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Highlights From Google Developer Group DevFest 2018

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Dr. Panashe Chiurunge at Google Developer Group Developer Festival (Devfest) 2018

Today, Google Developer Group Harare hosted their DevFest event at Batanai Gardens. The event brought together people, some seasoned developers and others beginners, to learn, network and have some good old fun. Here’s a summary of what piqued my interest at DevFest 2018.

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Artificial Intelligence Can Open Doors

Dr. Panashe Chiurunge opened up the talks for the day by giving an overview of what artificial intelligence and deep learning are all about. Some of the questions that came from his talk were what local challenges can be solved by AI, or what could Zimbabwe achieve if we had a strategy for artificial intelligence and even set aside some funds towards it kinda like what the United Arab Emirates is doing with $15.7 trillion.

At this point, only time will tell what we can achieve by leveraging technology like artificial intelligence. However, right now one thing is clear, we need more people to get into these fields and gain more knowledge in them.

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In the case of artificial intelligence, there is a community called the Harare School of AI which is open to everyone and will hold lessons every Friday from 3 pm at Impact Hub Harare starting on the 2nd of November 2018.

So if you’re interested in AI and would like to gain hands-on knowledge in it as part of a team be sure to join the Harare School of AI Facebook group and attend the lessons, the best part is it’s free.

Integrating With Paynow Becomes Easier

After the talk on artificial intelligence and deep learning, the Paynow team announced a new offering called the Paynow developer hub which aims to make it easier for developers to integrate their payment gateway into their projects.

You can read more about the Paynow developer hub here as there was quite a number of things to say on it.

Walking Around A Zesa Power Plant In VR

Something quite cool which I certainly didn’t expect was a virtual reality demonstration where you could take a guided tour around a Zesa power plant in virtual reality. An engineer would accompany you through the tour explaining some the different things that you’d be seeing.

To have the same experience at home you can download their app here, fire it up, place your phone in a virtual reality headset and enjoy (note that the app is in constant development so sometimes the virtual reality experience may be taken offline or it may change drastically).

Other Cool Things That Were Shared At DevFest

  • The use of internet of things by students at St Peter’s Mbare IoT markerplace
  • Muoffice – a file sharing service similar to ShareIt
  • Petrol Papi – a mobile app (to be released) that aims to answer the question where is the fuel in Zimbabwe

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