Special thanks for the Open source awards

Open Source Awards for ProjectX and Summer of Code

I just want to say thank you to New Zealand Open Source Awards for the two awards for Summer of Code in the education awards and ZoomIn / ProjectX for open source in business. I heard the news walking off the plane in Calcutta after my ‘amazing race’ adventure. I was pleasantly surprised and proud of all the people that have been involved with ProjectX and Summer of Code.

Here are some belated special thanks to a few people…

Summer of Code

I just want explain a little bit about the Summer of Code before I say thank to some special people who have helped make it happen.

Last year, I was talking to a friend who’s an IT manager at a big company in Wellington about Summer of Code. After explaining what the Summer of Code was about and all the events we had planned etc, he said to me. “What are you nuts?!?! How can you have time for this ??? You’re running a start up , you’ve got enough on your plate? “

I told him that we had to create Summer of Code. Like every company, our company needed to find good people and in the current job market its really hard to find good people. I had a brain wave to fast track the knowledge of the next generation of talent. Provide students with real experience in emerging and startup companies. This is what the Summer of Code is really all about. We’re providing accelerated learning environments for students. We differ from the Google Summer of Code in that the participanting companies directly mentor students and help accelerate their learning. We see this as an investment in the medium term to help create a smarter graduate job market in 2-3 years time by provide our students with a head start!

The Summer of Code has been a team effort, and I could have done anything without the help from a large number of people. I want to give special thanks to two people and their support team.

First, I want to say a big thank you to Peter Torr Smith. We has been the right hand man for Summer of Code and I’m glad that he was able to accept the award on my behalf. Peter has always been there to help do the hard yards in organising the Summer of Code. Recently he stepped up again when I was off in India during a major crunch time of the Summer of Code 2.0 organisation. Thanks Peter, you’ve been an inspiration and you re-inforce one of the reasons why I love Summer of Code in that I get to work with good people!

The second person I would like to thank is Joseph Stuart and his support team from Foundation of Research, Science and Technology (FRST). Without the support of Joseph and FRST, Summer of Code would have been another idea that never saw the light of day. Joseph has been a tireless supporter of the programme since its inception in late 2006. He and his team have managed to haul ass and process our applications in a timely fashion and thus make SoC a reality. A big thank you to all the effort thats going in now for Summer of Code 2.0

I would like to add that I would like to personally thank FRST on behalf of Summer of Code, our participating and all of our students for actively supporting Summer of Code. The Govt gets a lot of flack for a lot of its funding initiatives and I would like to commend FRST for funding. You’ve been integral to the success of Summer of Code and everyone at FRST should take a bow for helping make this happen!

Finally I want to thank to the Summer of Code team that have been making Summer of Code 2.0 a reality – Peter, Paul Gold, Thong Kuah, Daniel Wang and Kat Price. They have been real stars in helping make Summer of Code 2.0 happen.

ZoomIn and ProjectX

(It seems we’re making a habit of accepting awards from Rod, this is the 2nd award from Rod in the last few months. Thanks to Paul for accepting the award)

We’re big users and supporters of the open source in GIS and especially rails. I would like to dedicate this award to the person who has done a lot for helping build an open source technology community here in Wellington. This person formed Wellrailed – the Wellington Rails Community group, he has been active in organising monthly meetings and answering people questions on the newsgroup. He is of course my friend, Tomek Piatek.

Thanks Tomek, you’re an inspiration for us in making sure that technology isn’t just about writing code, its about getting people together to exchange ideas and help each other.

Also I would like to send a big thank you to Koz – another open source award winner. Koz is active contributor to the Wellrailed group and has helped so many people. Koz and the rest of the core contributors in Wellrailed are the reason why we have a strong rails community in Wellington. Thanks everyone!

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