Back home to open career doors in IT

IN TOWN TO TALK TECHNOLOGY: A introduction to a new course to train web developers in Gisborne was held last week. IT business consultancy owner and former Gisborne man Phil Kupenga (right) flew from Wellington for the introduction, and was joined by Gisborne man Cam Nepe, who has done the course in Wellington. They hope it will be here for 2019. Picture by Liam Clayton

The biggest thing when it comes to your career is to believe you can do it, says IT businessman Phil Kupenga.

Mr Kupenga describes himself as a Maori boy who grew up in Gisborne and never thought technology was a career option for him.

He now owns an Information Technology (IT) consultancy company in Wellington but his love for his home town never left.

When he saw how strongly the community got behind the Gigatown campaign in 2015 his interest was sparked.

Gisborne clearly had the community spirit and now it had fibre and fast internet speeds to rival anywhere in the world.

Mr Kupenga wants to make sure everyone living in Gisborne realise technology is a career option for them, and they do not have to leave town to pursue it.

He has partnered with Wellington training company Dev Academy in a bid to bring a 15-week course to Gisborne next year.

It will upskill people and open up job opportunities such as web development or creating apps, he says.

Gisborne man Cam Nepe graduated from the Wellington course this year. He was a forestry worker for 15 years before he made the brave move to retrain in IT in a bid to further himself and his family.

Mr Nepe said he “felt uncomfortable the whole way through” the course but being out of his comfort zone motivated him to be the best he could be. He knew if he did not learn the technical side correctly, it would come out in his work.

His honesty, self-drive and technical capability, along with his own back story, has landed him a job as student support person and mentor if the course starts here next year.

Changing the faces of those who work in the IT industry is something Mr Kupenga is passionate about.

He sees the seven-plus-figure contracts being divided among people who work in IT in Wellington.

He hears the conversations about “disaster recovery” — what would happen if the capital was hit by a big earthquake.

Most IT work for the Government and other big organisations is based in Wellington.

Mr Kupenga says people could work remotely from home if disaster struck Wellington but why not upskill another region to have the IT capability. And why not Gisborne?

It has the internet speed, the contracts for IT work are out there and there is no reason why the work could not come to Gisborne, he says.

Mr Kupenga’s consultancy company is called Next Chapter.

He acts as the middle man between big companies and tech people — translating the corporation’s ideas into tech-speak for developers to action.

He is confident he can get funding and people for the course.

“The biggest thing is to believe that you can do it.

“If you can see it, you can believe it.”

The course trains people over 15 weeks, including a nine-week “boot camp”.

You do not need experience in the IT industry. It will all be taught on the course.

Gisborne needs it, says Mr Kupenga.

The biggest thing when it comes to your career is to believe you can do it, says IT businessman Phil Kupenga.

Mr Kupenga describes himself as a Maori boy who grew up in Gisborne and never thought technology was a career option for him.

He now owns an Information Technology (IT) consultancy company in Wellington but his love for his home town never left.

When he saw how strongly the community got behind the Gigatown campaign in 2015 his interest was sparked.

Gisborne clearly had the community spirit and now it had fibre and fast internet speeds to rival anywhere in the world.

Mr Kupenga wants to make sure everyone living in Gisborne realise technology is a career option for them, and they do not have to leave town to pursue it.

He has partnered with Wellington training company Dev Academy in a bid to bring a 15-week course to Gisborne next year.

It will upskill people and open up job opportunities such as web development or creating apps, he says.

Gisborne man Cam Nepe graduated from the Wellington course this year. He was a forestry worker for 15 years before he made the brave move to retrain in IT in a bid to further himself and his family.

Mr Nepe said he “felt uncomfortable the whole way through” the course but being out of his comfort zone motivated him to be the best he could be. He knew if he did not learn the technical side correctly, it would come out in his work.

His honesty, self-drive and technical capability, along with his own back story, has landed him a job as student support person and mentor if the course starts here next year.

Changing the faces of those who work in the IT industry is something Mr Kupenga is passionate about.

He sees the seven-plus-figure contracts being divided among people who work in IT in Wellington.

He hears the conversations about “disaster recovery” — what would happen if the capital was hit by a big earthquake.

Most IT work for the Government and other big organisations is based in Wellington.

Mr Kupenga says people could work remotely from home if disaster struck Wellington but why not upskill another region to have the IT capability. And why not Gisborne?

It has the internet speed, the contracts for IT work are out there and there is no reason why the work could not come to Gisborne, he says.

Mr Kupenga’s consultancy company is called Next Chapter.

He acts as the middle man between big companies and tech people — translating the corporation’s ideas into tech-speak for developers to action.

He is confident he can get funding and people for the course.

“The biggest thing is to believe that you can do it.

“If you can see it, you can believe it.”

The course trains people over 15 weeks, including a nine-week “boot camp”.

You do not need experience in the IT industry. It will all be taught on the course.

Gisborne needs it, says Mr Kupenga.

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winston moreton - 5 months ago
ECT's Activate Tairawhiti is well placed to back this young man's vision. Good on The Gisborne Herald for running this news. Mr Kupenga can include a copy with his funding applications.

Meng Foon - 4 months ago
Kapai korua, hoki mai ki to kaenga, looking forward to supporting you both.

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