The closing date for the UK IT Industry Awards is rapidly approaching. The deadline for entries is 5pm on 16th July.
The UK IT Industry Awards are the benchmark for excellence throughout the computer industry. The Awards focus on the contribution of individuals, projects, organisations and technologies that have excelled in the use, development and deployment of IT in the past 12 months.
Details on how to enter can be found at computing.co.uk/awards.
As last year, the winners will be announced at a lavish prize-giving ceremony, to be held at the Battersea Park Arena in London on Thursday 11 November 2010.
To encourage you to compile your own entry for one of our prestigious awards, we're profiling some of last year's winners.
As well as honouring companies and whole project teams, the combined awards recognise the efforts of individuals, such as Josh Twist of Microsoft who in 2009 won systems developer of the year, mainly for his work with the open source community.
Twist describes himself as “not one to go shouting my achievements from the rooftops", so had spent the run-up to the awards persuading himself and anyone who asked that he was not going to win. Then he arrived at the Battersea Park Arena last November, accompanied by several senior Microsoft UK executives.
“I had entirely under-estimated the scale of the event,” says Twist. “It felt like the kind of awards ceremony you see on TV.”
His category was one of the last to be announced, so despite the suspense, Twist had plenty of time to observe the behaviour of other winners.
“They were all very sedate and cool, so I told myself if I did win I must keep calm,” he says. “Then when they announced I'd won, all composure went out of the window. I jumped up, punched the air and ran to the stage.”
Microsoft didn't make much PR mileage out of the award, but they are big on internal recognition, says Twist. He was mentioned in every internal newsletter and was soon receiving congratulatory emails from executives all over the company. News also spread among Microsoft's customers and partners.
“I didn't tell anyone, but they all read Computing and there was my picture with the award,” Twist says.
In fact, winning the award had a very beneficial effect on his relationship with customers.
“One of the hardest things as a consultant is earning the respect of the clients and the award made such a difference,” Twist says.
And, of course, the award looks good on his CV. So where next for Twist?
“I don't intend to leave Microsoft, but I do plan to work with them in the US in the future and this accolade makes all the difference,” he says.
Another individual winner that night was Jacques Erasmus, director of malware research at PrevX, awarded young IT professional of the year. As well as malware research, Erasmus was involved in spreading awareness of malware threats among consumers and large corporations.
Some of that work was with the BBC producing documentaries and news stories and with other press agencies. He also helped discover a major breach at a bank in the US where account details were stolen and worked with the FBI on mitigating the damage.
“It was a great experience to win after putting in a lot of work. It's always good to share the achievement with the people you work with,” says Erasmus.
All the award winners we spoke to were full of encouragement for those considering entering this year.
“Winning the award has proved an invaluable asset in building profile and respect,” says Twist. “Go for it.”