Future-Proofing Our Technological Society Takes About 19-21 Years (and here’s how you do it)

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Future-Proofing Our Technological Society Takes About 19-21 Years (and here’s how you do it)

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Have you had that talk with your kids? No, not THAT talk – the one about math being important? Well, it is – for more reasons than you might imagine.

We’ve known for a decade that our supply of properly-educated information processing professionals is declining, but the demand for them is increasing. We’re going to reach a tipping point where it becomes impossible to move forward with technology because of the weight of maintaining the existing base of equipment and systems. With Baby Boomers entering retirement, the IT world is set to become a different place.

What can we do to help stanch the flow? We need to reach out – to our children, our young relatives, our friends’ kids – and engage them in activities that will support them in making a career in information processing a desirable option. In this talk, I will introduce ideas, activities and technologies that you can use to engage the minds of children in a wide age range, and learn some new things yourself as you do it.

Remember, they won’t enter a program until they’re 18 years old, and the earliest they’ll graduate is 19 . . . we have to start building now if we want to be future-proof.

Tickets: Students & Members $20.00 / Non-Members $25.00

To register, contact Darren MacDonald at cipspei.event.reg@gmail.com or call 368-5669.

Registrations (and cancellations) will be accepted until 11:00am Tuesday, May 17th Note: Persons registered at the deadline will be invoiced, even if they do NOT attend the event.

We would ask that you please pass this invitation along to your coworkers, colleagues, and anyone that would find this topic of interest.

 

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PEI’s three hour time difference offers daily jump start for western company

Jill and Brian Burridge were working for a Western Canadian company in Alberta when their first child was born and the magnetic pull of the red Island soil got stronger and stronger.

Jill (Cheverie) Burridge, a Holland College grad who got an engineering degree from UNB, wanted to be closer to her family in Souris and Brian, a New Brunswicker she met at university, was game to make the move too.

They had spent nine years working for Midwest Surveys as engineers offering survey work for oil and gas, private citizens and construction companies.

We decided it was time to get back home so we proposed this to our president.

In 2013 they made the move east and set up a satellite office in their Stratford home.

“We decided it was time to get back home so we proposed this to our president,” Jill Burridge said. “The big advantage the company saw was the three hour time difference.”

Now working on Island time, the Burridges would start the day at 7:00 am. Doing so gave the company a big head start on the competition in the west while everyone there was still sleeping at 4:00 a.m. In this way, Midwest Surveys could offer a quicker turnaround to beat its competitors.

Two years later, the Burridges were ready to expand and set up an office so they reached out to the Prince Edward Island government. Through the Launch Pad program, government helped them set up their office on the main strip in Stratford next to the vet clinic and offered wage subsidies to hire staff for the first year.

Officials from provincial government also visited their headquarters in Calgary, Alberta to discuss the satellite office in Stratford.

“Government’s support really attracted our company and the funding cemented the idea. They were really good and things  came together quickly.”

The expansion to PEI has gone well. One of the company’s office employees had been traveling to Fort Mac to work and spending most of his time away from his young son. He is now living and working at home on PEI.

“We are happy to get some of those guys home,” Jill said.

Government’s support really attracted our company and the funding cemented the idea… things came together quickly

The Midwest Surveys office is equipped with Microsoft Link for daily conference calls from its Stratford boardroom to the Calgary one – after noon PEI time, of course, when Western colleagues arrive for work.

“Technology has made it all possible,” Mark said. “You can provide service from anywhere if you have the right setup.”

 
 
 
 
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WorkLinks Get’s New Barbados Client

 

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Aspin Kemp making waves in PEI and around the globe

A trade mission to India last February with the premier is paying off for Aspin Kemp CEO, Jason Aspin. 

The engineering and manufacturing company, with corporate headquarters in PEI, provides power and control systems to marine and offshore industries. The company’s approach and innovation caught the attention of an Indian IT business they met.

Grintex India Limited, which specializes in ship design, homeland security, aerospace and space industry and air traffic control, was interested in a second meeting, so Aspin and his Finance Director Ravi Naidu travelled back to India in March.

The second meeting went so well that the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding witnessed by the premier during their third meeting just last week in the Aspin Kemp office in Stratford, PEI.

Premier Wade MacLauchlan made himself available on a moment’s notice to witness the deal.

“That just doesn’t happen anywhere else,” Aspin said. “The Province is very supportive that way.”


A small company like us is on the radar here. We can adjust and move fast as things change and PEI can too — it’s a good match for us.

Aspin Kemp employs more than 150 people from around the globe on Prince Edward Island and has locations in Singapore, Texas, Nova Scotia and Ontario. They’re rapidly expanding their reach and growing the business.

“Most of our business is in Asia,” says Aspin, whose wife Chunying Li, is an engineer and the company’s director of operations. The two met in Singapore and she agreed to make the move back to his Island home. The couple lives in Charlottetown with their two children.

This latest deal with Grintex is just another win for the successful company which relocated its headquarters to PEI three years ago.

I can hop a flight to Toronto and be anywhere in the world from here a lot easier than I could dealing with traffic in Hamilton.

Aspin, who grew up on a Pinette farm, said the prospects for doing big business from a small jurisdiction are many. “A small company like us is on the radar here. We can adjust and move fast as things change and PEI can too — it’s a good match for us.”

He and his staff appreciate the Island lifestyle, low cost of doing business and the ease to reach foreign markets.

“I can hop a flight to Toronto and be anywhere in the world from here a lot easier than I could dealing with traffic in Hamilton. 

Government programs such as the labour rebate and provincial tax incentive for marine-based companies have been, and will be, their two biggest supports, he said.

“Innovation PEI has been really helpful to us. I want people to know the Island is open for business. It will offer you a lot more than expected. It has advantages over any place in Canada or the world. Companies thinking about setting up really need to take a look under the hood here in PEI,” he said.

“It has worked out well for us, and it’s great to prove all the naysayers wrong.”

 
Original Article: http://www.peisuccess.ca/home/aspin-kemp-making-waves-in-pei-and-around-the-globe
 
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Summerside developer releasing “Rapscallions”

 

“Avast, me hearties, ye had best practice ye scurvy pirate speak in preparedness o’ “Rapscallions.”

OK, so writing pirate talk is not as easy as it sounds. In case you missed that, Summerside video game company Funky Finger Productions Inc. is ready to release the newest pirate-themed addition to its lineup, “Rapscallions.”

Andy Roberts, director of product development at the studio, explained that the game is his small, but mighty, crew’s most ambitious project since the company was founded in 2012.

“This is the most adventurous game that we’ve done yet and we really want that to be our calling card. This is what a small team can do and this is what we’re capable of as a company,” said Roberts.

The game itself is akin to checkers, with the object being to send your pirate crew from your ship out onto a net grid connecting it to your opponent’s vessel. When two pirates encounter each other the aggressor knocks the defender off the grid. Whichever player completely decimates the other’s crew, wins. There are also various items and bonuses players can use to give their sprightly crew an advantage.

Users can play against an artificial intelligence, locally on the same device with a friend or over the Internet.

The game itself is free, but there are in-game, real money, purchases and advertisements.

Roberts called it a “spiritual successor” to an old Commodore 64 game called “Piracy.”

“Rapscallions” will appear on the Android store by the end of this week, while the iTunes version will appear, hopefully, sometime within the next couple of weeks.

Unfortunately, they can’t be more specific regarding release dates, said Roberts, because once the company submits the game to the distributor even they don’t know exactly when it will work its way through their system and be posted.

This will be Funky Finger’s third title, the others being “Ice Slyder” and “TyRunAsaurus.”

The company currently employs five people and operates out of the Holman Centre. As far as they know, they’re the only company developing video games in the Summerside area.

The fact that they exist might surprise some people, said Roberts, as the company tends to have a low profile. But they try to stay active in the Island’s small game-development community, which has about half a dozen members, take on students when able and generally trying to support the industry.

James Martin, one of the programmers, said he grew up wanting to work in the video game industry but always assumed he’d have to move away. However, an information technology expo he attended in Grade 10 surprised him with the amount of options he had locally.

He ended up being hired by Funky Finger right out of UPEI’s computer science/game programing program and moved to Summerside from Charlottetown.

“Rapscallions” will be the first game Martin has worked on with an actual studio and he’s proud of how it turned out.

“I’ve never released anything through a company yet, so it’s pretty exciting,” he said.

“There’s a lot of stuff that I’ve never done before that I’ve been able to do in this (game) that I think turned out well. So I’m excited for our future projects to be able to integrate that stuff and improve upon it.”

Colin.MacLean@JournalPioneer.com

“Rapscallions” credits:

– Andy Roberts, director of product development

– James Martin, programmer

– Evan Doran, artist

– Eva Blacquiere, artist

– Amy MacPherson, programmer

– Matt Arsenault (former employee)