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"Worshipful Co. of Information Technologists"?

For those of us programmers and admins pining for a better social image, there is this London organization:

http://www.wcit.org.uk/

I stumbled across this a while back and was completely amazed. Can anyone from England shed light on the role and stature of this organization and its applicability to the unwashed masses of (us) keyboard scratchers out there?

Bored Bystander
Monday, October 06, 2003

What can I say except that it's wacky, yet intriguing.

I haven't spotted anything yet that suggests that it's a spoof. I could believe that it's for real.

Fernanda Stickpot
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

They are listed by the Corporation of London.

http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/leisure_heritage/livery/linklist.htm

John Ridout
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I was browsing the membership | court list, which prompts my question:  what is an "honarary beadle"?

i like i
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

No, they're not a spoof. It's a holdover from medieval times. There used to be guilds of various crafts such as bakers, stone masons, etc (a bit like the guilds you get in D&D, I guess) As times have progressed, new crafts have been added, Information Technology being one of them. My father-in-law is a big cheese in the Enviromental Cleaners livery company.

Mark
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Forgot to mention - without looking it up I believe a beadle was an early policeman or night watch man.

Mark
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

It usually costs a considerable amount a year to join a Guild, and a lot of what they are about are charitable works and meetings of the great and worthy.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I'm intrigued by the Journeyman scheme.

It seems to me that a mentor is about the best way to really learn what programming is all about. 

I think I might enquire further.

Ged Byrne
Wednesday, October 08, 2003

I am in the midwest US and I came across this link a while back. After doing some cursory reading about this and other "Worshipful Companies", I observe that what organizations like this are about is basically protection of the people involved in that line of work.

What I really like about it is the sense of dignity and seriousness that it seems to exude. I dunno, perhaps in England it's a self evident cultural in-joke, or maybe not. But it impresses me as lending dignity to the IT occupations and providing a recommendation of a career track.

The things "against" it mainly have to do with cultural and character quirks and flaws that play off against the basic model of a guild. In the US, a message that you aren't a superstar right out of the chute and that you may have dues to pay is almost always rejected. And I find that this is one of the things that has lead to the deterioration of working conditions in our industry. I usually tend to think that business promotes this view so that age discrimination can be exercized readily - people as replaceable modules. 

We in the US don't like ANYTHING to "look forward to", whether it be recognition, status, money, or respect; we want it all now, so careers tend to be front-loaded with the good stuff. The forced unemployment comes later.

So, a guild in the US would probably not work in our field. Or would it? I think the main reaction would be complete incomprehension: those who would appreciate it the most probably have left the industry.

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Sorry to disillusion the Yanks, but London Guilds are basically ceremonial. They posssibly do charity work as well as dressing up in silly clothes, but as far as protecting your interests, or adding dignity, I am afraid you are a few hundred years too late.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Stephen,  I guessed as much.  Thanks for the reality check. Pretty much what I thought it would be.

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, October 08, 2003

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