Issue 1: December 2011

GIVING YOUNG SCOTS THE SKILLS FOR SUCCESS IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY

By Bob McDowell, Vice President, Information Worker Business Value, Microsoft Corporation

Bob McDowell is a global ambassador for Microsoft and a Global Scot. He is one of those successful members of the Scottish diaspora who does his best to represent Scotland overseas.

He proposes below some ideas for involving a younger age group in building Digital Scotland.

 

It was a huge pleasure to host the GovCamp Scotland event recently, and to be able to meet so many people passionate about Scotland’s Digital Future. It doesn’t matter how you earn your living these days, whether you work for the Government, a small business, a large corporate business, a charity or even if you want to start your own business, understanding how digital technologies of all kinds can help you and your organisation is vital.

Those of you that know me, know how passionate I am about education, and about encouraging young people to embrace the benefits of technology. I came across this great idea called DevCamp that would get young Scots involved in web and mobile app development. I think it would be terrific if one of the activities that the Digital Participation Action Group members can focus on is the development of DevCamp Scotland for 2012. It’s a natural extension of GovCamp.

We know that youngsters know about applications and how to use them, and we also know from my world that the growth of mobile technology platforms, whether it’s smart phones or tablets or whatever the new generation of products are called, is going to be huge over the next few years. At Microsoft we have already opened up an early version of our new operating system, Windows 8, to developers. I want to take this opportunity to reach out to all the founding members of the Action Group and to all those who are now planning to sign up as partners, to work together to run DevCamp Scotland in 2012. This would let a group of young people have the opportunity to work with industry experts to learn not just how to use the great apps that are out there, but how to design and build new apps for the future. This would let us showcase how Scotland is embracing the new wealth creating opportunities of the 21st Century.

This would let a group of young people have the opportunity to work with industry experts to learn not just how to use the great apps that are out there, but how to design and build new apps for the future.

DevCamp Scotland, would be modelled on an industry led initiative in the East End of London and would provide young people aged 13-21 years with the basic skills required to develop applications for the web, smartphones and social networking sites. DevCamp Scotland’s aim would be to help young people develop the skills needed for success in the future digital economy. DevCamp Scotland will provide up-to-the-minute training on software development skills through a series of weeklong workshops to help create real opportunities for young people in partnership with industry and education – a great example of public and private partnership.

We all need to do more to help give the younger generation in Scotland more opportunities for employment in the digitally focused industries of the future or start their own businesses. We all need to inspire and enable a new generation of digital innovators in Scotland in order to compete in the global economy.

If your organisation can help in any way then contact the Digital Participation Action Group by contacting melvyn@mjibusinesssolutions.com
         

By Bob McDowell, Vice President, Information Worker Business Value, Microsoft Corporation

Issue 1: December 2011

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