EduCo in the United States, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Google Developer Student Club NJIT Chapter — Linking academic learning with industry practice

Software giant Google has recently set up a New Jersey chapter of the Developer Student Club at New Jersey Institute of Technology to connect students’ learning with real-world information technology skills and practice. The NJIT chapter is one of more than 700 chapters all over the world, 124 of which are school chapters that are based in the United States.

Simon Lam, a junior in the Ying Wu College of Computing, is the first president of the NJIT Chapter. He is studying for a Bachelor’s degree in computing and business and is currently lobbying hard for the accreditation of the chapter as a new student club and be officially recognised as such on the NJIT campus.

Part of his plans for the chapter is to encourage club members to work as software development interns for startups that are participating in the NJIT VentureLink program. Aside from students at NJIT’s Ying Wu College of Computing, Simon has also invited students from the other NJIT communities such as those from the J. Robert & Barbara A. Hiller College of Architecture and Design and the Martin Tuchman School of Management to become members of the Developer Student Club.

How the NJIT Chapter came about

Simon Lam was first contacted by Google through his LinkedIn account as well as his college email. He was initially skeptica about the legitimacy of the messages but eventually realized that Google was indeed trying to establish contact with him.

As part of the training to set up the school chapter in October last year, he was flown into Google Headquarters in California along with several students from other universities in various parts of the United States.

The initial stages were an exciting time for the club. Simon relates, “My schedule there was essentially a weekend-long workshop, running from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. The agenda included leadership skills and deep-dives into Google Cloud services.”

According to Google’s Cloud Program Manager Daniel Fiorillo, the Developer Student Club had its pilot launch in India in 2017 “to help solve the challenges university graduates were facing securing employment in the tech industry.” He adds, “We aimed to provide students with the resources, opportunities and experience necessary to be industry-ready, all while still pursuing their degrees.”

Simon Lam reveals that the Club is putting together a group website, www.dsc-njit.com,  which will go live soon. In the interim, he says that students who are interested in joining the NJIT Chapter can chat at dsc-njit.slack.com. “I just want all of the people who are interested to start talking to each other,” he says.

Lam can be reached directly at [email protected].