A Visit to Halifax's Software-Based Innovation Hub

February 20, 2020

Last week our team had the opportunity to visit with Akram Al-Otumi and his students at ShiftKey Labs out of Dalhousie University's Computer Science Department in Halifax.

Imagine starting your education with a problem set, with a series of questions, with inquiries and building prototypes to test theories, all while networking with other fellow students, academics and industry.

That’s what the students we met spend their days doing, as well as learning technologies and processes to implement. “The professor seems to already be thinking about how these students will do their work after they have completed their education,” said recent grad and Arcurve software developer, Matthew P. “That is much different than the traditional program I came through, where courses are more compartmentalized and focused on theory.”

Upon entering the technology industry, students are often surprised at how much time is spent upfront—meeting with clients, gathering requirements, mocking things up on whiteboards, etc. However, the students at ShiftKey Labs are learning the practicality of solving problems using technology. From day one, they are immersed in an environment that mirrors what things might look like in industry.

“Arcurve was founded on the principles of helping businesses leverage technology” says Jay Gohill, co-founder and CEO. “The founders identified a niche in the market, believed we could do things better, and worked to create a culture that focused on problem solving and delivering business results through smart teamwork and collaboration.”

Shift Key Labs reminds us of the culture we worked so hard to build and continue to foster today. We are excited to watch the paths of these graduates, support their learning, and encourage their entry into industry.

Our hats are off to the programs and professors that make the effort to be engaging and to focus on real-life learning, and to the students that seek out this type of education.

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