IT pros push for National IT Day

IT professionals do lots of work within organizations, so Dell Inc. and Intel Corp. partnered to make an online petition to create a Canadian National IT Day in recognition of their efforts.

So far a total of 2,114 people have signed the petition that launched Jan 19. In addition to the petition, Dell is also holding a contest for IT heroes, people who have helped better their workplaces using their IT skills.

Contest entries can be made on the Web site. IT hero contest entrant Eddie O. discussed the importance of IT professionals in the workplace.

“(National IT Day) would give us a way to celebrate our IT achievements and raise awareness of the services provided by IT professionals and industry,” said Eddie O. “With the support of IT professionals we created health maps, support health research and education programs.”

Another entrant, Jason J., explained how he does a lot of work over time and on the weekends, without much recognition.

“Late night calls, weekends gone and not enough respect. No story per say but IT employees work and work, yet receive little to no recognition. Why not (have) a national day?” he said.

There are also IT professionals who go out of their way for a good cause, without pay. Mirza Z., a chief information officer of a non-profit organization, nominated a volunteer IT person, Duke, who worked for 12 years at British Columbia‘s Primary centre for Dance. He also works a full-time job and is a musician. So far he has 14 votes.

Duke helped us transition into more current context, setting us up with a platform which has served us very well; we have not seen a single day “down” in service, and most issues are resolved within a couple of hours if not immediately no matter what time of day (or) night,” she said.

Dell is offering prizes every month for people who vote on the heroic IT stories as well as IT hero entrants. One IT person and one voter are selected randomly every month to win a Dell Inspiron Duo Tablet.

This month’s tablet winners chosen at random are entrant #13, Eddie O. from Fredericton, N.S., for the I.T. Hero criteria and voter Ryan R. of Oakville, Ont. Eddie has 765 votes so far.

Dell decided to get involved with this campaign to support IT professionals because of the company’s lack of focus on IT professionals, according to David Gair, a director of marketing online at Dell.

“We’ve focused on small business owners, so we decided to do something different and focus on the often under-appreciated IT staff,” Gair said.

There is also a deluxe prize of $20,000, offered for the IT hero submission with the most votes to buy Dell products, powered by Intel.

Submissions range from 10 to 200 words discussing how an individual bettered their workplace using their IT skills. The contest runs from Jan. 19 to Apr. 13. However, Dell hopes to extend the contest and campaign until the end of this year to reach a goal of 10,000 votes, according to Gair. If there are enough votes, Dell will present the petition to parliament to create a National IT Day in Canada.

The contest is only open to Canadian citizens excluding residents of Quebec. People can vote once a day for a submission. If you are interested in signing the petition or entering the IT hero contest, go to:

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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