Canterbury Tech Summit overview

A blog post from Andrew Cushen, Deputy Chief Executive of InternetNZ

19 September 2017

Jordan and I attended the Canterbury Tech Summit last week, and wow…I loved every minute of it. What a truly fantastic event, and one that I feel glad that we at InternetNZ were able to be part of and do our small part to make happen through sponsorship.

You can see more about the programme here; what really stood out for me was:

  1. Seeing 700 highly engaged, energetic people that were keen to get together and talk about tech, some new ideas and some great innovations. I was amazed by how many people were there. I heard from a number of different people that the Canterbury Tech scene has really come leaps and bounds over the last few years; gotten larger, more coordinated, more confident. There’s a fantastic story in Christchurch about doing great tech in a wonderful part of New Zealand and the world, and about celebrating that. Like I said above: it was a privilege to be part of it.

  2. Attending an entertaining and informative session on compromise disclosure, led by Daniel Grzelak from Atlassian. My key take away: own up to losing data quickly, and earn back the trust and confidence from your contacts by talking clearly about how you lost it, and what you will do to ensure you don’t lose it again. I found this particularly useful given the work that we’ve done at InternetNZ to improve  information disclosure practices - you can see more about that here.

  3. Simon Holbook talked about how every organisation can stand to benefit from using more design-led thinking, and focusing on how customers can be delighted by the products and services we deploy. I really appreciated how applicably Simon framed design processes for any number of different scenarios, and challenged the audience not to guess what customers want but simply to go out and ask them honestly, and to understand how to meet what they say courageously.

  4. Hearing from Mel Rowsell, previously of Vend and other Internet-enabled businesses, talk about how to take deliberate steps to build a great culture in tech workplaces. She encouraged people to understand and appreciate the different viewpoints and contributions that people can make, and to make culture a really clear and explicit understanding between everyone in an organisation - what it means for how we work together, how it benefits us and what we do to protect and evolve that culture over time.

The Canterbury Tech Summit is now an annual event and gathering, and I really encourage those of you that can make it to go along in the future. There’s a great, energetic group of people in Christchurch seeking to make an ever better environment to build, innovate and grow tech ideas. Thanks for having us, Christchurch.