Google Developers Group (GDG) Organizes DevFest 2016 at HapaSpace

This past Saturday, 5th November, HapaSpace was happy to host a GDG event on its premises. Google Developers Group (GDG) Ghana is a vibrant community of Ghanaian technologists and enthusiasts that actively employ Google technologies for work and pleasure.Google Developers Group @ Hapaspace

GDG believes that technology is an important key to development in the country and in Africa, and their focus is building local capacity to make that happen.

The GDG event at HapaSpace, presented its attendees with lots of packages including Google branded souvenirs and most importantly some short presentations and training sessions. It is not uncommon attending a tech meetup just for the sake of discussion. But it is another experience all-together, having to be given resources and a lot of enlightenment on new tech tools and platforms.

The program started off gracefully after some of the attendees showed up even before the stipulated start time with a few videos from tech startups sharing their experiences.

Aniedi Udo Obong, currently the Google Program Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa kicked the ground running with his interesting Nigerian accent and bravado. He spoke of the need for developers, tech-startup founders and enthusiasts to start building momentum and a brand in their local space by choosing to be a part of meetups like this GDG DevFest. He went on to talk about his top 3 life lessons:

First, be an avid reader and of a particular book or subject. He emphasized the need to read the book at heart and with relish to the point of taking notice of the ISBN number and the author’s statement of dedication. In his own words “cover to cover”.

Second, pick a course on any of the currently available online learning platforms; namely but not limited to Udacity, Coursera, Edx, Team Tree House, Lynda, Udemy, Pluralsight and Codecademy. He emphasized the need to follow through to the letter on every assignment, peer-review and all other demands of the course.

And last but not least, Aniedi encouraged the attendees to join a group and cited GDG as an example. In his own words, “It is extraordinarily difficult, if not virtually impossible, to succeed at programming without the help of the community — offline and/or online.” He finished off with what he calls his controversial and opinionated statement: “Learn JavaScript”.

John Awotwi took over from Aniedi with a quick jump-start on how to setup and build a chatting app with Firebase package. He went on to help the attendees understand all the nitty-gritty of Firebase. There were lots of questions and answers by some of the attendees too on some of the technicalities. In just about half an hour, the group together with John had successfully created a very simple and functioning web chatting app that could handle real-time messaging and image upload. There was this wow moment in the atmosphere as the group warmed up in the cool air-conditioner in the event room.

GDG @ Hapaspace Kumasi

Before the meals and good soft drinks could come in to crown the whole program in its ‘splendour’, Nii Ankrah, web, mobile and internet security expert took over from John with a very smart and quick way of developing progressive web apps (pwa). With just about the addition of two JavaScript files, he, together with attendees had successfully created a very smart forex web app, which was easily converted to a mobile app, thanks to pwa in just about a quarter of an hour.

The program trended on twitter with the hashtag #DevFest16#Kumasi. The GDG DevFest event was such a great experience for most attendees. If you missed it, I hope to see you on the next GDG meetup at HapaSpace.

This post was written by Emmanuel Appiah of Addtify