Google Developer Festival better known as DevFest held in Dhaka on Saturday. GDG DevFest is a community-run developer event that happens in many countries around the world, focused on Google technologies.
Some 300 android developers from across the country attended the conference of Google Developer Group (GDG) Dhaka at Grameenphone’s head office in the capital.
Bangladeshi tech firm Preneur Lab and GP’s digital start-up initiative Whiteboard are the partners of the event.
ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak was present as the chief guest of the event and celebrated the launch of online merchant account with members of the GDG community.
GDG Dhaka Advisor and Prenuer Lab CEO Arif Nezami said the Google merchant account will enable Bangladeshi developers to earn money from app store.
While no two events are exactly alike, each event, at its core, is powered by a shared belief that when developers come together to exchange ideas, amazing things can happen.
GDG Dhaka Manager Rakshanda Rukham said, “The DevFest creates an opportunity for developers to share knowledge each other and implement in their practice,”
“Earlier we organised 18 sessions at 6 universities – 3 sessions at each location - were held simultaneously, and saw a total of 1,800 participants,”
The universities involved were North South University, BRAC University, Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, and Dhaka University. Further six sessions and two panel discussions took place at GP House during the event.
BDJobs chief executive officer Fahim Mashroor, Telenor Health CEO Sajid Rahman, GP Head of Transformation Kazi Mahboob Hassan and UNDP Bangladesh Innovation Hub Project Manager Linda Germanis were present as special guests on the occasion.
BDJobs CEO Fahim Mashroor opined that the Bangladesh market was very small compared to nations like India and China.
“Due to competitiveness of the market, 10 years ago, startups were easier to set up than it is today as the World was less globalized and connected. Today, it has become difficult for new entrants to survive the market because of existing and big market players,” he added.
“The core solution to this problem is to know how to work with data and how to handle such amount of data. This is where new startups and new entrants fail in most cases. Utilization of data in a proper way is very important,” Mashroor added.
GP Head of Transformation Kazi Mahboob Hasan said, “We need to realize that our country is becoming more open to digital services and start-ups, main credit goes to the initiative taken by the Ministry of ICT and information programs like A2i,”.
Telenor Health CEO Sajid Rahman said, ‘Building any company can be very insecure in terms of financial stability. We should work on creating a safety net for upcoming entrepreneurs to secure their future and help these initiatives become a commercially sustainable.”
UNDP Bangladesh Innovation Hub Project Manager Linda Germanis said, “Entrepreneurship is important but ICT freelancing is equally important. It is also important that platforms are provided to help start-ups and guide them to scale their initiatives and succeed more and face less failures,”.
In another panel discussion, industry experts discussed Android Development where Dell America Director Mohammad Mahdee Uz Zaman, ICT Division Mobile Game Project deputy project director Selim Kham, Mindfisher Games CEO Zamilur Rashid, Rise Up Labs CEO Ershadul Haque, Audacity CEO Siddiq Abu Bakkar were present.
There were sessions on UX, Gaming and, more importantly, a Live Coding session, conducted by Anam Ahmed and Aniruddha Adhikary from Telenor Health, where they demonstrated how to code an app in under 20 minutes.
Activation events were conducted by WhiteBoard – Grameenphone’s Innovation platform – across six universities on the days leading up to this year’s DevFest, in collaboration with Google Developer Group Dhaka and Preneur Lab.