Nokia, Microsoft developer challenge enters home stretch
| March 26, 2013, 5:48 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
University students from Africa and Middle East have a chance to shine in mobile app development in a new challenge by Microsoft and Nokia.
Winners of the on-going Nokia and Microsoft’s mobile app development competition will be announced on May 6th 2013.
The competition dubbed The Midnight Developer Challenge, is aimed at providing the university students with exposure and training in the latest mobile and app development technologies.
The contest is divided into two categories – Apps and Games. Each category will have a winner and a runners-up prize.
The winning team will walk away with USD10,000, a trip to a Nokia Global event, plus an XBOX and Lumia 920 for each team member. The runner-up team will receive USD5,000, an XBOX and a Lumia 920 for each team member. Additionally there will be a People’s Choice category, whereby the winner will receive USD3,000 plus an XBOX and a Lumia 920 for each team member.
The challenge will see university students from 25 Africa (Kenya included) and Middle East countries come up with the next big mobile app idea. Some of the African countries taking part include Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
The final submissions for the competition are expected to close this Thursday and the apps need to be published by mid April.
The competition was launched in December last year and the participating students have been receiving advanced technical training and coding sessions with Nokia and Microsoft software experts through weekly webinars and dedicated online support to help them conceptualize their ideas.
Both Nokia and Microsoft have been working closely with the universities to ensure faculty support is provided for students who entered the competition.
Head of Developer Experience, Nokia IMEA Joe Devassy said the challenge is providing students an opportunity to get real life experience in designing, developing and distributing a mobile app for consumers in an emerging app economy.
“We designed this competition to maximize the learning process of this entrepreneurial journey – that is, how to go from an abstract idea to a fully-developed Windows Phone 8 app available to millions of consumers worldwide,” he added.
“This initiative, which empowers young local talent with world-class opportunities to develop and learn about the latest advances in mobile app technology, is testament to our commitment to the region. Windows Phone 8 is a great mobile platform and there is immense opportunity for developers to leverage and utilise the innovative features of the Nokia Lumia range including augmented reality navigation, NFC and imaging,” said Amintas Lopes Neto, Academia and Startups Lead, Microsoft MEA.
Participants of The Midnight Developer Challenge also have the opportunity to be eligible to participate in the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013 Windows Phone Challenge – a high level global Window Phone app development contest organised by Microsoft.
Teams of up to three members were required to register online for The Midnight Developer Challenge. The apps and games must be developed using the newly released Windows Phone 8 SDK (Software Development Kit).