Event

Team Deep Blue – My Thoughts

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” — Steve jobs

DSC_0095There is an old saying that there are two people who are happier at someone else’s success than their own: a teacher and a father. I believe this is true because I don’t think winning the IBM Youth Innovation Challenge myself would have made me as happy as seeing my students win.

I am proud of our students who worked hard, put in the effort and work well as a team. I am excited about where this could possibly go; I mean, they won the first ever Hackathon held in South Africa by none other than IBM – this is no small accomplishment, and considering that they will now be offered internships at IBM, I am sure there are big things in store for these bright minds.

This is a realisation of our vision at IT varsity to produce the best developers in the country who will be comparable to the best in other countries. Our team is not happy to merely go through the motions of lecturing, giving exams and providing qualifications; we are aiming for much more. We live by the words of Steve Jobs quoted above. We want to do something that really matters. We want to produce the best. We want to make our little dent in the universe. And this week, we made a tiny little dent.

We have an awesome team, each of whom is passionate about technology and about empowering others. There is no substitute for a great team, and I am grateful to be working with such awesome people, and I sincerely hope we can do much greater things going forward.

Whenever our students go out there, winning awards, gathering accolades, becoming success stories of their own, we will always be here, working behind the scenes to ensure that they get all the support they need long after they’ve graduated and moved on. And we will be busy producing the next cohort of winners.

That is what IT varsity is all about.

IT varsity Produces Winners

IT varsity’s Team Deep Blue were awarded the top prize by IBM’s judges at the 2015 IBM Youth Innovation Challenge which was held at the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban from the 25th to the 29th of May 2015.

The Youth Innovation Challenge is an initiative of ‘Innovate Durban’ in partnership with IBM, the eThekwini Municipality, the Sustainable Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) and the Government of Flanders. The focus of the competition is to support youth driven technology businesses.

See also: Team Deep Blue – My Thoughts by Bilal Kathrada, CEO of IT varsity

The theme of the Innovate Durban- ’Hackathon’ event was ‘Smarter eThekwini’. This supports the agenda of ‘Open Government’ and ‘Open Data’ and in this way supports engagement by the eThekwini Municipality with its citizens.

The event was booked to capacity, and attracted developers and students from around the country. Nine teams participated in the Challenge, and each team was tasked with developing a technology-based solution to one major challenge facing the city and its citizens.

IT varsity’s Team Blue developed WorkerBee, a social app that linked skilled artisans to potential clients. WorkerBee is like LinkedIn, but for artisans.

So what’s in store for the winners?

  1. A cash prize
  2. A 3 month internship with IBM at any of their facilities worldwide.
  3. Possible funding and incubation by the eThekwini Municipality and SmartXchange.

Well done to our winners!

Some pics of the event. More pics on Facebook.

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Maseehullah, Adrial and Simba having fun

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IT varsity CEO Bilal Kathrada with the winning team

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When the going gets tough…

Heritage Day 2014 Celebration at IT varsity

IT varsity celebrated Heritage Day 2014 on Thursday, 25 September 2014. And what an awesome celebration it was! We had our very own students presenting on their various cultures and beliefs.

IT varsity CEO, Bilal Kathrada chatted to the audience on various cultures, beliefs and diversity. “We should all strive to be united always”, says Bilal Kathrada.

IT varsity CEO Bilal Kathrada chats to the audience before the students presentation.

IT varsity CEO Bilal Kathrada chats to the audience before the students presentation.

The first student to present was Jenna Deeplal, from the App Development class, who did her presentation on the Indian culture. She talked about the Indian dress code, Indian food and the Indian culture as a whole. She also played a Bollywood song video to show how colourful and exuberant Indian functions are. Click here to watch the video that Jenna showed us.

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Jenna Deeplal, from App Dev, presented on the Indian Culture.

Another App Dev student, Rahil Hussein, presented a very informative video to the audience about the 5 Pillars of Islam.

Another App Dev student, Rahil Huseein who presented on the 5 Pillars of Islam.

Another App Dev student, Rahil Huseein who presented on the 5 Pillars of Islam.

We then had Philani Sithole from the IT Technical Support class who presented on the Zulu Culture. He explained various customs as well as demonstrated a traditional Zulu dance.

Philani Sithole from the IT Technical Support class who presented on the Zulu Culture.

Philani Sithole from the IT Technical Support class who presented on the Zulu Culture.

Abdul Malik Tejan-Sie, an App Dev student all the way from Sierra Leone, did an interesting presentation on his home country and enlightened the audience about the way of life in his country. Abdul also highlighted the seriousness of Ebola in his country and how it has affected and is still affecting many people currently. Click here to read more about Sierra Leone.

Abdul Malik Tejan-Sie, presented on his home country Sierra Leone.

Abdul Malik Tejan-Sie, presented on his home country Sierra Leone.

Next up, we had the very talented ladies from our Office Admin class that sang and danced in the traditional Zulu way. It was quite impressive as the audience also joined in the singing.

From left, Lindiwe, Nompumelelo, Nosihle, Zuzile and Hlengiwe from Office Admin show off the impressive Zulu song and dance performance.

From left, Lindiwe, Nompumelelo, Nosihle, Zuzile and Hlengiwe from Office Admin show off the impressive Zulu song and dance performance.

App Dev student, Adriel Naidoo, presented his views on Spiritualism. He also shared quite a few videos to give the audience a more informative take on Spiritualism.

Adriel Naidoo from App Dev, spoke to us about his views on Spiritualism

Adriel Naidoo from App Dev, spoke to us about his views on Spiritualism

Our Xhosa students from the App Dev class as well, Asanda Kosani, Luvo Memeza and Fanela Msi, did a great presentation on the Xhosa culture and explained the differences in rituals for males and females.

Asanda Kosani, Fanela Msi and Luvo Caius Memeza from App Dev, who did their presentation on the Xhosa culture.

Asanda Kosani, Fanela Msi and Luvo Caius Memeza from App Dev, who did their presentation on the Xhosa culture.

Finally, we had a play performed by the App Dev students, Ayanda Dlamini, Thobani Bhengu and Hlengiwe Ngcamu. The play was all about how courtship takes place in the Zulu culture and the proper way that a Zulu male and female need to interact with each other before marriage. Very interesting!

A scene from the Zulu play on courtship by Hlengiwe Ngcamu, Ayanda Dlamini and Thobani Bhengu.

A scene from the Zulu play on courtship by Hlengiwe Ngcamu, Ayanda Dlamini and Thobani Bhengu.

That was it for our Heritage Day 2014 Celebration at IT varsity. It was wonderful for us to learn more about each others cultures and belief. We hope that everyone in South Africa enjoyed their Heritage day Celebration as much as we have!

From the IT varsity Team, Happy Heritage Day and Happy 20 Years of Democracy, South Africa!

Jim