September / October 2016

The position of IITPSA President comes with a number of responsibilities and duties, of which one is to speak at various events. The most recent event I was privileged to speak at was the IT Showcase which was hosted at Roedean school.

The IT Showcase has been running for 6 years and is an initiative aimed at creating a platform for South African Grade 12 IT learners to gain exposure for their matric IT projects. The competition has over 20 entries from various schools each year and the projects are of an exceptional standard.

Learners can enter in one of 5 categories in the competition, which are:

  • Pre-defined topic in which the learners’ project topic is selected by the Department of Education
  • Gaming which could be one of pure enjoyment or provides a purpose e.g. educational
  • Real world problem whereby the project can be used in an existing business to solve real world problems.
  • Any other project that does not fit into the categories mentioned above.

The evaluation criteria are quite stringent and the learners are evaluated on:

  • Documentation
  • User interface and ease of use
  • Creativity of solution
  • Advanced coding
  • Use aspects
  • Utility of the System
  • Technical Complexity
  • Programming Aspects
  • General Impression

Our very own CEO, Tony Parry, and Jane Buisson-Street, who is an Exco member and Fellow of the Institute, were among the judging panel. I was very pleased that I was not asked to be one of the judges because the judges certainly had their work cut out for them. I had an opportunity to look at some of the projects and the standard of work and complexity of some of the projects were unbelievable. You would expect this from University students, but the quality of projects delivered by these matriculants is mind blowing. It has certainly given me some hope that there is a lot of talent amongst our younger generation and we need to continue to inspire, nurture and promote ICT as a career path for these bright stars in order to reduce the skills shortage we experience in South Africa.

I will also have an opportunity to say a few words at the Computer Programming Olympiad awards which will be held in Cape Town next week. The Computer Olympiad is also an initiative which aims to promote and encourage computer studies and to create an awareness of career opportunities in ICT.

We need to continue and increase the number of initiatives aimed at all ages (No, you are never too old to learn!) to get everyone excited about ICT and appreciate the impact it has on our lives.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our Honorary Treasurer and Past President, Moira de Roche, who will be receiving the IFIP Silver Core Award. The 2016 General Assembly unanimously approved the proposal to award Moira the IFIP Silver Core for her hard work at IFIP and IP3. She will receive her award in Sydney later this year.

Ciao Ulandi