Networking professionals could soon have their own dedicated industry body if a project due to kick off next month proves successful.
Chris Setz, who describes himself as a senior networking professional with 16 years' experience, is attempting to set up the Network Institute.
He plans to host a meeting in London on 11 December to form the organisation.
All networking professionals are welcome.
Setz has garnered support for the project from over 20 major industry players, including 3Com and Bay Networks. He is also seeking government involvement, although he stresses the organisation will be apolitical.
The aim of the project is to create an independent body which will represent the interests of every aspect of the networking industry. It intends to promote awareness of the role of the networking profession, raise the industry's status and propogate best practice standards.
Ultimately, it hopes to establish independently recognised qualifications for networking professionals, based on a reliable training and certification programme.
Such independent certification programmes are necessary, according to Setz, because without them "there is no way for people to know how good you are". Novell and Microsoft already run their own engineering certification programmes, but these only deal with the technologies of the company in question.
Among other aims of the Institute are to appoint a women's officer to bring more females into the networking profession. "It's not about old buffers getting together - it's empowerment for people who work in the industry," Setz said.
Setz, who is unpaid for his work on the Network Institute project, sees himself as a "catalyst" for change, rather than a one-man-show. Although he "greatly enjoys" the work, he plans to bow out when the movement has gained sufficient momentum.
Setz can be contacted by Email at [email protected]
The Network Institute project deserves the support of all networking professionals. An institute should serve to make the voices of network administrators heard, both within the industry and in the wider world, and to create a professional framework by which members can further their own careers and the industry as a whole.
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