NetOne will be hosting a hackathon under their OneMoney mobile money brand in less than two weeks. The event is being hosted in partnership with the Finmark Trust of South Africa.
Finmark is a non profit established with the simple objective of making markets work for the poor especially in the SADC region. Their main activities are the promotion of financial inclusion and promotion of regional integration of financial services.
Details about the hackathon
The hackathon is to be held from the 13th to the 15th of this month. These dates may change but we have it on solid authority that these are the likely dates. The event will be held at TelOne Centre for Learning.
To allow participants from across the country, accommodation and meals will be provided at the venue for the duration of the hackathon.
The ‘winning team will of course win something.’ We will give you more details about what they win and the rest of such in follow up articles…
A first for NetOne
This is the first time seeing NetOne going for something like this. It’s not the first time the MNO has gone into the community: they are currently sponsoring Zimbabwe’s most popular football teams, Hihghlanders, Dynamos and my precious Caps United and they have a partnership with the National Blood Services.
This though is the first time (at least as far as I know) that they are working with developers and exposing them to problems they may want solved for their platforms.
Why it’s a good idea
A lot of times when you are working inside an organisation you succumb to the culture and group think associated with that organisation. It then becomes helpful to give someone outside of your walls a look at what you do and allow them to imagine hacks and innovations around your processes and products.
We here at Controvert (Techzim’s parent) experienced this reality recently. We recruited an intern to work on one of our publications, Pindula. Within days she was asking us why we did certain things the hard and boring way. Just by her asking the question our tech team then got a light bulb moment to automate a very tedious part of the job that we had just accepted as the way it’s done. I have no doubt that the One Money team will be inspired even beyond their expectation.
Another more altruistic reason why I think this is a good thing is that a lot of times I meet developers who are very skilled at writing code but then lack any exposure to real world problems. They end up building really impressive but useless stuff. It’s good when big companies make themselves vulnerable and allow young devs to play in their backyard. It allows them to develop a more practical view to the world and its problems and solutions.
Kudos to NetOne for doing this. I hope they will get the results they are looking for
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