Get Digital

Our fourth and final conference Get Digital took place in the Helix on Tuesday the 14th April. The first half of the conference consisted of the different DICE groups presenting their research posters on cloud computing and respective apps to industry professionals, academics and fellow students. This was a great opportunity to practice our presentation skills with technology industry professionals.

The second half of the conference consisted of talks from guest speakers Sean Baker, Irish Centre for Cloud Computing & Commerce Mary Moloney, Global CEO CoderDojo
Richard Garsthagen, EMEA Director of Cloud Business Development, Oracle
Shay Garvey, Partner and Co-Founder at Frontline Venture Capital
John Massey, EMEA Business Development Lead, SAP Ireland.

The main topic of focus for the conference was cloud computing with a quick introduction about IC4. Sean explained how we could get involved through sponsorship and surveys. As well as workshops, seminars and the ability to choose project you would like to be involved in, IC4 also provides for targeted projects outside of core funding which is a cost effective means of research and enabling investigations into areas of interest.

Mary Moloney – CoderDojo


CoderDojo is a global volunteer-led community of free programming clubs for young people. It was founded in July 2011 by James Whelton & Bill Liao, the first Dojo took place in Cork. James and Bill were self taught programmers who wanted to create a space where young people could learn code in a social environment as they understood the limitations of solo coding.

Mary Moloney is the Ceo of the CoderDojo Foundation globally. Mary first got involved with CoderDojo through her then eight year old son who was interested in gaming. CoderDojo theaches children to question technology and helps them build skills that can not be learned in school as it is more interactive learning and encourages children to be curious and creative rather than just  to learn things  by route. It helps children form a young age to be comfortable with technology as creators rather than just consumers.

Through CoderDojos 600 clubs in over 58 countries 50000 children between the ages of 7 and 17 are learning computational thinking and skills such as remote working, collaborative working making them flexible global workplace participants. CoderDojo aims not to make every child a coder but to give them a basic literacy in technology and teach them what is possible and what can be achieved through technology. CoderDojo only has two rules as there are very few discipline issues as it is entirely up to the child as to what they get involved in.
1. Be Cool i.e be well behaved, and calm
2. Ask 3 then me – the child must first ask themselves can they solve the problem by   themselves, if not then they must ask their peers and if their peers are unable to help them to try find the solution on search engines such as Google before asking for help from the mentors or teachers. This teaches children to use the resources they have themselves to work out problems.
Finally CoderDojo is rapidly expanding with a growth rate of about 5 new Dojos every week.

Richard Garsthagen – Oracle

The main focus of Richards talk was cloud computing. rg

He began with the top 5 reasons to love cloud

  1. Simplify IT
  2. Re- Engineer the economics of IT spending
  3. Accelerate and Optimise your Business Process
  4. Drive Innovation
  5. Enjoy World-Class Security

He then explained his interesting concept of running the cloud like a restaurant to make it more efficient and easier to consume. Although I found the idea interesting I feel like it could possibly restrict the cloud somewhat.

Richard then spoke about how digital disruption was changing industries such as television and taxi services with digital companies such as Netflix and Uber. And finally how IT can actually slow down innovation with old school thinking causing innovators to by-pass IT departments.

John Massey – SAP Ireland

jmWith over 1650 employees SAP Ireland focuses on early talent which makes up 56% of their work force. According to John , the economics of cloud are very different to traditional means and SAP’s transition to cloud was not overnight, in fact it caused a lot of uncertainty within the organisation. For these reasons John emphasised the importance of re-educating employees, partner companies and customers about the cloud. It was especially important to educate the partner companies as if they did not also incorporate cloud into their business SAP would also be unable to do so or they would have to start finding other companies to work with, who could meet their needs with the cloud.

Shay Garvey- Frontline Ventures

Recent years have shown a dramatic productive gain in the technology ecosystem withsg only 20% of companies generating $250k in revenues  within 18 months in 2005 to 60% of companies generating the same amount of revenues within 6 months in 2010. Pace has become the new protection for start-ups who have to be fast moving because if you can do it others can it is important to be able to grow quickly in relation to your competition. The  Advent of the Cloud and the Lean start up has meant the old €2.5m is now €250k i.e. cost to start a company and get to revenues is 1/10 of what it was

Sean then gave us tips as to how to look for capital from VCs such as making initial contact early and engaging with investors before looking for capital “Ask for advice, get money. Ask for money get advice”

Finally, the elimination of highly skilled jobs by automation delivered via the Cloud is underway.  This means that repetitive and cognitive jobs such as accounting are at risk of being replaced by the automation process