On 6th August 2019 was not only a Tuesday but also a red-letter day for African Python enthusiasts as the continent held the first-ever pan-African Python Conference dubbed PyCon Africa in Accra, Ghana. The University of Ghana played host to the unique event. Guests from all over the world thronged the place looking forward to network, interact, learn and share. They were all speaking one language: PYTHON.
The event had a number of workshops one of them being the much-coveted Django Girls. 30 ladies from across Ghana and beyond (Ho, Wa, Sekundi Takoradi, Nigeria, and Accra) came in pursuit of knowledge and to challenge the status quo in this male-dominated industry. I was honored to be part of the coaching team. The team consisted of 13 coaches with 11 being ladies. Most of them are alumni of the program which indicates the impact beyond the program. Anthony and I came in as Meta Coaches; basically to mean coaches who are meant to help out coaches if they call for help. Each coach had mentees assigned to them and they were supposed to guide them through the official Django girls tutorial.
On the first day, we had introductions and afterward a talk from Eva Mwangi a Software Engineer from getINNOtized.She demystified the jargons in tech, python as a language and what it can do and the rewards that come with programming. In the afternoon we began the installation of python, a text editor, Git, GitHub and PythonAnywhere accounts. We had a challenge with the internet so we opted to share the software to be installed on flash drives. We also ran into some version compatibility issues which we resolved and on some Windows PCs, we experienced the setting to path issue.
Some groups were able to successfully install the software faster and moved on to the next phase which was about basics of python including data types, functions, classes et al.
On the second day, we continued with the tutorial and most successfully made it to Django and started building their own blogs while hosting them locally. They then managed to push their code to GitHub and finally deploy on pythonanywhere and finally have it live! Joy was written on their faces when they’re finally able to debug their errors and see the work of their hands when their blogs came to life.
Shoutout to my fellow awesome coaches for the amazing work they did. Teaching is true as a noble profession that requires a lot of patience, and they truly have it. A special shoutout to my fellow meta coach Anthony Mensah Addae for working tirelessly around the clock to make the workshop a success. Thank you to Python Ghana, Python Software Foundation and Django Girls for putting the event together. They catered for the venue, coaches and mentees accommodation and food, and of course swag! For the pictures, there’s only one man who can it better than himself: Khophi photography.
I cant wait to see what the girls build afterward and looking forward to many more Django Girls to come! Medaase paa Ghana!