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.