Three good reasons to attend DevCraft 2018

By Kennedy Kirui
  Published 11 Sep 2018
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In 2016, I was part of a fantastic team from the iHub that conceptualized and ran a developer-centric conference dubbed DevCraft. Held at Amber Hotel (now DoubleTree by Hilton), the event attracted more than 300 developers and designers over two days. DevCraft had a slew of speakers, panel sessions, and workshops catering to different topics in the software development cycle. My personal highlight was the day two keynote by Sam Gikandi, Co-founder and CEO Africa's Talkingtitled "Architecture for Scale: How Africa's Talking Did It." Sam talked about AT's journey scaling their APIs to match demand as the company grew from a scrappy startup to the leading PRSP in the region. The talk was quite technical with Sam showing code snippets at almost every point during his presentation. You can find a recap of the conversation in this two-part series shared after the conference (Part 1 & Part 2) or watch the video recording here.

Sam Gikandi, Co-founder and CEO Africa's Talking, at DevCraft 2016 Sam Gikandi, Co-founder and CEO Africa's Talking, at DevCraft 2016

Two years later, DevCraft is back. The second edition will be held on the 27th and 28th September at the iHub. Limited student tickets at KES 1,000 and early bird tickets at KES 2,000 are available Speedy.Digital. This year's edition incorporates lessons learned running the first one and promises you to bring you the best design and developer conference in the region.

Why should you attend DevCraft 2018 and sacrifice two days you could be working or chilling by the beach? I have three reasons that I hope will convince you to.

#1 - Have you looked at the speaker line up?

From my experience, the most significant influence on the quality of a conference is the speaker line up. If you can get experts in different fields to share their knowledge, then you are halfway to running a great conference.

The keynote speakers are Caine Wanjau, CTO Twiga Foods and Dr. Chao Mbogo(Ph.D.), Head of Computer Science Department at Kenya Methodist University. Caine has extensive development experience having worked in the software sector for more than 15 years in different roles. Dr. Chao works in academia and has demonstrated through that it is possible to bridge the gap between academia and industry. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Cape Town.

Some of the other speakers, workshop facilitators, and panelists I am looking forward to listening to at DevCraft 2018 are:

  • Sam Kitonyi, Director of Engineering at Jumo.World
  • Brice Nkengsa, Co-founder and Director of Engineering at Andela
  • Shiro Theuri, CTO Frontline SMS
  • Sitati Kituyi, Technical Co-Founder/CTO at AfricanStockPhoto
  • Dr. Kagonya Awori, Lead - Human Experience and Design (HxD), Safaricom Alpha
  • The traveling contingent made up of Prosper Otemuyiwa (Developer Advocate at Apollo GraphQL), Christian Nwamba (Technical Reviewer at Pusher), andOluwatobi Akindunjoye (Senior UX Designer at eHealthAfrica)
  • Gertrude Nyenyeshi, Web Developer at BBC News

The full schedule and speaker list are up on the DevCraft site.

#2 - Diverse set of topics explored by practitioners and not hobbyists

There has been a lot of hype revolving around blockchain in recent years. Beyond cryptocurrency, what practical ways are we using blockchain locally? What about the AI and machine learning space? And design thinking? It looks fancy in photos with all those sticky notes but what impact does it have and why the slow uptake? Have the designers toned down on their fancy dressing? Microservices? Do I really need to learn this too and is it vital? We keep talking about modern development practices and ways to optimize developer teams. Am I knowledgeable in this area or can I learn more?

These and more are the topics we will explore at DevCraft 2018. Each session will be led by practitioners and experts in the field. We are ensuring that you hear from people who live and breathe what they will be presenting.

#3 - Different strokes for different folks

To ensure the conference doesn't end up being a talk shop we have structured it to have three types of sessions. Over the two days, you will have the chance to listen to six speakers, six panels, and have a choice from eight workshops. Apart from the two keynote speeches, all the othertalks run in parallel with workshops allowing you as an attendee to chose what you like more.

In this years edition, we will be introducing a jobs fair. The jobs fair will allow attendees to explore career openings and learn how they can get better at what they do.

What are you waiting for then? Head over to Speedy.Digital and grab your ticket. Limited tickets are available, and I am sure you don't want to miss out.

Some of the DevCraft 2016 organisers pose for a photo at the end of a successful conference. Some of the DevCraft 2016 organizers pose for a photo at the end of a successful conference.

DevCraft 2018 is organized by iHub with help from Kamilimu and proudly sponsored by Google,Twiga Foods, Nobilis, andSpeedy Ticket.

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