Thousands of Tech Enthusiasts Converge at DevFest Lagos 2019

All roads led to DevFest Lagos as Developers and tech enthusiasts converged at  D’Podium International Event Center, Ikeja.

The first 200 women that made it to the event early enough had the opportunity to attend a breakfast session by Women Techmakers and Women Will.

As the name implies, the event was aimed at inspiring women to be tech makers and leaders, making known to them some of the opportunities they have around them, how they can take positive advantage of them towards making both local and global impact.

The event had the presence of a few women tech leaders including;

  • Juliet Ehimuan; Google’s Director of the West Africa region
  • Gift Egwuenu; Software Engineer at Andela
  • Adora Nwodo; Software Engineer at Microsoft
  • Ada Nduka Oyom; Developer Relations Ecosystem Community Manager at Google.

and many others.

The main event which was what brought the 2500+ developers commenced with a welcome address from Femi Taiwo who made known to the audience the conference theme: Stepping Up; and charged them with how they can take advantage of what was in store for them during the event.

Next on stage was Aniedi Udo-Obong (Program Manager, Developer Ecosystem for Sub-Saharan Africa at Google). Aniedi spoke about how big DevFest Lagos has grown, praising the works of the organisers and volunteers of the event.

He also went ahead to make mention DevFest happening in other cities in Nigeria, Kenya and across Africa, charging the audience not to stop sharing knowledge and making an impact in themselves as the world is beginning to pay more attention to the Tech Ecosystem in Africa at large. Aniedi went on to welcome on stage Juliet Ehimuan (Director, West Africa at Google).

Juliet spoke on the topic Innovation Fueled by the Power of Possibilities. During Juliet’s talk, she made the audience understand how much software developers, engineers and technology experts are as key to development within the continent and the future at large.

Devfest Lagos - cfamedia

Juliet Ehimuan; Google’s Director of the West Africa region

She further buttressed this point by using some farmers in Tanzania that use TensorFlow powered machine learning tools to boost their productivity as an example, and also a Kenyan startup named Tambua Health that is revolutionising the diagnosis and treatment of Cardiopulmonary diseases.

She advised the audience to see problems and think solutions, making it understood that the solutions do not have to be the first, they only need to be revolutionary. In her words, Airbnb, Google Search and the Apple iPod are innovative solutions that revolutionized the entire technology industry.

She went further to define innovation as “the process of creating values by applying novel solutions to meaningful problems”.

After Juliet’s talk were talks from Hakeem Fahm, the Commissioner for Science and Technology and Special Assistant to the Governor on Innovation and Technology Tunbosun Alake, representing the Lagos State Government. Tunbosun Alake spoke about the tech conference Lagos State Government is planning for December 5, 2019, with the title “Lagos Tech Conference”.

He went ahead to explain plans to use this event to get feedback from software developers, engineers and technology experts, helping the government to learn how they can further support the tech ecosystem within the state.

Hakeem Fahm spoke as a representative of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Dr Obafemi Hamzat expressing that the governor is very proud of what the GDG Lagos organisers are doing and they will always be around to support them.

And now the atmosphere of the event hall was set for the tech talks which started with a keynote address from James Agada, former CEO of Computer Warehouse Group and now Founder of lxzdore Laboratories.

His keynote was titled “Getting to 10x?” His talk helped to understand that the race of every engineer/developer towards being a 10x professional is a rat race, that they should instead focus on creating value. He advised that the attendees should have the right attitude and practice by building. He used a question to buttress his point: What have you built today?

After some minutes, it was time for the audience to go into the four different rooms prepared for the four different talk sessions such as Machine Learning, Web, Android, Cloud and Personal Development. At this point, the GDG Lagos DevFest App came in handy as the schedule of the event was already updated on the app and the attendees found it easy to find their way around and knowing what session was going on in each room.

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