Qi Showcases a ‘Holy Trinity’to End Cancer & Diversity in Tech at KDAB 20th Anniversary Meeting

Fun in Firenze! Snapshots of KDAB’s 20th Anniversary Meeting


Elephants, Shrimp, and Programmers: OH MY! Qi Proves How This Unusual ‘Holy’ Trinity Will End Cancer

Michel Nederlof explains how apoptosis uses a programming process of cell death to fight cancer.

Did you know that elephants cannot get cancer? AND, the mantis shrimp has a unique vision system that can detect cancer! AND, programmers can wield code to ‘seek and debug’ and eventually destroy the “data” that cause the disease! Qi President & CEO Michel Nederlof presented these facts and Qi’s mission to resolve cancer at the 20th Anniversary Meeting of KDAB company, a world leader in software development, this January in Florence, Italy. 

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This ‘holy trinity’ of the elephant, mantis Shrimp and software programmers proved to be a fascinating topic to over 90 KDAB programmers who often wondered “What is this biotech stuff I keep hearing about?” and other news about the KDAB and Qi partnership. While cancer seems to be the elephant in the room for most casual conversation, Nederlof explained to the crowd of coders how the tusked giant’s multiple ‘TP53’ genes has special powers to fix cellular defects that can lead to cancer.

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Another species who unexpectedly and more recently joined the war on cancer is the mantis shrimp whose compound eyes and sensitivity to polarized light has helped researchers build cameras to find cancer cells.

“By combining programming, computer vision and 3D graphics, we can create a research application using code and machine learning to speed up the current process of finding how cells work and fight the disease. We can find a lot of inspiration from nature all around us if we look deeper. For example the elephant’s cancer fighting ability by having multiple copies of the TP53-gene, and inspiration from the amazing vision system of the mantis shrimp” said Nederlof.

(Check out ‘True Facts About The Mantis Shrimp and laugh until you see double or maybe triple.)


Spotlight: Why is Programming So Male Dominated?  Qi & KDAB Prompt Discussion About Diversity in Tech

Colleen Coll and KDAB Team engaged at special session during 4-day conference.

Women were the pioneers in software programming over 70 years ago. Today only 1 in 4 computing jobs are held by a woman.*

So what happened?

Qi’s Brand Manager, Colleen Coll, chaired this discussion during a special session in Florence, Italy at KDAB‘s (world leaders in software development) 20th Anniversary Meeting in January to discuss women and minorities in tech and solutions for diversity in the workforce.

When asked by KDAB President & CEO Mathias Kalle Dalheimer to present the topic, Coll was initially torn. With a background in marketing, she has only a few years in the tech field, zero experience in human resources, and just recently completed a course in learning to code. “Kalle thought it would be important to include my own experience and I know just from past conversations with colleagues, it is a subject that you cannot go into lightly without confrontation of biases, particularly within a white-male dominated community.” 

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Colleen Coll coloring image on KDAB/Qi’s nanoQuill Wall exhibit at Qt World Summit 2018 in Berlin.

With the help of colleague and Diversity & Inclusion consultant, Tara Hastings, Coll found sources from various publications and studies, including The Atlantic Monthly, Project Include, Elephant In the Valley, and Cultural Intelligence, to prep for the presentation.

The session was a win for both Qi and KDAB, engaging a large group programmers and administrative and executive staff — both men and women representing the Americas, Europe, and Asia. “The key takeaway from this experience was becoming aware of the unconscious biases we ALL have combined with open discussion from all who participated,” said Coll. “The session lasted 20 minutes longer than scheduled. To me, this proves that KDAB’s unique culture and open environment is a benchmark of how tech companies should be proactive in creating a diverse workforce.” And, because their is more and more evidence that prove that diverse representation achieves greater profits (McKinsey & Company) “…KDAB is set to be the game changer.”

(Check out The Atlantic Monthly’s video “How Did Tech Become So Male Dominated?”)

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