This year the team behind Google Developer Groups Islamabad re-created the magic of 2019’s Devfest for tech and digital media enthusiasts from all over Pakistan but under strict SOP protocols.
A week back on 18th December we saw Islamabad hosting a beautiful, sunny day and the largest IT conference in its very premises as the Google Developers Group Islamabad, a community-backed by Google hosted its 6th annual DevFest this year with over 500+ attendees as a conclusion to DevFest season in Pakistan at Centre for International Peace and Stability (CIPS), NUST.
#Devfest2021 kicked off with a welcome note by Ali Naqi Rizvi – Corporate Outreach Lead – Google Developer Groups Islamabad. He briefed the audience about the community, and how it aims to revolutionize the culture of technology in Pakistan by equipping the youth with cutting-edge technical skills required to survive in today’s digital world. After the introductory video, everyone felt comfortably acquainted with the team and the notion of DevFest. The stage was then presented to Dr. Rizwan Riaz, Pro-Rector – NUST, as he talked about how youth will truly empower Pakistan through its sincere efforts in the technological sector & shed light on the role NUST is playing as an institution in providing the youth with better and brighter opportunities.
After that, the Federal Miniter for Science & Technology, Shibli Faraz talked about youth’s role in building a better and brighter future for Pakistan. The lead collaborating partner at DevFest 2021, Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited (MMBL) launched the MMBL Dost Hackathon, which was formally announced by Khurram Javaid, Head Digital Sales, Marketing, and Partnerships along with Mohammad Ali Ibrahim, Head Marketing and Communications at MMBL. The 45-day Hackathon set down the foundation for making scalable problem-solving innovations in collaboration with GDG. MMBL’s digital channels provide convenient and inclusive banking products and services that are crucial to bringing more people into the financial landscape. While addressing the tech entrepreneurs and graduating students present at the event, Sardar Mohammad Abubakr, Chief Finance & Digital Officer at MMBL stressed the importance of financial inclusion and the growing digital landscape in Pakistan. He stated,
“Uplifting & upskilling the youth of Pakistan remains at the core of MMBL’s business ethos and paves the way for successful idea generation and creativity through a digitally-empowered and resilient workforce.”
MMBL’s team also showcased digital on-boarding of customers and digital lending through the DOST platform and contributed towards various sessions in the two-day event focusing on Technology, Financial Inclusion, Digital Banking, Startup Ecosystem, and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I).
The energy in the room was palpable as Hufsa Munawar, Community Manager Developer Relations – Google briefed the audience about the importance of tapping into Pakistan’s Digital potential to compete with the changing world and its growing demands. This was followed by a star-studded Diversity & Inclusion Panel that featured Sabah Bano Malik – Multimedia Journalist, Asna Javed, Hybrid Cloud Build Team and Developer Advocacy Leader – IBM and Sundas Kazmi, Manager Transformation & Partnerships – Mobilink Microfinance Bank Ltd. The panel was moderated by Sabah Kalsoom, Community & Partnerships Manager – COLABS. The panel discussed the challenges women take on in work and everyday life and the stereotypical gender biases they’re expected to overcome.