Information technologists, one might have imagined, would be more worshipped than worshipful but, off-screen, it seems they are as conscious of tradition as anyone else. Now they are celebrating their first birthday as the 100th livery company, The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists. The current Master is in fact mistress of the FI Group plc, chief executive Mrs V S (Steve) Shirley, (left) who bears the titular contradiction with equanimity, and is currently looking forward to the company's first lecture series. It begins in April with the most revered chairman and CEO of Microsoft, William H Gates lll as speaker. At 36 Gates is a veteran prodigy. The company has also launched an apprenticeship scheme and, through a series of panels, liverymen, who number more than 200, are engaged in a range of educational and charitable activities. Included among these liverymen are most of the leading IT businessmen (Thorn-EMI's chairman, Sir Colin Southgate and GEC's Lord Weinstock, for instance) but it remains to be seen whether, as in the case of worshipful wiredrawers, the information technologists will, over the years, succumb to the traditional dilution of expertise.
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