Mozambican developer groups to step up activities in 2015

Google Developer Groups in Mozambique say they have pegged 2015 as the year to step up activities to boost app development in the country.

GDG Beira organiser and professional Android, IOS and Web developer Erick Kande spoke to Tracy Burrows.

What are Google Developer Groups?

Google Developer Groups (GDGs) are for developers/programmers who are interested in Google’s technologies such as (Android Apps Development, Google Cloud Applications, etc) and other technologies such as programming languages Go, Java, Javascript, Python and other  technologies, including Google Chrome Apps, Google Drive, and development of applications in the cloud (Google cloud, Google App Engine, Google Compute Engine). 

MozDevz (Mozambique Developers) is a developer community, who use their talents to contribute to the social development of the community.

How long has the organisation been active in Mozambique?

The Google Developers Groups Mozambique communities (GDGs Mozambique) have been active in Mozambique since July, 2013.

How many people are involved in the organisation?

The GDGs communities have one GDG Chapter per city, so currently we have two actives chapters in Mozambique (GDG Beira and GDG Maputo). Each chapter has one organizer and two co-organizers in total we have six people involved in the organization. In the terms of GDGs members, we currently have over 275 active members.

What are its primary goals?

The goal of Google Groups Developers is to train local developers and programmers to develop professional and advanced modern mobile applications, web/web mobile applications, cloud applications, etc. We aim to help solve local real problems found in the sectors such as Health, Education, Commerce, Agriculture and small business development, and to promote the use of ICTs to respond to those local needs. This training includes intensive Code labs, workshops and seminars.

What programme of action does the organisation have for 2015?

Recently, Google Developers Mozambique signed some partnerships with the Mozambique Swedish Embassy though the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency, Southern Africa Innovation Program (SAIS), IDEÁRIO Hub. With the support of Google and others partners this year our actions are:

1. First we have changed our concepts of Hackathons prizes. We decided to do things differently, and instead of offering money as prizes as we have done in past hackathons (1st place $3000 USD, 2nd place $1500 USD and 3th place $1000 USD), this year we will implement in some of our hackathons the concept called Hack4Job. Hack4Job offers employment or paid internships awards as the Hackathon prizes to the 1st place, 2nd place and 3th place at some Mozambique SMEs and biggest companies. 

We believe that the concept of Hack4Jobs is 10 times better than the Concept Of Hack4Money, as it will help to reduce unemployment in Mozambique's Developers Communities.

 2. We will expand the GDGs and MozDevz Communities in 5 more cities of Mozambique and we will organize four hackathons per city, one national hackathon, and many tech meetups and networking sessions.

3. Google Developers Groups Mozambique and MozDevz Communities, together with the IDEÁRIO Hub have signed the partnerships in order to get Mozambique on the World Map of Startups. Ideario Hub is the key hub and the key partner to grow the ecosystem of startups in Mozambique. 

Powered by a shared belief bring developers of all types and all experience levels of all part of the country to comes together to explore and expand the abilities, technologies knowledge, exchange ideas, networking, knowledge about entrepreneurship (Development of ecosystem of startups) not only as individuals, but as a group and amazing things can happen. From Tech Enthusiasts, beginners to experts, all are welcome.

What are the current developer trends in Mozambique?

Developers in Mozambique are increasingly interested in developing mobile solutions and modern web solutions especially for Android and IOS platforms and modern web solutions using new development technologies such as: Node.js, Python, etc. 

What does the future hold for developers in Mozambique?

In Mozambique, there are many opportunities to develop new solutions to solve problems in sectors such as Education, Health, SMEs, Agriculture and Tourism, and to transform these opportunities into tech startups.  For example, Mozambique is one of the most attractive countries in Africa for tourists. Startups can build restaurant apps, taxi apps and more. Now with the new resource discoveries, Mozambique has many opportunities for startups.

What are the biggest challenges would-be developers and ICT startups face in Mozambique?

In the short term, we have a lack of skills and team building to turn good ideas in to great business, while in the long term, a challenge will be building a community that can empower diversity and collaboration to achieve anything. The ability to be humble and work together it is a challenge, but if we can pull it off, we can all stand as winner at the end. Challenge accepted by IDEÁRIO Hub, Google Developers Mozambique Communities and MozDevz but it will require all of our efforts, including our partners.

How can the developer community in Mozambique contact your organisation for information?

Developers can contact us through our web sites: www.gdgmozambique.co.mz  and  www.mozdevz.co.mz as well as through our social media pages and groups (Facebook and G+) by searching "MozDevz, Google Developers Groups Mozambique".

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