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How hackathons are helping NZ organisations recruit - and train - future ICT staff

How hackathons are helping NZ organisations recruit - and train - future ICT staff

“We constantly read articles on skills shortage in the IT sector, here is the opportunity for Industry to get involved as mentors and help change this problem," says Edwina Mistry of the Manukau Institute of Technology and one of the organisers of the inaugural Junior Hackathon (JHack).

A JHack mentor evening at Propellerhead
A JHack mentor evening at Propellerhead
“We constantly read articles on skills shortage in the IT sector, here is the opportunity for Industry to get involved as mentors and help change this problem by getting involved at grassroots level,” says Edwina Mistry of the Manukau Institute of Technology and one of the organisers of the inaugural Junior Hackathon (JHack).

Mistry, industry and community engagement manager at MIT, is calling on both technology providers and ICT departments to support JHack as sponsors and mentors.

JHack will be held on July 4 at MIT’s new Manukau campus during the same week as GovHack.

She says JHack will allow kids to see a community hackathon with over 300 participants from the IT industry as they engage in their own hackathon event.

Related: Speed up collaboration through a productivity blitz, aka ‘hackathon’

GovHack NZ is a multi-day community event held simultaneously across New Zealand and Australia to create working prototypes and mashups with government data, to find new ways to solve the challenges facing government.

GovHack NZ will be held on Friday to Sunday (the third to fifth of July). At the end of the weekend the hackers submit a video, team page, and code for government agencies to judge.

Read more: Speed of technological change is top worry of New Zealand CEOs: PwC

GovHack New Zealand will be hosted in Auckland and across the country including Whangarei, Wellington, Tauranga, Whanganui and Dunedin. JHack is being held in Auckland only, says Mistry.

JHack will bring together over 20 High Schools and 100 students in a series of programming challenges in a competition format.

“This will enable students to interact with IT professionals and learn more about the industry,” says Mistry.

She says sponsors for JHack include: Manukau Institute of Technology, LearnToMod, Propellerhead, Orion Health, Wynyard Group, EagleTechnology, Sovereign and HP.

Read more: The most in-demand IT skill? Developers with good communication skills

The mentor organisations that have signed up include: Ernst & Young, BNZ, Auckland Council, Vodafone, Orion Health, Attract HQ Xero, Sovereign, Cognitel, Foodstuffs, Neotek, ASB and University of Auckland.

Related:High school students get a dry run on IT careers

Read more: The rise of the digital suggestion box

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

Follow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz

Read more: CEOs: Shortage of digitally skilled staff reaches ‘crisis level’

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Tags manukau institute of technologyEdwina Mistryskills shortagewomen in technology

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