Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Codelabs and Hackathons and Contests.... Oh my!

Hackathon at the iHub in Nairobi

Hey there!
How is it going?
How have you all been?
Thank you for stopping by.
Its been a while since we last hung out, hopefully not too long though.
The last few months have been very very interesting to say the least.
To start with I was at my third Google I/O , arguably one of their biggest developer events in the world. It is always quite an experience to see how the future of tech is shaping up.
Also my wife (I called her my C.E.O) and I joyously welcomed our first child to our family (our little startup). The boy promptly declared that he was not satisfied with the position of director on the board and after subjecting us to a couple of sleepless nights made a case at an extraordinary board meeting to be made chairman of the board.  The motion was quickly passed and now he appears to be settled and happy in his new role of having the final word on all aspects of the company (family) affairs. In fact I had to take advantage of the fact that he is currently napping to start drafting this post. Its been an awesome and interesting experience. One thing I can relate it to is having a new smartphone that gets automatic OS updates every 12 hours. So you are constantly discovering new features….simply amazing!

So….back to the matter!
Like the title of the post suggests I want to invest this stolen time in talking about 3 event types that contribute to the lifeblood of any tech community. If you have been involved in anything tech in Africa in the last 4-5 years, you must at worst have heard these words mentioned at least once or at best attended or participated in at least one of them.  I want to talk a bit about them today because every time I mention them or I hear people refer to them I find that everyone has a very different understanding not necessarily of what they are, but of what they can (or are meant to) achieve. I would like to put down a few of my own thoughts on the subject, they may be right, they may be wrong...they may also change but what the hell….here goes. I will be leveraging on my experience (limited I might add) of participating in, facilitating and organizing a number of codelab events, hackathons and contests.