The Durban University of Technology’s Information Technology Department has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with software giant Microsoft which will act as an important building block in developing a generation of “inspired young minds” who will find creative solutions that solve tough challenges.
Yesterday’s MoU follows Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform heckathon in which 49 DUT Information Technology students participated last weekend at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. The participating students worked tirelessly through the weekend to develop mobile applications for Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Third-year DUT IT student Mzolo Nkosi won first prize and as part of this, his application will be featured on Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace, giving him the opportunity to make money from his winning app.
Mteto Nyati, Microsoft South Africa Managing Director the company’s motto is to enable businesses and people to realise their full potential, which is why Microsoft is working with the students.
Nkosi said working closely with Microsoft is living proof that “one reaps what they sow”. He admitted that winning first prize was however not a walk in the park. “I went a few days without sleep, making sure my application was exactly what I want it to be,” said Nkosi.
DUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Ahmed Bawa said he is “beyond grateful” for the opportunity that Microsoft has afforded to DUT students. “We are a university of technology. It’s about time we get involved in such developments. This is very important for DUT,” he said.
Thuto Mothapa, another third-year DUT IT student who also participated in the hackathon said it (the hackathon) has been a great opportunity for all IT students. “I now know how to design and code mobile applications that are ready to be marketed”, Mothapa said.
DUT IT Lecturer Cassim Vanker said working with Microsoft has been a great experience for the University and its students. “Look at what we have achieved in a space of months, think what lies ahead. I am extremely proud of my students and I’m looking forward to working with Microsoft on more projects”, said Vanker.
Caption: DUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Ahmed Bawa, Microsoft Managing Director Mteto Nyati, DUT Information Technology Lecturer Cassim Vanker and the students who won the Microsoft mobile applications hackathon.