Calico Project Featured on Jamaica’s Power 106FM

Santa Clara, CA – November 28, 2015: Power 106FM, Jamaica’s first 24/7 all-talk radio station featured Palisadoes’ Calico project on the Jamaican Diaspora Live Online show with host Dr. K’adamawe K’nife.

“Palisadoes is a diaspora software initiative aimed at creating a close relationship with Jamaican partners including business, academia and students,” mentioned Kimone Gooden, member of the Jamaican Diaspora Technology Task Force, “A key goal is to have student involvement, where they can gain the practical experience and skills that are in international demand, by proving their capabilities with visible contributions on the Internet.”

Calico is Palisadoes’ starter project where students will be paid a stipend over the summer to create open source software under the guidance of personal mentors. Stipends are incrementally paid on achieving milestones, with each of the 20 expected participating students earning up to US$1,500 over the summer. Palisadoes is working with both local and diaspora sponsors, individuals and companies to achieve this goal.

“Open source software is developed by volunteers. It’s free to download, free to view, free to analyze and change. It’s not new, the Chrome web browser and Android mobile phones use the open source model” stated Peter Harrison, another Task Force member, “Google, Facebook and others assign engineers to contribute to these projects and often financially sponsor them too. Most importantly, Jamaica has open source projects too”

The Calico project’s operating committee regularly meets with inputs from UWI and Utech representatives, members of Jamaica’s open source community, and the Diaspora Task Force. A software engineering advisory team including Jamaicans at Google and LinkedIn provide additional guidance.

Shane Richards, President of the UWI Computing Society was also interviewed. “It is a significant step for students, not just at the University level, but high schools too. There has a great deal of support from the UWI faculty too, and there are plans to see how the curriculum could include participation in Calico” he stated.

Calico will focus on Jamaican open source projects. Student registration for Calico opens in early 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.

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. –
  2. Harvest API: An API built by Jamaica’s Slashroots open source organization for processing agricultural data. –
  3. Gloss Project: A web design library built on top of Plone Content Management System.
  4. Switchmap: An application that  uses SNMP to create HTML pages showing information about the devices connected to a computer network.

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:

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.