Personal Story


When I landed in NZ 13 years ago I didn’t have much of a plan really, I thought I would buy a motorbike, ride it around a lot and then leave by Christmas (I had a stack of cash for the bike and flight booked at Christmas, hence this wonderful framework was in place).  I arrived, bought a bike, rode it round a bit, drank too much in the Occidental hotel in Christchurch and then somehow landed a job Fox Glacier.  I headed over the Southern Alps on my bike, found the glacier, found the pub and hated the place.

I was about to leave, but then two things happened, I landed a job at a helicopter place and there was a girl.  The girl didn’t last, but the helicopter thing did, I ended up staying around for about 10 years, in that time I climbed the short ladder to base manager (and then quickly climbed down again), I bought a house and a dog, and I wrote a rather large piece of software.  And that last bit is why I am relating this story.

The software that I wrote keeps track of a lot of very important data, I didn’t always realize this, to start with I kinda figured that it was just a few dates, the same as we used to write on the whiteboard, so hey, it didn’t matter if it was a bit wrong or the odd thing got lost. The culture of the company at the time didn’t help me to realize the importance either.  However, over time (about 8 years) the importance of the information I look after has become increasingly obvious to me.  There is obviously sensitive business information there, but I have become a kind of archivist for the company, I have been asked to provide historical reports for various pieces of litigation that have affected peoples lives (and sadly deaths).  The company has gone through a few owners and a many many staff, as far as I am aware there is only one person currently who has been with the company longer than me.  I know a lot, A LOT of things about that company and I have to very carefully choose how I share this information.

Ethically I am also required to provide the best possible backup of the archives, originally I took backups about once a month and stored them on a USB stick.  Now I back up daily and store in multiple locations, I also pay for an entire backup server that replicates the main server and would take over in the event of a catastrophic failure.  Ethically and professionally it is my duty to keep my precautions up to date.

Which of the IITP 8 ethical guidelines does this relate to?

2  INTEGRITY  – I am required to act with integrity with regard to the company that I deal with, I must be aware of what is important to them and not disclose any information

4 SKILLS & 5 DEVELOPMENT – I use my skills and try to develop them further to provide the best service possible to my client

7 CONFLICTS OF INTEREST – I have occasionally been approached by other companies to develop for them, I must balance whether the work is a conflict of interest with my main employer

8 COMPETENCE – I try to stay within my personal competence boundaries.

What do you consider to be the most important of the 8 ethical guidelines

INTEGRITY, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, COMPETENCE – Although each of the 8 guidelines is important, I think that if you can stick within these three you will be well on your way.  If you can treat each client and their data with integrity, only act within your own competence levels (and that includes pushing those levels out through training if required) and continually developing your skills, most of the other 5 are covered.

How is NMIT related to IITP

This year NMIT became an accredited IITP Institute.  NMIT had to go through quite process to gain this accreditation.  Being a member Institute means that graduates and employers now have a bar by which to measure the quality of the degree program.  It means we as graduates should be more employable, fingers crossed