Building a Community

The last two months have been a learning process for us. We deployed Dialogue to the public. Dialogue is huge for us because becomes the first complete platform that we have worked on to this extent. The process, subsequent product and adoption had a lot of lessons with regards to our work culture and our operations. Adapting to lessons such as these ones is an essential part of how we keep ourselves relevant as a business. The Devshop has always been about enabling software developers to be able to deliver meaningful software. We will now be building a software developer community with greater intensity. This community will enable us to better share what we are continuously learning and reach even more developers. We have already learnt fundamental lessons and will be sharing then through the community.  Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes. Advanced software is not more important than simple software can make a meaningful difference for an ordinary user. We will be focusing more on implementing simple software that can affect lives in a meaningful way. This definition has allowed us to reflect on the software that we will  be building. One of the functions of the community is to facilitate discussion. Discussion such as how we can design software that can make real impact in our community. These lessons require a shift in work culture for us and for many developers we interact with. It is the nature of developers to enjoy a good challenge. They have an affinity for mentally-stimulating projects.  There is a temptation to learn a framework with every project. It is important to find the balance between learning and using what you are already know. Our drive will now instead be about how many lives we impact through our software.  

Putting in Action through Community

We will be reinforcing our efforts to build this community by hosting a series of developer meetups. We will share the challenges and triumphs of building a software based business in Zimbabwe and encouraging as many in our community to do the same. Equipping developers with the skills they need to develop useful and meaningful software is one of the foremost reasons for our formation. A mandate we imposed on ourselves.  With this community we anticipate that the effects of the work we have already been doing will be more widespread and reach an even larger community of developers. We have no doubt about the possibilities that local developers can open for local communities and we are excited to get started. We will be releasing the dates for our first community meetup in the coming weeks. Lastly, we are always excited to receive feedback from the public, it helps us deliver better and better projects. If you have any suggestions do not hesitate to get in touch with us.   Devshop Community Hackathon

Introducing Dialogue

For a long time at the Devshop we have been playing and experimenting with ideas on how to get people to share more and engage more in conversation. We have attended a number of events where we have explored concepts. The results of the exploration and experimentation have been Dialogue.

Dialogue is a platform that curates posts from social media with a chosen hashtag allowing the user’s audience to interact in a dynamic and interactive way. This version of Dialogue ships with the following features among others:

Features

  • Profanity Filtering.
  • Multiple customisation options.
  • Easy to use Dashboard.
  • Relive feature which allows users to enjoy the entire experience again even after their event has ended.
  • Instagram and Twitter Support.
  • Emoji Support.
  • Ability to make Live announcements from the Dashboard.

The Dashboard

The dashboard is control panel from which users can gain control of their account and what their audience sees when they go live. Some of the features that a users can control from the dashboard are:

  • Colors of backgrounds & picture borders.
  • Change duration between transitions.
  • Specify the hashtag(s) you would like to follow.
  • Send out announcements to your audience.
  • Take control of your account and top-up credit.

The Interface

The interface is the part of the Dialogue web-app that your audience will actually to see. This interface will have a URL once you go live that will be able to be shared with any other device that has a Dialogue compatible browser. The interface displays twitter and instagram posts including posts with up to 4 images. Announcement made from the dashboard will also be available on the same interface.

Even more control of what your users see

We realise the sensitivity that may come with some events. Events may require that you filter out content which is not suitable for family events. Further to features we are actively building the ability to filter out obscene content that may contain nudity and foul language into Dialogue. In addition to filtering out that content we are also building sentiment analysis into the application which allows you to control the emotion that you want to put the most focus on. This allows Dialogue to be suitable for  any kind of event without having to worry about spam posts.

 

In addition…..

Memories are invaluable. You always want to look back at good times and smile, sad times and remember how you moved on from them. In this version of Dialogue we wanted to allow users the ability to store their memories. Dialogue will store every post as it happens and allow you to Relive the entire experience exactly as it happened during the time you followed the hashtag. You will be able to share the entire experience with anyone else.

 

Get Started

Share More. Engage More.  Available for public use on the 25th of September 2017 on www.dialogue.co.zw

 

 

 

 

Our Story : How the Devshop started

Our story starts in a room in the basement, where a group of young people sought to start businesses that would change the country and eventually with the right determination, the continent. A community of young and vibrant young people who have ideas that they feel will disrupt the way local business conduct their everyday processes.

From the earliest days, the lack of skill in our small community to develop world class software became more and more obvious. Ideas requiring technical knowledge far outweighed the developers who could build them. Technology was an essential part of our delivering some of the small ideas that would impact our communities in a huge way.

The Techfest Hackathon

The Techfest Hackathon

In that small community a developer community formed and using our individual strength we began to upskill each other and continually and consistently became better. We learnt that there was strength in numbers that our combined efforts to better ourselves was greater that the sum of our individual effort. From then we have never looked back and continue in our mission to equip and empower as many developers as possible to contribute to their teams and to start then grow meaningful business.

Over time, one belief has become a fundamental to the way we work: We are only as good as how much we learn and how we implement what we know to solve problem and solve challenges that the people around us encounter everyday. We realise that we only become valuable in our societies if we have the audacity to learn and build.

Moving into our new home

The Devshop was founded to close the gap that was opened between local technology and global technology. The need was realised when each time local entrepreneurs with little or no technical knowledge required software in one form or another to take their businesses and startups to the next level. The need for more developers became apparent and the very first Devshop community was formed to address this need.
Our journey so far has been a never-ending lesson. To be an agent for change we realized that we could not be traditional in our approach to work and must consistently be ready to learn new thing so that we do not open the very gap that prompted us to start
Our most recent lesson was that we need a place to call home where all ideas can grow, a place where developers on the Devshop team can meet, build, conduct work and continue to offer value to all our end-users. In continued pursuit of vision to offer great services we have found our first home in central business district of Bulawayo
We are not perfect but perfection is something that we pursue every single day we exist.
To our partners, our customers and to the public. We look forward to building thing in our new home that can take everyone further.
Here is our new home. We like to call it ‘The War Room’