Tech Ed 2011: Australian IT industry should unleash its inner geek

At its annual user conference on the Gold Coast, the company enlisted the help of innovative "geeks" to address delegates

Microsoft has kicked off its annual Tech Ed user conference on the Gold Coast with a call to IT professionals to 'unleash their inner geek' in order to accelerate the pace of innovation in the industry.

In the keynote speech at Tech Ed 2011, speaker and host of the ABC program, Sleek Geeks, Adam Spencer, told delegates that everything they work toward made a difference to the industry’s future.

The keynote also featured Australian film director, Jarod Green, who created the animated film based on a beached kiwi whale, Beached Az. According to Green, the internet was driven by the underlying “human love of curiosity”.

“The reason it worked is that the internet has this underlying truth to it that it is curiosity’s playground,” he said. “I think what moves it and what has made the Net, is this underlying human love of curiosity, what motivates us to reach out is to find out what is on the other side ... these are the curious questions that engage us, motivate us to craft the Web.

“Please embrace the curious, always be asking I wonder what, I wonder if, I wonder what’s next... listen to that, embrace it and take it on board, there’s always a different way to do what you’re doing today.”

The sentiment was echoed by Jane Cockburn, senior product manager at Cochlear Australia, who noted it was this curiosity to invent and develop new ideas that had helped the organisation become a world leader in advanced hearing loss solutions.

“Invention is creating something new, creating something different and creating something better, it’s all those ideas you have everyday and the purpose is the result or the meaning that invention actually delivers,” she said.

“The key to my story is people like you, people that have ideas and follow them through and create purpose.”

Invention and new ideas were the basis of what Cochlear did every day, Cockburn said, with staff focused on the future and on improving the company's technology, making it easier for patients to use.

“I ask you today, keep thinking of those ideas, embrace the purpose that it brings to the family, friends and society around you.”

Chloe Herrick travelled to Tech Ed 2011 as a guest of Microsoft Australia

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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