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DUT Hosts Its First Ever CodeFest Where Software Will Be Designed and Developed

DUT Hosts Its First Ever CodeFest Where Software Will Be Designed and Developed


Media Statement by Cassim Vanker, Information Technology Lecturer at the Durban University of Technology

The Department of Information Technology at DUT in conjunction with its partners will be hosting its first ever CodeFest, where computer programmers, testers, project managers, business analysts and others in the software field will join forces to design and develop software around an event theme.

This event, which will be held at the IT Lab 5, DUT Ritson Campus, will commence tomorrow on Friday May 3, 2013 at 4 pm and end on Sunday May 5, 2013 at 4 pm and will allow developers, students and academics the opportunity to collaborate intensively on software development projects.

“One of the fundamental challenges facing academia in the recent years is the need to innovate in education. However innovation in education is difficult because we have to challenge what we take for granted as many of the ideas of teaching and learning are linear in nature and have also been formulated to meet the circumstances of a previous century,” said Cassim Vanker, DUT IT Lecturer who is heading the initiative.

Quoting Dr Sugata Mitra, Vanker added, “If you allow the educational process to self-organise then learning emerges. The teacher set’s the process in motion and stand’s back and watches in awe as learning happens. The CodeFest is the perfect catalyst for a self-organised learning environment.”

This is not the first time that DUT is taking part in such an event. In 2012, the Department signed two MoUs with Microsoft and Vodacom. In terms of Microsoft, this event feeds directly into the activities that are outlined in the DUT/Microsoft MoU. These initiatives are to contribute to the development of Information Technology in KwaZulu-Natal and to actively work with students and the city of Durban. Microsoft will also provide technical support to students on the development of Windows Phone applications. The agreement with Vodacom supports the development of student skills in the Android arena. During this event, Vodacom will provide collaborative opportunities for students to interact with Android experts while also exposing them to developers who might build applications on this platform as well.

The event will revolve around four themes, namely:

– Improving government processes: eAdministration,
– Connecting citizens: eCitizens and eService,
– Building external interactions: eSociety as well as;
– Applications for Education: eEducation.

Students, developers and academics that have ideas for applications that fit into the above themes will pitch their ideas to the team on the first day of the CodeFest. The team will than vote and choose the best idea/s. The remaining days of the event will be spent developing both web and mobile applications on those idea/s.

“The theme of the event directly supports the University’s eSkill initiatives while also strategically aligning itself to the MoUs that we have signed with both Microsoft and Vodacom. SQS SA, which is part of the SQS Group – the world’s leading specialist in software quality – who have consistently supported the department’s collaborative events have been appointed as an “Official Software Tester” for this event. Our sponsors have an important collaborative role to play, as they will not only provide training, mentorship and support but also encouragement to students,” said Vanker.

Effectively, the CodeFest will allow students to experience the entire software development process, from product inception, to design, coding and testing both on mobile and web platforms over a single weekend. In total, 40 attendees will participate in this event, approximately 13 of which are professional developers/testers. Developers attending this event range from companies like Chillisoft and Business Connection to Law Properties and Metro Rail.

For more information or comment, contact Cassim Vander, DUT IT Lecturer (031) 373 5596 / 083 301 7864.

The event will take place as follows:

Date: Tomorrow, Friday May 3, 2013 – Sunday May 5, 2013
Venue: IT Lab 5, DUT Ritson Campus

Issued by:

Sinegugu Ndlovu
Communications Department
Durban University of Technology
Steve Biko Campus Durban
031 373 2845
078 615 2662