Tech Diary: GDG DevFest Nyeri 2013

Posted By: Unknown On Tuesday, 7 October 2014

This is originally a repost by one of the +GDG Kimathi University  Members. His take on GDG Devfest Nyeri  2013 and why you should come and attend Devfest 2014 .

Devfest Nyeri 2013 was a great event to attend. Today I sit on my stool trying to recall. I still remember that day with Nostalgia and in fact loved all that happened that day, the connections, the talks, the lessons, the lunch, the joy we shared, the knowledge… just but a few.It was more than a just a Devfest event, It was 8 hours of pure Google content.
A few days before the exciting day, that’s on Wednesday, I walk past the bus park heading to the school Mess feeling tired, then something tells me to get to the noticeboard. I peruse across many notices then suddenly get one that attracts my attention, GDG Devfest Nyeri 2013.    
I am only a freshman  with no laptop, no coding skills, and definitely no idea of what GDG Devfest is about, but I deeply love tech and gadgets, and just like the great Albert Einstein once quoted ‘The human spirit yearns to prevail technology’ I too has my share of technological willingness. So I head over to my friend +Billy Rotich , and tell him the good news. There and then, we get on line and after reading more about it we load the Eventbrite page, on realizing the tickets are free, we book event tickets for ourselves and three for our friends.

   It seems a long wait, Thursday and Friday pass and finally its Saturday, I wake up at six in the morning, do the necessary and can’t forget to carry my notebook and pen.Having no laptop won’t deter me from attending.I take tea at the mess and cut across the university to the venue, Auditorium. It’s only then that I reside to the fact that I am the first to arrive. I have no problem with that, sometimes I am more than just passionate. The Devfest receptionists here are by all standard professional, they confirm the validity of my ticket, gives me a tag and I’m in.

Tech talks
The Event starts by our own GDG lead, +Kenneth Kinyanjui . He talks about emerging Google technologies, specifically Google cloud platform and the chromium project. After him +Joseph Ndungu  take us through Chrome Dev Tools. And immediately, +arlus ishmael , another GDG lead adds more on Google Cloud Platform.Then Mr. +Femi TAIWO  a web developer and Nigeria's GDG champion takes center stage. He introduces us to the world of cross platform development with html5. He gives an invigorating lecture mainly focusing on android app development and Intel app framework.
Lunch Time:  We are reminded that all must have their tags and we head to mess in groups. The organizers
had ensured the tastiest savory foods had been prepared for the event attendees, and oh my, did people feast. This may come as a motivation to others, but be sure where there is Google, there is untamed satisfaction, even in the catering section.
After finishing the meal, that’s when I realize that we should not be this less. How could so many miss this so important Devfest? Did they attend another GDG Devfest somewhere? Or they just never got keen on the noticeboard? My hunch tells me the latter is not far from the truth.

Code lab 1: Android class
Back in the venue, we divide ourselves in groups and I choose code lab 1, the android class, together with my closest of friends, other attendees head over to code lab 2: Google App Engine.
We are taught by, +James Odede , GSA Maseno University about android apps, we get installed Android Eclipse and Android studio. All I have is my notebook, and it is almost enough. A projection was made on the projector board, so even if one doesn’t have his/her own laptop, one could still follow the steps effectively. My friend Billy has a laptop so I move closer to him and we get down to business.We try to code, to some of us it’s the first time coding, we err, but won’t give up easily.  When the error gets too complex, we call one of the leaders who readily assists us. And after seeing I note down the error because next time with or without a laptop I will be here and it will be me helping others.
In between, we are served with refreshments. We Code three more hours and its dark. We rejoin again in the Auditorium.

Women tech makers
Talk about beauty and brains, women and tech and the name +Njeri Chelimo  crosses your mind.She is Nairobi’s own GDGw Lead, a lady whose passion in technology raises the roof and most certainly inspires a lot of the ladies to follow suit boldly and enter the beautiful yet utterly competitive world of technology. She talks about the Diversity in Technology.  By seven we are tired but still eager to learn, again we are added more refreshments, +Said Fuad  (GDG Champion Kenya), then talks about UI/UX design on the Android Platform, He focused on the Action Bar and gave us reasons why we should use it. 30 more minutes and he is done.

The speakers with all the wealth of knowledge, interact with everyone freely, always ready to share their knowledge with us. We make many great friends, some create strong bonds, and most importantly, connections. I mean connections with the speakers and people like +Andrew kyalo  (Former Lead GDG JKUAT), +Dennis Riungu  (GDG JKUAT) and many more. To conclude the event the audience are being asked random questions, after that, students from each year are asked randomly to say something about the event. My friend +Chris Barsolai  is not the biggest fan of talking to crowds, He tries to evade the speaker’s attention but woe unto him, the speaker decides to choose the first year in yellow t-shirt. It’s him, so he gathers confidence, stands up and speaks out. All those who talk receive schwags (T-Shirts). We also receive the remaining-Shirts.
Its 8.00 p.m. GDG Lead and mentor, +Kenneth Kinyanjui  brings the event to an end by issuing his closing remarks. He thanks all the attendees for making the event delightful.
The event is over. We take photos to mark the day, for remembrance and for future reference. Then everyone heads his own way. I get home inspired, sit my on my bed and make a decision to tolerate no less. “I too can make their lives work my own”, I soliloquize.
The events bequeath and instilled in us some principles: Hard work, Persistence, faith and many more. We learnt many ideas lies hitherto untapped, and we are at the prime age of making those ideas come true, making those ideas change the society as whole and the world at large.
The fundamental cluster of the Devfest managerial portfolios are beyond reproach, yet they are just students, students like us, we can only and unanimously define the GDG Devfest committee as concise clear and colored with pride. Big up Marshalls. In all humility, we appreciate you for literally going beyond the call of duty to elevate DeKUT to a higher standards .And while I will always fall short of their examples, they make me want to be a better man.

Devfest Nyeri 2014
And now, Devfest Nyeri 2014 is here. I am excited and one can only hope, no I don’t hope, I most certainly sure that the event is going to be bigger, better and more interesting this time round, and so if you are out there and feel technology is in you, this is the right event, this is your time comrade, welcome all, and let’s do the cool stuff that matters.
 +Ngesa Marvin 
(Thematic Lead,GDG Kimathi University)

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