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 21 January 2011, Francois Marier tackled the topic

Open Source – What? Why? How??

…as part of our Xero Summer Seminar Series.

Francois has kindly made his slides available for download, which is highly recommended for anyone wanting to get started on Open Source projects.  Here ya go:

Francois PDF (it’s approx 16MB of pdf)

Hope to see you at our Xero Summer Seminar on Friday 28th January! 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 for our 28 January #xsss:

Unleashing API’s
2010 saw a remarkable number of API’s unleashed by Wellington ICT companies, opening up all sorts of opportunities for developers to add and enhance functionality, and for new services & partnerships to bloom.  What are the risks & opportunities around launching an API?  How does it work from a technical and community perspective?  Lets hear it from some who’ve been there, done that:

Richard Rowley is a Developer at Trademe who, following considerable in-house philosophical debate, unleashed their API on 30 Sept 2010. 
Dan Lee is Managing Director at YouDo, and has recently been involved in the Powershop and Beetil API’s. 
Owen Evans is a Developer at Xero.  The Xero API launch has already enabled a deluge of opportunities & wish-lists to be fulfilled. 
When… 12.15-1.30pm, Friday 28 January 2011
level 3, NZ Post House, 7 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington (here’s a map)
is essential!! please do this over here on the groovy lil’ regie platform.
are you waiting for? inspiring & informative speakers! lunch! awesome networking with the Wellington IT community!

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

Thanks for making these events possible.


4 fabulous speakers stepped up to talk on the topic of “Expanding your ‘help’ horizons – plugging into support communities beyond your workplace” at the first instalment of the Xero Summer Seminar Series.  Here’s a quick snapshot of the a-m-a-z-i-n-g opportunities there are to connect with developer communities in Wellington and beyond.   And we learned that pizza & beer are one reason, but there are several other motivations to broaden your networks.

Python (Jonathan Harker)
Wellington Python User Group occurs the first Thursday of every month.  Fantastic catering, connections, networking and learning to be had.  Next week’s Wellington PUG:

6pm Thursday 2 December 2010

KiwiPyCon2010 just happened in Waitangi… the Wellington group are putting in a bid to host next year’s KiwiPyCon in Wellington, probably during the August/Sept mid-semester break. There will be some awesome opportunities for student & developers to get plugged into Python awesomeness in 2011.

As a bonus, Jonathan talked (and was reminded) about a couple of other User Groups / meetups that happen at Catalyst:

PERL Mongers: (2nd Tuesday of the month)

The Functional Programming Group meets on Thursday Dec 9 (and will be followed by curry):

.NET (Kirk Jackson & Owen Evans)
Co-ordinators of the Wellington .NET user group, Kirk & Owen bring regular installments of pizza, beer and presentations to the .NET community.  All community information can be found at

We heard about the informal job market that these real-life User Groups help to drive, and examples of employment offers growing out of user-group relationships.  Great chance to develop your presentation skills, to keep up with fast-changing technology, and if you manage your diary carefully… very rarely having to cook dinner or buy beer on weeknights.

Next week’s meeting is

6pm Monday 1st December

  • LINQ to Async: An Introduction to the Reactive Extensions

As a bonus, we heard about the online community Stack Overflow, which is alive with good quality answers to all kinds of help questions.  There’s talk of re-instating a NZ (local time-zone) mailing list.  And the cool stuff that happens at Tech-Ed, and especially the Code Camps before TechED (past ones have been held at Whitireia, would be awesome to see another in 2011).

As a bonus bonus, we heard about the NZ Computer Society, who have a great programme of professional development and certification.  And some cool seminars & networking events happening this summer, too.  Check out their Wellington Events Calendar here.

Rails (Michael “Koz” Koziarski)
We’ve missed out on WellRailed events for 2010, but definitely check out this active user group for 2011! AND don’t miss Railscamp 2011, 18-21 March, 2011

Koz talked about the value of plugging into virtual communities, and the benefits of getting & giving help, and exposing yourself to new ideas.  Expanding your horizons is a huge part of success as a programmer.  Go to user groups that don’t relate to what your’e doing.  Be a sponge and find out what others are doing.

I’m not doing it justice, Koz was very inspirational… here’s the gist of his talk:

Don’t be a leech.  Connect. Contribute.  Get exposed to new ideas.

Snapper Challenge (Roger Brown)
We also had a quick 5 min pitch from Snapper, announcing an API Challenge!  More info up on their website soon, but there’s a MacBook Air and iPhone up for grabs to the person who comes up with the awesomest API plugin.  Snapper is opening up the source code for MySnapper, and its up to YOU to build stuff on it.
We’ll update you with more details as soon as they’re available!  (Watch Snapper on twitter for more on this, too)

And after all that learning & information-sharing we had a well-earned (and abundantly catered) feed.

We’re working on getting the videos uploaded asap, so those of you who weren’t able to be there will get a chance to share the learnings.  Hope to see you ALL next week for XSSS-02, don’t forget to rsvp here!

Thanks to all our speakers, and our fabulous sponsors Xero.
Thanks to Kiwibank (especially the awesome Brenda) for hosting us, too!

Announcing the Summer of Tech 2010 lunchtime seminar series, proudly sponsored by Xero!

YOU are invited, yes, that means YOU!  SoT2010 Interns, Mentors, Colleagues, members of the 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.

First up in the Xero Summer Seminar Series:


Expanding your ‘help’ horizons – plugging into support communities beyond your workplace. 

Where do you go when you’re stuck on a problem?  Jumping into new technologies can have its challenges.  Software developers especially can find themselves in a new language environment having to upskill really quickly.  Don’t panic.  There are many places to go for help, including real life networking, user groups, online forums and virtual communities.

The Speakers:
Jonathan Harker… co-ordinates the Wellington Python User Group which occurs the first Thursday of every month. Jon will share stories from KiwiPyCon and talk about fun to be had with Python.  In his spare time, Jonathan is a Moodle developer at Catalyst IT, specialists in open source technologies.
Michael “Koz” Koziarski… is 1/3 of the Southgate Labs Team, a software developer and consultant who specialises in Ruby on Rails, database architecture, web businesses and object oriented design.  Koz became a contributor to Rails in 2004 and has been a Rails core team member since 2005.  Koz will talk about getting (and giving) support via virtual communities. 
Kirk Jackson and Owen Evans… co-ordinators of the Wellington .NET user group, Kirk & Owen bring regular installments of pizza, beer and presentations to the .NET community.  They also happen to be on the Development team at Xero, bringing online accounting awesomeness to the world.

When … 12.15-1.30pm, Friday 26 November
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.

Thong’s slides from the Code Management bootcamp are here   (Warning: you kinda had to be there for those slides to make sense…)

But do try the workshop exercise, here!

Big thanks to Thong for sharing your knowledge & providing another hands-on & practical bootcamp!

Thanks heaps to Owen, Simon and Rowena from Xero for enlightening Summer of Tech 2010 Code students at last week’s .NET bootcamp!

Owen has posted his slides for the enlightenment of all… here

And a HUGE thank you to Allfields for having us in your fabulous venue again!