Hacking Healthcare Solutions Using Allscripts Development Tools

Over the weekend of January 23rd and 24th, students at Dalhousie University participated in the Allscripts Developer Training Workshop and Code-a-Thon. The goal: to create an innovative solution to a healthcare-related “challenge” as presented by the Allscripts on-site support team or another challenge identified by the student team using the Allscripts Unity API – a suite of tools open to the third-party developer community.

To kick things off, students spent three hours learning all about the Allscripts developer portal, Unity API, and how they can integrate these tools into the developer’s preferred workflows and environment. After the training, students were treated to lunch and the Allscripts support staff presented a design challenge to the students. Over the next hour or so, students formed small project teams and began working on the presented challenge or a challenge of their own choosing. Students continued to work feverishly on possible solutions up to the idea presentation showcase at 2pm on Sunday afternoon. Unlike most hack-a-thons, idea pitches were not judged but instead, event attendees, including Dr. Raza Abidi of NICHE Research Group, participated in a lively Q&A period following each presentation.

All parties felt that there were many positive outcomes from this event including the strengthening of connections between students, the faculty, and Allscripts. Students also benefitted from free access to the Allscripts Developer Portal, including hands-on training and support at the event on how to code using the Allscripts Unity API. Several great ideas were generated as potential healthcare-related solutions and all partners have committed to providing the necessary supports for student developers wishing to continue development.

Team 42—WAP
Team 42—WAP

Technology Innovation Course Launching January 2016

This winter, we are offering the brand new Technology Innovation course. It is now open for registration. The course incorporates elements of entrepreneurial mindset, design thinking, UI + UX, rapid prototyping, and software engineering to address the growing demand in industry for workers who possess these skills and for developers in the startup space.

Interdisciplinary Design students from NSCAD University will be joining students at Dalhousie University in this unique, multi-institutional classroom hosted at ShiftKey Labs every Monday from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Students will be introduced to entrepreneurial mindset and design thinking in weeks one and two of the course. In week three, an industry expert/researcher will present a design challenge to students who will then form small project teams and work together for the remainder of the semester. Teams will apply the concepts learned in-class to solve the challenge balancing the viability and feasibility of the idea from both business and technical perspectives. A variety of subject matter experts, technical experts, coaches, and other supports will be integrated in to the course to ensure that project teams have the resources needed to be successful. The course will conclude with a public showcase of each project to peers, faculty members, researchers, and the broader community.

If you would like to see the detailed course outline, please access the CSCI 4190/6904—Technology Innovation shared document. Please note that this course is restricted to students in their 3rd year of studies or above. Undergraduate students should register for CSCI 4190 and graduate students should register for CSCI 6904 through the Academic Timetable.

Helpful hacking – Dal News – Dalhousie University

Innovacorp and ShiftKey Labs — the Dal-hosted information and communications technology sandbox — set the stage for the first-ever Halifax Smart Energy App Challenge this fall.

Kicking off with a “Hackathon” event in late September, 40 participants across 10 teams were challenged to develop a new app to benefit participants in Halifax’s Solar City program, which offers homeowners and businesses in Halifax solar energy options.

Continue reading “Helpful hacking – Dal News – Dalhousie University”

Shad students attend WordPress workshop

ShiftKey Labs opened its doors to a group of high school students as part of their month-long Dalhousie Shad 2015 experience by hosting a workshop on WordPress. Ten students participated in a 3-hour hands-on tutorial on how to build a web presence using the platform. Students also toured the ShiftKey Labs collaboration space to learn about the program and chat with one of our resident student members about his experience creating a technology-focused start-up.

It was a fun afternoon working with such a great group of bright and engaged students.

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Phalcon Workshop

Thanks to everyone who came out last night to participate in the Phalcon workshop! It was a fast-paced, hands-on code dash that introduced participants to the power and flexibility of this framework and the creation of a very basic MVC application (database, front-end forms, and some logic) to build on. A very special thanks to Alex Nunes for leading such an interesting session.

For those who attended the session, please use the contact form on this website if you would like to obtain sample code and/or other materials from the presenter or you would like to discuss how to access the support of ShiftKey Labs when exploring a technology-focused start-up idea.

ICT Sandbox Officially Renamed to “ShiftKey Labs”

In March 2014, the provincial government announced the launch of the ICT Sandbox to improve the connections between students, researchers, and industry through an innovative information and communication technology playground. Since the announcement, we have learned a lot about those wishing to access the program and the rapidly expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region. It has been an exciting journey thus far and this is just the beginning!

The decision was made back in early January to rename and rebrand the sandbox to ShiftKey Labs. The reasoning and processes behind the change can be found in the article ICT Sandbox Shifts to ‘ShiftKey Labs’ to be published in the spring edition of the Dalhousie University Faculty of Computer Science magazine.

“I’m very pleased with the results.” says Grant Wells, Program Manager. “We have a new logo, new name, and new identity and the response thus far has been overwhelmingly positive.”



Top 10 MOOCs for Aspiring Tech Entrepreneurs

Continuous self-improvement. Accelerated learning. Sharpening the saw.

Guiding principles that many an entrepreneur can relate to.

The following is a curated list of free, online courses, or MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), specifically designed to hone your entrepreneurial know-how within the digital world and lead the next generation of startups.

All free. All awesome.