Shepherd's delight

After the success of their initial social networking event back in March, South Wales YPG aimed for a more ambitious event this time around.

Attendees had a full night in store on 24 October, in Cardiff, with presentations from BCS development manager, Roy Shepherd and a specially selected panel of career consultants and representatives from South-Wales-based companies to aim their questions at. Max Davis reports.

Staged at popular Cardiff night-spot, Tiger Tiger, the event drew twice the number of attendees than the last event and began with a round of speed networking to get everyone in the mood for the evening ahead. With over 60 people, ranging from student to IT manager, the networking was enjoyed by all and getting everyone to swap networking partners was no mean feat.

Speednetworking event 

Everyone settled down with a glass of wine to listen to special guest speaker, Roy Shepherd, development manager from BCS HQ. Roy works on the professional tools used by BCS members for CPD and opened with a presentation on the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA).

Demonstrating a practical application of SFIA with suggestions from the audience, Roy explained that the framework can also be used to determine eligibility for Chartered IT Professional status. Roy also demonstrated the recently launched BCS Recruit website, aimed at representing applicants' professionalism to potential employers.

The mid-session break and buffet gave everyone an opportunity to continue networking and learn more about one another before re-convening for the second half of the night – a panel-based Q & A session. The specially selected panel contained a diverse cross-section of experience:

  • Nick Malinowski - project leader at IT services company, Fujitsu;
  • Neil Randle - director for recruitment consultants, Conceptuality;
  • Gareth Worgan - senior developer for software development company, Oyster Bay;
  • Fernando Loizedes - PhD student working for Swansea University industrial liaison unit, ITWales;
  • Max Davis - South Wales YPG Representative and senior developer for e-learning
    company, Medelect;
  • Gareth O'Gorman - South Wales YPG Representative and graduate management trainee for the NHS.

The panel took a huge number of questions from attendees, ranging from getting a job and career progression to BCS membership and IT professionalism. Panellists performed well with some challenging questions, and after the session joined attendees for more networking and to continue conversations until late in the evening. It was almost time to leave when students (and lecturers) from local Newport University took to the karaoke...

YPG panel at SW networking 

Feedback from the event was very positive, with members saying:

'Great stuff, keep it up, try new stuff' and 'All in all very good. Main presenter [Roy Shepherd] was very good.'

Invitations to hold future events at Swansea and Newport universities mean that the YPG will continue to be an active group in South Wales and will be organising more nights very soon, so keep an eye on their branch website and recently launched Facebook group for more details.

Further reading:

South Wales Branch
South Wales YPG Facebook Group

November 2007