forloop Africa goes to Enugu, a key hub in the South Eastern part of Nigeria for the first time. forloop Enugu attracted attendees from neighbouring states—Anambra, Imo, Enugu, and Ebonyi. Interestingly, it is also the hometown and place of growing up of one of their Board members, Codebeast.
The meetup themed "Coal City: Code and Beyond" held on last Saturday, April 6, 2019 at the Genesys Tech Hub, Enugu. The hub hosted over 100 people comprising tech enthusiasts, developers and developer advocates from Scotch.io, Microsoft, AuthO, Ingressive, and Andela.
Before the 10:00 am kickoff time, early birds were already gathered at the event centre, tweeting about their presence. Perhaps, this promptness demonstrates the high regard of the forloop movement in places even outside of Lagos. Maybe not, some might have come early enough just to enjoy the free WiFi at the venue before others come to slow it down. Whatever their reason for coming early, it was a win-win for both the organisers and the attendees.
Who spoke and what did they speak about?
Due to some issues with logistics, the speakers were about an hour behind schedule. But at exactly 11:20 am, they were ushered into the hall with a standing ovation from the audience.
Popular developer advocate, Prosper "unicodeveloper" Otemuyiwa mounted the podium to start things off as the Master of Ceremony (MC). He introduced the keynote speaker, Christian "Codebeast" Nwamba, as well as other guests and speakers.
The first speaker: Biodun Chris
Chris is an ambassador at AuthO and a technical writer. Like most of the speakers and attendees that travelled all the way, Chris travelled from South West's Ibadan to give a talk on "Technical Writing (An Exposé)".
"Why don't developers like to write?", Chris quizzed the attentive audience as he began to speak. The overwhelming response was that developers are not good at English, hence they treat writing like a plague. But Chris dismissed their excuse. He said:
In technical writing, there is more tech than writing. You don't have to be an English expert and you don't have to be a writer to be a technical writer.
The AuthO ambassador further added that anyone interested in technical writing can begin by writing on their personal blogs or Medium. If making money is one's goal, technical writing is definitely an area to consider. Technical writers have a variety of platforms to choose from, they include; Dev.to, Pusher, Scotch.io, Digital Ocean and of course, AuthO.
Prosper added that finding a niche to write about is a great way to start as a technical writer.
Second Speaker: Urusla Okolie
She spoke on "Becoming a Productive Developer". Urusla, currently studying at Enugu State University of Technology, is a front end developer and also a campus ambassador for Ingressive. And this was her first tech talk.
Productivity is working smarter, instead of harder. Low productivity is majorly caused by inconsistency and poor time management.
Urusla identified some tips that can boost developers' daily productivity.
- Set an exact time to get out of bed
- Get out of bed immediately
- Expose yourself to sunlight immediately
- Set a routine immediately after waking up
- Limit distractions; turn off your notifications during the time you are working
- Keep a daily to-do list
- Create a “not to do list”
- Lastly, start! And shun procrastination!
Keynote Speaker: Christian "Codebeast" Nwamba
Listening to Codebeast was surreal; his story is so inspiring. He shared his experience of growing up in Enugu, how he started writing for scotch.io while he was still an undergraduate.
You need to move from just learning and start implementing. Move away from your comfort zone. All you need to do is to be very good at what you are doing and the sky will be your stepping stone.
You can read the complete (abridged) version of Codebeast's story here.
Third Speaker: Abba Emmanuel
He is the Founder and CEO of Logeaksolution. The topic of this talk was "Build Solutions not Products, But How?"
All solutions are products. To build a solution, you need to think about the people. And you build people-centered solutions by using design thinking. Because solving a problem is important but ensuring that people can easily use that product is key.
Fourth Speaker: Ositadinma Nwagu
Nwagu is the learning and development coordinator for Genesys Learnable Progra— a 6-month internship program on front-end, back-end development and product design. He spoke on "Agile Software Development".
According to Nwagu, Agile is an approach to software development in which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their customers or end users. He went ahead to identify four values of agile software development.
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Adapting to change over following a plan
He ended his session by saying agile helps you to build and deliver the right software at the right time.
Fifth Speaker: Amarachi Amaechi
Amarachi is a front-end developer and the Ingressive Campus Ambassador for Nnamdi Azikwe University. Her first tech talk was on "How to hack into the ecosystem as a developer".
She gave five ways of "hacking" into the ecosystem as a developer.
- Reading and listening: read articles and listen to tech conversations
- Engage in meetups and conferences
- Seek for a mentor to guide you on what to do and how to do it
- Look for resources in the right places
- Make your mark and immerse yourself in a network
The panellists were Oluwafunsho Okubanjo, Mustapha Garba, Prosper Otemuyiwa, Kayode Sholanke, William Imoh, Christian Nwamba, Peter Ekene. People were very expressive as they asked questions like:
- How much does Codebeast earn at Microsoft?
- Can I survive as a Java developer in Nigeria?
- Do I need to learn up to 10 programming language to be a badass?
- How can I start and sustain a tech community?
- How can I be a world-class developer?
The event came to a close by 4:15 pm, followed by the group pictures.
It was an awesome meetup, coupled with the fact that for most speakers and panellists this was their first time in Enugu.
Shout-out to Genesys Tech Hub and forloop Enugu for hosting us.