The local technology space has gone through different iterations and with the advent of the internet in the mid 90s everything changed and a new epoch began.
The web would play a pioneering role in breaking geographical boundaries and pushing innovation at a scale never witnessed before.
The web became instrumental in making information technology take the driving seat in the new opportunities that a connected and global business landscape would present.
Innovation is not complete without commercialization and distribution, so many times as inventions reach their take off point more business oriented people take the front roles and become the story makers of the era.
Say, Apple and everyone will respond with Steve Jobs. Steve Woz... who?
Perhaps there are better examples...(can you think of any?) but this is life, no hard feelings. Makers are content taking the back seat and doing what they love - bringing happiness to millions of lives with their contributions to technology products and services, and moving the industry forward.
However something was missing. Every time there was a rally of local technology people in Lagos, you'll find more suits than jeans in the room. It's usually the commercializers that show up and the conversation is easily commercial and hardly technology.
Since it doesn't hurt to return the favour to the people working hard backstage to make sure the show goes on. We decided to have a small meetup of people who are hands-on with technology in Lagos. Share ideas and meet each other.
The conversation was different, and pleasantly random but technology focused primarily. Everyone shared easily and talked about their concerns;
- Embracing standards in software and hardware development
- Handling the impostor syndrome
- Scaling with NodeJS vs PHP 5, Replication and Continuous Integration, etc
- Learn and teach by sharing; blogs, podcasts, workshops, books
- Bots, AI, Neural Networks
- Listen and Learn from the mistakes of the older players in the industry
- Building tech people friendly companies and encouraging everyone to have a voice
- and some more.
It was a small gathering of people who make technology that many people all the world over use. They came together to share, learn and meet their fellow makers.
The benefits of face to face meetups are amazing, and makes a a stronger impact for learning than reading online. You also make connections, meet cool people and know who to ring up when you run into trouble.
We should have more of these kind of maker meetups for the technology industry, and you should adopt the habit of participating in such events even though stepping away from your computer can be a dangerous thing :) but nothing ventured nothing gained.