Pacific people in the technology sector
Find out about opportunities for Pacific people to get involved in the technology sector and about Pacific people who are already making technology waves.
Digital Moana forum 2018
Held in May 2018, this forum showcased Pacific people who are succeeding and navigating the different parts of the technology sector. It gave participants insights into the new and existing opportunities and technologies in which Pacific people can participate.
Forum participants heard from Pacific leaders and entrepreneurs about:
- programming, web development, gaming, and creative technology
- their career pathways into tech careers
- successes of our Pasifika people in the tech industry.
Pathways to technology careers
Several opportunities arose out of Digital Moana allowing Pacific people to be part of the tech story and success:
- Apply for a Tupu Tek internship(external link). ‘Tupu’ is a Polynesian word meaning ‘grow’ and ‘tek’ is a Melanesian pidgin term referring to technology. The name points to our joint aspiration of growing the tech sector through supporting more Pacific people to gain useful work experience and skills development within the tech sector.
- We also collaborate with Dev Academy to provide scholarships and opportunities for Pacific entrepreneurs to test their ideas. You can register your interest in participating in future hackthon events on the Dev Academy website(external link).
Video showcase of Pacific people in the tech industry
Check out how some of our Pasifika people are making waves big and small in the tech industry and what influenced their decision to get into tech.
Meet Tyrone from No Six
Hi, my name is Tyrone Tangata-Makiri and I am one of four co-founders of No Six.
No Six is an ecosystem which enables young digital storytellers. How we came out with this business is that a few of us came together and figured that we have a big love for film, big love for vlogging, big love for videos, online space and figured ‘hey why not build and use our skill sets to help communities, organisations tell their stories while also enabling other young people by providing access to tell their own narrative as well.’
And as you can see, with the films that are being produced and a lot of stuff that is going on in this space that there is a very big want and a desire to see our stories being represented and we want to play a part in that. And I believe the tech space in general is going to have a major impact in the way that we obviously work as human beings and I don’t think any industry is going to be immune to the disruption that’s going to happen. And for that reason I feel that there’s going to be career opportunities in that as well.
We truly believe that if it’s your passion and it’s something that you’re very much wanting to do in your life; follow that. And if it’s in tech, that’s where you should go, so go for it. It’s something in the future and it’s something that we all should be thinking about. And if you want a career in it then there are definitely opportunities to make stuff happen.
Koni from Manaui Media Limited
Hey everybody. I’m Koni. I’m a founder of Manaui Media Limited. We use technology to create experiences that help to teach and preserve our Pacific way of life. In other words, technology makes it easier and fun for us to learn about our culture and to share it with our families.
Our first project is a digital publication called Manaui: The People of Oceania, where we’re using online platforms – our website plus social media – to share cultural knowledge and inspirational stories with each other.
A lot of work has gone into this project, and we’re lucky to have an amazing team that is skilled in web development, online marketing and data analysis. But the heart of this publication is our people – our writers and our readers.
Wrydah’s story about taking care of a mother with dementia really moved us, as did Linda’s experiences with her beautiful, autistic son Caleb. These stories have sparked important conversations on social media and in real life. They help us to make sense of some of our fears and give us hope that everything is going to be okay.
This is one reason I love what we do. Wrydah lives in California. Linda is in Australia. Without technology, it wouldn’t be as easy for our people all over the world to connect with each other in such a meaningful way.
Manaui Media Limited is developing other ambitious projects in technology. One that we’re most excited about is a digital tool that will help to preserve the languages of Oceania. Can you imagine what kind of technical skill we’ll need to build that bit of software?
Technology is limited only by your imagination. If you arm yourself with tech skills, you can pretty much choose a career in any field you like… and maybe even work on projects that protect and promote your own people.
Massey from SilverStripe
Talofa lava. My name is Massey Isaako. I’m a junior web developer at SilverStripe.
I love what I do because of the fact that I work with very knowledgeable people especially people that are willing to share the knowledge that they have gained over the years. Another reason why is because I am constantly learning from personal projects as well as client projects. As well as that, getting real experience as a fulltime employee in the industry rather than just being a temporary employee, for example as an intern over 3 months over summer.
So I would encourage a career in tech mainly because there is something for everyone. For example, for me, I didn’t have to become a web developer. I could’ve chosen a different career path in terms of tech. So I could become an agile project manager or a designer or something like that. But there is basically something for everyone and maybe you’ll find your own little niche inside the tech industry. And another one is the opportunities for growth. There is a lot of learning in the tech industry so there isn’t really a time early on in your career where you’ll experience, I guess, a plateau in the knowledge that you have so there is always something to learn, always room to grow.
And the technology is always evolving so you’ll always be encouraged to keep on top of new technology even existing ones that you’re currently using. And it’s awesome because of the fact that there are awesome opportunities out there, there are a lot of opportunities out there to get a career in IT so I guess all you really need is the ability to learn a lot, the keenness to learn as well as your ability to take in criticism for whatever work you’ve produced.