Canadian National IT Day contest crowns an IT hero

Eddie Oldfield’s home PC just died. And, as a musician, he wouldn’t mind having more computing resources at his disposal to further his hobby. That’s why winning $10,000 in Dell and Intel products for his personal use as well as $10,000 for his workplace is perfect timing.

“I was both excited and quite nervous at the end there,” said the director of The New Brunswick Climate Change Public Education and Outreach Hub, after garnering the most number of votes for his submission to a contest that’s part of a Canadian National IT Day petition.

Having kicked off on Jan. 19, the petition, created by Dell and Intel, is trying to get Canadian IT professionals a day of recognition for the work they do to support the often challenging IT environments of the organizations they work for. Still ongoing, the site has garnered 3,569 signatures.

Oldfield’s submission of his tale of IT heroism was part of a contest asking IT professionals to share memorable tales from the IT department. Site visitors voted for the several hundred entries and Oldfield’s reaped 1,685 votes, narrowly beating the first runner up who had 1,667.

Oldfield said he never imagined he might win, at least not at first. He merely made a submission out of curiosity for the petition, but then “it became actually quite fun” as he began to apply some creativity with spreading the word to get votes. Oldfield raised awareness of the petition through social media, including his Facebook page and his four Twitter accounts, and his Mum who played the “strong advocate.”

Before the contest closed on April 13, there were also monthly prizes of Dell Inspiron duo tablets given to an entrant and a voter. While there is no set time frame for concluding the petition, Dell and Intel are currently planning phase 2 to further drive the initiative towards a goal of 7,000 signatures.

“We’re happily surprised at the interest level and the momentum,” said Kathy Bennett, an e-business consultant with Dell. “We felt IT professionals are the unsung heroes and wanted to give them a platform where they could be recognized and share their stories.”

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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