Technology

ITPalooza offers heaping helpings of tech

Mamta Singh, who is working on her master’s in information security, didn’t have to leave her home campus to look for internship opportunities at ITPalooza at Nova Southeastern University on Thursday.
Mamta Singh, who is working on her master’s in information security, didn’t have to leave her home campus to look for internship opportunities at ITPalooza at Nova Southeastern University on Thursday. ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

One seasonal gauge of a growing tech community: ITPalooza gets bigger every year.

On Thursday, more than 1,500 people gathered for the homegrown, volunteer-run all-things-tech event at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Engineering and Computing. Many of them came to network, judging by the hub of activity in the massive atrium, where 47 companies and 33 tech organizations exhibited.

Beyond the expo hall were dozens of breakout sessions led by more than 40 speakers on topics such as agile technology, cyber security, women in IT, the Internet of Things and professional development, among others. Rick Sebaly, event leader and vice president of the South Florida Technology Alliance, called it “a day of learning and a night of celebration and networking.”

Twenty-six companies participated in the job fair, which saw a steady stream of students and professionals seeking positions in software development, including mobile development, network security and IT support. Most of the companies had active internship programs, which was good news to Mamta Singh, who is working on her master’s in information security at NSU. With résumés in hand, she was looking for a software quality assurance, user interface or business analyst internship position and said she was finding interesting opportunities.

NextEra Energy has about 40 open IT positions “across the board,” with network engineers and software developers being the most critical need, said IT recruiter Kelly Ludlow. Kipu System, a young company in the electronic health records for substance abuse and behavioral health industries, is looking for, among other positions, developers for its cloud infrastructure, a project manager and a desktop support engineer.

Thales e-Security, a cyber-security company, was recruiting for more than a dozen positions, including security engineer, senior software engineer and senior manager of software engineering for its Plantation facility. AAJ Technologies, which helps clients with full-service systems integration, has five to eight open positions, including project management and technical business consultants, but it is always taking résumés. “We find a strong project management community here, but the toughest thing is finding consultants that can bridge business and technology,” said Ed Kirchmier, AAJ’s VP of Global Delivery.

Thursday’s event ended with a holiday party. On Friday, AT&T and ITPalooza will hold a two-day Mobile App and Internet of Things hackathon at NSU for software developers, engineers and students interested in gaining additional skills in software and mobile application development.

Along with the rising interest in ITPalooza, there is another gauge of growth: The pile of new toys near the registration desk. Part of an annual tradition, ITPalooza attendees brought new unwrapped gifts for children, which will be donated to Toys for Tots.

Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; @ndahlberg

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