A cross-section of Ghana’s developer community gathered atBusyInternet, Accra, last Saturday, 14th April as part of coders4africa (C4A)’s monthly Coders in Action series. This month’s event was put together in collaboration with Python African Tour (PAT), and focus was naturally on using Python and allied technologies to build useful applications for Africa and beyond. It was a day of fun presentations, demos and networking that reiterated the tremendous progress that is being built in the Ghanaian tech community. Present on the day were established and emerging tech leaders such as Emmanuel Okyere (Hutspace), Adu Saarah-Mensah (PaasCo Africa) and Jojoo Imbeah (Suuch solutions). Selom Kossi Banybah, Ghana Technical Manager for C4A coordinated affairs for the day.
After the introductory remarks, the main presentations took off but not as planned as Anne Mukundi of PopKenya speaking from Nairobi, could not highlight on PHP Code Ignitor as she was impeded by intermittent breaks in the Internet connection.
Back home, PAT Kumasi co-organiser and mFridayTraining Coordinator Francis Addai showed participants how to play with Pyramid, a Python Framework. Taking time to explain key advantages of Pyramid, chiefly its flexibility and versatility, Francis could not hide his love for the framework. He rounded up his talk by demoing how he is using Pyramid to build Geekry, a system that would allow developers to give and receive feedback, giving them the impetus to improve the quality of their work.
After Francis’ great presentation, PAT Ghana trainer/organizer and CEO of Hutspace, Emmanuel Okyere, took the stage to showcase RapidSMS, another Python web application framework based on the Django. RapidSMS, he said, originally developed by UNICEF and it extends the capabilities of Django for SMS handling. Emmanuel went on to showcase sample apps developers can build with the tool, emphasizing that there are lots of opportunities they can exploit using RapidSMS.
Next, another PAT Ghana trainer, Kweku Danso of ilugi, stepped up to demo Showcase, a web application that, true to its name, showcases software built in Ghana on the web. He and his team mates, Jojoo Imbeah and Henry Addo, built Showcase using the Django Python framework. Kweku’s goal for Showcase is to be a one-stop shop for finding all the latest software developed in Ghana.
Another brilliant young dynamic developer, Kwabena Antwi-Boasiakoof Parallax Consult, then took over from Kweku to demo his innovation, Gspeaks, which aggregates the most interesting online stories Ghanaians care about. Gspeaks appears to be highly targeted version of Reddit aimed at the Ghanaian web user. Kwabena built his app with Ruby on Rails, an agile framework similar to the Python frameworks.
Finally, Ransford Okpoti rounded up events for the day through a short presentation on Google App Engine. He started by explaining the meaning of cloud computing concepts IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, pointing out the key offerings in each category. He then plunged into the Google App Engine, showing how developers can leverage on Google’s infrastructure to seamlessly deploy their apps on the Internet. He explained that using the cloud service was more advantageous to lean teams as they may not have the time or technical expertise to manage multiple servers on site.