Cloudinary Blog

Open Hack Week: Building for the Future

By Obinna Ekwuno
Open Hack Week in Lagos, Nigeria: Building for the Future

Between July 29 and August 3, the Google Developer Student Community of the University of Lagos, Nigeria participated in a week-long hackathon called Open Hack Week (OHW). Sponsored by Cloudinary, Interswitch, the Ogundipe Foundation, and other notable organizations, OHW comprised 14 teams, five developers each. After six days of brainstorming and coding, the teams successfully built the minimum viable products (MVPs) for their projects, which they subsequently presented to all the attendees.

My Role

OHW’s main goal was to foster the programming skills of the team members by assigning them projects, some of which initiated in-house by the sponsors and others externally by nonprofit organizations (NGOs). As a Cloudinary media developer expert, I attended OHW as a mentor and as a technology evangelist of the Cloudinary APIs and add-ons, which effectively and efficiently process digital media, in particular images and videos, for fast loading and engaging display across all devices--a huge boost for web development. My demos took place on the first day.

In addition, I spoke to the teams about the importance of building accessible platforms by incorporating practices that would ensure that their products would be readily usable by the next billion users. Even if only as an MVP to meet the requirements of the hackathon, it’s worth doing it right the first time, I emphasized.

Obinna

Webinar
learn the top 10 mistakes handling images and videos

The Projects

The OHW teams were tasked with building tools that could be adopted as-is by the sponsors, affording the team members an opportunity to join those companies at a future date in development or management roles for those tools. Following are five of the assignments:

  • Build a shop-wise product that’s ready for direct sales to retail customers with no middleman involvement.
  • Develop a tool that transacts peer-to-peer currency transfers across Africa, bypassing the local- currency-to-dollar-to-local-currency conversion loop.
  • Design a human-resources tool that tracks employee profiles, performance, remuneration, and other activities from start of employment till exit. The tool would serve as an important management resource for performance analyses, employee appraisals, and business overviews.
  • Create a certification generator for an online learning platform like Udemy.
  • Build a project-management tool, slated for the Engineering team at Interswitch Group, that monitors the furtherance of assignments against deadlines, ranking the progress by means of a leaderboard.

Gratifyingly, representatives from some of the company sponsors were present to answer questions, volunteer insight, and participate in code reviews. Their support was invaluable and much appreciated.

participants

Image Processing With Cloudinary

Although not all the projects required media resources, a few teams enthusiastically leveraged Cloudinary’s manipulation capabilities for images and overlays to generate certificates of participation for the event. In addition--

  • Team 11 built a website for the Ogundipe Foundation, storing and transforming all the related images with Cloudinary.
  • Team 14 designed a version of their certification app with Cloudinary’s image-overlay capability.

Panel Discussion

At a panel session on the last day of OHW, the participants, many of whom the who’s who in the Nigerian tech ecosystem, chimed in on the future of information technology in Africa and encouraged the developer student community to keep building useful apps. Their comments were inspiring and well received.

panel

Summary

OHW was an outstanding forum for learning interesting code concepts and best practices in building apps, also for sharing experiences in software development. The sponsors have high hopes that the student attendees will capitalize on the knowledge and experience they gained as they forge forward with their studies and, later on, their careers.

Recent Blog Posts

Create Lightweight Sites With Low-Code and No-Code Technology

Consumers expect modern websites to be mainly visual. But, the more compelling and complex the related media is, the more data is involved, compounding the site’s weight. In today’s content-craving world, delivering unoptimized media can cost you because it leads to sluggish page loads, resulting in visitors abandoning your site in search of a faster alternative. In fact, a page load that takes more than three seconds can cause as many as 40% of your visitors to bounce. Given this competitive, digital-first environment, you can’t afford to lose page views, for time is of the essence.

Read more
A Blueprint for AWS-Secured Webhook Listeners for Cloudinary

tl;dr: An AWS-secured and optimized Cloudinary webhook listener for extending the Cloudinary service

Code: Github

A webhook is a communication medium for sending notifications from one platform to another about events that occurred. In place are user-defined HTTP callbacks that are triggered by specific events. When a triggered event takes place on the source site, the webhook listens to the event, collects the data, and sends it to the URL you specified in the form of an HTTP request.

Read more
New Accessibility Features for Cloudinary’s Product Gallery Widget

Cloudinary’s Product Gallery widget, which launched in 2019, has enabled many brands to effectively and efficiently showcase their products in a sleek and captivating manner, saving countless hours of development time and accelerating release cycles. By adding Cloudinary’s Product Gallery widget with its customizable UI to their product page, retailers reap numerous benefits, often turning visitors into customers in short order.

Read more
Why Successful Businesses Engage With and Convert Audiences With Visual Media

Most business buyers prefer to research purchase options online, as do many shoppers. No wonder online retail sales in the U.S. rose by 32.4% in 2020—an impressive gain of $105 billion.

For B2B and B2C businesses, text-heavy websites are no longer adequate in attracting shoppers. Instead, engaging visual media—spin images, videos, 3D models, augmented reality—are becoming a must for conveying eye-catching details and differentiators about products or services.

Read more
Making User-Generated Content (UGC) Shoppable With Cloudinary

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful marketing tool. Not only does video complement marketing efforts for e-commerce by enabling customers to explore products in greater detail, but UGC also adds an element of trust. As a bonus, user-generated video is an exceptional opportunity for e-businesses to attract website traffic without their marketing team having to create promotional videos from scratch. User-generated content drives conversions and brand loyalty as a direct result of authentic interaction.

Read more