IT Directorate Update September 2021

Bruce Buerger

The transition of IT Directorate duties and responsibilities has gone relatively well since mid-June. The database updates have been fully transitioned from Gordon to myself however there are a few processes and practices that we’re still working through. Overall the process has gone very well and I’d like to thank Gordon Strong and James Golovich for their efforts. I’d also like to thank the BJCP Board and membership for their patience during this time.

Since June the focus has largely been on keeping the lights on kind of activities while noting areas of opportunity. While we do have some online reporting capabilities, some of our backend processes and technologies are very antiquated. Processes such as member address updates, competition registration, and competition report filings result in files being created which need to be manually applied to a database that’s housed on a desktop workstation. Other processes such as exam or education registration require forms to be submitted, which eventually results in someone having to manually update the database with the information from the forms. Member promotion is also a manual process that gets executed after competition or exam close out is processed. Our web-based systems and member judge records are updated after an export from the database is uploaded to the website. All of this manual processing does require quite a bit of time, however we are committed to getting updates published to the BJCP website on a monthly basis in the mid-month time frame. To date we’ve had several individuals step forward to help with maintaining our current state. I do appreciate the offers however with the database and some of the processing scripts being housed in a desktop database, a lot of this can only be maintained by a single individual.

Currently we are in the process of documenting our system functionality and technological needs with the intention to seek proposals from vendors to implement a new solution for the organization. Planning will be critical as this new solution will need to be something that sustains the organization, can be maintained by our staff, and is easy for our members to use for the next several years. Change management will also be key so as not to disturb the organization’s operations. We are targeting to publish a roadmap in the October / November time frame so stay tuned.

Thank you,
Bruce Buerger
BJCP IT Director