Shift News

SHIFT assists local tech industry in sourcing new talent

Thursday April 5, 2018

On March 7, the 2017 SHIFT cohort showcased their achievements from their 400 hour Industry Experience. Their mentors were also invited to share their company's experience with a large audience of invited industry, academic and interested guests.  The SHIFT project presentations shared a common theme... that by combining their previous study and industry experience, along with the knowledge and skills gained via SHIFT, the cohort were easily able to move into industry, working on projects that continued to expand their professional skills and importantly, added value to their host organisation.

Here are some comments from the SHIFT Industry mentors...

Dr Selwyn McCracken, Information to Insight Team Leader for Stantec Global Ltd (NZ) in Dunedin , had this to say about 2017  SHIFTer Isaac Burwell,  who was brought on board to assist with improving data visualisation techniques for drone surveillance of coastal erosion sites,  and also other projects such as high-tech road traffic flow monitoring: 

"Isaac has been a fantastic addition to our team, and a very reliable resource who is easily able to adapt to the rapidly changing commercial requirements which drive daily tasks.  SHIFT offers a nice viable pathway to attract smart talent in Dunedin, and this is important when there is a global appetite for developers of all stripes.  Isaac is on the way to becoming a permanent addition to our staff."

Gary Wilkins - Developer Lead at Dunedin software firm The Tarn Group  commented that SHIFT intern Jono Manning was very easy to host, "self-sufficient and self-directed, was able to research solutions himself ... and took the project in directions not thought of by The Tarn Group team". 

Mark Oliver - Manager - IT Development at MTF Headquarters, has hosted SHIFT intern Aman Jamwal, who has been a part of  the research, concept and visual design of the new internal staff website at MTF Headquarters.  

"It has been a pleasure hosting Aman.  He has helped MTF create a more engaging staff environment, which required a huge level of interaction with staff, and has had very positive results.  He has also undersold his contribution, and has completed many other roles including revising  document management systems, and updating many documents. It has been a very positive experience for the team at MTF." 

Mark Teviotdale - Partner and Consultant at AbacusBio has enjoyed having Alister Butterfield on the IT team.  "Alister fitted in perfectly to the company culture, and initially worked very closely with the administration team to improve our staff tracking software." The second portion of Alister's placement involved working with the IT team plus another intern, on AniCloud, an integrated genetic database and analysis system that allows breeders, farmers, processors, and researchers to collaborate and develop unique breeding programmes for business needs – using world-leading analytical tools for DNA and phenotypic data.  

"Alister has contributed to the development team in daily stand-ups, working in an agile environment, and has been part of both the front- and back-end development of the product. " 

When asked whether he would host another SHIFT intern in the future, Mark responded "Having a SIGNAL intern is a no-brainer, why wouldn't you grab a SHIFT person?!"

To discuss how a SHIFT Intern could assist projects within your organisation, please contact SIGNAL at

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