16: Hackathon Hype Or Help?

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You know it’s a slow news week when the week’s biggest news involves the CEO and the CFO of South African telecoms firm, Neotel, going on leave. Granted, it is “special leave”.

Be that as it may, broadly speaking we are totally digging the prevailing positive sentiment we are sensing in Africa’s tech scene. Following the “let’s launch an incubator” trend that we have observed on the continent in recent months, the “let’s host a hackathon” craze is increasing momentum— fueled by a number of companies and organisations looking to harness the growing public interest in all things nerdy, particularly coding.

In this week’s discussion Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku ask whether coding competitions, such as one hosted by Hotels.ng this past week, actually contribute to improving the standard of professional coding skills in our eco-system.

Or are they simply PR gimmicks that do not add value?

Also in the news this week is the fact that Kenya is reportedly set to be the first African territory where Uber will test an innovation that will allow drivers who are either deaf or hard of hearing to make a living as taxi drivers.