Saturday, 26 November 2016

PyCon Zimbabwe 2016 in Harare

Hi ya'll,

So for the past few days I have been in Zimbabwe and I boy ohh boy... Firstly my trip here was delayed by two (2) hours!!!!! that pissed me off because at the time I was busy trying to get some food but at the same time I was being paranoid that I might get left behind. The reason is that the restaurant in the departures area does not seem to have a speaker, so all I would hear were faint sounds of announcements the message in them? I have no idea! What pissed me off more was that I was trying to eat this amazing cheese burger but couldn't enjoy it because I constantly had to question whether the flight is boarding or not. That's that thank goodness they had wine on the flight to Harare :-).

We arrived in Harare and to my surprise it was not as I would read in international media but exactly as my Zimbabwean friends told me: lovely, beautiful and the people uber nice! The only thing I knew was the address of where I was to go and then got into a Metered Taxi. The ride to the accommodation and venue (Zesa National Training Centre) for #PyConZim 2016 was educational as the Taxi driver took me through Mbare which according to him is the oldest suburb of Harare and those that come to Harare and never go there have never been to Harare. Towards the end I had to pay USD 40 from the Airport to Belvedere, I figured that was expensive but when in Harare (Rome) you know...

Day 1 of PyCon Zimbabwe was an amazing experience as I got to meet up with Humphrey and Anna my friends that I had made from PyConNA 2016 and part of the organising committee of this PyCon. I told them about my Taxi Ride and the cost there of and was duly informed that I might have gotten ripped off. Ohh well figures, that's what happens when you don't ask all these questions upfront, you tend to get ripped off :-D. Nonetheless, I respect your hustle Mr. Taxi Driver no hard feelings!

The keynote was amazing and very inspirational it was from Michael Place the Project Maintainer of SaltStack. The remainder of the day was filled with Django Girls and workshops. I attended a workshop on using Kivy to develop Android Applications. The cherry on the cake was the conference dinner for speakers and Django Girls coaches.. I will write a separate blog post about this one OMG!

Day 2 started off well and I must say one of the most inspirational talks gave me a quote that will join the list of quotes to live by "Don't be a problem Admirer, rather be a solution provider", it was by a gentleman from University of Zimbabwe, he self taught Python and used it to analyse Stock Market data great insights but they are still working to perfect it.

I also happen to be giving a talk on this day, I put on a brave face and when the time came I gave it my best and I think I did good, my only hope that I don't freeze (that didn't happen) so I guess the verdict is that I did good :-D. My Talk was on whether Developers should consider UX design within their projects.

There was so much more, I was live tweeting the event in parts and if you are interested please check out #pyconzim on Twitter and follow me on @shingapi

I will write about four (4) more posts about my time in Zimbabwe, for now it's breakfast time :-)

- PyCon Zim Conference Dinner
- Taking Local Transport in Harare
- Visiting the B2C Coworking space in Harare
- Tour of Harare


Thursday, 10 November 2016

A night to remember

Hi y'all,

So the other day I am sitting in my office doing some "work" of course! Bored to the core as the repetitive nature of some tasks can be. Time seemed to be moving so gat darn slow and the stack of papers seemed to have an auto-refill from HELL!

That was a side track the point is around 15h47 I get a call from a dear friend and partner in crime of mine. Yes! I am well aware of how precise that time is, I check while writing this post. The gist of all this blahh blahh is that I got an invite be her plus one (1). Being I was bored I was ready to leave the office. The only thing that kept me in the office was the idea of eventually being stuck in traffic for a few minutes to an hour while we battle congestion on the way to the venue.

After about two (2) hours of anxiously waiting it out we made our way to the lovely River Crossing Lodge just on the outskirts of Windhoek (5 minutes) on the airport road, located on a 6500 hectare game reserve. That place has an amazing view of Windhoek and surrounding mountains. For some reason it reminds me of being at the Cattle Post and having a proper braai and cold ones :-). In true Namibian fashion most of the guests were late, but my friend and I being the odd people out of a Nation, we showed up a few minutes early, about thirty (30) I think, well I know it was thirty minutes: I checked! The birthday girl (lady) arrived and so did the majority of guests. The reception was a sundowner/ red skies and champagne affair, we introduced ourselves and a few words from the the attendees started the event off on a good note ... at this point I skipped so much but I will make this plug... we picked up the professional photographer on our way to River Crossing, a mini photo-session and it was time to enter the venue.

Our table was set in a room and it seemed as though we were the only group in this magnificent room that had a chandelier from the gods and a central fireplace to melt any heart: well at least any liker of things, lovely flower arrangements and lined with bottles of Moet and Chandon!

I had so much fun that I ended up carrying out a bottle of Moet as we departed the lovely Lodge! I can't wait for the next trip out to River Crossing.

On a side note, river crossing is not accessible to Ferrari's, sports cars in general or drop suspension vehicles. But the view from up there is totally worth it. They have this pool that sits between to dinning areas and a balcony that overlooks the Aus mountains. (I might add a picture or two sometime soon).

Thank you to my friend and her friends friends, it was indeed nice meeting y'all,