Validation Session with Software Developers, Gamers and Academics in Saskatoon

Day 3 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Saskatoon was our biggest group so far (including 2 participants who drove in from Regina). A mix of software developers, gamers and academics – rigorous, with close attention to detail and process. They suggested good additions and changes to the chart, though grosso modo they agreed with its contents.


The computer science background of several of the participants slanted a lot of the discussion towards developers, a perspective that CHRC has been eager to capture. This was reflected in additional skills such as “conduct end user verifications or tests”; and “develop testing environment”.


One educator expressed frustration at the large gap between computer science programmes and creative arts programmes in universities. This is exactly what CHRC wants to address. How to ensure that students in the visual arts and writing, for example, have the technical skills they need to go into the DM industry? How to open the thinking of computer science coders and programmers so they can partake in a creative way on a DM team?


Some of the most dynamic discussion turned around the “Go to Market” series of competencies as participants underlined the importance of marketing skills – and how they are often lacking in a DM team.


There was also creative discussion on how the chart can be used and kept current. The point was well-taken that a competency chart for the DM industry shouldn’t be a print document  - witness the fact that several around the room were reading off their electronic versions of the chart – not the nicely coloured print versions we had carefully photocopied and stapled – old technology!


It got us thinking about how to disseminate the chart – and led us to imagine an interactive version to allow users to tailor it to their needs (whether you’re an employer, a worker, a trainer or a student). It’s a possibility we’re exploring along with a wiki-type gathering and exchanging of information and ideas on training needs and offerings.


Could be a very good way to keep the chart updated and useful, and let trainers know the immediate needs of industry.


This project keeps getting better…..