Just back from an amazing 2 days in Paris. The city was the same as I remembered from prior visits and the typical buzzing French atmosphere is unchanged. Maybe one thing which is different, they speak English and a lot of people switch to Franglais when they hear your accent is not Parisian enough (like mine apparently).
The visit was amazing because of the finals of the Imagine Cup I attended and that were being held at the Louvre. This worldwide competition started 10 months ago with more than 200.000 participants in 100 countries working on projects in 9 categories. Each of them with at least a touch of digital life, and some with a lot of IT. Belgium has been participating since the beginning but in the 5 prior editions we did not have entries that made it beyond the overall final.
This year was different as one of our teams, “Drunk Puppy Productions” made it in the top final of games development and was able to land the second price a whopping 15.000$. A top world achievement when you know they were up against Korea (traditionally very strong in digital entertainment) and Brazil (many times the size of Belgium). Even the French Secretary of state of Digital Economy Eric Besson mentioned the Belgian team in his speech during the awards festival and called it an example. So well done guy’s!!! For the people that stayed home I can confirm all students celebrated their success and some of the teams looked like drunken puppies at the end of the evening . No foto’s or video’s of that in my posession.
you can find the DPP blog on: http://drunkpuppy.wordpress.com/
We sincerely hope that these kind of successes will help to start building a new digital economy and employment in completely new directions. Yes there is still technology behind all of this, just as you find it in everything nowadays, but it’s far away from the old-fashioned programming on mainframe I started my IT career with myself. And next to that I hope this will help the image young people have about IT or technology related professions overall. They are not dull; you don’t need to be a nerd to be part of it. Last night during the closing party in a top Parisian disco under one of the many bridges that cross the Seine, the geek level was very low . So don’t do the how nerdy are you test but participate in Imagine Cup in 2009. PS: next year’s finals are in Egypt and registration is OPEN!