Project Calico Launches on February 18th, 2016

Santa Clara, CA: The Palisadoes Foundation, in association with the University of the West Indies Mona Computing Society and the University of Technology student branch of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is launching ‘Calico’, a program to offer Jamaican students a stipend to write software code for various international open source software projects during the summer holidays.

Calico is a program modeled on Google’s Summer of Code which offers post-secondary students around the world a chance to earn money by writing software code and learning about open source development, while being guided by a mentor. The total stipend for students participating in Calico is USD $500.

The launch takes place at a Google Summer of Code meetup scheduled for February 18 from 2:00PM – 4:00PM hosted by the UWI Mona Computing Society at the Computing Lecture Room in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the UWI Mona campus.

The presence of Google and Palisadoes’ Jamaican Silicon Valley executives on February 18th is an extraordinary opportunity for students to interact with individuals from leading global computing environments. The initiative of the students in opening doors to highly accomplished Jamaicans in Silicon Valley is affording them career opportunities and stipends for deepening their competence that until now have been completely absent in Jamaica.

The Google Summer of Code meetup is a part of a series of efforts aimed at increasing student awareness of viable career paths nationally and internationally. The meetup follows a symposium on open source software held on February 11. There is also a series of workshops for students interested in Calico to be held throughout February.

Public Relations Officer of the UWI Mona Computing Society Alexander Nicholson commented, “We are hosting this information session with Google so students can hear about the different learning opportunities that exist for student software developers, including the Google Summer of Code and Calico. We are confident that once students know about these opportunities they will take advantage of them and kick-start their careers.”

“Project Calico will play a vital role in incorporating Jamaica in the international work force in software development. The opportunity it brings to the students and the developer community is paramount to furthering the ICT sector as well as the level of experience of the average Jamaican developer.” noted Student Branch Section Chair IEEE UTech Jordan Jones

“The time has finally come to create a lasting collaboration between the Jamaican Diaspora and university students in the fields of pure and applied sciences. The Jamaican students’ success in attracting the attention of Google, and the creation of a parallel homegrown initiative in the form of Project Calico, is a striking example of the rewards of taking the lead.” said Palisadoes Foundation President, CTO and Co-founder of Colovore, Peter Harrison. “This is a bold leap by Jamaicans in expanding our role as creators, versus consumers, of internationally recognized software.”

Applications to Calico open on March 14 and are open to Jamaican students residing in the country for the duration of the program. The application deadline is March 25.

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.