The just concluded DevFest ABA 2017, was a phenomenal event which held on the 10th of November 2017, at the Eldorado event center, Aba, Abia State and gathered over 1000 techies, developers and tech enthusiasts of which I was proud to be a part of. DevFest SE ABA, had alot of prominent personalities in attendance, like the programs manager for Developers Eco-System Sub Saharan Africa, Aniedi Ubong, The GDG country Mentor, Hanson Johnson, Google Developer Expert & Laravel boss, Prosper Otemuyiwa, Samson Goody, Junior Developer and Board member for Sugar Labs, and lots of Community managers,
This post is not just about what we learnt from this event, or what the event was about, I would just love to share a little nuggets of what is yet to come, I believe we were able to see the future more clearly from this event but then let's talk about the now and what DevFest SE Aba 2017, was about.. so here are the most interesting moments from #devfestSE.
1) Google is still a "Startup" :
well this is subject to opinion, but at the festival, Aniedi Udo-Obong, (developers program manager with Google) mentioned this fact although in a jovial manner. But then there are might some atom of truth in this, I mean this is second time I am hearing from two different Googlers. In his words, he said "think of Google as a start with several other Startups within it", Aniedi also said that to Google any product that doesn't get up to 250 million users is considered a failure, with only exception to Google+, and with this statement even Google also has several products that have failed too.
2) the beauty of Community:
The Google Developers Group is a Google sponsored Community for developers, tech wannabes and tech lovers, GDG clearly is playing a vital role in developing tech eco-systems in states and regions they re found. The beauty of this Community is that it's not competiting with others, they acknowledge other communities doing awesome things, and also encourage others to look for the best tech solutions, even if you feel they don't come directly from Google, the purpose of GDG is to breed collaborations, learning, and product development.
3) Importance of DevFest: although we brush our teeth everyday, we do need to see the dentist from time to time, that's the relationship between having Community meetup(brushing) and then DevFest(The Dentist). The DevFest essence was popped open again, DevFest connects developers from various regions, ensures the nurturing environment is right, reminds Everyone of global directions, exemplifies and showcases best cases studies from across the world, give Developers access to top Engineers, Googlers and other developers, and motivates newbies showing everyone that in a developers world anything is possible.
4) World Changing Technologies (CodeLabs): another amazing aspect of DevFest is the hands on practical sessions on latest and simplified technologies that developers and upcoming techies should learn and know to implement, to aid them build the next billion user product easier and more efficiently. This year's code Labs were about (i) Firebase for Web (ii) Firebase for Andriod (iii)Progressive Web Apps (PwA)/Polymer (iv) Android programming, beginners class. And the outcome was awesome, fingers are crossed for the outputs of this CodeLabs sessions.
5) Open Source: the minister of Fire 🔥 himself, Prosper Otemuyiwa anchored this session and unraveled the power of open source, the highlights of the session was about how developers could go into open source, the benefits of open source, and the roles of non-techies (accountants, Lawyers, Technical writers etc) in open source. Open Source in summary is about contributing to solving problems, identifying problems and creating solutions. In short, every techie and non techie should be actively involved in Open source, am waiting for a community on open source if that’s even going to be a thing. in his words “Open Sauce is now the new sauce (no ketchup..lol)”
6) Startup Pitch: DevFest also created a space where tech startups (the real ones, not the kind of Google startups, lol) showcased and demoed their apps, and web solutions, and this was also another lit moment seeing local products that are trying to and/or already driving change in NIGERIA.
7) Role of Women in Tech: Ada Oyom (Ada Nduka Oyom) didn't leave the ladies and women in tech stranded, this space provide clarity to women and girls venturing into the tech space, for the developers wannabes, how they could start and the role communities play to support them as well as dedicated opportunities available to them alone in the tech space, she also provided clarity to other career options available to them in the tech space asides being Developers, roles for Digital Marketing, copy and technical writers and lots more. Women are becoming truly powerful and inclusive in the tech spaces.
8) Connect Spaces: Developers festivals are about real life connections, bonding and networking, and though most developers like to be introverts, this festival ensured that connections were a must, and I was privileged to see something phenomenal, as new partnerships and support structures were formed just at one events.
9) Stepping into Awesomeness: Aniedi Udo-Obong also shared how normal people are stepping into the spotlight just by doing more for community and development of their society, quoting him, he said_"Nobody would change our local communities except you stepped up and change it yourself"_ Aniedi Ubong, DevFest SE,ABA 2017. If the next billion user product comes out from our local community, we would have changed the landscape of what happens in our community and state, just like how Silicon valley did and how Yaba is currently doing.
10) Panel Sessions: bringing this home, a panel session, anchored by Aniedi summarized the entire event, on the panel were Ada Nduka Oyom, IZ(Digi Clan), Uche Aniche (StartUp South Covener), Bruce Lucas, (Founder, Olotu Square), and lots more, they discussed local issues, possible future solutions, other alternatives and other possibilities and opportunities techies and no techies can take advantage of.
My DevFest Experience was more awesome than these 10 points, the people i met, the pictures taken, the fun and laughing moments, the food wasn't all there yet, :D save the speakers rations,lol, the all night party was even the biggest highlight of the entire event, lol, ABA was fun.. to get a better glimpse of the power of the Festival, talk to a GDG chapter manager (@Gino Osahon, Lead GDG PH, or John, Lead GDG Aba, Chizoba Lead, GDG Enugu).
Thanks to Joshua Josh and the LOC from Aba, and also AYAOSI GODFREY , Samson Goody, Sharon Ud , Gino Osahon , Bruce Lucas, @Faith Dike, Chizoba, Prosper and Aniedi, This gang made this experience rock for me, See you at DevFest SE 2018.
Your friendly digital Neighborhood reporter
*Nweke Chima John.*