Why DevCon Zambia is Important to Me
I personally think we're way past the Africa is talented conversation. Talent is everywhere, opportunity isn't. That's why DevCon Zambia is important to me, it is paving way for opportunities in the region to arise. DevCon is Zambia's annual Developer conference, it aims to raise the quality of the craft as well as raise awareness of the activity spewing in the Zambian industry which is still in its infancy.
Zambia like every other nation in Africa is filled to the brim with talent. Sadly a lot of this talent is dispersed and can only be found in pockets by the dozens. As the ecosystem grows, it's getting harder and harder to provide and gain value from and to developers you don't know exist. Meeting and interacting to share thoughts, develop strategy, make partnerships and grow professionally through meetups, hackathons, code sprints and conferences is extremely important.
I did a thread that sums up most of my thoughts on the conference.
Startups 🤝 Developers— 𝙳𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚎𝚕 𝙼𝚊𝚍𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚜𝚘 𝙿𝚑𝚒𝚛𝚒 (@malgamves) August 16, 2019
Startups 🤝 Developers
In one way or another, over the past 7 weeks I've said something that carries the sentiment of the tweet above so much it's practically my mantra now.. Since getting back to Zambia I've met some amazing people doing some amazing things. I swear I've had some of the most stimulating and inspiring conversations of my life. They're so driven it's crazy. Learnt so much and I know there's still so much to learn because I keep meeting more and more everyday.
I'll highlight only a few I've spoken to and point out my key takeaways before I get to the point of this thread.. I'll start with Mwiya, who I guess most know for Nkwashi. He's got so much knowledge to share and has such an interesting perspective on the practical uses of technology in business. Let's get to Njavwa and Perseus with Musanga Logistics and Zazu Africa respectively. They both have such amazing vision and drive. Their understanding of how developers impact an ecosystem and their willingness to engage with these communities are commendable. A recent conversation with Sekayi one half of MaFashio exposed how many people like to put software in a box instead of seeing it as an extension of particular disciplines. Professionally I'm a Developer Relations Engineer and have huge interests in investment, startups and art. Not to mention that building and serving communities is something I can't help but do. I'm also very lucky to be helping make DevCon Zambia possible. As you can tell from my interactions with people running businesses. Technology is everywhere, it's driving innovation, saving costs, improving efficiency, etc.
Behind all that are developers. Some describe them as humans with the ability to turn coffee into code... But I digress.
I'm lucky to be surrounded by amazing developers. These are extremely talented individuals building the world of tomorrow in one way or another. Conversation with Wilfred, Mukuma, Lontia and so many others highlight a lot of hardships both beginner and experienced developers face as they go about their careers.
This isn't just a Zambia specific problem but something a lot nations around Africa and even the world face. Conversations with attendees and fellow speakers at PyCon Africa really cemented the idea and the conversations after are gradually heading towards sustainable solutions. From the startup perspective there's a talent deficit... from the developer perspective there's an opportunity deficit and so many of the conversations I've had are about fulfilling the needs of both worlds and creating a scenario where both can thrive.. The truth is it's a little bit more complicated than that. The absence of a sustainable talent pipeline and very visible disconnect between industries and developer communities creates unrealistic expectations on both ends. Happy to say DevCon Zambia aims to bridge both. Remember when I said I was lucky to be helping make it possible?
This is the second year the conference is running and I feel it's high time some of these conversations and brought up. Because when the two (🤝) see value in each other they tend to serve each other better. So like I said...
Startups 🤝 Developers
Both need each other, both can and should benefit from each other. Creating a situation where both do that takes effort and time. Both need to build more, create more value on a global scale and then we can grow as we should 💖
Truth be told the community has grown quite a bit & at this year's conference, we've got some amazing speakers from all over the world coming to share how they're building their future. We're still looking for Partners and early bird ticket sales end on the 1st of September, grab them while you can!
We're completely volunteer run & community driven and any help in any form will go a long way.
Check us out 🤗 See you in September 💖