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Microsoft Nigeria Builds Media Capacity For News Reporters

Microsoft Nigeria exposed journalists to benefits of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Windows 8.1 at a one-day capacity building training for the Nigerian media. The training was held by Microsoft in conjunction with its Gold certified partner, Ha-Shem Network Services Limited, also known for its world class IT solutions and training.

Office 365 is a major offering within Office 2013 which is the next iteration of Microsoft’s flagship office product line for customers and is designed to work with both touch and a mouse, and works seamlessly in the cloud, giving the user an unmatched on- and offline experience.

A cloud service designed for busy households and people juggling ever-increasing work and family responsibilities, the Office 365 Home Premium includes the latest and most complete set of Office applications; works across up to five devices, including Windows tablets, PCs and Macs; and comes with extra SkyDrive storage and Skype calling.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 brings significant advantages to those who are upgrading existing PCs or purchasing new ones and comes with a new look.  The operating system offers improvements in performance and existing capabilities.

To address challenges of weak technology reporting in the African media which is unstructured and shallow, and to bridge journalists’ reporting skills gap, Microsoft aims to provide local journalists with the tools they require to enable them report confidently on ICT issues, use technology properly in their day-to-day activities and create an affinity to the Microsoft brand and its solutions and services.

The workshop course content included Big data, One Note, Anti-piracy, Social media,Understanding Cloud Computing and Windows 8 & Office 365 experience.

Participants came from various media houses such as The Punch Newspapers, The Guardian Newspaper, ThisDay Newspaper, Champion Newspapers, BusinessDay Newspaper, National Mirror, The Sun and Vanguard Newspapers amongst others. Certificates of participation were given to all the journalists at the end of the one-day workshop.

IBM And CcHub Hold Education Sessions At ‘Lasgidi’ Hackathon

The enterprise giants IBM made a concrete statement of intent by signalling their presence in Nigeria’s applications development ecosystem – one of Africa’s fastest growing tech markets, with a four day hacking event, that ends today. The IBM Lasgidi Hackathon event which started off with a 2-day session dedicated to training, was followed subsequently by a further 2-day hackathon phase, themed “Mobile payments and Smarter Governments”.

With various experts flown in from around Africa and the world over, IBM introduced several of their product offerings and how to make the most use of them. Some of them include leading IBM development platforms for mobile, cloud, and data such as DB2, BlueMix, Worklight studios, and Guardium – a cyber-security tool. At the core of their target spectrum were students from various universities around Nigeria, and the lot were sprinkled with a few working professionals who had also registered to be part of the program.

In partnership with Airtel, CcHub and some other strategic partners from the region, IBM organized a laudable two days of educational sessions lasting as long as eight hours minimum each day, with an assessment conducted at the end of the two-day event, and certificates awarded. Top-ranking participants, who made the cut in the assessment results, were to move on to the hackathon stage which would last another two days. The format would be individual teams comprising six members each, with the goal of developing solutions in languages they are most comfortable coding with, which could then be integrated into the IBM WorkLight developer environment as provided.

The Hackathon does encourage participants to build mobile applications that run on mobile devices, compete for innovation grants, and develop team skills. Also the coding competition introduces participants to IBM’s latest leading technology tools and frameworks to help build smarter and faster.

Beyond making it to the hackathon phase, ultimately everyone is a winner as IBM has provided a developer community which is interactive, making sure that everyone who took part has the opportunity of becoming a member. This helps to take the relationship further, instead of the usual one-off offers that programs such as this often come along with. IBM is also in the process of putting up Innovation centers, where students and professionals alike would be able to come around and interact freely with their various product offerings, with necessary support made available.

We understand this IBM Innovation Agenda event is designed to help promote and foster the growing innovation culture in Nigeria, and is a first of its kind for IBM in the Africa region.

As seen as CcHub.com // Photo Credit: .:AR:. via Compfight cc

 

Microsoft Teams Up With Nokia And Qualcomm To Train Developers

Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative is delivering a week of immersion training sessions for over 40 developers from innovation hubs in Lagos including CcHUB and iDEA, as well as a number of universities across Nigeria.

The week long session will provide deep dive technical training on Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Windows Azure platform. These trainings will be delivered by experienced technical specialists to ensure that the trainees can leave the session with world-class skills. Microsoft partners including Nokia and Qualcomm will also deliver sessions on various aspects of the development process, to enrich the learners’ experience and expose them to a broad set of technology solutions.

The program’s goal is to equip this elite group of developers with the world-class technical skills needed to build highly relevant, immersive applications and cloud-based solutions. The 4Afrika Initiative places a sharp focus on skills for entrepreneurship and employability, so the training will also help equip this group of developers to share their learnings with others, potentially through internships or similar opportunities in the Microsoft partner ecosystem.

The 4Afrika Initiative was built on the dual beliefs that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and that Africa can also accelerate technology for the world. This immersion program is designed to empower developers who have great ideas for a business or an application, by giving them the skills to turn that idea into a reality which in turn can help their community, their country, or even the continent at large

For more, visit the 4Afrika website.

DAFTECH Launches Skills4Life Program To Equip Nigerian Youths

Skills4Life is a program being put together by DAFTECH (Digital Access Foundation for Technology Development), a not-for-profit organization with a mission to simplify technology, empower educators and inspire students. The program’s main target is to provide basic and advanced courses in Android, iOS, Windows app development, digital effects, classical character animation, film and video editing, graphic designs, web and mobile publishing.

In a bid to tackle the scourge of unemployment and to further equip and empower Nigerians, DAFTECH was floated with a concrete objective: providing free technology educational services, digital learning and new media services to developmental organizations, civil society groups, educational institutions, students and also individuals.

SEE ALSO: Startup 102: Developing Real Tech Entrepreneurs

With the immense potential of the digital media industry in Nigeria, the main challenge is to fix the problem owing to lacking depth of technology skills necessary to fully harness the potential.

Skills4Life has been developed to bridge the widening skill-gap in a bid to further create employment opportunities. Speaking at the launch of the foundation, the Program Manager for West Africa, Adebisi Bakinson said, “We will provide a technology hub where learning and skills development thrives with the overall goal of reducing unemployment and creating technology entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Africa.”

The program, which has been scheduled to begin this month, would involve a selection of ninety participants every quarter. Each participant would be subjected to an intensive six- week training program for free in a well equipped classroom and digital studio. At the end of each quarterly session, certificates will be handed out to trainees, with the best student getting a MacBook Pro.

Source: Vanguard

W.TEC Girls Technology Camp 2013, August 11 – 24

What guys can do, ladies can do better. Or at least that’s what W.TEC wants to prove. Knowing that knowledge is key in technology, W.TEC is hosting a Girls Technology Camp to empower girls with technology knowledge in a two week technology education and mentoring programme. The objective is to help girls develop an early interest in computers and other information technology tools.

For the camp duration, the girls will participate in technology workshops. The long-term goal is to increase the number of Nigerian women using technology productively for learning, professional and leadership activities. The camp is open to secondary school students and workshops will include graphic design, movie making, web design and introduction to programming.

WTEC2

During the camp, the girls will participate in technology workshops and leadership activities. Evaluations of previous camps show enhanced leadership skills, creativity, problem solving and communication abilities in the girls.

The camp is for girls-only and the criteria for admission are:

  • Intelligent, ambitious girls currently in JSS 2 – SSS 2 (no younger than 11 years) who are interested in and enjoy using computers and exploring the Internet.
  • Planning or exploring a career using computers and/or other information and communication technology sectors e.g. telecommunications.

The girls will live at the camp venue for the duration of the programme:

Date: August 11 – 24, 2013
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Fee: N 50,000 per student (covers tuition, feeding, boarding, and excursions)

Some scholarships are available.

Apply online or email info@w-teconline.org to find out more about the W.TEC Technology Camps.

#BBJamNigeria: Developers Trained On BlackBerry10 Technology

BlackBerry yesterday trained 90+ Nigerian developers on how to develop for their new BB10 Operating System at Co-Creation Hub. It’s not a doubt to see how BlackBerry believes in the new operating system. Also realising Nigeria is the 2nd highest country in Africa with BlackBerry apps downloads, after South Africa, BlackBerry organized an intensive 10 hours hands-on training to teach Nigerian developers how to code and develop functional local apps for the new OS with their new SDK (Software Development Kit) and other available tools.

The training helped developers to make adjustments to their existing apps and also saw the birth of some new apps even though some are as basic as “Hello World” apps. Developers were also thought on how to develop BB10 apps with pure HTML5.

There was a lot of coding sessions, as well as information and motivation sessions until the end when 5 BlackBerry Bold 5s and Z10 were given to 5 apps winners and someone that got right all quiz questions respectively. The best app winner, Adebayo of Genni Games, walked away with a $2,000 cheque.

BlackBerry also announced that the 10 local app to be deployed to BlackBerry World before October 1, 2013, will stand a chance of winning $10,000.

Interesting to note that 10% of the developers trained were female, making it the first coding event with that much female in attendance that I have witnessed.

 

What Businesses Should Know About The Project Management Triangle

This is a the second part of our Project management series. If you missed the first edition you can read it here. In the first edition, I tried to explain who a project manager is. So, you may have to read it first before you continue with this piece. One key concern for anyone who has ever had to take on a project is how to ensure that all projects are delivered according to a specified budget or cost, scope and the delivery time. Most issues or constraints that arise from projects not been successful are derived from any of these three factors.

To discuss the project management triangle, let us look at three case scenarios and decide what option best addresses them.

  1. You gave out a project to a contractor and agreed on how much it will cost to deliver the project. The contractor then comes back after some weeks into the project that they did not envisage a part of the project and thereby was not included in the costing. They will therefore need to review the project cost upwards and you have no choice but the bear the additional cost

  2. You gave out a project to a contractor to be delivered in four weeks. You even ensured that all payments were made to the contractor so that there won’t be any financial excuse not to deliver the project on time. Three weeks into the project, you find out that the contractor has not started because they haven’t sourced a major material needed to start

  3. You are a contractor that has just been awarded a contract to deliver exercise books to a secondary school. After all negotiations and timelines have been concluded, you set out to deliver the project. You have made all necessary arrangements to deliver the project on time. Some weeks to your promised timeline, the project owner called you that he just remembered that he did not tell you that you have to design a special cover for the exercise book

SEE ALSO: Prowork Now Lets You Manage Your Projects Over Email

These three scenarios show different factors that can affect any business per time if not well managed.  These factors are the core reasons why a lot of projects are failing.

Case 1: shows a project which cost was not well defined at the beginning of the project. The cost constraint refers to the budgeted amount available for the project. This is expected to show how much in Naira and Kobo the whole project will cost

Case 2: shows a project which timelines for different aspect was not well planned for. The time constraint refers to the amount of time (in days, months or years) that the project has been planned to be completed

Case 3: shows a project which scope was not well defined at the initiation of the project. The scope constraint refers to what must be done to produce the project’s end result.

There really won’t be any need for project management if time, money, or project scope were unlimited. All projects irrespective of their size will have many constraints/factors affecting it.

In project management parlance, these three factors (cost, time and scope) are referred to as the Project Management Triangle. These three factors go a long way to determine how well the project is going for all the parties involved. The contractor/project manager wants to ensure he has understood every detail of the project and made plans for them in terms of the costing and the delivery time. The project owner wants to ensure that every detail for the project is well understood by the project manager and that he is getting the project at the right cost and also to be delivered on time.

Each constraint is placed at every side of a triangle. One side of the triangle cannot be changed without affecting the others. Whenever a change is made to any of these constraints, it automatically has resulting effects on the other two, e.g. whenever you change the scope of a project, it will surely have a resulting effect on the project cost and time of delivery. A further refinement of the constraints separates product quality or performance from scope, and turns quality into a fourth constraint.

The three project management constraints are often competing constraints. If you adjust any one side of the triangle, the other two sides are affected. For example, if you decide to adjust the project plan to:

  • Ensure the project is finished on time, then you might end up with the project costing more and possibly the scope reduced by not doing some part of the project

  • Meet the project budget, the result might take longer to complete and a decreased scope

  • Increase scope by adding more job/features to the project, your project might take more time and cost more money in the form of resources, such as workers

The main responsibility of a project manager is to manage these constraints of the project management triangle. Project management practice provides the tools and the techniques for the project manager to be able to manage all these constraints. The project management triangle is used by managers to analyze or understand the difficulties that may arise due to implementing and executing a project.

Application of the Project Management Triangle

Most times when a client requests or does something unreasonable, like adding a feature or shortening project due date while still expecting everything to remain unchanged, many contractors or project managers just respond in simple terms to the client that it is not possible. Most clients might insist on what they want and at the end, its either they get a job that is rushed and not well done or possibly get job with materials of very poor quality.

The project management triangle should be used as a communication tool. It should be used to communicate the constraints involved in achieving the change in the project structure and how best to achieve the project with the new details needed by the client. This will help business people on not saying “no” to potential clients. For example, if a client wants to move the due date forward by two weeks, we can advise the client to either remove some of the features of the project or add more workers to the project.  Always get the client’s consent before changing any feature of the project.

Credits: Wikipedia, Projectsmart.co.uk

BlackBerry Jam Sessions Continue To Roll Out In Africa

Hundreds of budding developers and students to enjoy more BlackBerry training sessions in several locations across the region

BlackBerry is kicking off a fresh series of BlackBerry Jam Sessions for developers in Africa that aim to provide new skills, support the development of locally, relevant content and give budding entrepreneurs more opportunities to reach BlackBerry customers around the world. The events will provide attendees with the latest resources, training and best practices for creating BlackBerry® 10 apps.

In March and April this year, successful BlackBerry Jam sessions in Botswana and South Africa drew over 260 passionate developers to learn all about creating apps for BlackBerry 10. Soon, the BlackBerry Jam series will follow in Tunisia (14 June), Egypt (18 and 19 June), Kenya (21 June), Ghana (1 July), Nigeria (3 July), and again in South Africa (15, 16 and 18 July).

Robert Bose, regional managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at BlackBerry says, “BlackBerry understands that access to education and skills creates opportunities, so we’re pleased to announce more BlackBerry Jam events for budding entrepreneurs across the region. This is especially true in Africa, one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world. We’re excited to already see such a healthy ecosystem of BlackBerry 10 apps in Africa and the Middle East, and we look forward to seeing developers learn how to create even more compelling BlackBerry experiences in the months to come.”

This announcement follows a series of successful BlackBerry Jam sessions and Hackathons held last year in Africa, with over 300 developers attending events in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

BlackBerry Jam sessions are open to all developers, but are also designed for people who are new to the BlackBerry 10 platform, or want to learn the basics about app development. The sessions provide practical advice and great tips that help developers get the most of the BlackBerry 10 development environment.

BlackBerry technical experts are on hand at all sessions to answer developer questions and provide them with the latest best practice from BlackBerry. At each session, developers experience hands-on training focusing on the BlackBerry Cascades™ software development kit and the WebWorks HTML5 development tools. The Cascade framework empowers developers to develop visually engaging native applications for BlackBerry 10, while WebWorks makes it simple to take advantage of standard web technologies like CSS, HTML5, and JavaScript to build apps.

Great prizes are up for grabs at each session. In addition, at the end of the tour, judges from BlackBerry will award the developer with the best app a USD $10,000 prize.

BlackBerry has an extensive developer programme in Africa. Initiatives include:

Established two BlackBerry apps labs in South Africa in 2012, one at the University of Pretoria and another at Bandwidth Barn in Cape Town. The labs provide local developers, including students, start-ups, entrepreneurs and others, with access to resources in development, marketing, sales and training to help them expand their ideas and business opportunities.

BlackBerry plans to open more BlackBerry apps labs in Africa in 2013. BlackBerry and the Lagos State Innovation Advisory Council have plans to build a BlackBerry apps lab in Lagos, Nigeria.

In addition, BlackBerry has been working with over 80 universities, colleagues and schools across Africa through the BlackBerry Academic Programme, which provides materials to help teach students with mobile application development.

Other ways BlackBerry works with the developer community include partnerships with industry groups like Mobile Mondays, M-Labs and Garage 48; BlackBerry developer days; and the annual BlackBerry Experience Forum, where developers come to share ideas with business innovators, technology leaders and BlackBerry customers.

For more information on the BlackBerry Jam sessions, visit:  blackberrydeveloperevents.com

Qualcomm To Host Developers At April Edition Of Mobile Monday Nigeria

This event is geared towards Mobile Software Developers who develop for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry who are interested in Developing Applications with Qualcomm APIs.

Only the first 100 Developers to register will be selected. And successful attendees will be notified a week to the date.

About This Event

The April 2013 Mobile Monday Nigeria Event showcasing Qualcomm Technology. Qualcomm is prepared to train software developers in Nigeria on various software API’s which enable rich mobile app experiences. Here are some of the APIs that Qualcomm has to offer:

1. Vuforia (Augmented Reality): enables developers to create Augmented Reality App experiences are best in class and creative beyond definition on Mobile devices running the Android and iOS operating systems, giving mobile apps the power to see.

2. Alljoyn (Peer to peer connectivity): to enable peer to peer connectivity within devices to create great multiplayer gaming experiences across multiple OS and device types with the ability to leverage different radios (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GSM) depending on availability.

3. 2net™ Platform from Qualcomm Life (Wireless Health): It offers a set of wireless health solutions that can elegantly and reliably capture and deliver medical device data to integrated portals or databases from nearly any customers’ or technology partners’ wireless medical device for storage in a system designed for security and interoperability.

4. Gimbal (Context Awareness): The Gimbal™ context aware platform for Android and iOS enables application providers to deliver more timely, personalized and relevant content to mobile audiences.

Note that only the Augmented Reality API will be covered in the training.

When and where is it?

The event holds on the 29th of You’ll be notified if you are selected to attend the event.

Why you would want to attend?

Get to meet the industry heavyweights in Mobile Tech: Professionals from Telcos, VAS providers, Software Development Companies, Device manufacturers will be at the event to network with people. Come over and meet potential customers, investors and collaborators.

Get to hear about the latest software APIs that Qualcomm has to offer and experience real world usage for yourself. Also you get to access training for these APIs through Mobile Monday Nigeria (Annual members only).

Please note: Due to space limitations, MoMoNigeria reserve the right to limit the number of attendees. Attending the event is free. Register early. If you will not be available to attend this event after registering, Kindly let the MoMoNigeriaa team know so that they can reserve the ticket for another person.

Audax Wants To Teach You The Basics of Linux

Audax, an IT consulting company offering products and services across social, cloud and mobile platforms, will be continuing the Audax Lecture Series (ALS). The Audax Lecture Series are practical IT related events that hold fortnightly and cover a broad range of technology trends and platforms relevant to Nigeria.

As a follow up to Series 01 which was about Drupal platform, Series 02 is a free one day training on Linux OS in conjunction with Linux Professional Institute.

The event will cover introduction to and usage of Linux OS, information on Linux Professional Institute certification, and career path and opportunities available, among other things. There will also be a networking session and towards the end, the next Audax Lecture Series will be introduced.

Organizations across various sectors are encouraged to nominate participants to register and attend this sponsored event.

Time: 9.00am – 3.00pm
Date: Wednesday, 27th of March, 2013
Venue: Audax Solutions, Plot 24, Block 113, Adebisi Ogunniyi Crescent, Ikate (3rd) Roundabout, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

For more information on the event and how to register, go here - http://audax-linux.eventbrite.com/

About Linux Professional Institute (LPI)

LPI is recognized worldwide as the premier organization advocating and assisting in the professional use of Linux, Open Source, and Free Software, bringing together an active and committed community of companies, IT professionals, training organizations and volunteers to achieve LPI’s programs. More on LPI.