Making IT Good for Society

24 March 2016

Shropshire BCS Branch meeting was held last week at TCAT, in Wellington. Chair, Hollie Whittles, opened the meeting by introducing the two key note speakers.

The first speaker, David Evans, Director for Policy and Community, of the British Computer Society gave a talk on BCS vision of Making IT good for society.   With an eclectic career incorporating experience in marketing communications and policy as well as IT, David was well placed to describe how BCS is at the forefront of making IT assessable and socially useful. 

Beginning by explaining that the BCS branch and its members are key in delivering the vision, David described that personal data, capability, health and care and education are the 4 key IT issues which affect society. David then described how BCS will be working with its existing members, the IT industry and stakeholder groups to ensure that future IT development better meet the needs of society and its users.

The second presentation by Ian Bryant, Technical Director of Trustworthy Software Initiative (TSI) posed the question “Can we make software better”. Ian described how our lives are increasingly reliant on technology incorporating software. If that software fails it causes us problems. There is a pressing need to address the quality and robustness of our software.  No software can be proved to be error free, but Ian emphasised the importance of ensuring that it can be trusted to perform as it should.

The Trustworthy Software Framework (TSF), has been launched by TSI to address these issues. By collating existing guidance, standards and good practice in one framework, it seeks to provide a user friendly source of information for all those who need to build, procure or work with trustworthy software.
The concepts principles and techniques of the framework have been formalised in a British Standards Institution Publically Available Specification PAS754:2014.

Both presentations generated a lively question and answer session.

Hollie Whittles closed the meeting, thanking speakers and commented that it was great to see such a good turnout and if any branch members have any ideas for future sessions or speakers to please get in touch.