Nation e-Edition

BlackBerry creating jobs in Barbados

Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins (left) with new global creative director Alicia Keys (right) at the New York launch of the new BlackBerry 10 platform. The new touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 smartphone. (Pictures by Natasha Beckles/AP)

By Natasha Beckles | Mon, February 11, 2013 - 12:01 AM

THE NEW BLACKBERRY 10 operating system provides opportunities for local software developers to compete globally even while based in Barbados.

This is according to BlackBerry’s director for the Caribbean, Sean Killen, who spoke to BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY in New York recently following the launch of the new platform.

“A lot of people who get an excellent education on the island are forced a lot of the time to leave the island to find a job that they want. What we’re seeing in the islands is a developer community . . . getting very excited about application creation and building for BlackBerry. They’ve done that before on our older platform, [and] this is even easier to develop for,” he said.

“What’s exciting about tech is all you’re going to need is a connection to the Internet and a computer. You can have your own small business or your own app developing company and take the education Barbados offers you and actually use it on island.”

Meanwhile, BlackBerry’s managing director for Latin America, Wes Nicol, who previously had responsibility for the Caribbean, said Barbadians had an advantage in terms of application development since they are very familiar with BlackBerry, especially BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

“We’re really innovating on BBM, so there are going to be a lot of things coming out in the future that we’re not telling you about right now.

“There are going to be opportunities for people to monetize applications on BBM and the fact that they are so-called experts in BBM because they’ve been using it, they know how people use it [and] why people use it; they can think of these extensions, so they leverage that experience,” he said.

Nicol said it cost less to develop for BlackBerry and developers could therefore make more using their skills for BlackBerry than for other platforms.

“It’s just more popular and the fact that they are experts in BlackBerry just gives them an opportunity to make more money than the average developer,” he said.

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