Written by Geoff Waddington, COO
Representing RealDecoy, I appeared on a panel at the 2018 Jamaica Computer Society Knowledge Forum, packed with representatives from companies across the industry. Myself and my fellow panelists represented the private and public sector, with a breadth of experience using and applying tech in both business and social contexts. I was joined onstage by Stacey Hines (ICD Group), Trevor Forrest (876 Solutions, Chairman of NICTAC), Hassan Khan (TODAQ), Nadeen Matthews (NCB) and Andre Williams (Jamaica Customs).
The panel, “Charting the way forward for Digital Jamaica,” addressed a full audience. While questions spanned everything from data to artificial intelligence to cryptocurrency, we were asked to dig deeper and answer, what does the future look like, beyond the infrastructure and programs?
While speaking, I emphasized the inevitable shifts in the job market that accompany a digital society, emphasizing two aspects: training students and, just as crucially, retaining them after.
Educating a workforce for the future means equipping students with the ability to lean independently and think beyond prescriptive learning. As computers are rapidly able to manipulate information and, for all intents and purposes, ‘learn’, the skills the workforce will demand are adaptability, emotional intelligence, leadership and an ability to grasp the long-term implications of short-term priorities.
Something we’ve observed time and time again as a company, is that the employees we train and grow in Jamaica then see better opportunities overseas (often within our Canadian office.) This isn’t driven purely by financial motivations, but also work culture, job autonomy or futures for their own families. This is not within the realm of an individual company to tackle, but business and government together. To continue transforming Jamaica, we need to ensure the engineers of its future are here to help do it.