Microsoft BizSpark Camp 2012, Pakistan, in action..

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Just to give you a quick overview that in 2nd week of April 2012 Microsoft Pakistan will be launching it’s BizSpark Camp on Windows Phone Game & Application development in Karachi. To support and help young start-up companies of Pakistan, BizSpark Network Partners including P@SHA, Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITeS; The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), Karachi Section and IEEE, Karachi Section are also onboard.

After the launch of Camps, start-ups will be given a week’s time to submit their product ideas and shortlisted companies will be provided Technical & Business trainings.

Mentorship, Market Visibility & Showcasing event(s) will occur as per the practices of previous years.

For more details on BizSpark please visit: www.microsoft.com/bizspark or contact Microsoft Innovation Center Pakistan.

Start-ups!; Hurry Up!!

My talk at 1st National Conference of Ubiquitous Computing at Karachi Pakistan

A few days back I was invited to speak at the First National Conference on Ubiquitous Computing by Ms. Faryal from Newport Institute of Communications and Economics, Karachi.Leading speakers from Government, Industry & Academia including Mr. M. Sualeh Farooqui Secretary, IT Department, Govt. of Sindh; Mr. Rehan AllahwalaCEO, Super Technologies ; Prof. Dr. S. M. Aqil BurneyProf., Dept of CS, UoK and others presented in this event.

My take on the subject matter was to align the concept of mobility with ubiquitous computing where to me the real time practical implementation of this domain lies in our pockets in the form of Phones & Tablets.

I tried presenting some cool infographics which stated that the use and utilization of smartphones has almost surpassed the PC market and its around a 15 billion dollar industry led by Games and other apps.

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Microsoft obviously is a key player in the game where it completes the cycle by having a single development environment enabling developers to program for Windows Phone, Windows 8 (metro style apps), Kinect for PC/XBox and obviously the Cloud Computing Platform, Windows Azure.

We are already in the era where every service and logic will reside centrally on cloud and we would be utilizing those on various interfaces through heterogeneous devices.

I would like to thank the management and team of Newport Institute for taking step forward and providing such as great learning platform and I hope this continues!

BizSpark Camps on Windows Phone Application Development, comes to Pakistan…

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Really excited to share that this year Microsoft will be having BizSpark Camps on Windows Phone Application Development in Pakistan. The first roll-out of the camps will take place at Karachi in April 2012 timeframe where this year the focus will be on Game development & App development utilizing sensors and other great device capabilities.

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So if you are a start-up and willing to create a strong app on Windows Phone then, get yourself enrolled on www.microsoft.com/bizspark and reach Anas Kidwai (anas_kidwai@hotmail.com) at Microsoft Innovation Center.

The start-ups will be invited to the launch event where they will be given the chance to interact with industry gurus and then interested start-ups will submit their idea documents. Top 10 – 15 shortlisted start-ups will be get access to the training program and will be facilitated through the product development process later followed by market visibility through Microsoft & other BizSpark Partners.

Microsoft Pakistan launches Catalyst program for Entrepreneurs

Innovation and entrepreneurship is the backbone of the IT software industry. Microsoft believes that harnessing the power of ICT to support innovation helps people think differently and solve problems in ways that were never imagined before. Following the same lines Microsoft Pakistan in partnership with Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA) & The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) has started MIC Catalyst program in Pakistan to foster innovation by helping students & young entrepreneurs.

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MIC Catalyst is a new and unique program designed to promote innovation in Pakistan ICT industry. The main idea behind this program is to facilitate transformation of high-potential students into successful businesses.

The identified high-potential student teams will receive technical and business trainings, mentoring, market visibility, software access & support.
The key objectives of this initiative are:

  • Create an empowerment program for high-potential students by providing them with:
  • Customized business and technical trainings
  • Business mentoring support through 1 on 1 sessions with renowned ICT industry entrepreneurs
  • Access to latest design, development and production tools
  • A platform for increased market visibility mainly through BizSpark
  • Promote entrepreneurship amongst young Pakistani talented minds through success stories coming out of this program
  • Accelerate the growth of startup software companies in order to enhance the local software economy

A Steering Committee, comprising of officials from Microsoft, P@SHA and TIE is responsible for the overall management of the Student to Startup transformation Program. The Steering Committee will also be responsible to review timelines, deliverables and milestones of the program and present the high level overview of the program progress to the higher-ups of the stakeholder organizations.

A panel of judges, comprising of Business and Technical experts will also be formulated for the evaluation of collected proposals. This evaluation will be performed from technical as well as business perspectives.

Similarly, for the mentoring phases of the program, students will be facilitated with ongoing guidance on their business plans and product developments for which they will need engagement of dedicated mentors. Just like the panel of judges, there will be two panels of mentors formulated to provide business mentoring as well as technical consultancy to these students.

The end result of the program is expected that each team should be transformed into a company with a complete business plan and a product.

Software Project Management, Lecture 4 Slides

Business Case is the first deliverable of any IT Project, it defines the problem,  adds business value to IT. A core team from various departments is responsible for develiering it under the ownership of Project Manager, where Project MOVs are identified along with various alternatives. Then various alternatives are compared in terms of:

1) Feasibility: Technology Feasibility, Economic Feasibility, Legal, Social etc

2) Total Cost of Ownership: Direct, Indirect, On-going

3) Total Benefits of Ownership

4) Financial Scoring Models: ROI, NVP, Payback, Breakeven etc

5) Last but not least the recommendation from core team.

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Business Case is developed to justify the Business value of the IT Project to the senior management in terms to developing its relevance with organizational goals and strategic objectives.

check out the lecture slides at:
http://cid-866cd84756fa9077.office.live.com/view.aspx/Documents/SoftProjMang-Lecture4.ppt

Software Project Management – Lecture 3 Slides

In lecture 3 we had Saad Zia, Senior Consultant, CDC as a guest speaker with us to brief students about the latest happenings and project management practices going on in Pakistan IT Industry. So many concepts like Portfolio Management, Program Management, Project Management, PMO responsibilities etc were discussed with the students. Moreover the session was a good blend of local success stories and tools acquired by Enterprises operating in Pakistan.

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After his session, I discussed on Project Lifecycle and System Development Lifecycle, the five phases of PLC were discussed in detail with respect to their deliverables and tasks performed in each of them.

The slides of my lecture can be found out at:

http://cid-866cd84756fa9077.office.live.com/view.aspx/Documents/SoftProjMang-Lecture3.ppt

Software Project Management – Lecture 2 Slides

The slides of the previous lecture can be downloaded from here http://geekdeck.com/software-project-management-lecture-1-slides/

In this lecture we talked about the 4 constraints which a project manager faces, so the compiled definition of these 4 constraints (Scope, Budget / Cost, Effort / Schedule & Quality) can be found out in the lecture slides from here:
http://cid-866cd84756fa9077.office.live.com/self.aspx/Documents/SoftProjMang-Lecture2.ppt

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The a class activity took place in which the we assumed a Project for the library of a university and performed some on paper planning and calculations for it by filling out the Project Mini-charter, Pre-Estimate check list and Budget for the Project whose template can be downloaded from here:
http://cid-866cd84756fa9077.office.live.com/self.aspx/Documents/PM-WorkBook.xls

The next class will talk about Project Lifecycle!

Software Project Management – Lecture 1 Slides

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This semester I have taken Software Project Management an my teaching assignment, I will be sharing my experience of the Software Industry along with the Best Practices from Modern IT Project Management literature. For next 4 odd months i will be uploading my lecture slides on weekly basis.

The text book i am following is Information Technology Project Management—Providing Measurable Organizational Value by Jack. T Marchewka which will certainly help you people to understand the processes, tools and techniques applied in today’s Software Project Management world.

The slides of lecture 1 will help you to understand the dimensions of a software project, significance of processes, factors affecting the success of a software project and very importantly the triple and quadruple constraint.

The PowerPoint can be downloaded from the link below:

http://cid-866cd84756fa9077.office.live.com/self.aspx/Documents/SoftProjMang-Lecture1.ppt