14 July 2016

Java Flight

A year ago I talked about GuateJUG's Java Day Tour in this blog, one year has passed (time flies!) and it's time to do another recap of GuateJUG activities.

As a matter of fact the tour wasn't a tour in first place, we created it as a coincidence of multiple IT conferences where GuateJUG was invited where we promoted our yearly conference, however at this year we formalized the concept opening a "Call for JUG" in our website and social networks with a clear mission and vision:

>Mision: Help universities, high schools and IT development centers with Java-centered conferences in order to update IT knowledge in the not-so developed regions of Guatemala

>Vision: Travel through Guatemala and have fun while promoting our conference and Java

Why is this important?

Guatemala is one of the Central American countries with less college graduates, only 10% of the population could access to college education and only 10% of that population (hence 1%) actually gets a degree, with the addition that most of the people choose a non-STEM degree.

Anyways as most of you probably know, you actually don't need a degree to be a rockstar in Software Development, and for this many people in the country is gaining interest in Computer Science in order to get better job opportunities and GuateJUG is glad to be a part of that change.

The tour

To finance the tour expenses we created an inverted call for papers, any group, association, university, high school could choose between a bunch of speakers and a fixed set of talks, being:

GuateJUG put the time plus experience and they put the venue and accomodation. Contrary what we initially expected (and sadly with most success than our yearly conference), GuateJUG tour was a hit. We successfully participated in many talks in the following cities:

Some random photos from the trips

With new dates in the following cities:
* Huehuetenango, Huehuetenango (sponsored by Universidad da Vinci)
* Chiquimula, Chiquimula (sponsored by Universidad de San Carlos)

So far we've promoted Java with more than 800 assistants between all regions, a huge success for guatemalan parameters.

Lessons that we've learnt

Although GuateJUG was supposed to be a central part to teach Java, as speakers we've learnt more than we expected in the first trip.

Quality comments aside, most of the people that made this tour possible were glad with us, and they wish that more IT communities could have an impact for all country regions.

You can't be sure if an informal chit-chat in a IT conference would become a great opportunity, in our case an informal chit-chat in a Java meeting finished with the first independent technological tour in our country (AFAIK).

For us the Java Day Tour was an opportunity to rediscover our country, make friends in every country region, and have not only IT but life experiences that I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have without a proper excuse to take my backpack, laptop, and share a little bit of knowledge that I've had the opportunity to acquire.

For the students, Java Day Tour was an opportunity to ask any question about Software Engineering, Computer Science, Women in STEM, Android, Life outside their regions, IT careers, and or course Java, and I'm glad for being part of that.

Long live to Java!

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