This afternoon the Faculty of Science hosted the first ever Executive Business Seminar for Computing Sciences. These seminars bring real executives from the computer industry to talk to students and faculty about their business, the challenges they have faced, and of course the technology they use. The Faculty of Science has been hosting similar seminars for other disciplines, like Chemistry, and they have apparently been quite successful prompting the start of seminars for CS. The seminars are around an hour in length, and include free pizza and pop.
Today’s speaker was Ashif Mawji, founder, president and CEO of Upside Software Inc., a very successful Edmonton-based software firm. They create software tools that help companies manage contracts. Ashif also brought Rob Brown along for the talk, who is the company’s Director of Team Development. The presentation was really quite interesting, and the success that Upside Software has had is quite impressive. Indeed one look at their customer list will give you an indication of how successful they have been!
After the presentation there was time for Q&A which was probably the most beneficial part of the seminar. Upside Software is looking to hire around 40 people in the coming year, so that was the pitch to students. All of their development is done on the .NET platform using C# – technologies which as you probably know are what I use and promote.
At the end of the session I introduced myself to Ashif and Rob, and invited their developers to attend the .NET Wizards upcoming events. It would be great to have their experience and leadership in our user group! I’d say today’s session was worthwhile, so I am planning to attend the next one too when it is announced.