BCTECH Strategy

  • Photonic Public Relations Inc. posted an article
    Last week's B.C. Tech Summit proved just how unified the province’s entrepreneurs are. see more

    With record-breaking attendance of over 5,000 innovators, strategists and academics, the B.C. Tech Summit proved just how unified the province’s entrepreneurs are.

    "The sold-out #BCTECH Summit underscored the dedication, passion and success of B.C.’s diverse technology innovators and entrepreneurs across the province,” said Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services.

    "Our #BCTECH Strategy is driving momentum, helping B.C. technology companies grow and create jobs throughout the province.”

     B.C.’s technology workforce is one of the largest in the country encompassing 101,780 jobs equaling a 2.9 per cent increase last year. The booming sector has also created over $26 billion in revenue and $15 billion in GDP.

    This year’s #BCTECH Summit was filled with a palpable desire for innovators to connect and share their stories about perseverance, determination and tenacity. From JB Straubel, Co-founder and CTO of Tesla to Tanmay Bakshi, 13-year-old IBM Cloud Advisor with a resume that also includes software developer, cognitive developer, IBM Watson developer, author and YouTuber.

    “Innovation means filling the gap for programmers,” explained Tanmay Bakshi in his keynote speech, emphasizing a need for more kids to learn to code with specialized programs and resources.

    “It's about how the youth can get involved in technology, why they should get involved in technology, and of course, the present and future of technology, which is — beyond doubt — artificial intelligence," said Bakshi.

    Premier Christy Clark also unveiled a major announcement that the provincial government will deliver a series of initiatives to boost the tech sector including a $10 million program to fund five research chairs at universities and colleges.

    In addition, an expansion of tax credits will help support the abundance of virtual reality and augmented reality companies gathering momentum.

    “When others are withdrawing from free trade, we are going to reach out around the world and find new connections, for business and for people,” said Premier Christy Clark.

    The mission is to cultivate and nurture talent worldwide, with a clear assertion that British Columbia’s doors are open to educated foreign technology employees.

    The importance of building strong teams through beneficial partnerships was a central theme to the summit and in the conversations that arose.

     These conversations between innovators, visionaries and strategists at the #BCTECH Summit play an undeniable role in shaping the future of the technology sector in the province. The dynamism sparked by the exhibitors and speakers provided a positive platform to ignite collaboration between all those hoping to accelerate the growth in B.C.’s tech sector.

     

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  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Ladies Learning Code provides workshops that cover everything from basic HTML to other programming.. see more

    Source:  BCTECHStrategy.gov.bc.ca

    #BCTECH Strategy: 11 Questions with Ladies Learning Code

    Have you ever wanted to learn how to build a website or understand computer coding, but weren’t sure where to begin? Ladies Learning Code provides workshops that cover everything from basic HTML to other programming languages such as Python or Scratch. Leading up to National Girls Learning Code Day 2016, we asked Christina Jones, the Victoria youth chapter lead, to share a bit more about Ladies Learning Code.

    Q: Who or what is Ladies Learning Code?

    A: Ladies Learning Code is a Canada-wide not-for-profit organization that runs workshops for women and youth who want to learn beginner-friendly computer programming and other technical skills in a social and collaborative way.

    Q: Why is it important for women and girls to learn to code?

    A: Ladies Learning Code was created to address the skills shortage in Canada and the gender divide in the tech industry, especially as coding becomes even more relevant in the future. We want to help women, and especially girls, understand they have the power to create technology, not just consume it.

    Q: Do I need to be an expert to attend a Ladies Learning Code event?

    A: Not at all. Tech is one of those things some people think is unattainable by telling themselves they could never code or build a website, but we make it so almost anyone can learn how.

    Q: Why should someone consider attending?

    A: They’re super fun! Our workshops give you an opportunity to try to learn a skill in a very safe and non-threatening environment where the focus is on enjoying yourself without any pressure.

    Q: What can women learn from Ladies Learning Code?

    A: We teach all kinds of beginner tech skills. The most common one-day workshop is dedicated to coding basics where you can come in not knowing anything and walk out with your very own website, which you created. A few examples of the more advanced workshops hosted in Victoria include how to build a Shopify account and other programming languages such as Python, Ruby, WordPress, jQuery and Javascript.

    Q: What can kids learn from Kids Learning Code?

    A: We teach the basics of coding for kids and have led more advanced workshops in the past as well. For our younger learners who don’t yet have typing skills, we like to use Scratch – a coding language developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology specifically for kids. It’s more visual, letting you build code by dragging and dropping different elements. We’re also planning to teach image editing in the future.

    Q: What’s the best part of helping girls learn to code?

    A: Seeing the ‘aha’ moment on girls’ faces when they realize they have the power to animate something is priceless. Their creativity is very inspiring and they come up with some amazing things!

    For National Girls Learning Code Day in 2015, each girl in attendance made her own website and showed everyone at the end. The diversity of what girls can create and the imagination demonstrated in their websites is unbelievable.

    Q: How did Ladies Learning Code get started in Victoria?

    A: In 2014, Erin Athene, the Victoria chapter lead, wanted to learn coding but couldn’t find anywhere local to learn how. She came across Ladies Learning Code in Toronto and asked them why there wasn’t a chapter in Victoria. Ladies Learning Code responded that no one from the area had reached out yet, so that’s how the Victoria Chapter began.

    Q: How many chapters are there in B.C.?

    A: Ladies Learning Code has three chapters in B.C. (VancouverVictoria and central Vancouver Island) plus a thriving girls program called Girls Learning Code and a co-ed kids program called Kids Learning Code.

    Q: Is there anything else you want people to know about Ladies Learning Code?

    A: If you live in Vancouver, there are Ladies Learning Code events running almost weekly. You can stay up to date by following us on social media and checking the Ladies Learning Code website for upcoming events. If you’re ever in another chapter city, you can also join the mailing list for those areas. We have also hosted successful summer camps and are planning more for the future.

    If you are thinking of starting a chapter in your community, get in touch!  Ladies Learning Code is very warm and embracing; they help provide mentors and people to teach or speak at local events.

    Q: How can I get in touch?

    A: You can email the Victoria chapter here, or visit the Ladies Learning Code website to find other chapters and their contact information.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Traffic webcam data is now available to the public, entrepreneurs and software developers see more

    Source: BC Gov News

    Traffic webcam data is now available to the public, entrepreneurs and software developers through B.C.’s open government license, data that can now be used to create new tools and services that could make driving in B.C. safer and more convenient.

    “By sharing our valuable highway information, we hope to see the creation of new ideas and new tools that will prove invaluable to highway travelers in our province,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “At the same time, we are supporting the innovation that is alive in our thriving B.C. tech economy and I look forward to seeing what the development community and others involved in transportation services can do with this data.”

    The newly-released highway camera data includes links to the real time images that are publicly posted on DriveBC, along with the site name, view orientation and GPS location for each camera. Currently, there are more than 320 cameras providing images that are used for travel information by motorists, commercial drivers, tourists, and many organizations including emergency responders.

    Government is seeking input from industry to explore the innovation opportunities that access to this data presents. As part of the #BCTECH Strategy, the BC Developers’ Exchange will be hosting events with software developers and entrepreneurs to understand the potential for B.C.’s tech workers and businesses.

    The webcam data release builds on the traffic event data published by the ministry in September 2015 under Open511-DriveBC, which was the first Application Programming Interface (API) released by the ministry with data licensed under the Open Government License.

    Learn More:

    Highway cam data link: https://catalogue.data.gov.bc.ca/dataset/bc-highway-cams

    Current traffic, road and weather conditions for provincial highways: www.DriveBC.ca

    #BCTECH Strategy: www.bctechstrategy.ca

    British Columbia Open Government License:http://www.data.gov.bc.ca/local/dbc/docs/license/OGL-vbc2.0.pdf

    BCDevExchange: https://bcdevexchange.org/

    Drive BC Open 511 guest blog: http://blog.data.gov.bc.ca/2015/10/the-road-to-innovation-is-drivebcs-open511/