Posted by Posted by Erica Hanson, Senior Program Manager, Google Developer Student Clubs
Tamta Kapanadze wishes that she had learned sooner about careers in technology. By the time that the Georgian citizen learned about them, she was already a university student.
As Kapanadze continued her studies and her interest in technology grew, she wanted to spread the word about the growing field to high-school students in Georgia, a country where the industry is still small.
To do this, Kapanadze called in the support of Google Developer Student Clubs (GDSCs), community groups for college and university students interested in Google's developer technology. After Kapanadze graduated from university, she continued her work by organizing a chapter of Google Developer Groups (GDGs) for Kutaisi.
Google Developer Groups are the largest community network of professional developers in the world. The program consists of local chapters that provide inclusive environments open to everybody interested in tech. The chapters let members learn new skills, and meet other developers with similar interests through online and in-person events.
However, even after all that, Kapanadze still wanted to do more. She partnered with Mariam, GDSC Georgia American University Lead; Iliko, GDSC Georgia American University core team member; Giorgi, GDSC Tbilisi State University Lead; and Bakar, GDSC San Diego State University Lead. Together, they planned Tech Camp, a virtual technological learning experience that teaches high schoolers about tech fields and how to start careers in web development, game development, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more.
While it's difficult enough to plan and execute a new event, Kapanadze and her partners didn't let the additional challenges of the last year stop their plans to launch Tech Camp. They wanted to publicize the event by mid-January, so they made a to-do list and set deadlines for themselves. After a few weeks of intense planning, they:
- Chose the session topics
- Started looking for speakers
- Chose dates and created a timetable for the camp
- Created an application form
- And created logos and other designs
Kapanadze and her partners accepted applications for Tech Camp from Jan. 20 to Feb. 10 and announced their speakers to the public to keep the buzz about the event going. They originally hoped to receive 30 applications, but instead received 500. They decided to let a maximum of 300 students attend the speaker sessions and 500 students attend the coding sessions, where they would teach them about algorithms and the basics of C++.
Finally, the first day of Tech Camp arrived on Feb. 15. They began each session with fun icebreakers to help everybody feel comfortable, including themselves. Here's a timeline of what each day covered:
- Day 1:
- Digital professions
- Hardware and software
- Day 2:
- Mobile development
- Web development
- Day 3:
- Game development
- Data engineering
- Day 4:
- UI/UX design
- Embedded systems
- Day 5:
- Test automation
- Day 6:
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Career development
- Day 7:
- Importance of technology
- Freelance jobs
- Award ceremony
Everybody defines success differently, but for Kapanadze it meant impacting at least one person. By this measure, Tech Camp succeeded because many of those who attended decided to pursue careers in tech. As for Kapanadze, she can’t wait to see what the future holds for Georgia's high schoolers and the country's growing tech industry.
To watch recordings from Tech Camp, please visit the playlist on YouTube.
For more information, find a Google Developers community group near you.