Infotech is described as being the major annual Information and Communication Technology (ICT) event organised in Mauritius by the National Computer Board. I took this description from the website of the National Computer Board itself. It is further said that the aim of the Infotech event is to create awareness on emerging technologies and provide business opportunities in the ICT sector. Really?
Nostalgia. I had some fun time for four days during Infotech 2013. It started rough as Day 1 marked some « improper communication & planning of event » and we tried to catch up during the remaining three days.
Last year, when I contacted the National Computer Board for the possibility to provide the Linux User Group of Mauritius (LUGM) a presentation slot and showcase Linux & FOSS during the event, I was offered a "discount" for LUGM to have a stand. LUGM is an association that comprises of volunteers advocating free software and open standards. I found it hard to digest that a government agency such as the National Computer Board would take money from an association :) Consequently, the Linux User Group of Mauritius did not participate in Infotech 2014.
This year, for Infotech 2015, the National Computer Board did approach LUGM to see if we'd like to participate. On 10 September 2015, we held a Google Hangout meeting to discuss what to present for Infotech 2015. We were kind of enthusiastic and Logan proposed to demo small robots powered by the Raspberry Pi. I volunteered to take two days leave from work and help on the 1st and 2nd of October (being week days).
A few days ago I visited www.infotech.mu and I could not but facepalm (/_-) ...
The presentation titles are:
- Computing Careers at Aberystwyth University
- A fresh approach to recruitment
- Youth Employment Programme, Back to work & dual training programme
- Career readiness to work for Cloud Computing organisation
- Work from home - reinventing the workplace
- ICT Courses at SITEC, MITD
- Career development stairway - ICT/BPO
- IT Education Level & Career Path
For the sake of readability, I have removed the stupid capitalization that is used on the webpage of infotech.mu. I wonder when government officials will stop their "copy & paste" habit, especially when the work is to be published on the web. As a kind reminder, in 2014 someone at the Tourism Authority didn't properly check which spreadsheet to publish on the web and the person ended leaking personal data of over 9,000 people.
The presentation titles show nothing of a "major ICT event". It rather sums up activities of a career guidance event and job fair.
As it has been traditionally happening since years now, Infotech 2015 would also be a marketplace where most Computer Stores would sell their products at the "special Infotech price".
Did the National Computer Board make an effort to bring in quality partners & showcase "technology" to Mauritians? Is the Rs 300 pendrive a hot technology that our tongue drops to the floor? Maybe the "buy laptop and get wireless mouse free" would make us jump in excitement? Aww. Orange? How can we forget Orange (if they'll be there) who will certainly demo high-speed internet that will take ages to load the Facebook app on the phone.
At the end, I am not taking two days leave from work to volunteer in the activities. I will simply be around on Saturday, 3 October 2015, looking for a cheap router :) Maybe I will find one in this « major » annual ICT event of the National Computer Board.
Searching "infotech 2015" in Google gives the following results:
Oh, NCB, you make us proud by letting the world know the quality of web development in Mauritius (/_-)