The anatomy & habits of mobile users, and why business should take note – Nic Haralambous Tech4Africa 2011

This topic covers how mobile usage has changed over the past decade or so and the changes that have taken place in the market as well as how marketing has been defined previously by brand advertising. Where previous brands sat in the middle and the consumer around it, this has changed now where this has been democratised and almost been switched around to the point where the brand is owned by the consumer rather than the company; the consumer is the centre. This is very similar to marketing from a mobile perspective. Therefore, it is important to understand that marketing from a mobile point of view is very different to the traditional method as a lot of the techniques used mobile marketing such as banner adverts can be irrelevant and sometimes can be intrusive to the consumer. In this speech Nic Haralambous talks about mobile usage from a platform perspective. However, mobile marketing can be a very powerful marketing tool if you look at it from a user’s point of view.


Mapping for Africa – Adam Duvander Tech4Africa 2011

Adam Duvander talks about how his company, ProgrammableWeb are going about mapping Africa for users so they have a functional and relevant open street map api. The talk also covers the challenges of acquiring the data and the importance of having the best interface. Finally, Adam explores the challenges competitors face when creating their maps and the correct maps which those in Africa can currently use. Finally, what are the limitations for Africa?


Importance of Big Data – Steve Watt Tech4Africa 2011

Steve Watt from HP, talks about Big data, what it’s all about and how to access vast amount of data for the use in businesses. Big data is about mining information from unstructured data, where you ask your own questions and learn something from everything. The video covers the whole model of retrieving, storing, processing and analysing big data using open source software to benefit your business.


Africa’s Quest to Climb the Tech Pyramid – Tech4Africa 2011

Most of the fundamental technologies that were used in the past, and in fact some today, are poor because there was a failure to invest in these technologies and the lack of intellectual property made it difficult for investors to buy in. This was a major cause in the stagnant nature of the global GDP and it is also a major factor in the lack of growth in successful technologies within Africa. Ndubuisi talks about a framework which can lead to a very strong system and encourage Africa to continue to invent new intellectual properties and push forward, not just in ICT but all kinds of technologies i.e. mining and agricultural technology. In essence, this talk will share the redesign to close the missing links as Africa overcomes the barriers in participating industries like microelectronics and nanotechnology which remain drivers of global commerce and modern culture.


March of the UX Designers – Tech4Africa 2011

“The age of competing simply over features is over”. It has become clear over the years that designing a product around its features has become less important than creating a product based around its customers which provides a superior user experience.

UX is an umbrella term where there are disciplines within other disciplines i.e. information architecture, usability research etc. Cennydd and James go in to detail about the importance of having the perfect balance in user experience (UX) design, how the successful companies have followed their practises to release a successful product resulting in loyal customers and how smaller companies can adapt these disciplines to be successful themselves.


The New Information Age – Dr. Barry Devlin Tech4Africa 2011

Dr. Barry Devlin is among the foremost authorities worldwide in business intelligence who is also a widely respected consultant, lecturer and author. Barry puts forward all of his 30 year experience in explaining how to take messy bits and bytes and convert those data in to something useful. He covers the evolution of the use and storage of information within businesses in the last 40 years. A topic he also covers is the role of relational database where they move from a supportive platform to a core platform. Essentially, to have relevant information, Barry talks about the importance of having complete, connected and comprehended data through his new architecture for information in businesses.


How do we build better environments for developing better software? Rian Van der Merwe – Tech4Africa 2011

Rian covered an important and often overlooked topic of building a better environment for software development by trying to elaborate on the consequences of different development silos which are caused by developing in isolation. Lonely Silos, usually applicable to small start-ups with a couple of developers who are so stuck in their devices and desperate to release a minimum viable product but fail to focus on design, or being stuck in endless cycles not knowing where to end. This in return results in releasing a product that has no value to the consumer or in the worst case, failing all together largely because they’re unable to define the processes or have a structured methodology.

Functional Silos on the other hand, applicable to large business with many teams which are responsible for different parts of a product, can often have the issue of having too many people getting involved, tired developers and making changes that have no real effect.

Refining collaboration and better communication according to Rian, is one of way overcoming these challenges which will help your company build better software. Check out the video and find out how.