The colombian Diana Rocio Plata Arango has a curriculum that many would like to have: she is a Systems Engineer, specialized in Management of Information Systems and is also Master in Computing Science. Her willingness to learn, however, does not end and will lead her to TICAL for the fifth time. In this interview, part of our series "Five questions to", she talks about her experiences in the past editions of TICAL, praises the organization of the event and tells us about her expectations for the 2015 edition. (Photo: ProactivaNET)
Hello, Diana. Tell us a little about yourself and about your formation.
Hello! I am Diana Rocio Plata Arango and live in Tunja, a city that is the capital of the Boyacá department and is located in the central region of Colombia, where there are beautiful scenery, delicious cuisine and a rich historical and religious heritage. I'm a Systems Engineer, specialized in Management Information Systems and Master in Computing Science. Currently, I work with the Pedagogical and Technological University of Colombia (UPTC) and coordinate the Group of Organization and Systems, which corresponds to the University technology area. I have also worked as a teacher and in some research projects related to IT.
What was your first contact with the advanced networks and how do you evaluate its development since then?
My first contact was when my university joined the regional network UNIRED and then the national network RENATA. It was there that I began to know the services that the networks offered and the existing possibilities. I now see how more services are offered through these networks and how we can already see the results of collaborative projects undertaken by them, reason why I consider that the advanced networks are already consolidated as guarantees of important research projects and innovation for countries.
In a context like this, what is the importance of TICAL for the development of the networks and the professionals in the field of ICT?
TICAL allows the professionals in ICT to know in first-hand the projects and experiences that are being developed in different universities and the cooperation projects undertaken in the networks. Thus, it allows us to identify how we should prepare to be part of these projects or generate initiatives within our institutions to carry out these same projects.
You participated in all four editions of TICAL and even presented papers. What lessons did you get from these different experiences?
TICAL is an event that became the only one in Latin America to bring together the IT managers of the Universities, what makes it a meeting place where we can share positive experiences and learn strategies to overcome problems that are common in the IT areas of the universities. Moreover, it is the opportunity to meet professionals from other countries, share experiences and create bonds of friendship.
With the presentation of papers in the conference, I had the opportunity to tell the experience of the university where I work, the UPTC, on the implementation of the ISO 20000-1: 2011 and ISO 27001: 2013 standards for the area of IT. It was a very interesting experience because I presented papers on the evolution of this project and today there are universities in Latin America with whom we are in contact because they also initiated similar projects of implementation of ISO standards.
There is another beautiful thing in TICAL, that is the friendliness and the warmth of all the people involved in the organization. We feel very welcomed, because they are very kind and attentive to resolve any problems that arise; they think of all the details in order to give us an unforgettable experience in TICAL.
Personally and professionally, what are your expectations for the TICAL2015, to be held in Chile? And why Colombians should participate?
My expectations are geared to participate in the Conference presenting a paper and sharing the experiences of the conclusion of our project of implementation of the standards in which we are already certified. We are the first university in Latin America to rely on these two certifications.
I also hope to meet colleagues from other countries, friendships made on other editions of TICAL and, obviously, meet new experiences and new colleagues.
Join TICAL is an experience that Colombians should not miss. It is an environment full of warmth, to share knowledge, to know important and interesting experiences about what is being done elsewhere in the world, and the opportunity to learn about another cultures and professionals from many places. Being part of TICAL gives you professional and personal knowledge.