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IT bods should be struck off if they create too many dodgy computer systems, according to Microsoft's UK national technology officer.

Speaking to ZDNet yesterday, Jerry Fishenden, Microsoft's key government liaison, said something needs to be done if the IT profession is to earn the respect of normal people.

"If you look at what you regard as the traditional professions — doctors, teachers, lawyers — their professional bodies can fire people, can investigate complaints, can impose penalties, and the ultimate sanction is to remove them from the profession so you can't practice any more," Fishenden said.

It's an idea that's circulated once in a while, but indications are that it's still some way off.

BCS chief executive David Clarke said in the same report that employers were more interested in finding people with specific technical skills than with membership of a professional certificate (such as its own Chartered IT Professional qualification).

Furthermore, there would be no public demand for IT spods to be legally certified, all the while their cock-ups caused no more harm than wasted tax money. How far would Harold Shipman have got with a modem and some crack codes?

The professionalisation of the IT workforce is going to take a while to boot. Take the government's efforts to professionalise its 50,000 techies. It was only in March that e-skills UK launched the IT Professional Competency Model, a template of skills the Cabinet Office expects IT workers to guide their career.

And anyway, if the industry was going to start expelling brothers and sisters who implement dodgy computer systems, how would the witch-hunt fare in Redmond? ®

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