2018 Calico Challenge Student Presentations

The 2018 Calico Challenge is Over!

Congratulations to our participants this summer and we wish them all the best in their careers that have been enhanced by the Palisadoes experience.

Today we highlight our 2018 graduates and showcase their interesting final presentations.

2018 Calico Challenge Graduates (L-R): Shannika Jackson, Jhamali Vassell, Cleon Mullings

Shannika Jackson

Shannika is a Kingston based student of technology who holds a BSc. in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Information Technology. She presently pursues an MSc. in Computer Science from the University of the West Indies and has worked for eight years as a Business Analyst with the Jamaica Public Service Company where she documented and digitized the returned bill process. She also established a framework for trans promotional advertising via their printed and electronic customer bills, earning the company 5M in profit in two years with zero added capital. Shannika currently works to implement a Business Intelligence and Analytics platform as part of the Analytics and Enterprise Solutions Team. She enjoys cooking, creative writing and the hypnotic sounds of Macy Gray. Her most immediate endeavours include the development and expansion of her skills in programming, data analytics and writing poetry. View Shannika’s Final Presentation (PDF)

Jhamali Vassell

Jhamali went to Glenmuir High from 2008 to 2015 and attended University of the West Indies(UWI), Mona, majoring in Computer Science and Electronics. He became a Palisadoes Foundation volunteer in September 2017. He has a wide area of interests, but his main main goal is to get into the field of robotics and AI development. Though most people are still skeptical about smart machines, he believes they are necessary for continued advancement, which may eventually become stagnate due to human limitations. He feels that if machines are designed well they would be able to complete tasks with more precision and speed than humans, increasing the speed of research and development. He’s especially interested in robotic body parts for the disabled, such as spine alignment technology, new limbs, and even eyes. His current focus in on low level software development, embedded systems and the communication between them. He’s hoping to eventually go to Japan, where robotic development is occurring on a large scale, and at a fairly fast pace. View Jhamali’s Final Presentaion (PDF)

Cleon Mullings

Cleon is now a second year student at the University of the West Indies who pursuing a double major in Software Engineering and Medical Physics. He enjoys math, and tinkering with electronics. He recently started learning LATEX, and Jupyter Notebooks, which will be useful in the future for his second-year physics courses which will require him to do graphs and other types of data analysis. He’s looking forward to his second-year as he will begin the courses specific to his majors. He will also begin his tenure as the Technical Advisor for the UWI Computing Society and pass on his knowledge to the incoming first years. He plans to use his experiences and knowledge in Software and Medical Physics to contribute to the respective fields in Jamaica. View PDF

About The Calico Challenge

Calico is a Palisadoes summer internship program for Jamaican university student programmers. Their work is supervised by software industry volunteers with an interest in helping students transition into the work world. Calico stipends are paid when students achieve of pre-defined goals assigned by their mentors. The software code our Calico students produce are actually contributions to various open source software projects. The results of their work are public on the GitHub website and publicly show the quality of their work. This can be used by potential employers as an addition to the students’ resumes.

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.

Calico is very closely modeled on the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) initiative. Google has run GSoC for over ten years and in 2016 over 1,500 students around the world are expected to participate. A primary goal for Palisadoes is to make Calico a feeder program for GSoC.