Facebook Community Challenge

A recap of the DevC Lusaka’s Build Day

Olivier J.M
Jun 25, 2018 · 4 min read
Community Challenge

It is always very exciting to attend a hackathon, there are many reasons why one would want to attend a hackathon and Facebook Developer Circle hackathon organised to build tools that help bring the community together.

Why attend a Dev Circle Community Challenge ?

  • Get to meet new friends
  • A good way to do networking (This comes with connections)
  • Opportunity to grow your skills
  • It gets exciting and more fun
  • You always get some free stuff (like T-shirts in photo above, stickers etc …)
  • There is always snacks and lunch

The above mentioned are the basic reasons and there is more to that, developers have their way of living — Probably because they are always thinking of solving problems, I personally am not good at socialising but when you are working as a team, you get to talk about ideas, share what you know and learn from others, this also improves one's teamwork skills as most people find it hard to work best in a team.

What kind of people do you find at a devC meetup ?

At a developer circle meetup and community challenge like most hackathons you find different people these include people who have been in the industry for a very long period of time, these have a lot to share and it is good to learn from them, you also find those who are new to programming and are looking to put their beginner skills to practice, there are also those with no-programming knowledge but these contribute a lot as they have ideas that they want built and the more they attend meetups the more they develop interest to build their own programs.

Building for the Community

Our theme was building for the community and we focused on building tools that help bring the community together.

Intro

Cynthia introducing facebook tools for developers

We got re-introduced to facebook opensource tools that we could use for the community challenge, the tools were introduced by Cynthia Mulenga who is one of the leads, the tools included React, React Native, Facebook Graph API, graphQL, messenger bots, and all other opensource projects provided by facebook and the good news was that we were not restricted to just facebook tools but other tools too that could help us improve our solutions for the challenge.

Idea Pitching

Isaac Miti Presenting his community challenge idea

We had several people presenting about their ideas and it was very exciting to see and hear how people wanted to build ideas for the community, and interesting some had already started working on idea and were ready to submit, one example is Harry Banda who had already built his awesome idea but he was still open for having a team join him and perfect the idea and add more features to it.

Building time

We formed groups and joined with the ideas that were pitched and while we were having snacks we brainstormed on the ideas in our respective teams and everyone in a team was allowed to give contribution on how they felt about the idea and what they thought could be added.

We had a moment to socialise outside our groups and this was during lunch time, we got to know each other, shared a meal and took some pictures too

Networking with other members

Our team had a cool idea and after the break we discussed with team members on what development tools and languages they were familiar and comfortable with and it was wide diversity, some were good at Python/Django, some PHP/Laravel, Firebase these for the backend of what we would build, we had to choose one and the majority went for python as it is also to pick up, for the frontend it was agreed unanimously to use React and if possible to use React Native for the planned mobile app.

After agreeing on tools that we would use, we agreed on hosting our code and github was chosen and we also agreed on the code convention we would use we chose camelCase in this case, our group lead created the repo as we started working on the idea.

Great ideas are built in such meetups and so are great teams formed.

Find time to attend a physical meetup near you and you will never regret, for more photos on what happened at the event checkout Alu's article here

Olivier J.M

Written by

Software Engineer at The ZIG, ex-consultant dev at UAB Sparkman Center

Developer Circle Lusaka

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