UCT Information Systems Expo

Oct 19th, 2015 | by ViaDataWebAdmin |

Every year, the Department of Information Systems at the University of Cape Town holds a Systems Project Expo to showcase their third year and fourth year Systems Development group projects. This varied selection of advanced systems is designed to industry conditions and tackle actual business issues.

ViaData’s Involvement:

The 3rd year shield and top group has been proudly sponsored by ViaData for the last 23 years. ViaData is involved with the UCT Information Systems Expo because it re-establishes our connection with some of the very bright minds being developed at UCT. We also want to recognise the effort put in by the students and we get to see some of the great concepts being prototyped and developed by students.

The Presentation Evening:

Mark Fairweather, CEO of Open Box Software www.openboxsoftware.com gave the keynote address.  He focussed on the achievements of previous graduates of UCT’s IS Program (he being one) and some key guidelines for students, including find your passion, put in your time (remember the 10,000 hours ‘rule’ of Malcolm Gladwell) and go out and make a difference.

Craig Byren, MD at ViaData www.viadata.co.za (also a past IS Department Graduate) presented the 3rd year certificates and awards – saying a few words and focussing on lessons learned from an Interview with President Barrack Obama (by American comedian Mark Maron) – this can be found at: //tinyurl.com/qevgy2f

Here are two extracts from Maron’s interview:

When asked what he believes in, President Obama’s answer was ‘I believe in fact, and I believe in reason’ – a sound basis for decision-making going forward.

When asked how he changes the world – Obama’s (paraphrased) response was “societies (and the world) cannot be turned 90 degrees, the course needs to be changed one degree at a time. So to change the world all I do is to set out every day to make small changes that will leave society (and the world) better than before the change”.

This is exactly in line with ViaData’s mantra ‘Improving Every Day’


Above: ViaData MD Craig Byren with the winning 3rd year team.

Finally, Head of Department, Associate Professor Kevin Johnston, closed the evening with some final words of insight for the students in an ardent speech – focussing on two fundamental thoughts and how these relate to the year that passed at UCT and the choices that face students going forward. He highlighted that we all have the right to know AND the power to choose.

In summary:

The common themes of the evening were: Information is critical to making any decisions (personal, business and political); There is no substitute for hard work; We ALL have the power to make a difference, but we have to choose to make that difference.

During the course of the evening, the students were also given time to share their views on the past year, and their comments reminded everyone how great student life is.




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