A wise man once said that life is the best teacher and from this it is believed that we learn more from our experiences than we would do in a classroom. With this in mind it was of great benefit for Egerton University to share experiences with some of the techies from *iHub and get trained on how to develop apps using AppStudio by Microsoft representatives during the *iHub outreach event at Egerton University on the 25th of April 2014.
The team of four was able to share their experiences and answer some of the questions that were plaguing the young minds ready to embark on a journey of achievements and success in the IT industry.
The session begun a bit late, however this did not deter students from the Faculty of Science (Computer Science department) making for an audience of close to 80 drawn from all years(1st-4th).
James Ndiga, the *iHub Outreach coordinator, was quick to stress the potential of Egerton University and dispel any fears that despite its distance from the capital, they had a lot to offer the country’s tech fraternity. He stressed on the need for techies in the university to take it upon them to solve local problems and make a contribution with their IT acumen.
With a lot of talk in Kenya’s tech industry being about mobile technology and applications, it was the perfect setting for Bernard Owuor - CEO and co-founder of Kijicho app a system which public service vehicles use to chat with each other, PSV owners/operators and even the authorities. He amused the audience with his talk on entrepreneurship and shared his experience as an entrepreneur and what one needs to be prepared for.
Next was Timothy Mwirabua from TheDevs. He demonstrated how the application is supposed to help freelance developers publish professional portfolios for their work and easily get discovered by potential contractors from any location of the world. He also talked about the skills that are required to succeed as developer and this was met with a barrage of questions from the audience which he answered satisfactorily.
The afternoon session was purely training on how to develop apps using AppStudio.
For most app enthusiasts, making an app required one to have technical know-how of a couple of programming languages, databases and a couple of other buzzwords. However, this was proven wrong last Friday when Microsoft representative Eric Mungai trained the students on the platform. Students with zero knowledge in app development were able to get up and running with Microsoft App Studio and create amazing apps in no time.
Most of the students were amazed at how easy it is to create mobile apps and some decided they would be making it a weekend activity. Students who were able to complete and build apps using the newly taught tools were able to get Dreamspark codes which they could use to open developer accounts for free and publish their apps.
"We are definitely looking forward to more innovative solutions and learning opportunities like this for the non-techies to come up with awesome apps and games on their own. Microsoft has done a great job at this and in the words of one windows phone fan by the name Ananda, “Tunashukuru!” said Stephen Muiruri, a 3rd year student at the university.
All in all, the *iHub outreach event was a major success and members of the Egerton university IT fraternity are waiting with bated breathes for more collaboration between the university and *iHub in the near future.