Calico Announces First Projects

Santa Clara, CA – November 22, 2015:  The Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force continues to expand the reach of the Palisadoes initiative to promote open source software development in Jamaica.

Open source software is created through the collaboration of volunteer programmers to make apps that are free for use by all. Popular open source projects include the Chrome and Firefox web browsers, the Android operating system used by 80% of all mobile phones, the freely available LibreOffice and OpenOffice alternatives to Microsoft Office, and many of the free apps available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The first project, Calico, is a recently launched joint venture between the Task Force, the student run UWI Computing Society and the Student Branch of the Utech Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Calico is modeled after the Google Summer of Code (GSoC), where students apply to develop new software features for a list of open source projects. If accepted, the student earns a stipend over the summer to create the software feature under the guidance of a mentor from the same  open source project. Stipends are paid based on achieving milestones created by the mentor. Google has run GSoC for over ten years and in 2016 over 1,500 students around the world are expected to participate.

Calico aims to educate Jamaican based students on how to participate in GSoC while simultaneously creating a feeder program into this globally recognized program that promotes high tech excellence. Calico’s projects have identical standards, but are based on smaller international open source projects where a Jamaican impact can be significant and the opportunities for Jamaican collaboration more meaningful. Acceptance rates are expected to be higher than GSoC as the projects and features will be curated by the UWI and Utech teams. Calico’s technical advisory panel includes Jamaican software engineers at Google and LinkedIn

Calico has received strong support from GSoC and joint events promoting projects from both projects are being planned for the new year.

The Calico team has already prescreened the following open source projects for inclusion in the 2016 launch.

  1. Chomp: A UWI Computing Society developed PHP library for extending consumption-only REST APIs. – https://github.com/anich/chomp
  2. Harvest API: An API built by Jamaica’s Slashroots open source organization for processing agricultural data. – http://harvestapi.io
  3. Gloss Project: A web design library built on top of Plone Content Management System.
    1. http://the-gloss-project.readthedocs.org/en/master/
    2. https://github.com/GlossProject/
  4. Switchmap: An application that  uses SNMP to create HTML pages showing information about the devices connected to a computer network. http://sourceforge.net/projects/switchmap/

The Calico team will continue to screen and accept projects until the deadline next year.

Sponsorship of Calico internships will rely exclusively on the generosity of the Jamaican Diaspora and companies interested in tapping into Jamaican software talent.

“By providing an additional opportunities for students to learn by contributing, to and participating in, open source projects while introducing them to the GSoC program, Calico promises to provide an exceptional experience for participants”, stated Alex Nicholson, Public Relations Officer for the UWI Computing Society. “The project is definitely picking up steam with the endorsement of these new open source projects.”

Details of Palisadoes, Calico, and sponsorship opportunities can be found at: http://www.palisadoes.org/

Palisadoes Announces the Calico Pilot Project

Santa Clara, CA – November 16, 2015: Palisadoes, working in conjunction with the UWI Computing Society and the Utech IEEE Student branch, announces Calico, a 2016 pilot program that will offer Jamaican student developers stipends to write software code for various open source software (FLOSS) programming projects over the summer holidays.

Jordan Jones, Utech IEEE Student Branch Section Chair stated “I believe the Calico is an excellent way for students to showcase their talents whilst contributing to the development of companies in Jamaica. It will allow companies to get skilled persons capable of meeting their needs and allow students the opportunity to build their confidence and have their stronger resumes be recognized by future employers.”

“Calico is very closely modeled on the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) initiative, which reflects one of the projects goals of becoming a GSoC feeder program.” stated Peter Harrison, CTO and Co-founder of Colovore, and Palisadoes volunteer. “We aim to work with many open source, free software, and technology-related groups to identify projects that can be completed by students between academic years.”

Stipends will be funded by donations from the Jamaican Diaspora organization, individuals and businesses both in Jamaica and overseas. Active members of the open source community will participate as mentors for students which will help expose Jamaica to modern, international programming standards, while promoting Jamaica’s talent.

A majority of participants are expected to be enrolled in high school, university or college Computer Science and Computer Engineering programs.

“This will be a marathon, not a sprint”, Mr. Harrison continued, “The pilot project approach allows us to learn in a controlled environment, and this is especially important as a majority of the participants are volunteers.”

The 2016 Calico pilot project aims to support 20 students over the summer of 2016.

About the Palisadoes Initiative

The Palisadoes initiative 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.

Palisadoes Welcomes Utech’s IEEE Student Branch

Santa Clara, CA – November 9, 2015: The Palisadoes Initiative of the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force teams up with the Utcech IEEE Student Branch to expand its support of the island’s next generation of IT talent.

The collaboration is expected to produce a sustainable model for promoting Jamaica’s high tech capabilities through the participation of key stakeholders in academia, the diaspora, and both the Jamaican private and public sectors.

“I believe this Palisadoes Initiative is a great way to promote and foster both the growth and continuous development of the ICT Sector in Jamaica.” stated IEEE Student Branch Section Chair, Jordan Jones. “It will promote international standards such as version control while improving open source software collaboration skills in the local sector. This is a great opportunity for the Caribbean where foreign stakeholders will be exposed to our proven talent.”

“Palisadoes recognizes that Jamaica has a wealth of software development talent that has the potential to compete effectively in the global marketplace.” stated Peter Harrison, CTO and Co-founder of Colovore, and Task Force member. “Jamaica is exceptional in many areas of entertainment and sports, and we feel that the time has come for engineering to be equally respected.”

The first projects are expected to begin in 2016 through various partnerships in Jamaica and the rest of the world.

About the Palisadoes Initiative

The Palisadoes initiative 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.

About the Utech IEEE Student Branch

Like the IEEE, the branch’s core purpose is to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. It is the first IEEE student branch to be registered in Jamaica and meets regularly to develop the young minds that will create a better Jamaica.

Palisadoes Teams with the UWI Computing Society

Santa Clara, CA – October 10, 2015 – The Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force, Palisadoes Initiative has begun work with the UWI Computing Society to develop a viable strategy to create technology prizes recognizing significant participation in open source projects.

Work has started on framework documents outlining the scope of the initiative, its goals, criteria for success, tutorial resources and participant expectations.

“Work is progressing steadily. The UWI Computing Society was one of the few technology industry organizations that immediately saw the value of Palisadoes and has done a remarkable job of planning various projects in spite of their school workloads,” commented Peter Harrison, CTO and Co-founder of Colovore, and Task Force member. “We have seen growing interest from other industry participants in contributing to the first draft of the framework. In order to get things right we are taking a slow-rolling approach with increasingly broader cross sections of stakeholders in the industry. These past few weeks have been very encouraging.”

Shane Richards, President of the UWI Comuputing Society concurred, “Palisadoes has the capability of putting Jamaica’s ICTs on the map by sparking interest in computer science. Being a platform for building competencies among students, we, the UWI Computing Society required little convincing of how of much of a positive impact, the success of this project could have on a developing country such as our own.”

“The Palisadoes project has the potential to be a huge platform for the technical and professional development of technology students all over Jamaica. We are sharing the collective knowledge of the Computing Society in hopes of achieving this objective as early as this first iteration. Presently we are exploring different ways to ensure that all participants will be well equipped to benefit from this opportunity”, commented Alexander Nicholson, PRO of the UWI Computing Society.

The first projects are expected to begin in 2016 through various partnerships in Jamaica and the rest of the world.

About the Palisadoes Initiative

The Palisadoes initiative 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.

About UWI Computing Society

The vision for this society is to become a launching pad for the development and exposure of the computing students of the University of the West Indies, with particular focus on undergraduate students. This Society is also envisioned to be a medium by which the university population and the wider society may become more computer literate as well as educated in the efficient use of ICT in the industry and the wider society.

Palisadoes Initiative Begins

Santa Clara, CA – September 20, 2015 – The Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force, a group of expatriate Jamaicans interested in assisting in the continued development new and existing technologies in Jamaica, met for the first time to plan the launch of the Palisadoes initiative. The initial focus is expected to be software engineering and is expected to branch out into other areas.

Initial members of the team include:

  • Barry Williams – Quality Assurance Manager; Oracle USA
  • Peter Harrison – Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder; Colovore
  • Kimone Gooden – Marketing Manager, Sales Enablement; Cisco
  • Trevor Creary – Chief Technical Officer; Software Motor Corp
  • Tennyson Williams – Senior Technical Project Manager; Comcast
  • Devon Lewis – Owner; California IT Center
  • Donna Gabbadon – VP, Operations; Informant Technologies, Inc.
  • Craig Gabbadon – Chief Executive Officer; Informant Technologies
  • Karl Chambers – President/CEO; Diligent eSecurity International
  • Ingrid Riley – Co-founder & Lead Digital Strategist; getCONNECTiD

“This is a remarkable first step in creating a sustainable process to promote technology in Jamaica,” remarked Peter Harrison, CTO and Co-founder of Colovore, “We have been identifying strategies to implement this initiative for some years, it is very encouraging to see it come to fruition with such an exemplary team.”

The first projects are expected to begin in 2016 through various partnerships in Jamaica and the rest of the world.

About the Palisadoes Initiative

The Palisadoes initiative 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.