Victory Ngeyen, a third year computer Science student was among the three students from Rwanda to attend the Google Developer Students Club Sub Saharan Africa Summit in Ghana. The other two students were from University of Rwanda and Africa Leadership University. Here is his experience to the event.
Becoming a DSC Lead
“In 2018, I applied to be a DSC lead and start a chapter in KIM University. Unfortunately, I was not selected. Despite that setback and the frustration, I went on to engage students within the Computer Science Department on the need for a developer community at KIM University. After extensive sensitization, at least 20 students enrolled to join the club while waiting for another opportunity to apply as a DSC lead.
During the first quarter of 2019, I sent in my application for the second time. With much anticipation, I waited patiently and checked my email almost every minute to get the latest news concerning this great initiative. Then finally on 9th August 2019. I was shortlisted and added to the mailing list pending evaluation.
After a fairly long and difficult scrutiny, I was finally selected by Google Developers to start and lead a Developer Student Clubs chapter at KIM University which was like a dream come true for me as I envisaged a better framework and ecosystem in which I could better impact and serve my community.
As a result, I was invited by Google Developers to Accra-Ghana together with other 99 students from across sub-saharan Africa for a 5 day summit. From Rwanda 3 other students were selected to select Developer Student Clubs from their respective Universities i.e Africa Leadership University(ALU), University of Rwanda(UR) and Adventist University of Central Africa(AUCA). All expenses were catered for by Google.
I must confess I didn’t see that coming. It was so amazing. I got to eat Ghanaian food for the first time, learn a little bit of the Akan Language and meet with an old man in the hotel who claimed to be related to Late President Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
The most amazing part of the trip for me was the connection it made me build up. I have always loved being a lone ranger but in this summit, I was able to bond and share ideas with a lot of amazing people which has reshaped the way I interact with people. I met amazing Googlers I would probably have never met in my life time. I also had the opportunity to meet hundreds of Developers and Community leads and mentors from across Sub Saharan Africa.
We had training sessions in Machine Learning, Google Cloud Platforms (GCP), Android Development, and Web Development and why it is still important. A lot of sensitive topics around gender and all-round inclusions were also discussed with much infancies placed on Gender equality and equal representation of both genders within the tech ecosystem. Interestingly, there are about 36% representation of women in tech.
Googlers were also available throughout the summit ready to engage with community leaders in any area. I got to meet the program manager for the Google Africa scholarship program to discuss challenges I have been facing in bringing students on board and getting them to learn and grow in the tech space. In which they gave amazing ideas I could leverage to make my community better.
I also got to meet with the global lead Erica Hanson. Who flew in from the New York office and happened to be celebrating her 13th year at Google and a successful career. We discussed a lot about how I got to learn about DSC and what could be done to create more visib ility for DSC. I also discussed with her on our ideas for the solutions challenge and she was quite impressed about it. She’s looking forward to the methodology we intend to use in our solutions to the problem.
Developer Student Clubs is really a global family that promotes collaboration between students and faculty, help students find meaning and a prosperous career path through mutual encouragement and interaction. I learned so much from the summit and can’t wait to begin implementation.”