Are you proud to be a Canadian? Well I think you should be…

After now living in Canada for nearly 18 months, there are a number of observations that I think are worth sharing. Some are generalisations, all I feel are true…

Canadians are a very friendly group of people. I see in IT most Canadians are happy to share their knowledge and help others, especially if a beer or two is involved…

            Canadians work hard, but are more than happy to go the extra mile for others…

            Canadians are passionate (certain sections of the population even more so than others J) and like to show their passion for technology.

The demographics of Canada mean that while the challenges we face are often similar across the country, the scale is often different. I will explain, many of the people I talk with in Toronto are from enterprise organisations, with a good percentage of consultants and academics (well there are one or two universities close by). In Ottawa, unsurprisingly most people work in the public sector. While in Victoria there is a far greater percentage of consultants and smaller businesses.

I also want to point out that in Canada, the business size classification many companies use is just plain wrong. In the US for example, a small business is often described as up to 250 people, an enterprise organisation has more than 5000 people. Anyone else is medium sized… Here, you are a good sized company of you have 50 employees and over 1000, you are a really big organisation. Does that man we are any less competitive on the world scale, NO! In fact I would argue that it makes us more dynamic and able to adapt to an ever changing world.

In fact much of the public sector, from municipalities to school boards I see have bigger and better run infrastructures and forward thinking policies to help us live in our communities and our children learn. Many provide world class resources to the community (go see for yourself on the City of Mississauga web site as to what I mean) and therefore can be viewed with the number of users as competing with the best of them. All of this goes to show how important knowing the national IT industry and being able to localise your approach is in a country as diverse as Canada.

I will leave you with one thought, Canadians are passionate, so I encourage you all to use your voice and be heard by joining and supporting your local IT community and exercise your citizenship.

Call to action: If you know of / are looking for / wanting to create an IT User group, please post a comment on my blog and let us all know. Simultaneously let us have your thoughts on IT in Canada – show you passion!