For this post, we would like to give you a detailed look into our experience at Africa’s talking hackathon event that held on January 26th, 2023 and was a huge success. The event was hosted at the Barnawa, Colab Innovation Center. It was attended by enthusiastic participants who were eager to put their skills to the test. The day was divided into two segments, the Hackathon event and a discussion on possible collaborations and community development with some co-hosts.
What is a Hackathon?
A hackathon, also known as a codefest, is a social coding event that brings computer programmers and other interested people together to improve upon or build a new software program and also, collaborate and build creative solutions to problems over a short period of time, usually 24–48 hours.
The word hackathon is a portmanteau of the words hacker, which means clever programmer, marathon, an event marked by endurance. A hackathon has many advantages like technical skills enhancement, networking with peers and industry experts, learning new technologies, gaining hands-on experience, working on projects outside of work/school, winning prizes/recognition, having fun and solving problems creatively, the list goes on.
Now that you know what a hackathon is all about, we’ll give a brief summary of what Africa’s talking is all about. Africa’s Talking powers communications solutions across Africa with simplified access to telco infrastructure, developers use our powerful SMS, USSD, Voice, Airtime, and Payments APIs to bring their ideas to life, as they build and sustain scalable businesses.
Africa’s Talking community allows developers to learn skills for the modern-day African Developer. They are language and framework agnostic. All developers are welcome. This is where Africa’s Talking developers community meets to build, learn and exchange knowledge. They are helping software developers and businesses to bring their ideas to life through easy-to-use APIs quickly.
So, at the start of the Hackathon, the participants were given four use cases to choose from namely;
· Micro-payment solutions
· Distribution at Scale
· Incentivizing Users
· Reselling (Discount)
Our team chose the reselling(discount) use case and we got divided into groups to work on the UI design, front-end development, back-end development, testing, and implementation. The result of their hard work was a basic software called Creditshare, which was presented to the judges at the end of the day. Creditshare placed second in the competition, showcasing the talent and potential of the participants. After working on the prototype for hours, our efforts paid off! Our team member did such a great job during the presentation that we got commended.
After the Hackathon event, a discussion on possible collaborations and community development took place. The group discussed hosting a hackathon at iT Central, engaging different hubs, hosting meetups, and other activities that would help in networking and building the Kaduna tech ecosystem. The aim was to make Kaduna a Place that is known for tech, tech innovations, and solutions, and to build a generation of recognized software developers and IT specialists.
There was emphasis made on the importance of skills sharing and engaging with outside hubs, which will bring about diversity in ideas and innovations. The group also discussed teaching other courses like data science, to help grow and expand the community’s skillset.
In conclusion, Africa’s Talking Hackathon was a great opportunity for the participants to showcase their skills, network with like-minded individuals, and contribute to the growth of the Kaduna tech ecosystem. The discussion on possible collaborations and community development was also a step in the right direction, laying the foundation for future initiatives and events that will further advance the Kaduna tech scene.
Special acknowledgment of team members: Ziyad(birthed the idea, worked on UI design, and presented), Ibrahim(worked on the front-end development, testing, and implementation), Nasir Mustapha(Mr. Teey), and Halima(worked on the backend development).
Africa’s talking logo. https://africastalking.com/
Mekhala Roy - “A hackathon, also known as a codefest, is a social coding event that brings”. https://www.techtarget.com/searchcio/definition/hackathon.
“Africa’s Talking powers communications solutions”. https://community.elarian.com/events/details/africas-talking-africas-talking-community-presents-africas-talking-open-hackathon-airtime-kaduna-nigeria/