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:


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

(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

(Here’s one made using a bought template on cargo ) or Behance.

Others are:


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

Hope to see you at our Xero Summer Seminar on 3 December! Please RSVP over here!

YOU are invited, yes, that means YOU! SoT2010 Interns, Mentors, Colleagues, members of the UP and wider Wellington Tech community!

We’d love to see you at our summer seminars, supporting & developing & connecting the top talent of Wellington and the top employers of Wellington. Here’s the details on our 2nd #xsss: 


Rowan Simpson will explain why many of the things that you think you know about what it takes to start and grow a technology company are wrong, why most of the successful companies and entrepreneurs that you read about in the media can’t teach you much about your startup, and some of the counterintuitive lessons that you should be paying attention to as you try and get a new idea off the ground.

Rowan was a founding team member at Trade Me, running the development and product teams there at various stages between 2000 and 2007, an early investor and employee at Xero and most recently a co-founder of Wellington-based software studio Southgate Labs, where he is an an investor and advisor to a number of early-stage tech companies including Vend, Fishpond, Sonar6 and Valuecruncher

When … 12.15-1.30pm, Friday 3 December
Where …Kiwibank, level 6, Radio New Zealand House, 155 The Terrace (here’s a map)
Rsvp …is essential!! please do this over here on the groovy lil’ regie platform.
What …are you waiting for? free lunch! networking! inspiring & informative speaker!

HUGE thank-yous to Xero for being our fantastic sponsor of the seminar series. And to Kiwibank for being our fantastic venue partner. Thanks for making these events possible.

Warning: this post contains sexual discrimination that may offend male readers.  Viewer discretion is advised…!

FREE tickets to the December Girl Geek Dinner!!

Girl Geek Dinner Logo

We’re proud to support the Wellington Girl Geek Dinners, informal get-togethers, including dinner, drinks, and talks on ‘geeky’ topics. It’s a welcoming atmosphere and a way in which to learn in an informal environment, to make technology accessible and to be of interest to all age groups and all people, particularly women. It is an opportunity for like-minded ‘girls’ to talk about technology over food and drinks.

It’s happening on 15th of December, and you can find all the details here.  (Some of you might have met the speaker, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith at the SoT launch party last night?  As well as being an award-winning artist blending opensource technology and 3D printing, she’s a key mover & shaker in Unlimited Potential, and co-founder of the Creative Freedom Foundation.) So if a free xmas dinner, high quality networking with women in technology and the glory of taking up a Summer of Tech complimentary ticket wasn’t enough to hook you in… go to listen to Bronwyn!!

If you want to claim one of the Summer of Tech FREE tickets, you need to email Ruth.  Quick.  Tickets will be allocated in an entirely biased way (sorry guys)… not just gender, we’ve also got a strong preference for giving 2010 Interns and Students the prizes!

(Mentors, colleagues, women of Wellington’s technology & creative communities – it’s 25 bucks, totally worth it! You can buy tickets here)

mLabs invites Designers & Developers to their launch event on the evening of the 16th of November.  Find out how to gain experience and knowledge working in mobile app’s. 

mLabs is a new learning and experience hub for developers and designers focussed on Mobile.

It is a platform for collaboration aimed at speeding up the learning process and gaining exceptional capability and industry experience.  mLabs allows you to join teams to learn, collaborate with, and get help from others, and to build a proven track record of success.

For more info, check out their website, here

Calling Summer of Tech engineering candidates!  If you haven’t been matched to a summer internship, AND you’re close to graduation, this might be a great opportunity to kick-start your career in the Wellington manufacturing sector:
Grow Wellington is looking for people who have graduated within the last 12 months (or will be graduating end of 2010) to take on a number of these new and unique roles in the Wellington Manufacturing Sector. 
The roles are for “Innovative Solutions Developers” and will commence within the next 6 months.  Grads will complete a series of placements within some of Wellington’s best and most interesting manufacturing businesses over an 18 month period.  For each company you will get actively involved to understand their businesses, their issues and work with them to provide solutions with the aim to increase productivity and business performance.  
For more information about the roles, click here.
For more information about the Optimising Manufacturing programme, see this website.
If this sounds like you, and you’d like to apply for these unique opportunities, please send your CV and covering letter to
Applications close on Friday 1 October, & start dates are between now and late January  2011.

For candidates with few or no interviews scheduled, do not despair!!

Here’s some things that are really important to know:

  • The recruitment & matching process for Summer of Tech 2010 will continue right up until 22 September. That is the date that Companies and Candidates submit their Final Rankings via the website.  All candidates with completed profiles are in the running for internships, right up to the 22nd of September.
  • Some companies are not available to do interviews on the Speed Interview dates.  They will be contacting candidates directly to arrange an interview.
  • Some companies were only available for a short time on the Speed Interview dates.  They will be contacting additional candidates directly to arrange an interview.
  • We fully expect new companies & projects to come into the programme, some existing ones to drop out (though we very much hope not too much of that) and generally expect the process to be fluid until 22 September.  Candidates: PLEASE stay with us, keep your confidence up, and be ready for a random connection to a potential Intern employer!
  • Finally, please also remember to let us know immediately if you are no longer available for a Summer of Tech Internship.  It is very important that we know if you are NOT available for a full-time job through Summer of Tech from mid-November to mid-February.

Later on this morning, Summer of Tech candidates will find out if they’ve been chosen for a “speed interview”.

Our “matching” process works a lot like dating.

Bear with me as I elaborate on that highly unusual statement from such a professional, career-focused internship programme.

We have a “talent pool” of top technology students, seeking their “perfect match” for summer internship.  They’re looking for a company, with a project, in a field that meets their ideals in terms of their future career goals.

On the other side of the equation, we have “innovative companies” seeking their “perfect match” for summer internship.  They’re looking for a student with skills, energy, attitude and aptitude that meets their ideals in terms of their business needs this summer.  Oh, and they’re keen to invest in the future talent pool by accelerating learning and work experience in the talent pipeline too!

We’ve done our “online dating”, which involved checking each others’ profiles online…

We’ve done our “meet & greet”, which involved meeting in person…

Next week, it’s “speed dating”!

While all you candidates are waiting eagerly for news as to whether you’ve been chosed for a “Speed Date”, here’s some hot tips to help you get ready.  These are the key learnings from our Speed Interview Bootcamp:

Headsup for tech students – time is running out if you want to be in the running for a Summer of Tech internship for 2010/11.

We will be closing student registrations at 12noon on Tuesday 31 August.

If you’re only just getting round to signing up, you’ve got a LOT to catch up on.  Please go here to sign up, then spend some quality time completing your Summer of Tech online profile.  This is your marketing tool to get companies to notice you!

More information is available when your profile is complete.  We also highly recommend you read through historical blog posts which contain useful tips & information for candidates.  Here’s a link.

It’s not too late to score a cool job with one of our outstanding Tech host companies this summer!  The companies are waiting to meet you on the Summer of Tech website, so sign up & get profiled asap!

Wellington’s Summer of Tech is well and truly underway for 2010, with a stunning lineup of talent and technology on display at our Meet & Greet event last night.  Thanks to everyone for making this a roaring success!

Check out @anistirk‘s great photo here!

For those who were unable to attend, sorry we couldn’t connect at the Meet & Greet, but it’s not too late to be part of Summer of Tech 2010!!

Companies of Wellington… it’s not too late to sign up!

Here’s a some company deadlines to think about:

  • COMPANY REGISTRATIONS CLOSE – October-ish.  That is not a fixed deadline, we need all the host companies we can get!  However, if you want to maximise the benefits of the programme, and increase your chances of getting a top student interested in your role, we suggest you sign up before the end of August. This will give you time to take part in the Speed Interviews, and, if you’re super-onto-it, to apply for TechNZ funding (if you’re eligible & interested).
  • SPEED INTERVIEWS – 7 & 8 September (before then, you’ll need to complete your company profile, set up a project (which is like a job description) and browse & shortlist candidates on our website)
  • TechNZ APPLICATION – 10 September (if you’re interested in applying to TechNZ for funding to support your internship, you need to submit by 10 Sept.  If you want Grow Wellington to help you with this process, you’ll need to let us know by 31 August)

Students seeking a technology career… it’s nearly too late to sign up!

Here’s a couple of student deadlines to think about:

  • ONLINE PROFILE – asap like now is good what are you waiting for stop reading and finish it QUICK!  Companies are browsing and shortlisting now.  If your profile is incomplete, you are “invisible”.  Enough said.

Here’s a quick re-cap on how the evening went:

To get things rolling, we turned the standard “recruitment process” on its head, requiring employers to “pitch” themselves to potential candidates.  Presentations from 34 companies which showcased an astounding array of innovative projects and technologies. From exciting startup to high-growth creative to established corporate, there is no stopping Wellington business when it comes to developing cool tech!

Because candidates and employers can “browse” each other via the Summer of Tech website, we asked companies to focus on the “fluffy stuff” like workplace culture and business aspirations.  And boy, they did :-)   Turns out that for many companies, having @EpicBeer as our Meet & Greet beverage sponsor was a fairly good cultural fit!

Summer of Tech aspires to play a useful role as a bridge between industry and the education sector, provide a platform for employers to streamline their graduate recruitment, and source & invest in local top talent.  At the same time students are exposed to a range of opportunities they may never have known or thought of, right here on the doorstep!  Judging by the volume levels during the “greeting” part of the evening, a lot of this is being achieved.

2010 is the first year we’ve gone beyond “Code” projects.  The tech industry is becoming more competitive, more demanding and developing and releasing new products & services is harder than ever.  Summer of Tech’s wider reach now caters to companies who want a broader skill-set, “Code” is still important, and the thriving Wellington Web industry was certainly on show during the company intro’s last night! Equal emphasis is now placed on the creative thinking and approaches of “Design”, the problem solving and innovation of “Engineering” and the thinking, processing, management and execution of “Business Analysis”.

Above all, employers are still hiring on ATTITUDE and APTITUDE.  Technical skills are a given in this tight job market, you either got em already or you’ll learn em quick on the job.  Communication skills, professionalism, team fit and the “fluffy” stuff are where candidates need to excell.  If a paid summer internship is the result, perhaps those skills are not so “fluffy”, after all.

A huge thanks to all our helpers (especially Rebecca, KaiXin and Alastair, outstanding student-wranglers and SoC09 alumni… oh, and their employers Amberdms, Redvespa and CatalystIT who let us borrow them back for the evening!)

A huge thanks to all our sponsors and partners:  Massey University Events Team for the venue, Grow Wellington for helping with company-wrangling, TechNZ for your upcoming investment in summer internships, and all the fantastic individuals and organisations without whom Summer of Tech would not be possible.

Roll on Summer of 2010!!

We’re only a few days away from the Summer of Tech 2010 Meet & Greet, so wanted to give a few “inside tips” for students to make sure you make the most of it!

(Companies, move along please, nothing to see here, you can get some “inside tips” over HERE)

So, students, this is your only chance to impress companies in real life before interviews.  The rest of your “impressing” will be done via your online profile.


The Meet & Greet will start at 5.30pm, so please arrive a few minutes before to check in and get your nametag.  We’re expecting around 200 people, and will be in a big lecture theatre to start with. Take a seat anywhere except the first couple of rows, which will be reserved for companies.

First part of the evening is when companies introduce themselves.  This is a quick intro & overview of their company/project.  The main purpose of getting the company representatives to stand up in front of the room is so that YOU will be able to recognise them during the informal networking afterwards.

Second part of the evening is an informal networking event.  Everyone is wearing nametags, and you’ll be able to clearly identify who is a company (i.e. a potential employer) and who is not.  Companies will be standing around the edge of the room, under a sign with their company name on it.

It is up to students to introduce yourselves to companies that are a match for your skills.

Light refreshments will be provided to help facilitate the networking.

Tips for Students

  • Do your homework!  Be prepared!  Company and project information is on the Summer of Tech website right now.  Spend some time before Thursday researching the employers, so that you know who you want to impress during the Meet & Greet.
  • Your goal for the Meet & Greet is to be chosen for a job interview.  Companies will be impressed if you have taken the time to find out a bit about what they do, if you have relevant and interesting questions and ideas, and if you’re exhibiting the right attitude and aptitude to be on their team.
  • Remember that there are 4 different types of job on offer, so you need to pay attention to who is who during the introductions, so that you’re not wasting precious time talking a Design employer if all you want to do this summer is electrical engineering!
  • There will be more students than companies – you will need to use all your social skills to engage in scintillating but brief conversation with companies.  Please respect the fact at there are other students who would like a chance for a chat, and know that you’ll get a few minutes at most with each company on your list.  Another reason to do your homework and think about what you’re going to say before you meet & greet.
  • We highly recommend you pay attention to schmoozing potential employers rather than the food & drink that’s on offer; standing in line for a drink and socialising with your mates is NOT a great use of your time if there are companies to impress and summer internships to be secured!


  • Here’s a map of Massey’s Wellington campus.  The Meet & Greet is in the Old Museum building, via entrance D off Buckle Street.
  • If on public transport from the Railway Station, we suggest you grab a bus to the Basin Reserve (e.g. a No. 1 or No. 44) and walk up from there.
  • If you’re driving, there is very limited visitor parking at Massey, you might have more luck on Tasman or Tory St’s.
  • There’s plenty of bicycle parking around campus, for those of you on 2 wheels.

Looking forward to a fantastic Meet & Greet for SoT2010!

Don’t forget to RSVP – log into your account and check out the “Events” page.

Drumroll please…

Last week, we announced a competition for Girl Geeks (here)

To keep you in suspense a bit longer, the competition asked female Summer of Tech candidates to name one inspiring woman in Technology.  Here are some highlights:

Agnete Enga, who is a member of the Femme Den studio (part of Smart Design) in Norway. She also spoke at AGIdeas this year in Melbourne.

Agnete Enga is a senior industrial designer at Smart Design, a multi-disciplinary design consultancy. Originally from Norway, Agnete brings a unique set of eyes to each design problem. She has guided projects in the areas of consumer electronics, fashion, and kitchen products. Clients she has worked with in the past include OXO, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Nike. She has won multiple design awards and her work has been published in Time Magazine and Fast Company.

(from a bio on the DMI Conference page, here)

2 separate people mentioned Jane McGonigal!

Jane is a game developer and researcher from the states especially focusing on Massively multi-player gaming.  Jane has done some amazing research and helped to build games that give an alternate reality situation to help us deal with potential real-life scenarios. If you haven’t seen her TED talk on “Gaming can create a better world” check it out here

Anita Borg -what a great legacy for Women in Technology! Here’s a bit about Anita:

Anita Borg had a unique capacity to mix technical expertise and fearless vision that inspired, motivated and moved women to embrace technology instead of fearing or ignoring it. She touched and changed the lives of countless women in the computing fields and beyond. She is responsible for including women in the technological revolution – not as bystanders, but as active participants and leaders.

Google offer an “Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship for Australian & NZ students.  This year’s entries closed in May, but if you’re studying next year, watch out for it here.

Barbara Liskov

Barbara Liskov (born Barbara Jane Huberman in 1939) is a computer scientist. She is currently the Ford Professor of Engineering in the MIT School of Engineering’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department and an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned her BA in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1961. In 1968 Stanford University made her the first woman in the United States to be awarded a Ph.D. from a computer science department. The topic of her Ph.D. thesis was a computer program to play chess end games.

(from wikipedia)

All right, enough suspense and anticipation…

the winner of the very cool leather laptop bag is… Amanda!

Amanda also gets a ticket to next Wednesday’s Girl Geek Dinner!  Also, runners-up Kalani & Kate win tickets to the Girl Geek Dinner too!

All 3 of you get to listen to the most excellent Rochelle talking about intellectual property as applied to technology.  Plus awesome networking, great swag and prizes, and a yummy dinner.  Thanks for entering everyone, Summer of Tech is proud to support Wellington women into technology careers!

Andrew Mayfield from Optimal Workshop spoke at Friday’s Design Bootcamp, on the topic of User Experience.

He emphasised the need for “iterations” in design, and shared this interesting paradox:

Andrew shared a reading list (some of these titles are now “classics” in this field):

Some more reading on iterations and design (for startup companies, but relevant, I think to Design students), can be found in this recent article on ReadWriteWeb.

Warning: this post contains sexual discrimination that may offend male readers.  Viewer discretion is advised…!

Announcing….The Summer of Tech 2010 Girl Geek Prize!!

Girl Geek Dinner Logo

This competition is open to all female Summer of Tech 2010 candidates, who have completed their profile on the Summer of Tech website!

On offer, we have:

1st prize:

1 x ticket to the next Wellington Girl Geek Dinner (11 August).  The speaker is Rochelle Furneaux (aka @kiwiseabreeze) who is a dispute resolver extraordinaire. She’ll talk about why intellectual property is important and how to be a technology lawyer.  Of particular interest to Design students perhaps, but the networking & dinner conversation will be of value to ALL SoT candidates.

1 x FABULOUS girl geek accessory, a Paris Special Edition leather laptop back-pack (fits up to 15.4″laptop).

Check it out!!

HUGE thanks to Lushai for sponsoring this prize!!

2nd prize:

1 x ticket to the next Wellington Girl Geek Dinner (11 August)

Conditions of entry:

  1. you must be registered as a candidate in Summer of Tech 2010
  2. you must complete your Summer of Tech profile
  3. you must tell us the answer to one simple question:

Name one woman in technology who inspires you

(you can do this as a comment on this blog post, or by emailing info (@) if you’re shy ;-) )

…NOTE: if you have already purchased a ticket to the Girl Geek Dinner, you can still enter, your prize might be exchanged for a ticket to the next GGD, or an equivalent groovy girl geek incentive…

We make no apology for excluding the majority of students from this prize, boy geeks, we still value & support you, and are open to suggestions for prizes & incentives that will get you engaged in a technology career… but, in the meantime, Summer of Tech is keen to encourage women into technology internships, and keen to know who inspires YOU in your career goals.

Girl geeks… good luck!