Get Digital at DCU! After a full year in college, we have come to our fourth and final conference. Get Digital involved a slightly different format from our last three conferences. Instead of the typical 4 hour conference that we previously experienced, this time around we all presented our research posters for the first two hours and then listened to four individual speakers talking about technological advances for the last two hours. Now, our research posters were large A0 posters that each team designed based on the mobile app that we developed back in semester one. Our poster was supposed to be focusing on an improved and innovative part of our app. For me, this was really interesting. We decided to develop a booking function onto our app which had originally just been an app based on tourism in the Polish city of Poznan. This booking function allowed users of our app to book hotels, hostels and car rentals for their holiday in Poznan. During the presentation various academics and industry experts came around and judged our posters and questioned us on it. In particular, their questions referred to the overall theme of this research poster assignment which was the usage of cloud computing. People seem to get very flustered over the idea of this modern era concept when really cloud computing is a fancy name for the storing and accessing of data over the Internet rather than on your computer’s hard drive. For instance, storing your photos between your Windows laptop, Microsoft phone and tablet.
Anyway, enough about the research poster. I am here to tell you about our final conference, Get Digital. Get Digital kicked off with Mary Moloney the CEO and founder of CoderDojo. CoderDojo was set up with the aspiration of getting children to further understand the technology they consume. This is achieved by setting up local “Dojos” in different areas where kids can go and work on computers and learn how to code and become technologically creative children. CoderDojo has been a very apparent success not just nationally but internationally. Within three years, Mary and her team developed 600 Dojos in 58 countries worldwide.
Here is a short video outlining the work of CoderDojo.
However, I have my own opinion about this company. CoderDojo has the fundamentals of an excellent idea but I would say that is slightly extreme, or certainly the way in which it was presented to us is. In my opinion, allowing kids to adapt to and further understand the technology of the world they live in is hugely important so that we can create a more efficient future. However, there seems to be too much of an emphasis placed on this, up until a point where it becomes technological absorption. At the end of the day these are kids we are talking about and while we can certainly develop their minds we also have to let them enjoy their life. Mary appeared as a bit of an extremist when she stated that there are 2000 GAA clubs in Ireland and only 200 Dojos. To her, this is an issue because she doesn’t see how being able to handle a hurl is of any use or provides any future to a child. In this regard, I would have to say that I strongly disagree.
Our second speaker was Richard Garsthagen, Director of Cloud Business Development for the American company Oracle. Oracle specialise in making databases to store information. The main point of Richard’s presentation was to tell us how cloud computing is not just the transfer of storage from device to device. According to Richard, cloud computing means storing and accessing data over the Internet instead of over your computer’s hard drive. Richard brought us through the two types of cloud computing that Oracle use. The first, is the private cloud. This gives you a self-service provisionality of Oracle Fusion Middleware and Databse, programmatic access, comprehensive dashboards, automated backup, recovery and upgrades. The second type of cloud is the Oracle cloud (or Public Cloud). This cloud technology gives you instant access to full functionality of Oracle Fusion Middleware and Database. As well as all the benefits associated with the private cloud technology. With Oracle Cloud Technologies, you can transparently move workloads between on premise and oracle cloud. If you decide to develop in Oracle Cloud and later decide to deploy to a Private Cloud, know that you are sharing the same technology with the same standards using the same Oracle Products that you are already familiar with. Richard’s speech was a helpful insight into cloud computing and Oracle’s usage and understanding of it.
Our third speaker had quite a brief presentation with only 5 slides. John Massey is the EMEA Business Development Lead for SAP Ireland. SAP’s aim is to create solutions for businesses so that they can run better. SAP produces the software that helps some of the world’s best and most successful companies run their businesses. In my opinion, John’s presentation was quite poor and sparse. It lacked the detail and enthusiasm we had seen from previous speakers.
Our fourth and final speaker wrapped the last conference up with a slightly more engaging speech. Shay Garvey is a founding partner of Frontline Ventures. He is also one of the most active and experienced early stage technology investors in Europe. I found this presentation engaging as Frontline Ventures are incorporating the use of cloud computing into venture capital investments.
In conclusion, I found the last conference to be slightly disappointing. I would have preferred to have had more speakers with larger detail in their presentations. However, it must be said that overall the four conferences were a unique and interesting way to learn about a variety of things all business-related.