2012 started with a big bang with attendance and active participation by the members of the community at a week-long event organized by the Youth Empowerment and ICT Foundation. The theme was “Developing Nigeria’s Next Generation of ICT Entrepreneurs” and there was a number of in-depth sessions on Android development handled by developers in the group.
The community went in hyper mode for a hackathon – Global Android Hackathon which ran side by side with the Tech-In Education Hackathon (part of the tech-in series http://tech-in.org) which created an awesome opportunity to form teams to build Education-related applications in a space of 72 hours.
In March was the GNigeria 2012 event – a two-day event which had several hundreds of entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts and developers turn up to learn more about what Google has for businesses and the latest tech innovations for developers. We had lots of great engineers and product managers from Google talk to developers on and off the stage.
We also had the Google+ hackathon which had developers in groups or as individuals create applications which used the newly released Google+ API. A notable and winning application out of that event in Nigeria is “LifeSavers” with its creative use of Google Plus public data API to solve depression as a social issue. The application uses Google+ public data to find depressed people and allows volunteers to spend their time hanging out with them and offer them words of advice. This hackathon went on in several other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and LifeSavers went ahead to win the grand prize – free Google I/O tickets for the team +Oyewale Oyediran & +Maxwell Udoba
[More about the app and its builders here –
In the last week of June, we held the I/O Extended events at CcHub to allow developers who could not make it to Google I/O watch the keynotes, announcements and sessions live. Google I/O [https://developers.google.com/events/io/] is an annual developer-focused conference held by Google in San Francisco, CA with over 5000 participants from all over the world.
Not wanting to be left out of participating in the Develop for Good Hackathon [http://goo.gl/42GoU] , developers in the community joined forces to build a prototype for Assembly Bills — a web based platform that would help Nigerian citizens provide input on legislative bills and policies remotely, without having to fly across the country to the capital of Abuja to provide input in person, as currently necessary.
There was also a meetup at the CcHub where there was a show and tell from MobiQube and Giddi Games. The founder of Giddi Games – Victor Dibia also took the attendees through the process of game creation using the Cocos2D game engine. The winners of the Africa Android Challenge were also on ground to demo their app and receive their prize of an Android device. Very importantly, we had +Emeka Onwuka of Parkway Projectstalk to developers about mobile money and their platform tagged ReadyCash [http://goo.gl/zioBZ] and gave an insight into the already working capability of in-app billing on their platform.
Quick jump to the Google Apps Developer Challenge which had developers creating apps which used the Google Apps API. Four students are proud winners in the Google Apps Developer Challenge with their Form+ submission. The prize they won is US$20,000 and their department US$18,000. Form+ adds something crucial to Forms on Google Apps – the ability to upload files as part of a form submission. The files are stored in Google Drive.
To wrap up the year was the GDG Devfest that had over 120 people (mostly developers) in attendance. Items on the menu were Android, CSS Preprocessors, CakePHP, Google Maps API and Google Apps Script. The devfest was a series of code-labs set in 45minute slots to introduce the larger community to a number of platforms and ease of development and integration.
It’s been a packed year, and we believe the year ahead will be more packed!
2013 is the year of the focused smart developer.
This year, the group will be focused on a number of platforms and technologies incredibly gaining ground here in Nigeria – HTML5, Android, Google Places, Google+, Google Apps and YouTube. There will be regular fixed schedule meet-ups at least once a month. The dates will be communicated next week.
To our newest members, you are welcome! It’s going to be an exciting year! Don’t forget to check our list of super links – http://goo.gl/J5mWh