Sundays
  • The BibleCode Sundays are playing live
  • We are taking over the Church bar in Waxy O’Connor’s right in the middle in London -and the bar is free thanks to 1e.
  • The food is also free thanks to JD Marketing (they do the marketing for Betfair, who feature in the book).
  • There is a £100 Amazon voucher for whoever uploads the best social content from the evening, tweet, photo, video, blog…
  • 1e are giving away goodie bags full of pens, squeezy polar bears, mints, and various other things, though the bag itself might be the most useful item to carry all the other freebies!

As if you needed any more reasons to party, me and Angelica are getting married the next morning. Yes, launching a book on Thursday and getting married on Friday… and Angelica leaves the country to move to Brazil on Sunday, so this might be your last chance to say goodbye. She will remain as an associate editor of Computer Weekly, but she is entering the realms of virtual working. So you won’t see her often back in London – or me for that matter!

Click here to go and register for the event on LinkedIn…

James Gardner, CTO of the DWP with Reboot

A movie-themed Christmas party

I know the lads who play in the BibleCode Sundays, a really good Celtic rock band from west London. They are a great band and don’t get the recognition they deserve in terms of album sales, but if you go and see them in a pub you will be blown away – and will almost certainly come away as a convert, seeking out their stuff online.

Andy Nolan plays accordian in the band and he has recently written a movie called ‘Clan London’ based on gangland London, particularly in the Irish community. I haven’t read the script, but from what I can see of Andy’s comments online it looks like West Side Story with more violence, more Guinness, and with a bit of Goodfella’s chucked in for good measure.

Andy is already casting the movie and he has a director ready to work on the project, but he is still working on more funding and distribution for the project, so he has organised a big party in Hendon, north London, on Dec 11th.

Guests include Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, world-champion boxer Steve Collins, the director of the film, Stephen Patrick Kenny, and there will be a DJ slot by Tony Lundon of Liberty X. The BibleCode Sundays are going to play a live set as well so it looks like it will be a really good evening, and should focus a bit of attention on the forthcoming movie – both Steve Collins and Razor have agreed to take parts in the film!

The party takes place at the Claddagh Ring in Hendon. Details are all online here. I’m going to be there. Let me know if you plan on coming too!

Drums

Reboot sees the light

How appropriate that the very first copy of Angelica Mari’s new book ‘Reboot: Leading IT in the Information Age’ should be shown off at the UK IT Industry awards… here you can see how pleased Darrell Stein (CIO of Marks and Spencer) was to find a cartoon in the book that resembles him!

You can find out more about the book here…

Angelica with first ever copy of Reboot and Darrell Stein of M&S

Biblecode Sundays in Ealing this weekend

London Irish super-group Biblecode Sundays are playing Ealing this weekend with a small gig on Saturday night at the Rose & Crown pub. It’s an unusual venue for a band that headlined the Shepherd’s Bush Empire shindig on St Patrick’s Day earlier this year, but one the band is looking forward to – and it’s free for punters visiting the pub.

The band is a true mix of the great and good, with music in their blood from birth. Lead singer Ronan MacManus is the son of Ross MacManus, who achieved fame with the Joe Loss orchestra. He is also the brother of Declan, better known as Elvis Costello. Andy Nolan on accordion played with Shane MacGowan and the Popes. Drummer Carlton Hunt is from ska outfit Bad Manners, and bass player, Enda Mulloy, is the son of Tom Mulloy of the legendary Mulloy brothers.

Their best-known song ‘Maybe it’s because I’m an Irish Londoner’ name-checks many of the areas around Ealing and the Uxbridge road, so it’s a return to home turf for the west London five-piece. That song soared up the charts back in March as St Patrick’s day revellers attempted to purchase enough copies online to get the Biblecodes to number one. They were defeated by Ellie Goulding fans, but still managed to make a dent on the national singles chart with a song about the Irish community in west London.

The Rose & Crown, Church Place, St Mary’s Road, Ealing, W5 4HN

Saturday 25th September, 2010
Band on stage at 8.30pm, curfew 11pm, bar closes at midnight.

Bible Code Sundays at Ealing

Leaving the BCS ELITE…

I’ve been on the the main committee of the BCS ELITE group for the past couple of years, but I just resigned my position.

I do like the BCS, I think they have a role in helping people map out a career in IT. I know a lot of people in the industry think the BCS is pointless and detached from reality, but I’ve loyally been a member since the 1980s even when it meant nothing to me, though in the past few years the management of the BCS has started focusing on helping people to build an IT career.

The BCS itself is more relevant than ever and after the recent drama of an emergency general meeting, where some members were questioning the agenda of the society, I think the society is now through the storm and ready to start making a real difference.

To those who don’t know anything of ELITE, it “is the UK lead forum for IT Directors and Senior Managers to exchange experiences, views and expectations on how information systems should be managed to achieve business objectives.”

In short, it’s a group for BCS members who are of IT director level or above – the senior management of the British IT industry. I was elected onto the committee with a mandate to offer a few modern ideas, get some new research published, and influence the events that ELITE runs… getting real industry leaders available for debate.

But things never really worked out like that – though I tried. ELITE is like a gentleman’s club for people who work in IT. Events are a success if they break even – rather than if they add to the body of management knowledge – and publications are torturously slow to materialise. In an era where companies need to be planning for every quarter and using modern-day communication systems to ensure rapid decision making, the ELITE culture of cigars in Pall Mall clubs grates somewhat… and how annoying is it to find a committee of IT experts who cannot use any scheduling tools (beyond mass emailing) to arrange meetings?

Take a look here at the forthcoming events organised by ELITE. Well, actually as you can see there are none. And even those that you can see arranged in the past hardly have any appeal for any CIO level management I have worked with. The last management level event that was organised was an audience with Michael Dell back in April 2009. That’s if I’m not including the dinners in Pall Mall clubs that are so important in setting the future strategy of the British IT industry.

Even then, does anyone really want to pay to listen to Dell anymore? Perhaps back in the mid-nineties yes, but what would a present-day CIO get from listening to former industry greats, apart from hearing some old war stories? When I once suggested getting Jimmy Wales to talk about Wikipedia, I had to explain to the committee who he actually is.

Or how about the management publications? You can see them here… A report from three years ago and a survey from five years ago. Cutting edge stuff…

Surely a group priding itself on independence and access to senior level IT managers should consider why it exists? Why should the group exist in the first place? If it is for producing independent research and comment, and offering high-level events and networking opportunities, then why not schedule some of those reports or events? It seems logical.

Instead, the meetings are dominated by a dogmatic adherence to committee politics that are reminiscent of ‘Wolfie’ Smith organising politics in Tooting. Some committees need structure and rules, but when the structure and process becomes the main topic of meetings then there is something seriously wrong. The events and publications timetable speak for themselves anyway.

I’m not detaching myself from the BCS in general. I’m still a member, and I’m cooking up some ideas with the head office in Swindon, for some work that should help promote the BCS and stimulate debate on IT careers in the future – I think the BCS does have a lot to offer. And I think the current management team have a clearer view than ever of what the BCS can achieve – there is a bright future ahead for the society.

It’s just a shame there is not more that the BCS offers to the thousands of senior IT executives in this country. There are already some people out there working with this community. The Computer Weekly CW500 club does a great job with monthly events always featuring a CIO speaker and regular publications, CIO Connect has a regular magazine and events… the IT management community is busy, but there must be room for the BCS to be doing something that addresses their needs to constantly be learning about their own industry.
Global Services: Moving to a Level Playing Field

BCS Emergency General Meeting

The BCS used to be a stuffy club full of academics and practitioners who endlessly harked back to the days when they would spend happy hours scanning punch-cards for bugs before compiling a bit of software, because it took all night to compile.

The industry has moved on. IT is now the common theme underpinning every single industry you can name. The tired argument that IT practitioners have to understand the business better to get on with their career is now so outdated… because almost every industry depends entirely on IT to function.

What is a bank these days? Just IT pushing money around the world. Education is moving online. Retail is moving online. Even mining, manufacturing, and construction rely on IT. The corner shop down the road uses IT to keep track of their inventory. There is almost no business today that can function without technology.

So how come a renegade group of BCS members are calling for the BCS to return to the past? The BCS transformation programme is designed to make the society more relevant for the 21st century technology industry – in particular the global nature of the industry.

The EGM call was a few months back, but there is now a vote taking place at present for members. If you are a BCS member, please don’t vote for a step back. If you do then I know I won’t bother renewing my membership.