Jordan Campbell: Our 2024 Calico Challenge Awardee

Santa Clara, California: May 30, 2024: The Palisadoes Foundation today announced that Jordan Campbell is its awardee to participate in the 2024 annual Calico Challenge.

The Calico Challenge is a summer work study program for computer science students in Jamaica. Each selected student works on enhancing open source software used internationally under the guidance of a Jamaican mentor. Students receive a US$1500 stipend for their participation which is incrementally paid upon the achievement of specified milestones. Calico is also a feeder program for the similar Google Summer of Code.

Jordan will be working on enhancing session management for our Talawa Admin web application.

Our ninth anniversary is an important milestone in Jamaica’s growing international IT community role. The collaboration of so many diverse stakeholders, including academia, students, and businesses in both Jamaica and overseas is truly remarkable in getting us this far. I look forward to the future.

Peter Harrison, President of The Palisadoes Foundation

We received a large volume of applications and after a vigorous selection process, we selected a proposal was innovative, thoroughly researched, and well documented. Recent GitHub activity was also considered in the context of what we require.

We encourage Jamaican students in Jamaica to apply to the Calico Challenge next year!

About Talawa

Talawa was created to help community based organizations collaborate with their membership. These organizations would include religious groups, non-profit charities, social groups and in limited cases, businesses. It has these main components:

  • talawa: A mobile application with social media features
  • talawa-api: An API providing access to user data and features
  • talawa-admin: A web based administrative portal
  • talawa-docs: The projects’ online documentation website

The projects’ software repositories can be found on our GitHub page at: https://github.com/PalisadoesFoundation

About the Calico Challenge

Calico was conceived by The Palisadoes Foundation in conjunction with the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force. Since its inception there has been close technical collaboration between the Foundation; the computing departments of Jamaica’s five universities, and various student clubs.

The Palisadoes Foundation works closely with Jamaica’s Technology & Digital Alliance (JTDA) in administering the Calico Challenge in Jamaica on its behalf.

About Palisadoes

Since 2016, The Palisadoes Foundation has been assisting STEM students to become globally competitive in software engineering.

The Foundation promotes software engineering education internships for university students in under-served communities. Over 60 students have participated in its summer programs mentored by IT professionals.

Palisadoes has participated in the annual Google Summer of Code, the GitHub Externship, Google Season of Docs, Outreachy and the DigitalOcean Hacktoberfest programs.

About the JTDA

Jamaica’s Technology & Digital Alliance (JTDA) seeks to enable and empower I.T. professionals and citizens through the use of technology. The Alliance was created by the Jamaica Computer Society (JCS), which is the society for ICT Professionals in Jamaica. The role of the Alliance is to promote knowledge of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry and the effective and efficient utilisation of IT for the benefit of all. We are facilitators of the exchange of information and views, the Alliance fosters networking links between ICT industry experts, I.T. professionals, academia, enterprise, and I.T. enthusiasts to encourage new thinking, education, and career advancement opportunities.

Our GSoC 2024 Participants

It is time to announce the participants for in The Palisadoes Foundation’s 2024 Google Summer of Code (GSoC)! We are very proud to announce the names of the 8 participants this year who will be funded by Google to work on our Talawa projects.

These recipients represent the very best of the many excellent proposals that we had to choose from. For those unfamiliar with the program, the Google Summer of Code brings together ambitious open source newcomers from around the world with open source developers by giving each mentoring organization funds to hire a set number of participants. These participants then write proposals, which they submit to a mentoring organization, in hopes of having their work funded.

There were many excellent proposals and the final selection was difficult. There were many worthy proposals and we could not select them all.

Congratulations to this group. We hope they and others will continue to contribute to the projects!

The hard work of our successful candidates has been rewarded. In no particular order they are:

  1. Aman Singh Chandel for “Improved File Uploads and Security”
  2. Disha Talreja for “Self Hosted Chat and Notification”
  3. Shekhar Patel for “Event Attendance – Talawa Admin”
  4. Glen Dsouza for “Hybrid: Volunteer management, tracking & leaderboard – Talawa Admin & Talawa Mobile”
  5. Meetul Rathore for “Tag Management System”
  6. Parag Gupta for “Enhancements for Talawa’s Event Plugin and new management feature for Talawa App”
  7. Shaik Mahammad Nabi Azad for “Offline Capability Enhancement – Talawa Mobile”
  8. Adarsh Tiwari for “Migration to postgreSQL and fixing code quality issues”

Our community will continue to work on making not only these but other project ideas viable. We all anxiously await the next steps.

Congratulations to the awardees, and those of you who helped build the foundations of a robust code base.

Meet Crystian Ioppolo, Palisadoes Volunteer

Crystian was our first volunteer based outside Jamaica!

She began working on soliciting grants for our Calico Challenge program. All our Jamaican sponsors are familiar with her work.

In 2020, she submitted our first Google Summer of Code (GSoC) application. We didn’t get selected, but she had faith in our mission and applied again. We were successful! She helped us get selected for the GithHub Externship and Outreachy programs too.

She has been very active in our slack and GitHub communities. She assigns issues, tests out our code and gives advice to our contributors.

Listen to her video to hear even more!

Palisadoes Selected for GSoC 2024

The Palisadoes Foundation announces its acceptance into the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) as a mentoring organization. Palisadoes has been participating since 2021.

Established in 2005, the Google Summer of Code offers developers from around the world stipends to write code for various Open Source software projects. GSoC will run for nine months this year. The aim is to attract new contributors to be regular Open Source contributors

“From Summer to Autumn, many new contributors to our Talawa projects will benefit from this program. GSoC participants this year will include not only students but also industry professionals. This is an exceptional Google sponsored activity,” said Peter Harrison, President of the Palisadoes Foundation. “The program helps us to not only get some great code written, but also to introduce developers into Open Source development and hopefully recruit some new long-term Committers.”

Participants are encouraged to discuss ideas with mentoring organizations and finalize proposals for projects by the April 2 deadline. Palisadoes mentors have proposed numerous ideas for Talawa projects in mobile development, web applications, and practical API concepts. Participants may choose from the Talawa “Ideas Page” or suggest their own project for approval. The Talawa software repositories can be found on our organization’s GitHub page. The GSoC website has a complete timeline that you can review. Participants can learn more about our projects on the Talawa GSoC FAQ page.

“GSoC gives students the chance to work on industry-leading Open Source projects, collaborate with diverse communities, and gain real world experience related to their academic pursuits,” added Harrison. “We are proud to have mentored so many talented students over the years, and furthered our mission of providing software products for the public good. It’s a rewarding experience both for the students and the Talawa community at-large.”

Since 2016, The Palisadoes Foundation has actively participated in furthering the education of software engineering students through its various programs. The Calico Challenge, modeled on GSoC, has mentored over 30 Jamaicans attending local universities. Like GSoC, students received stipends upon achieving predefined goals when contributing to the Foundation’s GitHub projects.

“This second GSoC success would not have happened without the faith our Jamaican corporate sponsors had in our Calico vision. Their support since 2016 in terms of time, people and financing has been invaluable, ” Harrison explained, “The GSoC acceptance is a clear vote of faith from arguably the world’s largest software company. This is a huge global endorsement of Jamaican software development skills”

Details on the Google Summer of Code is available at: https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/

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.