For a non-techie at a techie meeting, the acronyms can be confusing, people introduce themselves and the last word is “am a Java or PHP developer”. I have heard the acronyms but I don’t know much beyond the fact that they are programing languages.
It is interesting being part of developers because you get to learn the language too and tell the difference. For some of us who thought programming is one straight line; you get that its like “Githeri” the mixture of maize and beans thats my traditional food and they have their speciality.
The most important thing was not the lessons I got about the differences in the various specialities but the introduction of Judith Owigar, a new volunteer developer who specializes in Java. There is no doubt that men outweigh women in the techie sector but even the women who may be developing interesting stuff have not come out in the open as much to share with the industry.
You can hear of women doing impressive developments in various companies but very few volunteer in collaborative efforts; therefore getting less acknowledgement. However, in the policy aspects, women are plenty. The meeting’s objective was to augment the developer community, bring together the various clusters working on iphone, android among other applications and get them to share common experiences, challenges and ways to collaborate.
In this meeting, Judith, Jason, Emmanuel, Tim, Brian and Ken shared on their Ushahidi experiences and progress so far. Emmanuel demonstrated his latest efforts to improve frontline SMS on Ushahidi to make it easier for people to deploy and triangulate the smses to identify where the sender’s location aurtomatically.
From the discussions, it was apparent that there are opportunities for developers to be exposed internationally. For instance; Freecode International is looking for local developers to partner with; a representative was in the country and met some of them. There was debate whether local developers lack opportunities or are just lazy to deliver on market requirements.
The debate can swing either way but the meeting agreed to create common forums for developers and to partner with a team of students and mentor them. The forums will be held every two weeks at Dorman’s Coffee house, Sarit Center. They have good connectivity and you get a cup of coffee if you get there by 6pm.
The next meeting is on September 28th, 2009 at Dorman’s Sarit Center