Category: Technology


eLengo Hackathon

Chris, C.E.O at eLengo, first visited Swahilipot Hub to talk about textbook for change. He got back in touch with Swahilipot Hub regarding eLengo, a community of farmers. He was interested in working with Swahilipot Hub to solve one problem he was facing within eLengo’s community of farmers.

eLengo was faced with the challenge of sharing information to the farmers. The community was already communicating in facebook and WhatsApp groups but there needed to be a way for the farmers to easily receive information from eLengo. We decided to host a hackathon with the community members. Over 40 participants who worked in teams to brainstorm how we could better use technology to curate and spread knowledge amongst our growing farmer community. 🌾

The winning team received Kshs. 15,000 cash prize from eLengo. This partnership is important to us as we believe this kind of partnerships will build the community capacity and problem solving skills.

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Arts Recent Events Technology

Lest we Forget: We started from the bottom…

From a distance, it looked too cold to harbor any living thing. In fact it was tempting to tip toe inside for a ghost hunting episode. The black grilled door seemed to keep the ‘ghosts’ inside and the humans outside stood in place for security. Accompanying it were a pair of annoying wooden doors that knew not how to shut in the night or day, instead they made sure to slam close then open at the whisper of the faintest wind as if to confirm the existence of ghosts in this gothic looking structure. Then one daring soul caring a black back-pack would be seen striding across the quiet playground heading straight for the grilled door. Without peeping in, the door would be unlocked and the soul would immediately get in and close the grill behind as if securing the fort just in case the ‘ghosts’ desired to venture out. A few minutes later came another soul, and then a few others followed up in the same manner. None of them seemed to note that there was a wooden door after the grilled door that never closed. In fact, it didn’t bother any of them. They came to the Pot for a purpose, one that seemed only viable to them.

That was the SwahiliPot hub in the younger days of the month of April just after the inspection visit by the ICT Authority’s Cabinet Secretary, Honorable Joe Mucheru on the 21st March 2016.

The lower floor hardly harbored any guests unless by an event that dared to overflow. Every young soul that came to the SwahiliPot hub desired to go up the unpolished wooden staircase that led to the upper floor for a perfect view of the Indian Ocean. In the months of March and April, just a few young souls could be seen to come to the Pot to use the high speed Internet when there was no event or meeting of some kind.

After a few meetings to plan the first event after the inspection visit, SpaceApps Challenge, an international hackathon where young people gather together for 72 hours to bring up their innovations around Space related issues was set for the 23rd and 24th of April 2016. With no furniture of our own, every bit of equipment was borrowed from the nearby partners – National Museum of Kenya and Seacom. This saw growing respect for the over 100-year old structure. The first day of the event saw plus 50 young people spend a whole day of computer programming in action. The second day however, only half the number showed up. That did not deter the efforts to keep going to the end. The event saw five different solutions to Space-related problems brought to life ready for the worldwide competition!

Hackathons held at the SwahiliPot in April and May 2016

A month down the line, on 21st and 22nd of May saw yet another major event. The Design to Transform (D2T) training and hackathon took place. Branded “Girls in Mombasa Embrace ICT”, Pwani Teknowgalz CBO hosted guests from Nairobi during this training. As was the norm, every little bit of furniture and equipment was either borrowed or dearly paid for from the meager budget. This specific event saw 33 participants on both days learn how to develop websites for community based organizations that had shown interest. Who would have thought that this would actually come to pass?

Members at play
Work and Play is part of SwahiliPot’s culture.

Then word spread regarding the availability of free Internet, plastic chairs were borrowed from the Swahili Culture – fifteen of them to be precise accompanied by five small wooden Lamu-design tables. Each table bore sufficient space enough to hold four laptops back to back. If soul came late he or she had to bear their laptop on their laps or place it on a second chair if there was any remaining. Peer to peer training took root with the cheeky enticement of one of the members of D2T team being dared to stay behind and help inspire the growth of the hub.

All meetups were shared in the best way known how- WhatsApp and Facebook: social media to the rescue! Word of mouth did not fail the members either, in campuses and streets, by the shores of Indian Ocean and while sharing kahawa-tungu; it was clear, SwahiliPot became the home of every young living being. The marriage had borne fruits and silenced the naysayers; the Techies solemnized the marriage to the Artists with a membership spilling over 60 members committed to the course!

learning area
Improved Learning Areas

It was after the D2T event that more and more young ladies and men bought to the utilization of the SwahiliPot hub. Training sessions on Web development took place on the rising of the sun and ended on the setting of the same. The lack of furniture became our luck as interested parties made a stopover from time to time: Noble members in the society in the likes of Suleiman Shabaal, Najib Balala, Mombasa’s Senator –Omar Hassan, Hassan Wario, a good number of National Museum of Kenya’s dignitaries and even members of Corporate Affairs department at the Kenya Ports Authority. The list has grown by day! Each one of them inspiring members of the SwahiliPot to keep focused on the innovations and change Mombasa’s narrative- each one desiring to partner with SwahiliPot and provide a stage for the youth to showcase their novelty.

Today our story is different; the amphitheater prides itself of daily visits by groups of artists auditioning during different times of the day. Calls and e-mails stream in from various groups even from the capital city seeking to book a space for rehearsals and events. Technology groups seek to partner and extend their events to Mombasa through SwahiliPot. This is a new dawn for the youth, indeed for Mombasa. Lady-luck smiled upon us and Seacom shared their birthday presents with us- SwahiliPot got a major facelift that saw the hub partially renovated to make the space comfortable with polished wood, repaired floor in the upper room,

More space at the Amphitheater

functioning washrooms and a good number of the coolest furniture ever!

The membership is on the rise with at least 93 signed up members, a handful of startups being incubated and a good number of projects in progress. It is not business as usual at the SwahiliPot, it is either you are at the ‘Pot’ or you risk being left behind. Here is the enlightening; Innovative youth breathe life into any structure- they just need to know that it exists and the rest is history.

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What is a Progressive Web App (PWA)?

Progressive Web Apps are experiences that combine the best of the web and the best of apps. They are useful to users from the very first visit in a browser tab, no install required. As the user progressively builds a relationship with the App over ti


me, it becomes more and more powerful. It loads quickly, even on flaky networks, sends relevant push notifications, has an icon on the home screen and loads as a top-level, full screen experience.

By now, you’ve probably heard that Progressive Web Apps are the future of all mankind. They’ll bring world peace, end hunger, save the rainbows and unicorns, bring balance to the force, and a whole lot more. In the process, they might even push the mobile web forward, bring parity to web and native apps, and help mobile developers reach more users beyond the confines of the app stores.

That all sounds great…but what are Progressive Web Apps, exactly?

“A Progressive Web App uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience.” – Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps are:
Progressive – Work for every user, regardless of browser choice because they’re built with progressive enhancement as a core tenant.
Responsive – Fit any form factor, desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever is next.
Connectivity independent – Enhanced with service workers to work offline or on low quality networks.
App-like – Use the app shell model to provide app-style navigations and interactions.
Fresh – Always up-to-date thanks to the service worker update process.
Safe – Served via TLS to prevent snooping and ensure content hasn’t been tampered with.
Discoverable – Are identifiable as “applications” thanks to W3C manifests and service worker registration scope allowing search engines to find them.
Re-engageable – Make re-engagement easy through features like push notifications.
Installable – Allow users to “keep” apps they find most useful on their home screen without the hassle of an app store.
Linkable – Easily share via URL and not require complex installation.
Architecting Progressive Single Page Apps with NG:
AngularJS is a powerful framework for building Single Page Apps.

The software industry is getting updated daily and one of the latest technology to use in your development activity is AngularJS. As you could see that for most of the businesses, it is recommended to have a mobile and web application.

As you might be aware that, AngularJS is one of the popular JavaScript frameworks that have gained dramatic popularity in very short time. It is the easiest and simplified testing process for the better experience of developers which is maintained by Google. Similar to most of other frameworks, it is also built on the MVC architecture. It follows the basic HTML and offers the developers capabilities to make the website responsive and dynamic. Since it can synchronize automatically with model and views, AngularJS development becomes so easy for web developers to use.

AngularJS development offers features such as – Two way data binding, dependency injections, MVC architecture, directives and testing features and it follows Document Object Model (DOM) methodology which focuses mainly on improving testability and performance.

AngularJS is a toolset for building the framework most suited to your progressive web application development. It is fully extensible and works well with other libraries. Every feature can be modified or replaced to suit your unique development workflow and feature needs.

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