After crossing South America, our series "Five questions to" arrived to Central America where we talked to one of the main exponents of ICT in the region: the salvadorain Rafael "Lito" Ibarra. In this interview, he tells us a little about his career and reveals his expectations for TICAL2015.
Hello, Rafael. Tell us a little about yourself and about your formation.
Hello! I am Rafael "Lito" Ibarra, graduated in Electrical Engineering and Business Administration, and Master in new information and communications technologies. I worked in the academy (for over 27 years) as well as in the private sector, being part of several directive joints and organizations of the civil society. I am also a consultant for public and private entities and founder member of several organizations, including RedCLARA and RAICES.
What was your first contact with the advanced networking and how do you assess their development since then?
We contributed to the definition and subsequent implementation of the ALICE project, which gave birth to RedCLARA, RAICES and seven other national research and education networks in Latin America. I think that the development of the advanced networks in our region is heterogeneous, given that some countries excelled and progressed very quickly while others are still battling for their development, in addition to those that haven’t form its national network yet.
In a context like this, what is the importance of TICAL for the development of networks and professionals in the field of ICT?
TICAL is a hotbed of ideas, initiatives, experiences and possible alliances for IT directors of the participating universities. It allows us to know the rights and wrongs of the institutions of the region, whether they are big or small.
You participated in four editions of TICAL. What lessons did you take from each of these experiences?
In all of them there were new experiences introduced, projects about which I had no idea though they were being developed by institutions in Latin America.
From a personal and professional perspective, what are your expectations for TICAL2015 to be held in Chile? And why Salvadorians should attend?
I hope to find new proposals coming from the Latin American universities on how they are responding to the contemporary challenges: online education, BYOD, voice over IP, etc. Salvadorians, like other Latin Americans, should be involved to meet these experiences and the answers for the problems that are already being experienced, as well as the ones that will be faced in a near future. It is always better to learn from the experience of colleagues and friends before taking decisions in our institutions.