After applying to participate in the UNESCO-INDIA-AFRICA Hackathon, one of our own students, Ms. Keren Wambui was selected to participate in the Hackathon. Shalom Murega had a chance to speak with her about the competition and her interest in programming.
The UNESCO INDIA AFRICA HACKATHON is sponsored by the Indian government to over 30 African nations including Kenya. The hackathon was set to take place in April 2022 but according to communication, there were some technical discussions on whether to host the event physically in India or virtually using online platforms. The hackathon is a 36 hours coding competition where the participating people are set to promote economic development through collaboration in education, environment and renewable energy, exchange thoughtful leadership and work on projects involving diverse skilled individuals.
Tell us who Mungai Keren Wambui is: Keren Wambu Mungai is a 3rd year student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in the School of Computing and Mathematics. I considered myself a software developer. I wrote my first line in code in 2018 in my first year during the Introduction to Programming (Java) class. My passion in programming grew further when I joined Moringa School in 2019 where I fell in love with python. I specialized in full-stack web development and graduated from Moringa school in 2019. I also worked with Global Wakili during the COVID-19 period and also did a little freelance work with Upwork.
How did you get to learn about this competition?
I have been active with the tech community around the University so when the developers students club informed me about the opportunity I applied. I have never participated in any Tech competition though but I know Hackathon is all about coding. I also got a lot of support and encouragement from my lecturers and a fellow student who was also applying to participate in the competition. I saw this as a good opportunity to expose myself to the tech world and at the same time represent the University in something big”.
Having been among the 20 students chosen for the program Keren says she’s happy, encouraged, and believes more in her potential. ”I have been coding and I have worked somewhere before but a Hackathon sounds more like a whole new experience,” she says. ‘Actually, I have been looking up online Hackathons, what they are all about, and what is expected of them at the end of the day. All I can say is, I feel confident and very ready to participate and be a part of one” she added.
Keren plans on becoming a lead in her final academic year; For example a Microsoft student ambassador. She says that her exposure to Hackathons experience will be used to create, organize and encourage more people to participate in Hackathons and tech events .
Similarly, Keren hopes to use her social media handles to create awareness and encourage more students to participate in Hackathon competitions. ”I actually noticed that I have quite a following from school on tech events. For instance, there was an Innovation launch recently and I invited and hyped it online and to my surprise, saw people that I invited attend” Keren also added that in her opinion, participating in the Hackathon is quite an achievement and a learning experience to her and in the same way will ensure her fellow students learn and gain something from her experience.
We as The Co-operative University of Kenya wish Keren all the best in all her endeavors .
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