Thursday, 17 April 2014

Space Apps Challenge Nairobi - 2014

Nairobi joined over 90 other cities globally in participating in the Space Apps Challenge this weekend (12th - 13th April) which saw 30 hackers converge at the +iHub to create solutions for both earth and space; the event having been organised by +GDG Nairobi+GDG Kimathi University, #NairobiJS, and the +iHub.

The participants were all excited, energized and inspired coming into the hackathon, as most of them had never hacked at Space Apps Challenge before. This however did not deter them from creating amazing projects over the 2 days. 

One great tinker once noted that the great thing about #programming is that it's a little world where you do whatever you want; you get to be the creator. And this is exactly what the attendees showed during the challenge; coming up with brilliant ideas, which they later created into tangible projects over the 48 hours, of course with some sugar boost and a little happy dance :-) when the 0s and 1s overflowed.

The 1st day started with a brief introduction to the challenge and what the expected outcome was, followed by an ideation session led by +Thomas Kioko and +Timothy Mwirabua which saw close to 10 projects proposed for the hack. The attendees would then team up for the project they preferred. This saw the attended merge into 3 teams which would hack over the night to actualize the 3 main projects which included;
  1. Asteroid Watchers (Spiral Camera) - a simulation that takes photos from 8 different angles to form a simultaneous 360 degree view. This, the team mentioned, can be used to provide a more detailed view of space objects.
  2. Space411 - A web application that aggregates all news from space such as astronaut experiences, new space discoveries, etc. and provides that on one platform with an aim to improve people's space knowledge levels.
  3. AstroQuize - An informational space-inspired game, that takes a Question-and-Answer approach on matters space.
The highlight of the event was definitely a Hangout On Air by +Mandla Maseko, the first black African astronaut headed to space. This is one humble man, and his story on getting to reach beyond the stars (well, literally :-) in this case) is quite inspiring, and was definitely worth our while listening to him; with his talk resonating around providing more information out there about space, for the general public to get more and more informed.

Marking the end of the 2-day event was a pitching session where the 3 teams got to reveal what they have been working on. Team Spiral Camera took 1st place while AstroQuize followed to take 2nd place. That was definitely a weekend well spent, and we wish the teams best of luck in the global competition. 

Much appreciation to our event mentor, +Arky r (@playingwithsid) from Mozilla and the presence +Sara-Jayne Terp (@bodaceacat) from Ushahidi, who helped the teams in their ideaition and development phase. 

Get more photos for the event here!






Friday, 4 April 2014

CMS Africa Summit

Over the years, web designers and platform builders in Africa have been accused of not following due diligence when building platforms and websites using open source Content Management Systems.

Customization, security enhancements, bugs, and other things are not, in most cases, properly looked into. The end result has been incomplete websites to gaping security holes that have left thousands of websites unusable or easy attack to prowling hawkers.

Well, the CMS Africa Summit, held annually, bridges this gap with this year's conference having been organized right here in the city under the sun, Nairobi, Kenya at Strathmore University; on the 7th and 8th of March 2014.



The keynote was on "Digitizing Africa's Creative Economy" by Bitange Ndemo, a man regarded as the father of Broadband in Kenya, having championed the development of Fiber Optic cables and other supporting infrastructure to the East African region.

Other speakers who graced the summit include:

  1. Paul Orwig - president, Open Source Matters - on The World Needs Open Source
  2. Anthony Nandaa - from GDG Nairobi - on PHP for Google App Engine
  3. Ruth Cheesley - from Virya Technologies - on Women and Open Source
  4. Paul Otieno - on Marketing SMEs
  5. David Hurley - founding partner, WebSpark - on Joomla Framework - Building powerful sites
  6. John Karanja - founder, Whive.com - on Powering mobile applications using Wordpress
  7. Thomas Fleck - founder, Netresearch App Factory - on Meet Magento - what makes the difference?
  8. Kuba Zwolinski - CEO, Snowdog - on Magento Success Stories


The Summit brought together well over 300 people, 200 being students and the rest being from corporate and the government.

Google, GDG Nairobi, Mozilla, Magento, Wordpress, Open Source Matters, Joomla, RocketTheme, SilverBall Africa, Koa Media, Fika Africa, Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE), Typo3, Snowdog, among-st others were fully represented during the summit.

Strathmore University, Kenyatta University, University of Nairobi, JKUAT, St Paul's University, Riara University, Moi University, Nazarene University, Nairobits, and Nairobi Dev School were among-st the education institutions represented in the Summit.

The 2-days were definitely worthwhile to all attendees present. See how the days unfolded in the photos here.




GDG Nairobi is definitely humbled to have been a part of this awesome summit! Let's do this again next year :-)

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

#womenTechMakers Nairobi


"Be bold, confident and fearless in your lines of interest, be it in tech or leadership. Let it be a self-driven initiative to motivate fellow girls/ladies around us to believe in themselves and action.".


These were powerful words by the keynote speaker, Mrs. Joyce Mburathi, a former diplomat, and a lady who has worn several hats throughout her life journey, during this year's International Women's Day, #IWD which was celebrated in Nairobi, Kenya too :-) by very inspirational women across various industries.


Much appreciation to these amazing ladies who were part of a very interactive, eye-opening conversation dabbed "Stepping out and leading" (from left to right); Wadzanai Masidza, Business Development Manager at Google, Carol Musyoka, currently sitting on boards of Trans-Century Ltd, British American Tobacco and BOC Gases, +Muthoni the Drummer Queen a songwriter-flow-poet and creative social entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Blankets & Wine, and Dorcas Dumbe, senior editor in charge of magazines at the Standard Group.




#GDG Nairobi, #womenTechMakers , teamed up with +Google Kenya office for the day's event dubbed "Jitokezee Tuongoze" Swahili for "Step out, Let us lead".



One amazing lady did an awesome job moderating the discussion and getting the conversation going! Hats-off to you +Dorothy Ooko



The attendees were young ladies in various campuses in the city, a few alumni and post high school ladies and a representation by #womenAtGoogle from Google Kenya. The ladies are leaders in their respective campuses and #womenTechMakers (both developers and designers) from universities and hubs in the city.


Remember, success does not choose!

Entertainment by Sitawa Namwalie on a piece from "Silence is A Woman" iced the cake on this day. Lovely is how I could sum it up! Amazing amazing piece!

It sure was an awesome day! Thank you ladies for making it happen!


The #logitechwebcam did us much good :-) , ( Much thanks to Google's +Natalie Villalobos ) and we were able to record a Hangout On Air via +Google Africa 's page.. Catch the stream here.

More photos can be found on the event's page here!

Remember to circle us on Google+ for more updates on upcoming events.

"Jitokeze, tuongoze"





Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Going Native on Android, with Intel's NDK

It was GDG Nairobi and Intel at the iHub this past weekend for a deep dive into Android, going native using Intel's NDK.


The session was hands-on; the morning period saw attendees go through a practical design session led by +Samantha Merritt , a researcher at the +iHub UX Lab, who guided the 7 teams present on a design scenario.




Much crumbling was seen, proof that designing is always iterative, designing and redesigning until the best outcome is got :)

Developers present were taken through the 'Hello World' of the NDK, with the benefits of native coding being highlighted in the process. Thank you +Frank Tamre for the amazing session.



Developers getting their hands 'dirty' was not in vain.. A brand new Iconia was up for grabs, for the best app developed in-house that afternoon. The presence of +Dennis Riungu , one of the brains behind Simiyu the Chicken app was also enough motivation for the coders (both beginners and veterans) to get creative!



+Munene Julius walked away with this amazing gadget after creating a simple app to help those not so good at colors in identifying colors correctly. Congrats guy! With our most active social media person walking away with cool bluetooth powered headphones.


Hats off to the 10 #techWomen who attended, which translates to 1/4 of all the attendees! Let's keep the #diversity up-beat ladies :-)

Find more photos of the event here!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

GDG Nairobi DevFest 2013

It was the maiden DevFest to be held in "The City Under the Sun" [Nairobi] :-) , and Kenyan Developers do not disappoint as 130 people turned up for the event at the iHub, Nairobi Kenya.

Check out the event's site [DevFestKenya-Nairobi] to see the speakers who graced our Devfest and their code-labs and materials they used during the session too.

The event hash tags [ #devfestnairobi   #gdg   #devfest ] on Google+ will give more details on how the online interactions were during the entire period.

The day's pics have been uploaded on +GDG Nairobi 's page in the album DevFestNairobi. Feel free to tag your pals comment and share :-) . Also, add +GDG Nairobi to your circles for better interaction.

As follow-up to the event, we will be holding a #gcdc focused event for all our community members who are interested in the same. Check out the Google Cloud Developer Challenge Site for much more.

Much appreciation to +Thomas Kioko , +Nickson Kaigi , +Thomas Mugo , +Kennedy Mwenja and +Huston Malande for being our speakers during our very first DevFest here in Nairobi and making it a success!

Kindly fill in the feedback form here.

Warm regards to all attendees who managed to grace the DevFest!



Sunday, 29 September 2013

Count-down to GDG DevFest Nairobi — Saturday, October 5, 2013

It's finally few hours away, the biggest Google Developers Event in Kenya. You are all welcome for the DevFest 2013 Season — first of its kind in Nairobi. Tickets are sold out, but we are currently waitlisting, you will be notified latest Thursday on ticket availability.

Visit the official website for full details.



See you there! :)

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

CS4HS Orientation day at Starehe Boys Center

This was the day GDG Nairobi saw the CS4HS project come to birth...

With an awesome group of volunteer tutors; +Erick Wasambo +Rita Kimani +Laban Ndwaru +Mercy Orangi +Gilbert Kiilu +Dominic Imbuga and +Evanto B. 

The students ranged from those in Form 2 to Form 4 and what an audience they made! with 80% of them having interacted with computers as early as Class 1! This is the eager generation we hope to empower via this program.

The introductions are now under the seat; what's next is to roll up our sleeves and get our hands 'tech-ed' over the coming weeks!

Follow the growth curve of the program via the hash-tag #cs4hsNairobi on Google+ :-)

Those interested in the program and wish to volunteer as tutors can sign up here and further communication will be forwarded exclusively.