Hi << Test First Name >>,

Welcome to the 2nd issue of our members' newsletter and thank you to all of those members who responded positively to the first issue. We intend to continue improving this communication medium going forward and your feedback and input are always welcome

This newsletter is deliberately not too technical - we have an amazing forum where all financial members can actively discuss highly technical matters, share their knowledge and experience and much more.

Indeed, as Mike Ciavarella - our 20-plus year (former SAGE-AU) member profiled in this issue - states, if there is just one engagement on this forum that solves a technical issue for you, then that alone is worth the price of annual membership.

This newsletter is designed to be a bit lighter with a view to keeping all members informed about what has been going on as we continue to build and try to exert some influence in the IT industry and beyond. Remember, this is your newsletter so we are interested in receiving your contributions.

If you have something that you think will be of interest to the broader membership, don't hesitate to let us know.

Since the last issue, we have granted the first certified practicing member (CPM) status to Jonathan Crust, a telecommunications service manager from Bendigo and we have also made a strong statement to the media in regards to controversial recent comments from nbn CEO, Bill Morrow about demand for the highest speed broadband services.

Both of the stories are in the newsletter, so have a read and let us know what you think. Also, if you are undertaking post graduate - or even under-graduate - Masters study learn more about our CPM scheme and you too can help present yourself with brighter lights in the recruitment market-place.

Robert Hudson,
ITPA President

In this Edition:

  • ITPA response to controversial statements from NBN CEO
  • Meet Mike Ciavarella – SAGE-AU (and now ITPA) Member for 20-plus years
  • Meet Jonathan Crust - ITPA's 1st Certified Practicing Member (CPM)
  • IT Masters/CSU launch first Cloud Computing and Virtualisation Masters degree

Statement from Robert Hudson, President of IT Professionals Association (ITPA) re. NBN
There has been a flurry of news stories over the last few days following frankly absurd statements about the NBN from its CEO, Bill Morrow.
In delivering half-year financial results for NBN, Morrow contended that even if NBN offered 1Gbps services “they wouldn’t use it anyway". This started a debate that has at least served to highlight the farcical waste of money and the unforgivable lost opportunity that is the current state of play in Australia’s most significant public infrastructure project in recent times.
The messaging from NBN in recent days has been alarmingly inconsistent. After Morrow’s initial claim that no-one in Australia would be interested in speeds of 1Gbps even if it were available and free, he then compounded the insult by suggesting in an op-ed piece that currently, “there are no retail 1Gbps speed plans on offer from the retailers”.
This stupendously ignorant and arrogant set of statements was then further contradicted by his suggestion that NBN doesn’t promote 1Gbps services because it's more important to get 25/50Mbps to everyone because this is what “the bulk of customers are opting for”.
Meet Mike Ciavarella
Current Secretary of ITPA and a former member of SAGE-AU for over 20 years 

In this profile of ITPA’s founding Secretary, Mike Ciavarella tells us about his journey as an IT professional and explains why systems administrators are now more relevant than ever.
Being involved with an organisation populated by people with mutual interests is something that Mike Ciavarella says has been particularly important to his career success at the same time as helping him to meet life-long friends and build networks for the sharing of knowledge and experience.
Commonly known around the traps as Mike C (because no-one is sure how to pronounce his last name*), Mike is also a bit of mystery man in regards to professional endeavour as he is one of those lucky people who can hide behind the veil of “consultant”.
As one of his ITPA Board colleagues said: “Do a profile on Mike C. and try to find out what it is that he actually does because nobody knows.”.

ITPA awarded its first Certified Practising Member (CPM) status late last year just weeks after launching the sanctioned skills verification system which will serve to encourage ongoing professional development and improve career advancement for members.
Jonathan Crust, a 42-year-old Senior Service Desk Analyst at Bendigo TAFE in Central Victoria earned the distinction of being the first ITPA member to be awarded CPM status under the new program.
Early adopter
Jon said that he has been a techno freak since when, as a six-year-old, he was given a Dick Smith Wizard gaming console for Christmas in the early 1980s.

As cloud computing becomes more important in the information technology (IT) industry, Charles Sturt University (CSU) has joined IT Masters to create Australia’s first Masters degree focused on cloud computing and virtualisation.
Designed for computing professionals, CSU’s Master of Cloud Computing and Virtualisation will give students the theory, technical capabilities and communication skills to design and manage complex computing architectures hosted in the cloud.
Mr James Hale, CEO of IT Masters, said that the rapid advance of cloud technology and the willingness of IT organisations to offer IT infrastructure as a service has not been matched by the development of IT professionals with the skills necessary to manage these environments.
“We developed the Master of Cloud Computing and Virtualisationto address this stampede to the cloud,” Hale said. “For example, one leading solutions vendor in this space – VMware – recently predicted that by 2021 over half of all computer workload will be in the cloud.”
VMware Master Class Draws in the Numbers

A free ITPA VMware Master class tutored by ITPA President, Robert Hudson has been a run-away success drawing a large number of participating candidates with a high completion rate and many positive comments offered as part of the exit survey.

Run as a free, massive open online course (MOOC), the VMware Master class focuses on how you can use and get the best possible benefit from using the latest version of VMware which is one of the leading vendor offerings in virtualisation software tools.

It is also one of the ITPA accredited courses that members can complete as part of their Certified Practicing Member (CPM) certification process. 

An impressive 4,057 candidates registered for the course with an exam completion rate of 18 per cent (very high for the MOOC world where the normal completion rate comes in at between is 5-7 per cent). There was an 88 per cent positive feedback return from students who had completed the course.

Here are a couple of examples of the positive feedback comments:
  • "Appreciate Robert staying back and answering questions well after lectures had finished and for his assistance in labs. Same goes for Guy (the MC) staying back also."
  • "The Free Short courses are an excellent idea and online delivery method is great. Thoroughly enjoyed it! :)"
  • "The course, and exam, have increased my confidence with VMware quite considerably, which pleases me greatly!"

Don’t miss our Short Courses!
One of the exciting new services we will be offering as the ITPA is quarterly, free, online Short Courses. The courses will normally be five weeks in duration with four weeks of study followed by an optional assessment in the 5th week.

In most cases, they will be advanced ‘500 level’ courses designed for experienced IT Pros and will be delivered by senior ITPA Members and or third-party industry experts. 

So far, we are planning to run Short courses on the following:
  • IP6 Masterclass
  • Pen Testing Masterclass
If you have ideas for other Short Courses you think will be relevant to skills development for the membership, get in touch with ITPA via: sponsorship@itpa.org.au

Membership Growth: ITPA is Delivering Value

Since launching in November 2016, ITPA's membership numbers have grown rapidly to now be over 8,000.

While most of these are Associate Members, there has also been a significant jump in the number of full-paying financial members.

As Long-term (former SAGE-AU) member, Mike Ciavarella says in the profile we wrote for this issue of The Download, there is enormous value for IT professionals in being a member of an industry association.

With the cost of an individual membership only $165 per year, you should really think about making that commitment, getting involved with ITPA and taking advantage of the knowledge sharing and credibility benefits that come with being a member.

For all information on ITPA membership levels, see the dedicated section of the website including specific information about the CPM program.

ITPA Advice Forums

One of the most valuable services currently offered to ITPA financial members is the Advice Forums which are hosted on the MyITPA section of the ITPA website. This service offers members the opportunity to engage and share knowledge with other ITPA members through reading and contributing comments on a range of subjects that are industry-based, technical or otherwise of interest to members.

Once logged in, members can start new threads, pose questions, answer questions or just engage in conversation with their industry peers. This peer review ensures that information shared is accurate and up-to-date while the closed nature of the lists means that members can ask questions without fear of reprisal for sharing information in a public domain.
The Forums receive an average of 22 posts per day and this is expected to grow rapidly in line with an expanding number of financial members under the new ITPA umbrella.

Below are some recent topics that have been discussed: