National BDPA Hosts South Regional Technology Conference

NASHVILLE, TN — BDPA Chapter representatives from Atlanta, GA, Huntsville, AL, Memphis TN, and Middle Tennessee gathered at the David Lipscomb University’s Swang Business Center for the annual BDPA South Regional Conference held June 22nd and 23rd, 2018.

This year the event was hosted by National BDPA’s Middle Tennessee Chapter. The conference was informative and worthwhile. The primary goal of the conference was to bring together chapters in BDPA’s South Region to engage in learning and networking to increase regional collaboration with Industry and to achieve stronger camaraderie with BDPA in local communities and the workplace.

High School Computer Competition | #HSCC
Students from the BDPA Atlanta and BDPA Middle Tennessee chapters competed in this category. Each team had only three (3) hours to solve a finance problem and build a web-based application. Afterwards, each team presented their project to a team of judges. The winners were the BDPA Atlanta team who were presented with a gold medal.

Wilfred Powell, senior at Daniel McLaughlin Therrell High School
Christopher Ballenger, senior at Dekalb Early College Academy
Saleem Saafir, sophomore at Georgia Connections Academy Charter School
Sarah Gichuhi, soon-to-be freshman at Georgia Institute of Technology

Youth Technology Camp | #YTC
Students in attendance got a wonderfully opportunity to participate in two (2) events – Raspberry Pi and mobile app simulation “What if there is an App for That?”. For Raspberry Pi students created a game and for the mobile app simulation they brainstormed and created blueprints for apps.

South Regional winners for 2018 were:

• 1st Place – Elyse Seats, grade 6, who proposed a social media app for hair enthusiasts. It is called “Hair it Out”. You can take a picture of your face and try different hair styles. Also it will connect you to different salons to achieve desire look.
• 2nd Place – Sunny Singha, grade 7, who proposed a whistle-blowing app
for children to alert their parents of their siblings’ wrongdoing.
• Special recognition went to a six-year who proposed an app called Jungle
Chase – a temple-run game where the main character escapes a hungry bear.

2018 BDPA South Regional Officers

Professional Development Workshop
Adults in attendance networked and participated in technical and professional development workshops.

Kareem DaSilva, BDPA Memphis President, conducted the technical workshop. He presented on the topic “Build Innovative Apps with React Native”. He shared with the audience how to use React Native to build iOS and Android applications natively using JavaScript and React

Raphael Villas, 2013 alumni of Presidential Innovation Fellows Program, who conducted the professional development workshop – “Highlights of IT Careers”. He shared his experience working with the federal government, his career as a web generalist, a software developer working with non-profits, and Fortune 500 companies such as Groupon and VeggieTales. He stressed the importance of having interpersonal skills as well as technical skills to better suit the needs of one’s user base. Using his career path as an example, he shared how diverse the opportunities of the technology industry are, and how rewarding the public sector can be.

PepperSpecial Guest – “Pepper” The Humanoid Robot
Thanks to corporate sponsor, Deloitte LLP, everyone in attendance got an opportunity to meet The Humanoid Robot, Pepper. The creators of Pepper shared with everyone the ins and outs of what it took to build and program Pepper. Then we watched with excitement how the developers used code to have Pepper speak and dance.

The conference concluded with an award ceremony for the students who competed. Special acknowledgement went to all volunteers from BDPA Members, Deloitte LLP employees and to sponsors David Lipscomb University’s Swang Business Center for making the BDPA South Regional Conference a great success. We look forward to seeing everyone during the upcoming 40th annual National BDPA Technology Conference scheduled from August 9th to August 11th in New Orleans, LA.

submitted by Jada Evonne Thomas, BDPA Memphis
Source and photos: Host Chapter, BDPA Middle Tennessee

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