Skills & Education

Future Rewired connects local entrepreneurs

As Future Rewired returned for 2021, we enjoyed a day of packed activities and expert speakers!

Future Rewired 2021 has been another successful year building on from 2020 and 2019's events. The annual technology festival, sponsored by Prosperity 24/7 offered a day packed with a variety of talks and workshops covering a range of subjects, with the aim of bringing together like-minded individuals working in the Digital Sector. 

In light of the recent talks about the skills gap, discussed in the Future Digital Skills Panel during National Coding Week, the importance of digitally upskilling your business has never been greater. Whether you're building platforms, starting a new business or interviewing for big tech companies, an underlying thread throughout these journeys is the need for up to date digital skills. Future Rewired offered great opportunities to connect entrepreneurs and those in the digital and creative sectors to share their knowledge and forge new connections in the scheduled seminars and activities.

The day was launched with encouraging words from Digital Greenhouse director, Lucy Kirby as she welcomed speakers and attendees alike and introduced the ice breaker networking challenge. Attendees taking part in the interactive session used pens and paper to meet with those they hadn't met yet with a Pictionary-style format to visually describe what they do for a living. 

Soon after the ice-breaker activities the mass of Future Rewired merch clad attendees moved to their respective rooms to hear the first speakers of the day, enjoying another networking session at lunch, attendees took turns playing on a VR set. The afternoons packed schedule of speakers and workshops concluded in an innovation competition run by Digital Greenhouse team members, Ben Wratten and Jenny De la Mare.

Lucy Kirby, Director of the Digital Greenhouse commented, "Once again, we have been blown away by the range of Guernsey speakers showcasing innovation across a wide range of digital and creative applications. Future Rewired is a perfect example of this community coming together to share their knowledge and encourage others to be a part of the digital future of the island."

Read more about our speaker's sessions below.

Dave Wratten - Web App Development using Azure and Devops

Dave Wratten from Resolution IT, discussed Web App Development using Azure and DevOps. Guiding attendees on how to develop web apps effectively, with a comprehensive list of pro's and pitfalls - Dave rounded off his talk with a focused discussion on how to develop in the most cost-effective way.

Helen Walton - 2021 Census Records, Born-Digital from Big Data

Helen Walton, Head of data analysis for the States of Guernsey discussed the collection of Guernsey's Census Records, and how this data affects how decisions are made and strategically saves the island money. In 1971 the first computer (ever on the island) was brought to Guernsey for the first Bailiwick census, collected and collated by the bailiwick itself. Before then the UK had always handled the census of the island, dating all the way back to 1821. Helen then discussed big data within the states next, and how collecting data from each individual citizen as well as collating from the different sectors helps provide population forecasts and tax evaluation.

Every 100 years the census data that has been stored away (traditionally a box full of handwritten paper forms and sealed with a wax stamp) will be opened and evaluated to access changes in society and to affirm past forecasts made. Within this conversation is how to then preserve the census data that will be opened in the next 100 years and what sort of format these new findings should be stored in.

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Don Lowe - Metaphor in Systems

Don Lowe from Submarine Guernsey discussed what information is and the idea of the incurring data in every aspect of our known universe in his session, 'Metaphor in Systems'

'We are information gatherers' much like the hunter gatherers of previous ages Don proposed, before discussing idea incarnates, the concept of how most things that we see today (for example motorbikes, cars and washing machines) arent found anywhere in our natural surroundings. How all the intricate workings and parts were born of the human mind, and how we perceive all this information. 

Brent Alexander - The Disruption Gaming Engines Are Creating In Industries Other Than Gaming

2D and 3D Designer Brent Alexander founder of Craft, began his talk with an overview of the history of game design and the seven pillars that these systems are built on. Next, we took a dive into the architectural benefits of working in VR and AR, something Brent is working on currently. The models, that can be walked through in VR, are as close to the finished product as possible, with sounds recorded from the actual plot of land and the actual lighting built into the model.

Viewers can easily mark areas they want to change and use an inbuilt system to preview material changes such as wallpapers and flooring. Working to a spec given to them by the architects, Craft can cut down decision making time with clients from months to weeks! This sort of system is also used to train emergency services and classrooms, and to create adverts and television visuals.  

Trevor Nicholls - EaseeDo Ltd

In Trevor Nicholls' talk, he presented his application EaseeDo Ltd, along with the journey while developing it. Trevor works on EaseeDo in his spare time, created from his personal experience face the need he had to support his children's organisational skills to help calm their emotions, building time management skills to minimalise stress. 

His application looks to train your executive function to better build the fundamentals to a better self. Through live shared calendar updates that have separate interfaces for children and parents, a day is segmented into timelines and routines which makes it much less stressful by being organised and training these core life skills.

Damien Guard - Interviewing at Big Tech

Damien Guard from Intracia discussed 'Interviewing at Big Tech' providing some different interviewing techniques and insight into the questions you may face and the programming exercises that big tech companies may give you. 'Some companies will hire you as a fit for the company culture rather than a specific role, then assign you a role once you've spent a few months working with different teams on different projects.'

Damien then shared some tips on remote interviews and the do's and dont's of conveying a good impression on your interviewers under pressure. 'You've got an hour, they have to make a decision and if your interviewer feels they don't know you their decision will default to no-hire.'

Tom Langford - How To Build Your Brand & Shout About It

Tom Langford from the Potting Shed discussed the journey of a brand from the beginning, the tools they can use such as social media (the best free tool to grow your audience that is well-optimised for the channel islands) and using your website as an important platform to capture peoples attention instead of flooding users with information. "You reach more people with less money with social media, clients can quickly and easily generate content"

Tom also showcased some examples for physical brand copies, some business card designs and graphics used for traditional press, an important and sometimes forgotten channel of communication that when optimised correctly, you can use to help spread the word of your brand - with some tips and tricks that he has learnt over the years.

Jenny De La Mare and Ben Wratten - Innovation Challenge

The Digital Greenhouse team concluded the day with an innovation challenge, where attendees were invited to illustrate solutions to the problem statement "How can technology create a positive impact to Guernsey's traffic problem?" Trophies were handed out after a group voting session for the most innovative solution, most practical, most humourous and best drawing. 

Read more about National Coding Week 2021 here

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