Enterprise Ireland proud to have sponsored James Whelton as he started CoderDojo , and is proud to support the Mentor meetup as part of ItsHappeningHere, highlighting the thousands of available jobs in the tech industry.
People at client companies who want to share their tech skills and mentor at CoderDojo are enouraged to drop a line to email@example.com
Founded as a volunteer-led club for providing free and open learning in programming technology to young people, the global CoderDojo movement now has over 180 CoderDojos in 23 countries where kids can have fun learning to code in a safe environment. Mentors have taught over 16,000 children the joy of programming and coding.
The CoderDojo phenomenon relies on the voluntary work of mentors. DojoCon is the only international conference aimed at mentors and potential mentors. Now, in its second year DojoCon 2013 will provide mentors from across the globe the opportunity to exchange new ideas, explore cutting-edge technologies and share ideas on sustaining and strengthening the CoderDojo movement when the conference runs on April 12th.
James Whelton gets some practice in for DojoConf 2013 Slane
Bringing mentors together in one place is the aim of the conference organising team. As CoderDojo has come through an amazing growth phase , to make it sustainable, we need to share what works, while keeping the buzz that has made it so successful.
Diverse Keynote Speakers
This year, the conference has a number of distinguished keynote speakers. These include Ireland’s own Jerry Kennelly, an award-winning entrepreneur who started as a photojournalist in Co. Kerry and sold his company (Stockbyte) when it had grown to over 10 per cent of the market for Royalty free photo’s worldwide. Jerry will share his passion for IT in education and the work he is doing with schools country-wide.
Another keynote will be Bill Liao, co-founder of CoderDojo and an early investor in the social networking site XING. As Bill recently told the EU Parliament “The World has a shortage of Coders”. Bill will be speaking on how CoderDojo can help fix this, in the process inspiring a new generation of programmers to create apps and websites limited only by their imaginations.
A capstone talk will come from Kimberly Bryant of Black Girls Code. Flying in from the US, she will be sharing her experiences about gender balance in coding and discuss the sensation that is a complementary club to CoderDojo.
The Informative Schedule
This year’s schedule will feature more than 12 formal and 10 informal sessions with talks covering three main streams. The first stream is Education which will discus new techniques and how CoderDojo differs from the school approach. The second is Technology where mentors will learn about Advanced Scratch, robotics, gaming, audio and more. The third stream is Running a Dojo with tips and ideas on starting and sustaining a Dojo. In addition, there will be a number of panel discussions on mentoring and collaborating both locally and globally.
Ignite on Friday Night
New for 2013, DojoCon is kickstarting the conference on Friday night with a series of ‘Ignite talks’. These fast paced talks in an informal setting will set the scene for the weekend. Over a dozen thinkers, coders and educators will have 5 minutes to inspire fellow mentors.
Drogheda on the Boyne offers the perfect opening location for DojoCo. The river Boyne, where once the Salmon of Knowledge swam, provides the ideal backdrop of the venue for the Friday night Ignite talks. Inspiration and shared experienced will feature heavily in Bru Bar Bistro.
The conference is organised by a core group of volunteers from CoderDojo in Drogheda, Dundalk, Navan, and the Science Gallery, Dublin. The whole team of organisers are really excited about having Dojos from California to Belgium and New York City to Sweden in Drogheda for the weekend. We hope it will attract more software professionals in this area and in all towns around the country to volunteer or start a Dojo and help more kids learn how to code.
09:15 - Joanna Lord, VP of Growth Marketing at SEOmoz
09:30 - Caroline Ghosn, Founder & CEO of The Levo League
09:45 - Maya Baratz, Senior Product Manager at ABC News
10:00 - Bas Van Den Beld, Founder & Chief Editor of State of Search
10:15 - Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite
Dublin GameCraft is a game-jam held in the city centre. What that means is that around one-hundred game developers (designers, writers, coders, artists, sound engineers and so on) come together in teams or as lone-wolves and try to make a game from scratch in twelve hours.
At the start of the day the judges announce a theme and then you’re let loose to make the most fun game you can think of based on that. Use any technology, any equipment and any number of people you want to squeeze onto your team; essentially do whatever it takes to turn that theme into a fun game inside of your twelve hours!
When is it?
The next GameCraft is being held on Saturday the 17th November from 9am to, well, to the end of the day (twelve hours of developing, followed by some mingle and judging time).
Nothing! Thanks to our kind sponsors, such as Digit Gaming, Microsoft, BatCat Games and BitSmith –Games, all you have to do is register (which you can do from the website) and bring along whatever gear you want to use on the day (laptop, desktop, whatever).
Why come along?
Well, you’ll get an intensive day of experience. You may even get a game out of it. You’ll be surrounded by folks from the industry (organisers, judges and other participants) with whom you can network. Heck, two companies formed because of last Gamecraft; you could be next! Also, while the judges judge you can mingle and show off your day’s work. And of course, prizes!
This is a guest post from Cian Ó Maidín, of Irish Mobile Web and Apps development company Nearform. Cian is promoting a conference called NodeDublin on 18-19th October (www.nodedublin.com) which should be of interest to many EI client companies in ICT.
What is Node.js?
Revolutionary – how?
(2) Services built using Node.js have performance characteristics which are in line with the C programming language.
(3) Node.js utilises tiny amounts of computer system resources when compared with other systems like .NET and Java, this means that services written in Node cost significantly less to run.
(4) Node.js will run on everything from a low power device to a big server which means it can be deployed in a huge range of environments.
(5) Node.js is designed for building high volume high concurrency cloud services
It considered the perfect system for implementing real-time-web applications, which are at the forefront of the next generation of start-up web companies.
Matthew Ernesse (Lead Node.js Engineer for Yammer), speaking shortly after Microsoft acquired Yammer for $ 1.3bn said;
“We would like to thank the Node.js project, as we can directly attribute a large amount of our acquisition value to our widespread use of the Node.js system. Node.js allowed us to outpace our competitors (iterating faster) which ultimately lead to the acquisition of Yammer by Microsoft.”
Other companies using Node include Linkedin, Joyent, EngineYard, AppFog, Amazon Microsoft (the Windows Azure team) as well as some Irish startups.
There is no other major Node.js conference in Europe in 2012. All the major names in the worlds Node.js community are coming to Dublin to talk to the European Node.js community for 2 days – establishing Ireland as the focus point for the Node.js community in Europe.
Key influencers in the future of cloud and online services such as Google, Microsoft, Joyent, Mozilla, Engine Yard, Intel, and many others will be there. The conference will be held in an intimate setting where both speakers and attendees will be able to hang out together.
Use the Code EIBCON for a €100 discount on a ticket to NodeDublin on October 18-19th (www.nodedublin.com). Contact details for Cian on that the site for more information.
For the 2nd Year, I’m delighted that Enterprise Ireland is taking part in the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. The 2012 WPC which takes place in Toronto from July 8th to 12th and provides one of the best forums for companies to connect with Microsoft channel partners and with Microsoft staff, and to learn about the latest Microsoft programs, strategies, and cutting-edge technologies.
You can visit Digital WPC to find everything you need to know about the event.
Twelve to Fifteen Enterprise Ireland client companies are being offered the opportunity to participate in an ‘Ireland @ WPC’ stand at Microsoft WPC 2012. This is the second Enterprise Ireland participation at WPC and we are keen to build on last year’s success.
The Enterprise Ireland subsidised cost of participation at Microsoft WPC 2012 is €2,450 + 23% VAT per company.
The competition for space on the Ireland Stand at this show will be intense so early registration is advised. Places will be allocated to qualified client companies on a first come, first served basis.
As well as applying what I have learned to my own company, I have been blogging about bringing this thinking to the arts and cultural sector. From this, I have been invited to mentor on Growing Pains, a business development programme for 12 Danish and Swedish female Transmedia producers. Held over six months, participants will engage in modules on developing new services, financing, media training, sales, presentation skills, business development and investment. In May, they will take part in Nordic Game, one of the largest game conferences in Europe.
Image (c) http://www.stranger.no with thanks
Growing pains came from a report investigating the barriers facing Transmedia producers when seeking government support in Scandinavia. The researchers looked at funding, management and financing among others. Research found that male and female producers site similar needs for support access to funding, mentorship, investment, networking etc. It showed that more women than men apply for government funding from this sector, yet very few of them are successful.
When looking at risk taking for example, it observed that on average, men take bigger risks with significantly larger losses, should the enterprise not work out. Men also look for larger revenue deals than women. Whereas, females are less risk averse, with often a more sustainable company over the lifetime of that enterprise. Many female producers felt they needed more knowledge and training before making the leap into business, while men on the other hand, threw themselves into the enterprise.
While these findings are not new; proportionately more men successfully accessing support and being more open to risk taking; it does point to a specific need when developing enterprise development programmes for women. Why such a large proportion of women do not succeed in accessing public supports is worth examining. Putting mechanisms in place to deal with specific skills gaps is crucial to the future success and development of these entrepreneurs.
It is also important to look at risk, how women view risk when starting a business and to challenge these perceptions. Motivation and perception are very necessary ingredients when starting out, as these motivations may differ significantly from person to person and between males and females. In understanding, supporting and challenging these issues, skills gaps and perceptions, programmes like Growing Pains will help build pathways to success for female entrepreneurs everywhere.
Why is a programme like this so necessary for Transmedia right now? Digital production and distribution has made old value chains, distribution and business models obsolete. This is a great challenge for the public support system. At the same time, this new disruptive technology is the keystone for Transmedia producers’ success; to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills, to thinking beyond public project financing, in developing and exploiting brands and being innovative in finding alternate sources of funding.
The measure of success for any new programme is the traction and buzz it gains. And Growing Painsis no different, as applications to this first programme were well over subscribed. This shows there is a definite need for programmes like this and I know that it will prove to be a valuable contribution to these entrepreneurs’ success.
I am extremely fortunate to be working with two visionary leaders in this field; Cecilie Stranger-Thorsen who devised the programme and Angeli Sjöström process and implementation coach. Both Cecilie and Angeli bring the best thinking and an in-depth knowledge of this field together and I’m looking forward to learning lots from them. The Growing Pains programme is funded under the EU Regional Development Fund in partnership with Nordic Game Resources.
This is a guest post from Gavin Henrick, elearning consultant, blogger and co-author of Moodle for Business. Gavin is one of the organisers of the Moodle Conference taking place in Dublin on April 2-4. For more information follow gavin on Twitter @ghenrick or follow his blog for more information on Moodle and elearning.
What exactly, you may well ask, is Moodle? Well, for those not in the know, Moodle is an open source software LMS (Learning Management System) used by millions of people globally. Within an Irish context, Moodle can be found in an increasing number of third-level education institutions, either as the main LMS or in various departments within establishments such as DCU, NUI Maynooth, UCD, Royal College of Surgeons, Law Society of Ireland, ITs in Waterford, Tallaght, Athlone, Sligo, and many other schools.
Learning Management Systems are used to support and enhance the delivery of learning and include features such as online quizzes and tests, student collaboration tools, student assessment tools and course administration features.
There is a distinct financial advantage in engaging with open source software, notably in the way that colleges and universities can own their learning management software rather than paying a license for software. Apart from the license saving, the other primary benefit of using open source software is that it gives IT support and developers full access to the source code. Some institutions strengthen their IT departments by looking after the system in-house, but it can also enable the local software services industry to provide hosting, support, training, development and integration services.
For those who would like to find out more about Moodle, there is an Ireland & UK Moodlemoot Conference being held in Dublin. The conference (which takes place April 2-4, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Northwood, Santry, and includes presentations, workshops and a Gala Dinner) is operated in partnership with DCU, one of the earliest Moodle adopters in Ireland.
The impact of staging the conference in Dublin is intensified with recent pushes in cost effective service provision and the drive for cost reductions in colleges, ITs and universities.
This is a guest post from James Lawn, CEO of Polecat, a client of Enterprise Ireland. Polecat Founders James Lawn and Bronwyn Kunhardt established the business in 2008 and are both former executive board members of Microsoft UK.
For those that haven’t met us yet, Polecat is a software and services company that transforms digital content into strategic insights for executive level decision-making. Polecat’s software platform, called MeaningMine™, is the world’s first Virtual Analyst software solution that joins advanced search, text analytics and learning-based algorithms with innovative visualisations to deliver real time insights into any topic. Though I say it myself, it’s very clever, and I’m glad to say the AIB Seed Capital Fund (co-managed by Enterprise Equity), Enterprise Ireland and our existing private investors agree: Polecat has just completed a funding round of €850,000 to accelerate expansion of our operations. But it is not just our friends in Enterprise Equity and Enterprise Ireland I want to call out here, the support and enthusiasm we have experienced from the Irish academic world cannot go un-mentioned, including: our long-standing advisor Professor Pádraig Cunningham at the UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics, and Dr. Conor Hayes at DERI’s Information Mining and Retrieval Unit in Galway. Two great exemplars of how collaboration between the Irish business and academic worlds can support the development of a market-leading product.
This latest investment is a true vote of confidence in Polecat’s business strategy and technology development over the past 2 years. Having been declared “Best Emerging Technology Company” by Larry Ellison (CEO, Oracle Corp) in 2009, Polecat is now a fast growing company, currently with 22 full time employees, based in Ireland, the UK, the USA and the Netherlands. Polecat counts as customers the world’s largest companies, government organizations and consulting firms, including Shell, BP, HSBC, Silicon Valley Bank, Sony, Microsoft, Ernst & Young, McKinsey and EU, UK & Irish Government. Polecat already has significant revenues and is profitable. As well as accelerating sales of its virtual analyst software platform in the UK and Europe, this significant investment will allow Polecat to expand its global presence. The investment is expected to lead to the creation of 30 jobs in Ireland over the next three years and, if you are an experienced Java Developer, we’re hiring now!
Public sector bodies within the EU are sitting on a potential treasure trove of data worth up to €27 billion. John Cradden looks at the international movement pushing for governments to open up this data and get it working for businesses and society.
The term ‘open data’ might not mean a whole lot to most people, but a movement that aims to make public data more freely available and free to re-use online has been growing in strength here and overseas. The logic behind the movement is simple enough: governments collects and creates huge amounts of information and data relating to public administration, such as in transport, infrastructure, health, crime, and the environment. Why not make that information, which we pay for with our taxes, more freely available to individuals, developers, businesses and communities?
What kind of information? In Ireland, good examples could include data on polling stations and election turnouts, school enrolments, bathing water quality, noise maps, street lighting, cycle routes, bring banks, traffic cameras, vehicle licensing and zoned land for commercial, green or residential use.
“This information is already attainable via Freedom of Information requests, but releasing it as open data means it is easier to find and free to reuse”
says Deirdre Lee, an e-government researcher for the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), based at NUI Galway. Much of the focus of the open data movement is on improving transparency and accountability in the public sector, and removing inefficiencies by generating more “two-way” discussions on public data, but there is now a strong incentive for entrepreneurs to get involved.
It is estimated that public sector bodies within the EU are sitting on a potential treasure trove of data worth up to €27 billion. “Firms and entrepreneurs should see open data as a resource that they can incorporate into existing or new products,” said Lee. “Each business could identify what kind of open data would be most valuable for them, for example public-transport data, Co2 emission data, grants data, etc, and then lobby their local or national authority to release this data under an open data license. This will create a demand for open data, which in turn will encourage greater amounts of it to be released.”
According to Lee, there are over 195 open data ‘catalogues’ available, including at global sites such as data.worldbank.org, and UK sites like data.gov.uk. In Ireland, local authorities are leading the way with initiatives like Fingal Open Data and Dublinked.ie, which is run from NUI Maynooth and supported by all the four Dublin local authorities. Other open data sets are available from CKAN, a community based open-data catalogue.
At the recent launch of Dublinked.ie, the site’s co-ordinator, Dr Ronan Farrell of NUI Maynooth, told businesses and entrepreneurs of the potential to use public data to develop innovative and interesting business ideas that would drive job growth while also enhancing city living.
“We have seen fantastic examples in other cities of new user interfaces for public transport information, the property market or healthcare data. One of the unique benefits of open data is that applications developed here can easily be adapted for other cities around the world,”
Lee cites a few examples of UK businesses already using open data: Placr.co.uk offers access to timetables and live-running information on all of London’s public transport; and TubeTap.co.uk is a mobile app that enables users to claim refunds from London’s tube services if they are late because of service disruptions.
In both Ireland and Europe, a head of steam appears to be building under the open data movement in terms of interest from both the public and private sectors. A recent seminar in Galway organised by DERI on opening up government data was attended by over 50 people, including representatives from 13 local authorities and a number of Irish SMEs.
In addition, the National Cross-Industry Working Group on Open Data, coordinated by Enterprise Ireland, is working to lobby central government for a national open data initiative. As well as being involved in this group, DERI is also participating in European initiatives, such as “Linked Open Data Around-The-Clock” (LATC), an EU-funded project.
Following on from the success of the Dublin Web Summit in 2011, the 19th of March will see two of the best know web events for start ups join forces for the first time. GeeknRolla and the Dublin Web Summit, are merging to create the London Web Summit.
TechCrunch Europe Editor Mike Butcher will co-curate the Summit with Paddy Cosgrave of the Dublin Web Summit. With a focus at the summit on Trends in Local, Social and Mobile, Growth and Investment Strategies for Start Ups and Insights on Cloud and Data, speakers at the Summit include an array of exciting speakers including Matthew Prince Founder, CloudFlare, Jason Goldberg, Founder of Fab.com, Mark Read, CEO of WPP Digital, Jessica Powell, CMO of Badoo and many more.
“We’re really delighted to be teaming up with the Dublin Web Summit lads. They’ve managed to do it again and put together a fantastic lineup of incredible speakers. Hopefully we’ll have a bit of that Irish magic in London for the London Web Summit”
There is a lot of buzz around the event with over 350 people registering to attend within the first 3 days of registration. Paddy Cosgrave encourages Irish startups to get get over to the event:
“We’re offering Irish startups an opportunity to exhibit at the London Web Summit and we’ve seen quite a number of investors sign up, people from Accel, Atomico, Balderton, Index, Graylock and many more, so its a great opportunity to meet some of the top investors in London. For any startups under two years old we’re also running a startup competition to find the top five startups who’ll present in front of an audience of 800 at the end of the day.”
For more information about the event and the opportunity to showcase your company as one of Europe’s hottest start ups, see the startup competition entry.
Enterprise Ireland will be supporting the event and the London Web Summit have agreed a rate of £995 + VAT to any Irish companies who wish to exhibit at the event.
To avail of this special exhibition rate, please contact the London Web Summit directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
Trade fair support from Enterprise Ireland may be available to Enterprise Ireland client companies only (subject to eligibility) up to the value of 50%. For more information, Enterprise Ireland clients need to discuss their eligibility with their Development Advisor directly.
For general information, please contact Claire Bodys on Claire.email@example.com