Interview with Javon Davis, Jamaican Software Engineer

We interview software engineer, Javon Davis, a past participant in the Calico Challenge. He speaks about his impressions of the Jamaican software industry focusing on how both employees and companies can become globally competitive given the online resources now available.

Javon also discusses job search strategies to be recognized by international companies as potential employees or contract customers. He explains the concept of new massively open online courses (MOOCs) offered by leading universities and their impact on education and the industry. Social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter are also shown to be valuable tools when seeking contract or permanent jobs.

The discussion is engaging and informative.

Can you Market a Nonprofit on Social Media?

The Palisadoes Foundation was conceived by a group of Jamaican technology professionals interested in assisting in the continued development new and existing technologies in Jamaica. We know Jamaica can produce world class software engineers and have been proving this in our outreach activities since 2014. A signature program of our nonprofit is the annual Calico Challenge where software engineering students in Jamaican universities are awarded an internship to work on open source projects over the summer under the guidance of an industry mentor. Students are paid a stipend based on the achievement of predefined goals. To date over 18 students have graduated.

Even with our success, our public awareness and donation base needs to be improved. Our presence on our website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram needs to be more effectively used to target persons interested in our philanthropic goals. We are seeking a part-time contractor to assist us in creating and implementing the marketing campaigns to do this.

The person will need to present a plan that outlines:

  • Recommended approaches to improve our existing portfolio of social media properties.
  • Strategies to be used for each type of social media platform based on the audience each attracts.
  • The appropriate use and creation of audio, video and still images
  • Expected quarterly targets for success based on either experience or data found on the web. This would include, but not necessarily limited to, the numbers of followers and inbound donation dollar amounts.
  • The categorizations of posts for each platform. We have seen where tailored combinations of industry, technical, career and fun categories of posts are required for success on each platform.
  • Social media calendars with weekly targets for posts for each identified category
  • Ways to attract influencers to the cause
  • Maintaining private and public donor relationships
  • The sources to be used in re-posting the content on social media.
  • A reevaluation of our blogging strategy to see if there may be ways to make the content more engaging, if at all.
  • Methods to create a steady stream Jamaican imagery of software engineering students and professionals for use in our posts with targets.
  • Possible new approaches to email. We have a general monthly newsletter. We are open to having more targeted email audiences.
  • Promoting opinion pieces found on the Internet related to the Foundation’s work
  • Ways to better use our LinkedIn company page and interest group with over 800 members.

The person will need to be based in the Kinston corporate area of Jamaica. Please contact us though our website if you are interested in making a proposal.

Jhamali Vassell – Palisadoes Student Volunteer at UWI

My name is Jhamali Devante Vassell. I went Glenmuir High, established in 1955, and remains one of the top performing schools in Jamaica. I currently attend the University of the West Indies(UWI), Mona, majoring in Computer Science and Electronics.

I became a volunteer for the Palisadoes Foundation September 2017. I became familiar with the organization through the Calico Program, a venture started by the them to help students gain experience in software development and get a feel for the industry at a professional level. Currently, my task is being an intermediary, along with another student, between the Palisadoes Foundation, and UWI as well as the UWI Computing Society. So far, we’ve mainly assisted, in confirming and organizing events, and relaying necessary messages from the Palisadoes Foundation to some personnel at UWI or the Computing Society.

My interests are varied, but my main goal is to get into the field of robotics and AI development. Though most people are still skeptical about smart machines, I believe they are necessary for continued advancement, which may eventually become stagnate due to human limitations. If designed well, machines would be able to complete tasks with more precision and speed than humans, allowing the research and development process to go by more quickly. I’m also interested in is robotic body parts for the disabled, such as spine alignment technology, new limbs, and even eyes.

Currently I’m mainly focused on low level development, embedded systems and communication between them. I’m hoping to eventually go to Japan, where Robotic development is occurring on a large scale, and at a fairly fast pace.

UTech and UWI receive JA$12M* computer network equipment from Palisadoes Foundation

Reprinted from the Jamaica Observer article: UTech and UWI receive $12-m computer network equipment from Palisadoes Foundation. (PDF)


The University of Technology, Jamaica

The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) and t he University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, campus, last week received a donation of computer network equipment valued at over JA$12 million* from the Palisadoes Foundation.

The foundation is a registered company in the state of California, USA, established by ICT professionals in the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Taskforce, to promote the use and production of ICT services in Jamaica.

The network equipment was formally handed over by Palisadoes Foundation President Peter Harrison to UTech President Professor Stephen Vasciannie, and Dr Gunjan Mansingh, head, Department of Computing, Faculty o15f Science and Technology, UWI, at a special ceremony held at the UTech’s Papine campus.

“This donation of equipment will facilitate Jamaican universities in creating an environment that encourages students and faculty to research, create and use open-source software,” a UTech news release quotes Harrison, a Jamaican who is chief technical officer and co-founder of Silicon Valley company, Colovore.

According to the release, Harrison has built the core web infrastructure for several of Silicon Valley’s Internet titans and previously worked in IT at Google and Netflix.

He pointed out that global companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Oracle, Cisco and others are leaders in the open-source software movement, adding that “success in open-source will open many doors”.

Open-source software is free to download, access, modify and use. Harrison expressed confidence that Jamaica can compete with the best in the world and have the capacity to create globally competitive software engineers and companies through exposure to open-source software. He pledged the support of the Palisadoes Foundation in continued partnership with Jamaican universities and the IT industry, towards this goal.

Professor Vasciannie, in welcoming the valuable donation and the partnership forged between UTech, UWI and the Palisadoes Foundation, said that “it will support IT operations in all 34 laboratories across the UTech, Jamaica Papine campus,” adding that “the new network will certainly go a far way in enhancing the university’s capacity to provide our students with every opportunity for knowledge-sharing, development of technical competencies, and experience in applying knowledge to problem-solving”.

Dr Mansingh, in her remarks, asserted that Jamaican IT students are among the best in the world despite being less resourced than their counterparts in larger economies. Noting that one of the major challenges with open-source adoption is the lack of trained IT personnel, Dr Mansingh called for both UWI and UTech “to collectively work to train an appropriately skilled workforce in technology that satisfies not only the needs of the region but also competes internationally”.

Dr Sean Thorpe, head, School of Computing and Information Technology, UTech, Jamaica ,who was instrumental in spearheading the acquisition of the IT equipment for both universities, said that it will support the continuous development of open- source software projects and will enable the establishment of a local area network for students that is separate from the UTech, Jamaica campus student WiFi network, which will enhance student customer experience. He noted Internet access for the equipment will be provided through a dedicated 200 Mbps data circuit.

The equipment donation was facilitated through the Jamaica Computer Society, which has historically collaborated with the Palisadoes Foundation. President of the computer society, Sheldon Powe, said “Jamaica is a lot better for the equipment donation”, and thanked the foundation for giving back to Jamaica.


* Based on the estimated original purchase value. The equipment was donated by a Palisadoes Foundation benefactor after the equipment was replaced during a technology refresh.

UTech Jamaica and UWI, Mona Receive JA$12M* Computer Network Equipment from Palisadoes Foundation

Reposted from the UTech website. (PDF).


Professor Stephen Vasciannie, CD (4th left), President, University of Technology, Jamaica and Mr. Peter Harrison (3rd left), President, The Palisadoes Foundation shake hands following the official handing over of network equipment valued at $12M*  by The Palisadoes Foundation to UTech, Jamaica and the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus at an official handing over ceremony held Friday, January 19, 2018 at the UTech, Ja. Papine campus. Participating in the presentation (from left) are Dr. Sean Thorpe, Head, School of Computing and Information Technology, UTech, Prof. Nizla Aples, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Computing, UTech, Dr. Gunjan Mansingh, Head, Department of Computing, Faculty of Science and Technology, UWI, Mona and Mr. Sheldon Powe, President, Jamaica Computer Society.

The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Jamaica) and the University of the West Indies (Mona) campus today, Friday, January 19, received a donation of computer network equipment valued at over JA$12M* from the USA based Palisadoes Foundation (LLC). The Palisadoes Foundation is a registered company in the state of California, USA, established by ICT professionals in the Jamaica Diaspora’s Technology Taskforce to promote the use and production of ICT services in Jamaica.

The network equipment was formally handed over by Palisadoes Foundation President, Mr. Peter Harrison to UTech, Jamaica President, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, CD and to Dr. Gunjan Mansingh, Head, Department of Computing, Faculty of Science and Technology, UWI (Mona) campus at a special ceremony held at the UTech, Jamaica Papine Campus.

According to Harrison, a Jamaican who is Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder of leading Silicon Valley company, Colovore, “this donation of equipment will facilitate Jamaican universities in creating an environment that encourages students and faculty to research, create and use Open Source software.”

Harrison who has built the core web infrastructure for several of Silicon Valley’s internet titans and previously worked in IT at Google and Netflix, pointed out that global companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Oracle, Cisco and others are leaders in the Open Source software movement, adding that “success in Open Source will open many doors.” Open source software is free to download, access, modify and use. Harrison expressed confidence that Jamaica can compete with the best in the world and have the capacity to create globally competitive software engineers and companies through exposure to Open Source software. He pledged the support of the Palisadoes Foundation in continued partnership with Jamaican universities and the IT industry towards this goal.

Prof. Stephen Vasciannie in welcoming the valuable donation and the partnership forged among UTech, UWI and the Palisadoes Foundation said that “it will support IT operations in all 34 laboratories across the UTech, Ja. Papine campus,” adding that “the new network will certainly go a far way in enhancing the University’s capacity to provide our students with every opportunity for knowledge sharing, development of technical competencies and experience in applying knowledge to problem-solving.”

Dr. Gunjan Mansingh in her remarks asserted that Jamaican IT students are among the best in the world despite being less resourced than larger economies. Noting that one of the major challenges with Open Source adoption is the lack of trained IT personnel, Dr. Mansingh called for both UWI and UTech, Jamaica “to collectively work to train an appropriately skilled workforce in technology that satisfies not only the needs of the region but also competes internationally.”

Dr. Sean Thorpe, Head, School of Computing and Information Technology, UTech, Jamaica who was instrumental in spearheading the acquisition of the IT equipment for both universities, said that it will support the continuous development of Open Source software projects and will enable the establishment of a Local Area Network (LAN) for students that is separate from the UTech, Ja campus student WiFi network which will enhance student customer experience. He noted Internet access for the equipment will be provided through a dedicated 200 Mbps data circuit.

The equipment donation was facilitated through the Jamaica Computer Society (JCS) which has historically collaborated with the Palisadoes Foundation. President of the JCS, Mr. Sheldon Powe said “Jamaica is a lot better for the equipment donation,” and thanked the Foundation for giving back to Jamaica.

Professor Stephen Vasciannie, CD, (2nd right), President, University of Technology, Jamaica and Mr. Peter Harrison (2nd left), President, The Palisadoes Foundation shake hands following the donation of network equipment worth $12M* dollars to UTech, Jamaica and UWI, Mona. Sharing in the presentation from left are students Mr. Agyei Masters, School of Computing and Information Technology, UTech, Jamaica and and Mr. Mathew Stone, UWI graduate student.

 

Examining the Network Equipment located at the Server Room in the main lab of the SCIT Building (from left) are Prof. Nizla Aples, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Computing, UTech, Ja., Mr. Sheldon Powe, President, Jamaica Computer Society, Dr. Sean Thorpe, Head, School of Computing and Information Technology, UTech, Ja., Dr. Gunjan Mansingh, Head, Department of Computing, Faculty of Science and Technology, UWI, Mona, Mr. Peter Harrison, President, The Palisadoes Foundation and Professor Stephen Vasciannie, CD, President, University of Technology, Jamaica.


* Based on the estimated original purchase value. The equipment was donated by a Palisadoes Foundation benefactor after the equipment was replaced during a technology refresh.

The Best of the Different

The text of the speech by Peter Harrison, President, The Palisadoes Foundation at the formal handing over ceremony of a donation of server equipment to the University of Technology, Jamaica and the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica.


I was a teenage Reggae fan, and Reggae music wasn’t played on Sunday radio. Sundays were for country and western music and old R&B classics. Peter was distressed.

One of the most popular singers was Tammy Wynette, a famous Nashville star, who would visit the island for sold out concerts at the National Stadium. I heard her being interviewed on the radio one afternoon and I decided to open my mind and listen. She was certainly not Reggae music, but she had the respect of the nation. Maybe I could learn something.

She was asked, “How did you become a success?”

She surprised me. She replied, “You have to be first, best or different.”

When it comes to information and communication technology (ICT), some would say Jamaica can’t be first, Jamaica can’t be best, Jamaica can’t be different.

I say we can be first in being the best of the different.

  • Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Andrew Isaacs, Vice Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Computing
  • Prof. Stephen Vasciannie, President, University of Technology, Jamaica
  • Prof. Nilza Aples, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Computing
  • Mr. Sheldon Powe, President, Jamaica Computer Society
  • Dr. Gunjan Mansingh, Head, Department of Computing, Faculty of Science and Technology, UWI, Mona Campus
  • Deans
  • Vice Deans
  • Dr. Sean Thorpe, Head, School of Computing and Information Technology
  • Other Heads of Schools
  • Members of faculty, staff and students, UTech, Jamaica and UWI, Mona
  • Members of the press

Last but not least, the Palisadoes Foundation’s student volunteers, Collette Bailey, Yanika Miller, DoNeil Scott, Jhamali Vassel and Kevon Graham.

Agyei Masters, Head of the IEEE student branch at Utech, Shanielle Williams head of the UWI Computing Society club.

Rohan Mallet and Oneil Pinnock in the UTech IT staff. Karlene Black, lecturer at Utech.

I ask all of you to surprise yourself like Tammy Wynette surprised me.

Be the best of the different.

When I worked at Google, I was one of the first to join a very successful division. And one day at a team lunch someone decided to go around the table in an effort to know everyone and asked “which university did you go to?” I was the only one who hadn’t gone to a US based Ivey league or top tier school. I had been to UWI, not once, but twice. Why weren’t there more Jamaicans at the table?

When I look around this room, there may not be that same exposure to massive scale ICT, but in terms of character, you can all compete with the best.

The Palisadoes Foundation collaborates with Jamaican tertiary education, the IT industry and overseas Jamaicans to make this so. We were formed in response to the creation of the Jamaican Diaspora technology taskforce. We are headed by Jamaicans in tech, based in the USA.

We focus on ICT in areas we feel our limited resources can be successful.

ICT requires science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills. According to Cisco systems:

  • Projected job growth for STEM careers is nearly double Non-STEM
  • The top 10 highest paid careers are in STEM
  • 60% of US job openings require STEM literacy, 42% require advanced STEM knowledge.

Technology is often used to advance society. As in the fields of tourism, entertainment and sports, where the Caribbean competes globally and effectively, The Palisadoes Foundation feels that the region can do the same with STEM. We can be globally competitive.

Together we can prove this by being the best of the different in software engineering, especially in the area of free to use and modify Open Source software.

Why?

  • Creating globally accepted software engineering products is relatively fast and cheap compared with the equivalents in other areas of engineering.
  • These other areas of engineering are increasingly relying on software solutions to their problems.
  • There is no need for the limitations of traditional import and export controls.
  • It is a natural extension of the Caribbean region’s success in the call center service sector.
  • Global companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Oracle, Cisco, HP, Dell and IBM are leaders in the Open Source software movement.
  • Open Source software is free to download, access, modify and use. The licensing required for Microsoft Windows and other proprietary software is not there.
  • Open Source expertise is the cornerstone of any foray into modern software engineering.

We use it every day in the form of Google Chrome, Firefox and Android. Even Microsoft uses it in their Cloud services. Jamaica has its own Open Source projects, they may not be widely known but they are out there.

The Palisadoes Foundation aims to help create globally competitive software engineers and companies through exposure to Open Source software. Our annual Calico Challenge is evidence of our commitment to this goal. It offers stipends to students wanting to contribute to the Open Source community while being guided by a mentor.

This donation of equipment will facilitate Jamaican universities in creating an environment that encourages students and faculty to research, create and use Open Source software. We hope it will not be the last as the photos, press releases, media coverage and experiences of today will be used to encourage our benefactors to donate more.

We, the Foundation, the universities and students have been collaborating for almost four years now. Next year it will be half a decade. This is a long term partnership beyond the various glories of today.

In this time we have seen:

  • Student awards for contributions to Open Source.
  • Open Source projects as part of university coursework.
  • Use of Open Source software as part of the business of running the university. We are already working with staff on creating additional disk space for students with this software on the donated equipment.
  • Active medium scale Jamaican Open Source projects
  • The beginnings of opening up higher speed internet links to the campuses.

In the next five years it would be good to see:

  • True high speed internet made available to all students, faculty and staff on campus. This would facilitate remote access to campus resources, research, and distance learning.
  • Faculty and staff awards for contributions to Open Source
  • Grants, small and large, to pursue the expansion of existing and new Open Source projects from both the private, and public sectors.
  • The use of Open Source software all across campuses, especially where there are constrained budgets.
    The possibility of hiring full time software engineers to update existing Open Source software for the benefit of Jamaica.
  • The possibility of universities actively contributing to freely available Open Source software, while earning income from the support and consulting services related to it.
  • Making research into or with Jamaican Open Source software by local academics, part of their dissertations.

Many of these things are beyond the Foundation’s capabilities, but not yours.

The Palisadoes Foundation’s aim isn’t to change everything, but to expose ICT professionals and researchers to opportunity, to open their minds, just like I decided to do with Tammy Wynette.

Success in Open Source will open many doors. We want our partners to be globally recognized innovators, academics, entrepreneurs, and executives. We feel that embracing the use and creation of Open Source software is the fastest way to get there.

Open Source software isn’t appropriate in all cases, but where it is competitive it must be tried. When we feel we can make it competitive, it must be tried. That’s the only way to know if it is appropriate. That’s the only way we can be the best of the different.

I have spoken a lot about collaboration. There will also need to be a lot of independent activity without Palisadoes.

Praise of accomplishments will need to be expansive and selfless. Assistance versus resistance should dominate, kill analysis paralysis, and trust will need to be held dear. Make intentions and language clear. Encourage quiet champions. Expectations, milestones and timelines will need to be realistic, while dreams are achieved. And dream you must, achieve you must. Remember, the Open Source audience is Planet Earth.

Like the song says:

Of course you can’t become,
if you only say what you would have done.

In other words, surprise yourselves.

Thank You

Kevon Graham – Palisadoes Student Volunteer at UTech

Kevon Graham is a final year student at the University of Technology Jamaica (UTech) where he is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computing with a major in Computer Science. He is a member of the Global Leadership Interlink (GLI), a global professional organization of university students and professionals, focused on ethical and values based leadership incorporated in professionalism. He is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers(IEEE) where he leads the ethics division at the student branch and a member of the software team. He has conducted research on DNA Conserved Genome Sequences and the role computers play in their analysis at the IEEE South East Conference and the Jamaica Institution of Engineers Conference. Kevon has a huge interest in research and development with the aid of technology and wishes to take his career along this path.

Our Plans for 2018

In keeping with our governance transparency goals, we publish our 2018 strategic plan (PDF Download).

It covers the following areas:

  • Fundraising goals
  • Marketing goals and campaigns
  • Proposed new governance structures

The plan guides our activities for the year.

JPS Foundation Sponsors 2017 Calico Challenge Student Meet Up

On July 28, 2017 the JPS Foundation held a combination meet up and corporate introduction to the Calico Challenge. The JPS Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Jamaica’s Energy Partner, the Jamaica Public Service (JPS). It is the main channel for employee outreach and community development projects, cementing its commitment to community and national development. The JPS Foundation, which has been a 2 year sponsor for the Calico Challenge, hosted the event to formally introduce Calico to the JPS family. It was the 3rd in a series of monthly meetups hosted by corporate sponsors for the Calico participants.

(L-R) Phillip Jarrett (JPS Foundation Board Member), Kevin White, Xavier Bryson, Luke Chen Shui, Scott Allen (RealDecoy), Jhamali Vassell, Jacinth Morgan-Collie (Manager JPS Foundation), Levor Dacosta (Marketing Researcher JPS Foundation)

The event began with Jacinth Morgan-Collie addressing the audience. She explained why the JPS Foundation got involved with the Calico project and how it aligns exactly with the goals of the foundation. This was directly followed by a video presentation by Alexander Nicholson, a past participant, explaining his experiences with Calico and how skills gained while working on the Material UI project taught him key concepts which he now uses at work.

Luke Chen Shui spoke briefly about his project JResume as well as his experience being a mentor & student. Peter Harrison, President of the Palisadoes, joined via a video call and gave a brief talk about Calico now and the direction it is heading.

There were small presentations by current Calico participants along with short demonstrations of the projects they are contributing to. Members of the audience were then given the opportunity to speak to persons individually. As the event came to a close Phillip Jarrett expressed the Board’s support in the partnership and reiterated sentiments previously expressed by Jacinth along with a vote of thanks to everyone for attending.

About the Calico Challenge
The Calico Challenge is an annual event where Jamaican university students work on large scale open source software projects with a Jamaican flavor. They are assigned a mentor and are provided with a stipend upon meeting predefined project goals.

Calico was conceived by The Palisadoes Foundation in conjunction with the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force. There has been close technical collaboration between the Foundation; the University of the West Indies (UWI) Department of Computing, Mona; the School of Computing and Information Technology, University of Technology, Jamaica; the UWI Computing Society; and the University of Technology IEEE Students Branch.

About the JPS Foundation
The JPS Foundation expands the Jamaica Public Service Company’s role beyond a utility company to include community outreach and the consistent support of Jamaica’s National Development plans.

Since 2013 the JPS Foundation has been the philanthropic arm tasked with the responsibility to help create positive change and prosperity as the leader in Jamaica’s energy sector. Its mission is to improve lives and empower Jamaicans through charitable development projects in Energy Education, Conservation and Innovation.

About the Palisadoes Foundation
The California based Palisadoes Foundation aims to provide new avenues to promote Jamaica’s technology businesses and talent using a series of programs aimed at creating increased awareness of the island’s abilities in the global marketplace.

Reported by Collette Bailey, Palisadoes Volunteer

Calico Challenge 2017 – Final Presentations

Our 2017 graduating students are (Left – Right, Top – Bottom): Alex Leslie, Jhamali Vassell, Luke Chen Shui, Matthew Stone, Shanielle Williams, and Xavier Bryson.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what our Calico has been doing over the summer, you can now find out for yourself right here. All our 2017 Calico Challenge participants have submitted their final project reports for all to see. They show the positive impact of your Palisadoes Foundation contributions. Together we can make Jamaica’s IT industry globally competitive in previously unexplored areas.

 

Jhamali Vassell – Project DoRoad

DoRoad is a mobile app for Jamaican taxi drivers. Jhamali collaborated with the OneStop project team who contributed code for a companion application for taxi customers. The app is planned to be tested on the UWI shuttle bus system. Read more here: Jhamali Vassell – DoRoad – Calico Powerpoint.

 


Luke Chen Shui – Project Infoset-NG

Luke has successfully completed two years as a Calico participant. He worked on the Infoset-NG project which is used to collect and store data sent to it from various types of computer devices. It is useful in providing data that can be used to chart the performance of equipment which is valuable for computer systems administrators. Read more here: Luke Chen Shui – Infoset – Final Presentation

 


Xavier Bryson – Project Material-UI

Material-UI provides tools to help mobile app developers with the design and presentation of new features.  Xavier worked with Jamaican diaspora IT professionals Neil and Craig Gabbadon who use Material-UI in their business at Informant Tech. This is the second year that Neil and Craig have been Calico Challenge mentors. Read more here: Xavier Bryson – Material UI

 


Shanielle Williams – Project Swift

Shanielle is the current President of the UWI Computing Society. The UWI Computing Society has been a keen participant in the Calico Challenge from its inception. She worked with mentors Michael Dann and Che-Andre Gordon from Real Decoy on a mobile app to assist UWI students in finding classrooms on campus based on their current GPS location. The app used the Swift programming framework that is often used in iPhone app development. Read more here: Shanielle Williams – The Swift Experience

 


Matthew Stone – Project Aty

Matthew worked under the guidance of Alex Nicholson, a past Calico Challenge participant, to create Aty a Twitter app that specializes in promoting content created in Jamaica or by Jamaicans. He experimented with machine learning and GPS location tools to filter the news feeds. Matthew is the immediate past president of the UWI Computing Society. Read more here: Matthew Stone – Aty

 


Alex Leslie – Project JResume

Resume writing is always a challenge and Alex decided to create an online resume building tool that helps with the process. JResume is an open source project created by UTech students to make job searches much easier. Read more here: Alex Leslie – JResume – Final Presentation

 


 

About the Calico Challenge
The Calico Challenge is an annual event where Jamaican university students work on large scale open source software projects with a Jamaican flavor. They are assigned a mentor and are provided with a stipend upon meeting predefined project goals.

Calico was conceived by The Palisadoes Foundation in conjunction with the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force. There has been close technical collaboration between the Foundation; the University of the West Indies (UWI) Department of Computing, Mona; the School of Computing and Information Technology, University of Technology, Jamaica; the UWI Computing Society; and the University of Technology IEEE Students Branch.

About the Palisadoes Foundation
The California based Palisadoes Foundation aims to provide new avenues to promote Jamaica’s technology businesses and talent using a series of programs aimed at creating increased awareness of the island’s abilities in the global marketplace.