DevCongress 2013 Recap – Part 2

cont’d from Recap: Part I

After lunch, Jeffrey Godwyll of Ghana Technology University College opened the second phase with his talk on Google App Engine. For most developers, we would want to quickly host a project for a client to view online. If you cannot use Google Drive to do that, an alternative is App Engine which currently works on PHP, Python and Go.

Joel leads the talk on Design Patterns
Design patterns was the next tech talk delivered by Joel Funu. Joel talked about the various techniques to solve programming bottlenecks with design patterns.

Another great part of DevCongress events is the rich opportunity to meet new developers and strengthen your network. That was the focus of the next 15 minutes or so. Developers made new friends and reconnected with old ones. The hallways and lounges were filled with laughter from shared memories and new ones being created.

At this year’s conference, we chose 3 topics for our workshop; Chrome DevTools, Agile Development and Version Control with Git. The workshop sessions run concurrently in 3 different classrooms. These topics were chosen because most developers identify with at least one of these. For Chrome DevTools, Yaw Boakye lead the session. We also had two MEST fellows teach the other sessions; Rhys Moyna taught Agile Development while Nikunj Handa led the Version Control session.

The final tech talk for the day was an introduction to NodeJS by Precious Ewusi Nyarko. He took participants through the process of creating and running a simple HTTP server with nodeJS. Though it was the last talk, it had loads of energy to keep people alive.

Final item on the program was the more action driven activity, what we call the “Way Forward”. We believe that developers should be able to collaborate on various projects, which is one of our objectives. During this time, we decided to take up projects that would have high impact on the community and the tech space as a whole. Based on the earlier reaction to SMSGh’s job search processes, the participants agreed to develop a job posting service for developers. The project is currently underway on our git repo for any developers who are interested to join in.

The general reaction was that developers look to HackerNews, TechCrunch, etc as news sources. Again, they agreed to create a Google Chrome extension which will be a news feed for our blog. That project is available for collaboration on GitHub.

One impressive person we got to know during our preparations was Michael Turkson who was so excited about DevCongress that he created a Google Map route for anybody who needed directions to the venue on Saturday.

DevCongress 2013 finally ended on Saturday, and we’re glad about the excitement and encouragement from people.

We would like to extend our gratitude to the staff and students of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology for believing in our idea and giving us the support we needed. Also to Blogging Ghana, we would like to thank you for featuring us on your blog. For all who spoke, attended, blogged, posted on various social networks and supported us in various ways, we thank you.

Follow us on Twitter and check for frequent updates on our upcoming events, and more importantly for opportunities to contribute to projects and develop yourself as a developer.

To my teammates, Yaw and Elorm, you rock!

DevCongress 2013 Recap – Part 1

On the 24th of August 2013, we wrote history beginning the first of many DevCongress conferences and events at the DevCongress 2013.

DevCongress is a developer community aimed at training Ghana’s developers through conferences, code camps, hackathons, etc. We believe that if Ghanaian developers are equipped with the necessary resources they will be able to handle any challenge the tech startup scene may encounter.

This post recounts what happened on the maiden launch of the tech network that aims to be the most vibrant across Africa. I happened on the 24th of August 2013 at MEST.

I was glad to be the MC of the occasion, an honour given me by my teammates, Elorm Adjaho and Yaw Boakye.

Elorm opened the event with a warm poetic welcome address. The address touched on the fact that Africa is rising and that Ghanaian developers should rise with the opportunity that comes with Africa’s growth.

Nii Nai speaks on Go Lang 

1st Tech talk: Davis Abubakr-Sadik delivered the first talk on Go lang. This was an eye-opener to Google’s programming language. And it was revealing as to the volume of products which have been built with Go. It was more revealing to find out that was solidly powered by Go. We also got to know that Esoko also develops some of its products in Go.

At DevCongress, one of the practices we want to encourage is bringing in experts in a particular industry to talk on opportunities for software developers in that space. For our first conference, we had Mark Davies of Esoko come in to speak to us about which agricultural ideas have been exploited already, and he also pointed out that Esoko had, and was still building extensive data on farmers which developers could take advantage of.

Next was what I can call the most revealing topic of the day, Bitcoins. It was well-delivered by Mawuli Adzoe of Saya. Apparently, most developers present were not aware of bitcoins and its increasing popularity. He took time to explain what went into mining, how many bitcoins there could be, and everything else one needed to know. Personally, I was having a good time but there were so many questions and so little time. If you were not present, you missed an opportunity to get few free bitcents to start you up. How exciting is that!

The panel (L-R, Alfred Rowe, Abdul-Majeed Rufai, Alex Adjei Bram)
Still on the issue of money, we dived into our panel discussion on Electronic and Mobile payments in Ghana. The aim of the discussion was to know the current state of affairs on the side of the providers. On the panel, we had Alfred Rowe of mPower payments, Abdul-Majeed Rufai from MTN Ghana and Alex Adjei Bram of SMSGh. Their conversations were insightful and knowledgeable especially to our course. It was more revealing to find out that SMSGh had initiated a developers’ competition relating to their APIs, and most developers present were not even aware. We also learned, unfortunately, that they outsourced job to developers outside Ghana. This, we hope will change when the DevCongress Jobs Board us up and running. In the end, developers were aware of the need to build on these existing platforms so that electronic payments processing in Ghana will be seamless.

This was followed by a long break for lunch and interaction. It was a good time to ask questions and create engaging conversations.

In the next post, I will run you through the exciting activities after lunch and the great projects the great minds gathered put together. You will be amazed.


In case you were wondering, we started a blog to accompany DevCongress 2013. But the blog goes on afterwards. Please return here to find interesting articles, perhaps opinions on trends in Tech, tutorials on some stuff, etc.

We’re officially open!

Thank you.