(We were called Summer of Code from 2006-2009 and Summer of Tech from 2010 to now)
There are a few times in your career that you get to work on something great, something bigger than yourself. This year marks our 10th year as Summer of Tech (previously Summer of Code). From the start of Summer of Code back in 2006, we’ve driven change in the way industry thinks about internships and hiring graduates. We’ve set the standard for industry-led student education and placement. 10 years ago, “paid” internships were non-existent. Now, after 10 years we’ve proved that paid internships are the best way to on board graduates and develop our IT talent pipeline.
“What’s the best way to get someone excited in Tech ?”
Put students next to the best people in town
and watch the magic happen!
I can hardly believe it’s been 10 years since we first started. Since 2006, we’ve placed 609 students at nearly 100 companies! Programmers, Engineers, Designers, Mobile Devs, Ops people, Sysadmins, BAs, IT staff, Digital media artists, UXers, growth hackers, Security engineers we’ve placed them all. It’s amazing to see how far the students have gone and the incredible careers they have created for themselves.
What I’m most proud of when I look back is the over the past 10 years is our community of volunteers. They have freely given their time to help accelerate the development of IT students. Our volunteers truly give a damn about creating a better future. Every year, the volunteers gave their time, showed passion for their field of expertise and inspired the next generation of students. In turn, those students helped spread the passion and the Summer of Tech community was born.
Our first promotional video by a student designer – Pure class!
I like to make special mention to list of people, who have been invaluable in supporting Summer of Tech over the years.
Alick Wilson – Alick told me that there was a government grant for hiring undergradate students for research projects. With that information I connected the dots and helped offer an incentive for the first wave of Summer of Code companies. Peter Torr Smith – Peter helped launch Summer of Code by dragging me to a New Zealand Computer Society event and yelling out to students that we had jobs. Your contribution over the first couple of years really helped set the platform of what Summer of Tech would become. Paul Gold – Paul helped us with our first technical challenges in matching students with companies. You made the hard work easy! Mark Robotham and Tui Te Hau – Mark and Tui believed in crazy idea that was Summer of Code and help support it in the first year. They provided us with adminstrative support to help run events and provided “free” desks for all our interns at Creative HQ. Joseph Stuart – Joseph helped facilitate research grants during the early years of Summer of Code. This helped companies to place internships in research projects. Ruth McDavitt – Ruth joined as a Grow Wellington liaison and brought much needed professionalism to Summer of Code. Ruth led us to the various phases of our incorporation to our current charity status. Ruth did such an awesome job we finally managed to make Summer of Tech her day job! Cath Randall – Through out all the changes at our Wellington EDA has gone through, Cath has been there throughout helping Summer of Code/Tech. She’s been instrumental to helping us grow Summer of Tech by talking companies and spreading the word about internships. Bernie White – Bernie was the catalyst for our vision to help student gain better awareness of their communication skills. Bernie’s energy and passion for communication inspires a new generation of students every year. Tomek Piatek – Tomek hand drew the first “Dex” logo and the Summer of Code NZ “brand” was created. Ange Vink – Ange create our brand identities over the years and created some kickass t-shirt designs. Rod Drury – I pitched Summer of Tech to Rod and he signed up to be our were our first sponsor. This was a key part of the transition from Summer of Code from being a side-project to a proper organisation. Lulu Pachuau – A special thank you to Lulu, my wife who supported me when I created my “2nd start-up” and helped with the new site design.
To the Summer of Tech Committee and Board that helped us through the transition from a bunch of volunteers to a company to a non-profit organisation and finally into a charity. It’s been a massive journey that required your energy and patience to turn our idea into a proper movement for change. Thank you to all our committee members and trustees over the years: Amanda Santos, Jon Macdonald, Tony Kennedy, Owen Evans, Andrew Mayfield, Alex Gibson, Zheng Li.
Over the years, we’ve had lots of helpers help wrangle Summer of Tech. They helped pitch to employers, coach students, wrangle events and do all hard yards to make everything happen. A BIG THANK YOU to Sarah Wattie, Kat Price, Elicia Gold, Adele Barlow, Pamela Minett, Rachel Whitehead, Andrew Whitehead, Lesley de Vries, Saskia Wallace, Pamela Ward, Catherine Buchanan.
Looking to the future
We’ve come a long way, but we still have a lot to do. I only need to see IT students working at the supermarket to remind me that our job is far from complete. There are still plenty of industries that haven’t learned that paid internships way to create passionate graduates. We’ll stick to what we do best. Working at the coal face making sure students are getting an awesome industry education and helping companies find the best student talent.