Sub Team 1 - Next Gen Apps

This project will entail working with innovation/technology hubs in Kenya under the auspices of Strathmore University on an initiative to mentor young developers in next generation application development to port. 

This will be a training engagement combined with some entrepreneurship training to develop a community around Bluemix platform. At the end of the training developers or teams that managed to develop most appealing and usable apps with Bluemix will be selected to become Bluemix ambassadors.  These ambassadors could further promote Bluemix with organizing meet-ups for other developers in their community where they could build or integrate apps using Bluemix.

Pictured:  Hoong Sheng, Muriuki Mureithi (Digital Opportunity Trust), Maria Kacerikova, Dr. Joseph Sevilla (iLabAfrica) and Dominic O'Toole

Summary of Week 1
The participants started off the week knowing very little about developing applications in the Cloud, Scrum, Agile or Big Data.  Over the course of 5 days we covered may topics  and by Friday, each team was having a stand up scrum, brainstorming ideas with the final highlight:  streaming a twitter feed and posting to that twitter feed from a web browser.  Well done to the team and all the participants.

Topics covered: 
NodeJs, Express, ElasticMQ, Twitter API, Big Data, IBM Data Cache, MySQL, DevOps, Git
Team working, Scrum, Agile, Personas, Invention Vs Innovation

12th May 2014, Monday
Day 1 of the workshop, with the great support from Strathmore University, we conducted our opening session at Strathmore University's auditorium. Registration began at 0830h and participants across Kenya started streaming into Auditorium.

First up was IBM expert, Ben Mann, who gave an introduction to applications development on Cloud and an overview of the entire workshop. To break the ice between the participants, Maria, got participants to set their personal expectations for this two week of workshop and share among the participants.
Ben Mann Introducing Application Development on Cloud
Maria engaging participants on their expectations
For developers, the real action only happens when their hands are on the command line. The objective of day one was to have the participants experience creating cloud based applications. The sample Node Web Starter application was used as a starting point, and the lab exercise involved translating the entire UI into Swahili and deploying to the Cloud

With 2 labs in action, Dominic and Ben took charge of one each and assisted with any queries the participants may have had.
Dominic in Oracle Lab
Ben Mann in Ericsson Lab

13th May 2014, Tuesday
Day 2 began with the next exciting topic, Big Data. Our local Kenya Big Data expert, Paul Mutau, presented his experience and was introduced to a class of enthusiastic participants. 

Participants taking part in question and answer session
Paul Mutau (left) setting up his deck for presentation

Ben Smith explaining different roles of a development project

Ben Smith assisting a participant

14th May 2014, Wednesday

HS and Maria facilitating participants to form teams

Participants discussing various roles in their teams
Various teams brainstorming  (1/3)

Various teams brainstorming  (2/3)

Various teams brainstorming (3/3)

Teams sharing the results of their brainstorming

15th May 2014, Thursday

Participants trying out lab exercises conducted on Big Data
Maria sharing different ways in conducting a meeting
Ben Smith assisting a participant
Ben Smith conducting the hands on BlueMix workshop

Students working helping one another in the lab exercises

16th May 2014, Friday

The day kicked off with the Elastic MQ demo from Ben Mann. Ben Smith prepared an excellent lab on using the Twitter API allowing the participants to learn how to pull and push. Sherif Ali became scrum master for the day and ran scrums for all teams.The teams concluded their project work for the week by adding their project information to DevOps.

19th May 2014, Monday

IBMs top Mobile SDK developers ( Matt Perrins and Andrew Huffman ) rolled into town over the weekend to deliver this weeks hands on Mobile sessions.  The day started with and introduction to Mobile application development in the Cloud and the different aspects of the underlying architecture that a developer must think of. 

Andrew also delivered his Javascript 101 workshop as the sessions will be based on Node.  He showed the team the different aspects of Java script and more importantly what pitfalls to avoid.  

 Eyes lit up when the possibilities of Hybrid mobile applications were discussed and the team decided to take the workshop in that direction.  The afternoon was taken up by machine configuration, which proved a challenge for the team , mainly for the developers who were working from their own laptops.  

Talking to the developers afterwards, quite a few an now considering changing their current projects to use hybrid technologies

19th May 2014, Monday Evening Meetup Session

To better outreach the developers community who are not available to join us during this 2 weeks of intensive workshop in Kenya, we created two Meetup sessions in the evenings to gather these developers.

In the first session's Big Data meetup, we have experts from IBM Nigeria to share an overview of Big Data. The session covers how interesting to extract data from unstructured text and apply analytic on the data for useful information.

Meetup Session: Let's Get Hands-on with Big Data!

Ben Mann and Big Data experts from Kenya and Nigeria

Meetup session is hosted and recorded at Strathmore University

Ben Mann engaging participants feedback for future meetups

Meetup session catered to developers who are not available in the day

20th May 2014, Tuesday

The mobile workshops continued with the final setup of the participants development environments.  The highlight of the morning was the demonstration of the Bluemix hybrid mobile sample running on an android device.  All done in under 3 hours. Now the participants are using the Android development kit, Ionic, Genymotion,Bower and Grunt.  Matt then walked through the code behind the samples, sowing the seeds for the later discussions.

The aim of the afternoon session was to start transforming the ideas into working mobile devices, the key requirement was to integrate the mobile app with REST services and if possible combine multiple data sources.  The teams worked together for an hour and and then presented their ideas to the whole group.  It was great to see the teams starting to share tasks, one articulating the idea while the others were white boarding.  Others had fully fleshed prototype UIs to present.  One on one discussions then took place with Matt and Andrews to help the teams firm up their designs.  Some cool applications are being developed and what was noticeable was the each app was being designed to resolve a real world problem.  Solutions to problems rather than solutions looking for problems.

Evening time brought on the first Next Generation Application development meetup.  An overview of Cloud, Bluemix and Mobile development in Clould were presented.  The next session is already being planned.

21st May 2014, Wed
The teams woke up wondering what they had taken on.  They have two days now to complete their applications before the showcase tomorrow night.  Some prioritisation of requirements will be needed , nothing new there it's all part of the development process.

Ben Mann's Internet of Things workshop kicked of this morning.  Doughnut drumkit anyone:

this was great fun.  Some others discovered that one on the students was a pretty good ( electrical ) conductor:

The afternoon sessions continued with the application development, the applications are now starting to take shape.  The screen as being developed and the work divided between the front end and middleware.  The fun will be tying it all together.  Matt and Andrews are alternating between the groups to offer advice, coaching and provide sample code.  The students are progressing very quickly.

22nd May 2014, Thursday

Deadline day... 8 hours until the final presentations
The students are feeling the pressure now, but taking it in their stride.  Presentations will begin at 6 pm this evening.  The rest of the day will be spent pulling the various strands of the applications together.  Matt and Andrew are working very closely with the teams helping them to finish their applications and get them running on their devices.

Stakeholder discussion

Last nights discussion was the highlight of our two week event here in Strathmore.  We gathered together a distinguished panel of experts to discuss software development and innovation in Kenya.  A good crowd attended in the auditorium building to hear an engaging discussion from the panel.  The conversation could of continued all night, but we had to stop to give the students some time to present their applications to the audience.  

Each team did a short presentation of their application, describing the problem they were solving and their solution.  Booths were setup at the back of the room to showcase the applications to the audience.  The students did a great job of their presentations, whatever soft skill we think may be lacking in graduates, they were not missing here.  Well done to everyone.

I think it's a testament to the quality of the work done by the students during this week, that the discussions and demos continued for another hour.  The excitement and enthusiasm was ( and still is  ) infectious.  Questions were asked about forming companies and taking their products to the next stage.  You just feel as this group are on the cusp of something great and wonderful, all the cogs are now whirring with the possibilities of the what they can do with this new technology.  It's been a joy to watch.

23rd May 2014, Friday
Codeathon......The challenge Use the Internet of Things to make Africa a safer place

No let up in the excitement. We will all sleep for a week after this is over.  The team is now busy connecting devices to Bluemix via Node Red.


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