back to article BCS rebels apologise ahead of crunch meeting

The rebel group opposed to recent changes at the British Computer Society have issued an apology to Ken Olisa, a BCS trustee who had accused the rebels of libel. The rebels have removed a previous message questioning the management of the BCS and made clear it was a general criticism and not aimed at Olisa personally. The BCS …


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  1. Peter Galbavy

    rebranding ?

    The BCS rebranding to be more "hip" and "down with da youf" is like (if there was one) the National Trainspotters League rebranding as the Institute For Running The Trains On Time. Sigh. These nutters still promote punched cards and COBOL.

  2. Code Monkey

    The Chartered Institute for IT - Enabling Waffle Waffle Waffle

    The British Computer Society is a fantastic name. A great example of plain English. The proposed rebranding sounds like it was dreamt up by a committee of MBA waving recent graduates who couldn't accomplish any IT task more difficult than opening an email attachment.

    1. N2

      opening an email attachment?

      Thats probably another branch & sub committee.

  3. LPF

    Well of course they apologised

    becuase to not have, they would have had to spend hundreds of thousands to defend a defamation case, whther it waqs right or wrong!

  4. Anonymous Coward

    BCS is pointless

    As a computer scientist, the BCS is irrelevant and an embarrassment. It is a business manger group that gives letters for money and has nothing to do with computation. It should be closed down and replaced with something more like the Institute of Physics.

    1. Sam Liddicott


      Yep; much better to join the ACM

  5. Anonymous Coward

    BCS is pointless

    AC..."As a computer scientist" ... the BCS probably wouldn't allow you to be a "scientist", you're probably either overqualified (ie: you can type) or haven't worked as a BCS admin droid for one of their "schemes" such as CSci and not done any real science work for years...

    I hope the rebels win this one; but even after that there's so much grass roots work to be done in regaining any credibility that the BCS has.

    The company I work for already does not recognise any award issued by the BCS (MBCS, CEng, CSci etc) ... I could go on but I'm going to start getting vindictive and nasty and that wouldn't be professional (just like the current BCS).

    FAIL ... because that's the new money making award from the BCS for "IT Professionals"

    1. SDP

      Stats say Fail, but reality says Win

      Well on paper they were never going to win - although no-one has checked the figures (which aren't consistent) with the Electoral Reform services yet.

      So status quo - or is it?

      One can only hope the EGM provided them with a real kick up the rear end - although the arrogance of the hierarchy would suggest to the contrary.

  6. Philip Hands

    was a member once

    as a student, about 25 years ago. On graduation the rate jumped from a fiver or so to a significant chunk of cash, so I looked into it and couldn't find a single reason to be a member.

    I've dipped in occasionally over the years, and find each visit slightly more depressing than the last. They seem positively hostile to Free Software (which means I'll never join, as that's how I pay the mortgage)

    More embarrassing than that is the fact that their infrastructure is hopeless -- The seem to have an ongoing WiFi SNAFU. How can they not notice that? How is it that they put up with it? Can they not find anyone that knows how to fix it? Surely one or two of the PHBs that run the place can order their Dilbert to sort it out.

    Clearly, they don't actually use computers at the BCS,

    ... hence the need to drop the C word from their name.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Apologise and pay up.

    They had to say sorry - poor little mites! - but they still each have to pay a fine and his legal fees too.

    Doesn't say much for this trustee though - wielding his wealth and power around.

    Notice none of the other trustees took offence - but then none of them have any money AND they rationally recognised the fact that there was never any personalisation of the 'rebels' comments in the first place

    Of course, should the motions succeed tomorrow, would the comments have been justified and there be no case of libel, after all?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The BCS Have Funny Ideas in General

    On paper a lot of the BCS grades look fairly sensible, but in practice they have some very odd ideas.

    They use a scoring system for different grades of membership where you need 50 points for the standard member grade. You get 50 points for a Computer Science BSc, 20 points for a BSc in any other field, 10 points for any MSc, and 10 points for every year you work in IT. In theory this sounds reasonably good, but in practice an ex-colleague of mine has been subjected to the following decisions from the BCS:

    1) An MMath (four year maths degree consisting of all the course of a BSc in maths plus an extra year) only counts for 10 points,not 20 as it's a Masters, not a BSc. This means that, as he has 3.5 years of experience working in IT he's not yet entitled to full membership.

    2) He then went on to do an MSc in Computer Science that normally requires a BSc in Computer Science first, but was allowed to take it without due to having a maths degree and experience working as a programmer. He got a distinction, but was told that he still can't be a full member because you can't count two Masters degrees towards the points, so he still only has 40.

    3) After finishing the MSc he started on a PhD. The BCS informed him that they don't count PhD research (or the teaching and demonstrating undertaken during it) as work, but they will "most likely" award 10 points for the completion of the PhD. He's done well enough at teaching and demonstrating that he works on a variety of modules on both the BSc and MSc courses, and is trusted to have a thorough knowledge of the subject.

    So, he teaches on a course that if he'd passed it would entitle him to full BCS membership, and he teaches on a course where most of the students either have full BCS membership or are entitled to it, but he still isn't considered good enough by the BCS to hold it himself.


  9. djhworld
    IT Angle

    I was a member of the BCS once

    Only because my University were offering free memberships to all final year students.

    I can catagorically say the monthly magazine was the biggest pile of crap I've ever read, it had little to do with computer science or anything remotely techy. It just seemed like a magazine designed for business people by business people

  10. riCh chestMat

    I didn't vote

    ... because I couldn't decide between the two after reading the two arguments.

    I have to say though that I think the BCS has been quite good recently (thanks to some of the specialist groups). And as I work in ITSM the business side seems relevant to me. It's not meant to be a hobby club I don't think.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once a Fellow

    As one of a group of ex-Fellows of the BCS, I can honestly say it was the easiest thing to become a member. Simply made a call and was asked for a cheque. End off.

    Under the new CEO, after 2004, in order to bolster numbers absolutely anyone was allowed in this gentlemans club - very many with no background in IT or significance in the industry at all.

    Strategically, it worked. In 5 years, the numbers doubled - 35,000 newbies, most of whom are unqualified in comparison to their predecessors. SHAME.

    It's a pointless group of self-interested individuals who barely represent reality never mind the IT industry, so like very many, I soon realised that this was a meaningless membership and in the immortal words of Groucho Marx:

    "I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member"

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