Meet SULAIMAN HAMZA, Winner of the VoguePay/NACOSS Software Hackathon 2019

(Last Updated On: November 27, 2019)

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In 2017, VoguePay entered into strategic sponsorship with NACOSS, an umbrella body of more than 300,000 students studying Computer Science in various higher institutions, with a mission to discover, launch and support student software entrepreneurs. 

As part of the yearly conference, VoguePay rewards students and developers, who are building e-commerce and other software technology that can impact and improve various sectors of Nigeria’s economy with cash awards and other consolation prizes.

This year’s edition was not an exception 

It brought together over 500 student participants from different universities across the country and 60 tech solutions pitching to win the prizes, the best three solutions were awarded cash prizes for their innovation. 

The first position went to SULAIMAN HAMZA ABDULWAHAB, a computer science student from Nasarawa State University.

The solution he presented was a mobile learning solution.

The app has loaded on it General studies (GST) notes, past questions and answers, hence providing an easier means of learning General studies courses and also guides the student on what to do next in learning the courses.

In this interview, Hamza shares what motivated him to join the software hackathon sessions, his excitements, and future ambitions.

Excerpts:

Can you briefly tell us about yourself?

My name is Sulaiman Hamza Abdulwahab, a Mobile Developer, a 3D Designer and a beginner in Graphics Design. Going back to 24 years before now, I was born in Wukari, a local government area in Taraba State, Nigeria. 

To say a bit about my career, I obtained my first leaving school certificate in Nurul Islam Nursery and Primary School, Wukari. I later attended Al-iman School Wukari for my secondary school education and in a week’s time, I will be a graduate of computer science from Nasarawa State University, Keffi.

My first contact with computer (desktop) was in my Junior secondary school through my friend, that was the beginning of my addiction to computer.  Then I developed an interest in programming my first year in university. At the  I started with visual basic, learned a bit of HTML, JavaScript, CSS, later on, I started learning Java which took me to android development, as of early 2016 I started releasing some of my Applications in play store. Currently, I am learning more of dart and flutter IDE for mobile development.

Where did the inspiration for the web/app solution you created come from?

I got my Inspiration of developing General Studies GST CENTRE from people that I used to tutor in my 100 level and 200 level, people used to love my approach in teaching through past questions, from then I used to write a lot of questions from lectures and used them in tutoring others. That was the beginning.

What were the main challenges you faced during the creative process?

Resources, lack of motivation from friends.

Before releasing the first version of the app, It took me four months to put together the questions, select relevant ones, crosscheck the relationship of the questions, go through notes and textbooks for correct answers, contact others for verification and many other things, validate the answer in Android studio, you know, it was really a task.

What was the most valuable thing you learned during the process?

You need a lot of self-discipline and self-motivation in order to be productive.

Which developers have influenced your work?

Precisely Bucky Roberts, the new Boston, his number of tutorials around… 

What tips would you give other developers thinking of entering the competition next year?

O! technology geeks of tomorrow, focus more on solving problems in a unique way.

During the software pitch session, try to convey the solution not to win, speak to express not to impress, think more of the future than the food in your plate and you shall always lead.

What are you hoping to do next?

I am currently working on three mega personal projects that I can not mention any other than General Studies: GST centre and some other projects.

Anything else you want to say? (Is there any advice you would give to young developers)

My advice to my fellow developers out there is that they should have a focus, you can not learn everything. You can pick one area at a time, desktop development, web development, mobile development or anything else you feel like doing, make sure you are happy doing it and do it to your best. 

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