Digital Night - it’s the name of the first «tech» event of 2017 in Mauritius.

This event aims to bring forth two days of festive moment all while accentuating on career prospects in the tech industry and allowing the public to discover various technologies. OTAM, MITIA and CCIFM partnered with various other organizations from the local tech industry to organize the event.

More details can be found on the event’s dedicated page at digitalnightmauritius.com which was designed by one of the partners & local startup Nurabytes.

The Linux User Group of Mauritius (LUGM) received an invitation for the promotion of Free Software & Open Source (FOSS) during the event.

Please note that opinions expressed here are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of the Linux User Group or my employer.

I met Nirvan as I reached CyberTower 1 at Ebene Cybercity. He already went around and told me that at the ground level the job fair was happening while on the upper floor presentations were being done. When I arrived there it was nearly six o’clock and presentations were over. Most people were downstairs engaging in talks while some curious fellows were at the recruitment booths.

Nirvan and I walked around looking at the booths and we met some usual suspects.

The event started at 11h00 and was scheduled to last till midnight of the same day. The official opening ceremony happened at 19h00.

Anibal Martinez from Careerhub.mu welcomed guests and he explained the objectives of the event; i.e to promote career opportunities in the universe of tech & digital. He explained on the choice of words for the event; why not putting ICT in the name, as that would have excluded some people. He explained that the event was intended to be family oriented with music, gaming corner and all.

Charles Cartier, president of OTAM, mentioned that calling the 700 companies & 23K employees in ICT/BPO as being just tech industry would be wrong. Technology is not just one industry but it is what drives the rest of industries. Therefore, we’re looking here at more than just 700 companies & 23K employees.

The Chief Technology Officer of the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Rajnish Hawabhay, added that among the 700 companies in ICT/BPO, 600 are start-ups. He mentioned about government programmes that are being put up to address issues of skills mis-match and that training of a thousand people in ICT was already announced in the budget 2016/17. The government is also partnering with companies like IBM and Oracle to bring what is necessary in the up-skilling and ensure that more people land in high-tech jobs. I will write on those projects by the ministry once I get more information.

There was a dance show right after the ceremony. I posted a short video on Instagram.

Several booths were dedicated to recruitment, company/product information and candidates could submit their CV. One company provided electronic application at the booth itself. Shelly saw the banner of a “certified ethical hacker course” by a training institution and was like “why so much emphasis on that”?

Today, Ajay and I will be back there as we have a presentation slot at 13h00. The idea is to encourage youngsters in getting familiar with Open Source Software and hopefully build a career around it.


Critics

As I talked to several people it was obvious that the event sound misleading. It’s new. There should have been the buzz since many more days to garner the attention. It could be with the name, though the initial thought was not bad; i.e to have a tech event that would be more than just a job fair.

There was very little information about Digital Night days before the event and no information at all weeks ago. I could not find relevant information on the organizers’ websites. The latest news item on OTAM’s website is 29 March 2016 while the latest event dates 19 November 2013.

Screenshot taken from otam.mu on 21 January 2017

MITIA.mu has a similar situation with news section being under construction while it promises to bring in new features and regular updates.

Screenshot taken on 21 January 2017

CCIFM.mu has one mention of the event lower down the homepage and the article says the following about the event.

  • promouvoir les activités et technologies du secteur de manière ludique, interactive et pratique en mettant l’accent sur l’accessibilité.
  • sensibiliser le public sur les métiers divers et passionnants du numérique et les opportunités de carrière afin de susciter des vocations.

There was an ad-campaign running on Google but I guess it only started just a few days before the event and didn’t gain traction.

There is an article in lexpress.mu that mentions:

Le public visé sont les élèves, les détenteurs de la HSC, les étudiants ou chercheurs d’emploi, les parents, les entreprises des secteurs utilisatrices des TIC. Cette manifestation ambitionne de réunir les acteurs l’écosystème que sont les entreprises proposant des métiers d’avenir, les startups, les organismes de formations.
Comme le souligne Denis Lacour (président de la CCIFM) « La Digital Night Mauritius 2017 est une formidable opportunité pour découvrir les métiers dans le numérique, pour permettre aux jeunes générations et à leurs parents d’en comprendre les transformations afin d’effectuer des choix de carrière riche en opportunités et challenge vers l’international basé à Maurice ».

Even though the organizers tried to market the event as an innovative “job fair”, it didn’t help the confused visitors about what to expect when they reach the ground floor of Cyber Tower 1.

  • There were less than a dozen booths and not all were dedicated to recruitment.
  • There were no interactive questions & answers, selection of candidates or instant technical tests.
  • There was no information about the presentations schedule.
  • I did not find any list of technical presentations (which would interest professionals of the ICT field).
  • While there was at least one training institution, there was no provision for hosting technical exams for vendor certifications such as VMware, Microsoft, Linux Professional Institute, SUSE, IBM etc, during the two-day event.