April 2012 CIPS Volunteer of the Month:
Lem Murphy, I.S.P., ITCP
Regional Director, CIPS Nova Scotia
CIPS Nova Scotia Rep, CIPS National Board
Database Administrator, CAE
What is your Background?
I didn’t touch my first computer until I was in high school, and in 1978 that was the TRS-80 Model 1 Level II with an extravagant 32Kb of memory, a cassette recorder to save programs and a choice of BASIC or Assembler. I haven’t been far from computers since.
Military College brought many shocks, not the least of which was in programming in FORTRAN on a DEC PDP-11 using punch cards. I finished my Bachelor of Science at Mount Saint Vincent University where in addition to my studies, I worked as a Student Computer Operator and as a Computer Lab Assistant (DEC VAX 780’s and Terminals).
I have worked in the defence industry ever since I graduated; it hasn’t all been at the same company and many times when the business card changed I was still sitting at the same desk doing the same job as always. The positions have changed from developer to System Administrator and Database Administrator, while the challenges have changed from solving programming problems, to bigger problems like leading a small team to complete Y2K changes and the more bewildering challenge of standing in a datacenter blackened by fire and working to have it operational within 24 hours of the flames being extinguished.
What type of Involvement have you had with CIPS?
I joined CIPS in 1994 but for the first few years my involvement was limited to attending events and networking. Then in 1998 I started thinking about applying for the I.S.P., so in 1999 I started studying for the ICCP exams, which I finally wrote in early 2000.
In 2001 Andrew Morrisey recruited me as the Treasurer of CIPS Nova Scotia during the last push of the Legislation project. Then in 2003 with the I.S.P. Legislation passed and Proclaimed, I slipped back into being a member. But then in 2006, I was recruited to be the Vice-President of CIPS NS, which led me to be part of the Informatics 2007 team in Halifax. As I changed role from President to Past-President, I also found myself as the CIPS NS representative on the CIPS CCITP / National Board, which I continue to serve on today.
What value has your involvement with CIPS provided?
Well, it’s safe to say that my current employment is a direct result of networking at one CIPS event in Halifax. In addition to the obvious benefits of networking, serving on the Provincial and National Boards has provided me with opportunities to meet, work with, and learn from other professionals which I otherwise would have missed.
I am a firm believer of certification as a demonstration of professionalism and competency and have worked hard to attain my credentials to show my personal commitment in a rapidly changing and expanding industry.
CIPS with its Code of Ethics, the commitment to continuing education and its professional certifications is a comfortable fit.