The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. We invite all students to use their imagination and passion to create a technology solution that addresses the Imagine Cup 2012 theme: Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.

In ten years, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real-world problems. Since 2003, over 1.4 million students have participated in the Imagine Cup with 358,000 students representing 183 countries and regions registering for the Imagine Cup 2011 competition.

The Imagine Cup 2012 competition is your chance to:

  • Solve tough problems facing the world today, and maybe even turn your ideas into a business.
  • Learn new technological skills.
  • Test yourself against the brightest students around the world.
  • Make new friends.
  • Win cash, grants , and prizes – plus, a chance for a free trip to Sydney, Australia, next July to compete at the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals!

The New Zealand 2012 Competition had over 400 entries, and these have now been short listed to the top 25 teams spread across New Zealand. These teams will now take on the competition, work with both an Industry and Microsoft Mentor to develop and present their idea. There is still an opportunity for you to take part. We have two finalist teams looking for team members. If you are interested in stepping up and taking on the challenge reach out to either of the two team captains, more information on their idea is posted below.

Title: Tsunami in the cloud

  • Institute:  Victoria University
  • Team Name: Team cloud solutions
  • Short Blurb explaining idea – Take the Tsunami algorithms, instead of running the algorithm locally, send it to the cloud and get it done in a fraction of the time by using the GreenButton Technology.
  • How many team members- Looking for 3 team members
  •  Type of Team members - Mostly members who will be writing code (preferably in C# & .Net), one team member with business relations & marketing experience to deliver our business strategy and also help with the presentation
  • Vision – Our final goal is to have two computers side by side demonstrating what the cloud can really do. One side you have the pc running the algorithm locally and one sent off to the cloud. This will show the real power of the cloud and what it can really do.
  • Please contact Team Captain directly karanbatta.kbstudios@gmail.com

 

Team Name: vCOM

  • Institute: Victoria University
  • Short Blurb explaining idea – A communication between two people speaking two different languages using a mobile device to translate the spoken language and bridging the gap between people of different native languages.
  • How many team members- Looking for three members
  • Type of Team members - Help with the video presentation and marketing, business strategy.
  • Vision – Bridge the gap between the different native languages for simple communication.
  • Please contact Team Captain directly Puneeth_pun1@yahoo.co.in

 

Any questions related to the Imagine Cup email us at –nzedu@microsoft.com or join our Facebook Student Page – www.facebook.com/microsoftnzstudents


Designers Touch – demos & discussion

As the post-PC era marches forward, it’s increasingly challenging to design sites and software for the growing variety of devices on the market. Join New Zealand’s top designers as they demo mobile apps & touch interfaces while discussing the challenges, opportunities and strategies of designing for touch.

Panel includes:

Philip Fierlinger (@skyrize) – Xero, designer of Xero Touch
Karl von Randow (@avon) – Cactuslab, lead developer of Camera+
Toby Vincent (@TobyVincent) – Smudge Apps, designer of Flicks and Stuff NZ apps
Amnon Ben-Or (@NonnyNZ) – Southgate Labs, designer of Radio NZ app
Andy Hovey – (@AndyHovey) Springload, designer of Kiwibank app
Toby Cox (@@CarnivalLabs) – Carnival Labs, creators of applications for DreamWorks, Kraft Foods, Air New Zealand and more…

More speakers to be confirmed

This is our marque design seminar this year, seats are limited. Don’t miss out RSVP at Lil Regie now.

When: Friday 20th Jan 12pm -> 2pm
Where: Deloitte 16th Floor – 10 Brandon Street Wellington 6011
Map: 10 Brandon Street
RSVP: Lilregie (Seats are limited, First come, first serve.)

Light refreshments will be provided


Our last Xero Summer Seminar for 2011 is tomorrow!

XSSS#4 – Dec 16th : “Why Testing Matters!”

Mike Talks (@TestSheepNZ ) from Kiwibank, Brian Osman (@bjosman) and Steve Wilsher both from QualIT will be talking you through the testing minefield. With each and every release of software and web update, the products companies ship carry their reputation. As computer solutions become increasingly complex, testing is a vital part of software development which everyone will encounter. 

When… 12:15pm – 1:30pm Friday 16th December (this week!)

Where… at Kiwibank on Waterloo Quay. Please register at reception on level 1 upon arrival, (here’s a map) (Thanks to Kiwibank for providing a venue)

RSVP… is essential as spaces are limited! Please do this over here on the groovy lil’ regie platform

But the action doesn’t stop there! Coming up in the Xero Summer Seminar Series in 2012?

XSSS#5 – Jan 13th: ”An Introduction to IT Automation using Puppet”

Jeremy Olliver (@static_storm) of AbleTech (And SoT Alumni) will talk about using Puppet to manage deployment of servers and infrastructure. Managing the deployment of servers is always a pain in the ass. Puppet helps make that a thing of the past.

When… 12:15pm – 1:30pm Friday 13th January

Where… at Kiwibank on Waterloo Quay. Please register at reception on level 1 upon arrival, (here’s a map) (Thanks to Kiwibank for providing a venue)

Keep an eye out on our blog for more 2012 updates. We’ll have a panel discussion on “Designing for the new internet – Tablets and Smartphones,” “Lean Start Ups,” and many more! 
Once again, thanks to Xero for sponsoring this awesome series and to Kiwibank for providing us with a venue!

We have confirmed three speakers for Xero Summer Seminar Series up until the Xmas! Here’s the line up:

XSSS#2 – Dec 2nd : “Life at the biggest website in New Zealand”

Ever wondered what life is really like at New Zealand’s biggest web company? Jay Nielsen ( @TradeMe_Jay ) (lead developer at FindSomeone) will be leading a panel of colleagues about what it’s really like working at TradeMe. Joining Jay are Daniel McCleland (a testing superstar), David Curlewis (Head of Database) and Richard Rowley (an Awesome API Developer).

When… 12:00pm – 1:30pm Friday 2nd December (this week!)
Where… at Kiwibank on Waterloo Quay. Please register at reception on level 1 upon arrival, (here’s a map) (Thanks to Kiwibank for providing a venue)
RSVP… is essential as spaces are limited! Please do this over here on the groovy lil’ regie platform
What… are you waiting for? inspiring & informative speakers! Lunch! Awesome networking with the Wellington IT community!

XSSS#3 – Dec 9th: Introducing “Sass”

Terrence Wood (@Terrencewood )of Xero is going to introduce Sass, which is an extension to CSS3 that makes CSS easier to manage.

From the Sass website

Sass makes CSS fun again. Sass is an extension of CSS3, adding nested rulesvariablesmixins,selector inheritance, and more. It’s translated to well-formatted, standard CSS using the command line tool or a web-framework plugin.

When… 12:00pm – 1:30pm Friday 9th December
Where… at Kiwibank on Waterloo Quay. Please register at reception on level 1 upon arrival, (here’s a map) (Thanks to Kiwibank for providing a venue)
RSVP… is essential as spaces are limited! Please do this over here on the groovy lil’ regie platform

XSSS#4 – Dec 16th: “Introduction to IT Automation using Puppet”

Jeremy Olliver (@static_storm) of AbleTech (And SoT Alumni) will talk about using Puppet to manage deployment of servers and infrastructure. Managing the deployment of servers is always a pain in the ass. Puppet helps make that a thing of the past.

When… 12:00pm – 1:30pm Friday 16th December
Where… at Kiwibank on Waterloo Quay. Please register at reception on level 1 upon arrival, (here’s a map) (Thanks to Kiwibank for providing a venue)
RSVP… is essential as spaces are limited! Please do this over here on the groovy lil’ regie platform
Coming up in the Xero Summer Seminar Series in 2012? We’ll have a panel discussion on “Designing for the new internet – Tablets and Smartphones,” and will let you know as more seminars are confirmed.

Once again, thanks to Xero for sponsoring this awesome series and to Kiwibank for providing us with a venue!


Welcome to the launch of the Xero Summer Seminar Series 2011/12.

Xero presents the Summer of Tech summer series of IT seminars. Running every Friday from November to the end of February. We have selected some of the best local and international speakers to provide a variety of talks including inspirational, career, technical and design topics. All of the seminars are free and open to the public. RSVP’s are essential to help us provide food .

We’re in the process of finalising this summer’s line-up of talks. (We’ll be announcing soon.) Here is the first seminar.

#1 Owen Evans

Owen Evans (Chief Architect at Xero) will provide the Summer of Tech 2011 commencement speech. He will talk about life in IT and offer some career advice for Wellington IT professionals.  This is the first in a series of Tech Talks for the Summer of Tech community,  it’s open to the public, and a light lunch will be provided.

Owen Evan’s Bio:

Owen Evans is a software developer currently employed by Xero to be a Chief Architect, according to his wife and 19month old daughter that means he goes ‘type type type’.
Hailing from the UK or more specifically a small place called Wales, he’s always had a passion for technology and believes we can change the world, together.
Recently Owen lead a team, including a Summer of Tech Alumni, to victory at Wellington’s first Startup Weekend, and is investigating how to take business further.

When… 11:30pm-1:00pm, Friday 18 November 2011

Where… Kiwbank Level 3 , NZ Post House, 7 Waterloo Quay, Wellington (here’s a map) (Thanks to Kiwibank for providing a venue)

Rsvp… is essential!! please do this over here on the groovy lil’ regie platform.
What… are you waiting for? inspiring & informative speakers! lunch! awesome networking with the Wellington IT community!

Another full-house at a SoT2011 bootcamp on Thursday, where Design students from all over Wellington packed out a lab at the Victoria School of Design to hear Emily Loughnan from Clicksuite share tips on what makes an applicant’ portfolio stand out from the rest.

We’ve had a few requests for notes from the presentation, but Emily says her slides are probably hopeless without explanation and the stories, sorry.

But she CAN share some links, here goes:

The Google job ad experiment – how a bit of clever thinking can get you a job:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FRwCs99DWg

 

Marc McHardy presenting his final year major project on “The Ad Show”

http://www.vimeo.com/23983821

(which got him his job at Click Suite)
AND, here are some links to good on-line portfolios.

You can use a free website like http://cargocollective.com

(Here’s one made using a bought template on cargo http://skellywag.org/ ) or Behance.

Others are:

http://www.ryanovereem.com/

http://www.kelly-stubbs.com/

http://www.timdenee.com/

 

Again, HUGE thanks to Emily Loughnan from Clicksuite for taking the time out of her busy life to share tips, tricks and experience with aspiring design students.


Check out this email that got a Stanford student a job at Foursquare, on Business Insider

(especially the explanatory footnotes )

This is definitely a US example, but the messages hold true for Summer of Tech candidates in NZ: show some passion, put yourself out there, be clear that you can fill a real need in a company.


Summer of Tech was proud to be part of the first ever “PIXELJAM” event in Wellington.  Over the weekend of 1-3 July, 15 aspiring game developers got together to design, build and be ready to demo a game.

Pixel Jam was a small collaborative competition for solo developers or small teams, including Designers, Artists, Coders.
48 hours is very little time to make a game.  The 9 teams did an awesome job!

The gathering was not for the faint of heart, or extreme novices.  We were stoked to see students, graduates and indie game devs taking part, AND great support from experienced developers who popped in to mentor & offer moral support over the weekend.

Here’s a choice quote from one of the students:

“I learned more in the last 48 hours than I have in the last 3 months of uni!!”

The grand finale involved pizza and beer, and participants demo-ed their creations in front of a panel of industry judges (Stu and Chris from Sidhe, and David from MajicJungle).

PixelJam was modelled on Game Jams that have been held around the world.  The mover & shaker and make-it-happen-guy behind the event was Keaton (SoC09 alumni), and support and sponsorship from Sidhe, Toi Poneke HUB and Studio was fantastic.

We’d love to see PixelJam become a regular feature in the buid-up to Summer of Tech.

Check out the photos here


On the 4th of February 2011, we asked some of our SoT2010 interns to tell us what they’d been up to this summer.

Adam Bramley and Brendan Vercoelen spent Summer of 2010/11 working on a wide range of Open Source projects at Catalyst IT.

Here’s the video of their talk:

Intern Lightning Talk: Catalyst IT from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.

 


At our Xero Summer Seminar on Friday 28 January we heard from 3 local Wellington tech gurus talking on the topic of “unleashing APIs”: Richard Rowley from Trademe, Dan Lee from YouDo, and Owen Evans from Xero.

Here’s a video of the seminar. Part 1 is Richard & Dan:

Unleashing APIs – Part 1 from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.

Part 2 is Owen plus QandAs with our live studio audience:

Unleashing APIs – Part 2 from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.


On the 4th of February 2011, we asked some of our SoT2010 interns to tell us what they’d been up to this summer.

First up: Cameron Fowler spent Summer of 2010 working as a code intern for Able Technology.  His projects included streetsalive.org.nz and a customisable store locator tool. 

Here’s the video of Cameron’s talk:

Intern Lightning Talk – Able Technology from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.


This is what Amber-Jean Hornsby had to say after 12 weeks working as a Design Intern at Xero:

Who would have thought accounting would be fun? The thing about Xero is somehow they actually make accounting enjoyable, addictive and visually delightful. They are an awe-inspiring hardworking team who live and breathe their product and never fail to impress, even as the company rapidly expands.

Read more about her work experience on Xero’s blog.

We’re totally committed to opening up more opportunities for design graduates to become part of the creative workforce… thanks Amber-Jean for your hard work, and great tips to help make SoT work for designers!


Do YOU know the person who can take Summer of Tech into the future?  Following on from our announcement of a partnership with NZCS, we’re looking for a super-awesome individual to come on board and drive NZ’s premier ICT internship programme!

Are you (or is someone you know…)  looking for a role utilising your existing mix of skills: a super-organised and motivated person with solid knowledge of the ICT sector and a background or interest in engaging with emerging and other professionals, young and not-so-young?

The role includes running Summer of Tech in Wellington, scoping the national roll-out, and incorporating NZCS’s wider engagement platform with students/tertiaries/internships/mentors… all good stuff!

More details on NZCS’s website, here
Full job description is available here


PRESS RELEASE – NZ Computer Society Inc. (NZCS) and Summer of Tech
29 March 2011
For Immediate Release

The New Zealand Computer Society Inc (NZCS), the professional body of the ICT sector, today announced an adoption of the highly successful Wellington Summer of Tech internship programme and a significant expansion and nationwide rollout of the initiative.

“This move will help redefine the future of student-industry engagement for those studying towards a career in the tech sector across New Zealand” NZCS CEO Paul Matthews said today.

Summer of Tech, formerly known as Summer of Code, is a very successful student internship programme for those studying for a technology-related career. Launched in 2006 and now in its sixth year of operation the award-winning programme helps businesses source top talent from local tertiary institutions while giving students valuable real-world industry experience. The programme includes a series of bootcamps and industry-led skills development workshops to help bridge the gap between industry needs and educational development.

NZCS Chief Executive Paul Matthews and Summer of Tech Executive Committee Chair John Clegg today jointly announced that the Wellington Summer of Tech programme would now operate under the NZCS umbrella and be rolled out across New Zealand.

In announcing the revamped project Matthews said “NZCS has been a strong supporter of the Summer of Tech programme which grew from a real need experienced by startup businesses in Creative HQ, Wellington’s business incubator. The programme has helped Wellington employers source top local talent while easing the move from study to industry for hundreds of tech students. We’re very excited to be playing such a big part in the next chapter of this excellent programme”.

SoT Executive Committee Chair John Clegg today said “The Summer of Tech programme has been hugely successful, however it’s now time to scale and grow the programme and progressively roll it out across New Zealand. The scale, breadth, ICT community engagement, non-profit nature and strong reputation of NZCS makes it the ideal organisation to work with to achieve this”.

“Student internships in the ICT and related sectors are absolutely essential for New Zealand’s innovation and technology future”, Matthews said. “This programme has continued to enjoy significant success because it’s focused at the right place – an industry-led initiative supporting tech students in partnership with academic institutions”.

“NZCS and Summer of Tech will roll the initiative out throughout New Zealand over the next 12-24 months and we’ll be looking to the technology sector and the Government to turn words into actions and continue to support the growth of this hugely important project”, Matthews said.

“This project will continue to be a grass-roots industry-led initiative aimed at solving a very real and existing problem”, Clegg said. “Those that have been a part of this programme over the last six years in Wellington can rest assured that this move will secure the future of Summer of Tech while ensuring business as usual in the Capital”.

Current Summer of Tech Coordinator Ruth McDavitt will remain involved and the Society today began advertising a new role including coordinating the national rollout of the project.

ENDS

 

About the NZ Computer Society

NZCS is the professional body of ICT Professionals and as a non-profit incorporated society works with industry, academia, Government and the wider community to achieve its mission of increasing the education, standards and professionalism of the New Zealand ICT profession and the base-level computing skills and confidence of New Zealanders.

Founded in 1960 and with thousands of members nationwide NZCS is the largest and oldest ICT body in New Zealand.

About Summer of Tech

Summer of Tech is a successful student internship programme beginning life in Wellington as Summer of Code in 2006. SoT uses a sophisticated algorithm to match students and companies and provides a series of industry-led workshops and bootcamps for those studying to work in the technology-related sector.

For more info please contact:
ceo@nzcs.org.nz
info@summeroftech.co.nz


Great article on TechCrunch for students AND employers, here

Interns and job-seekers

Take note: smart employers will be hiring on Attitude (and Aptitude)!  If you’re seeking a role in a startup or innovative company, know that punching above your weight, constantly seeking to learn & develop, and being a good fit with company culture are all EXTREMELY important!

“Eff experience. I want to know whether you can deliver. If you can, you’re golden. You’ll go a long way. If you can’t – you’re toast. Are you up for it?”

Startups (and other smart employers)

Are you constantly investing in your talent pipeline?

“Get out there and find them. Ask others for intros to their talented friends. Meet talented people and sell them the vision. Get them exited about what you’re doing. Be relentless.”

We meet a lot of smart employers who know that attitude, aptitude and potential are essential for growing an awesome team. 

Highly recommend the whole article, here.  May not be completely tranlsatable to the NZ market, but some excellent themes in there for the Summer of Tech community.