Last year, EOH launched a series of developer events, DevEx, meant to bring out the best in developers’ creative flairs and innovative ideas.

We had a recent chat with EOH Microsoft Solutions’ team leader and developer Denzil Govender to find out more about the event’s future promise and highlights, and just about how much digital transformation is shaping the industry.

Denzil, tell us about your background in the industry and your role at EOH Microsoft Solutions.

I started my developer career eight years ago. I remember my first job coding in visual basic for applications. After that I quickly moved to C# and the .net stack. Since then I worked across technologies including .net stack, node.js, ios swift, javascript, python etcetera.

I lead a team of developers at one of the big banks. We are currently building an online trading and payment platform for them as well as rewriting their ERP application.

My day job consists of developing, making sure that the correct architectural decisions are made on the solution by the team and to ensure that we develop and deploy software that is of the highest quality.

I also run an architectural group focusing on best practices, architectural solutions, and emerging technologies across the organization. And I get involved in organising and speaking at DevEx, of course.

Q: Speaking about DevEx (EOH’s series of internal events for developers), what is the main purpose of these events? Can you briefly describe the concept?

DevEx was created to help answer that one question that we, as technologists, have faced for a long time: how do we stay abreast of this ever changing industry? New tools and languages are emerging almost daily.

That is where the need for DevEx arose from. DevEx stands for Developer Exchange. We wanted to create a space where developers from around the business could come together and exchange ideas, practices, experiences, and solutions but most importantly be inspired.

DevEx is also a platform where anybody can share, for example, something cool that they have been working on.

We have a saying at DevEx: If you think it’s worth sharing, then we want to hear about it. 

Q: What kind of activities and interaction can developers expect from DevEx?

DevEx has been introduced so far in a presentation format session. People can expect to come and listen to speakers presenting about emerging technologies, development methodologies, and working in teams.

There is also a question and answer session at the end. Going forward, we also want to extend DevEx to include hands-on lab sessions where we will go through a tutorial.

DevEx is also a networking session where we get to meet developers from other areas of the business. There is a big social element to this event as well.

Q: Why is the DevEx launch important for EOH and the #DevCreateInspire community?

EOH is big on their people; we truly believe that our people are our greatest asset. First and foremost we want to make sure that we are doing our bit to help our developers grow.

Sharing of information is of vital importance in any organization and most especially in our industry, and that is where DevEx makes that process easier.

We want to make sure that we are adding value to our clients through innovation. So we do not only want to solve our customer’s problems, but we want to help them realize opportunities through innovation.

Q: Can you expand on a few highlights and accomplishments from the recent DevEx events?

DevEx has been running for more than a year now, and in that time we have had many interesting presentations. There was a talk on AI using the raspberry pi, really kind of Skynet stuff. Then there was an excellent talk on machine learning and the possibilities thereof.

Today (note: the interview took place at the latest DevEx session on 31 August) we are chatting about blockchain. DevEx aims to sow a seed of curiosity among developers, and if we can do that at every session, then I would mark that down as an accomplishment.

Q: What are the main challenges facing software developers today in the industry, and how can events such as DevEx address these challenges?

The biggest challenge, in my opinion, is that technology is moving at a rapid rate. The only thing consistent in this industry is change. Although this is just as exciting as it is scary, we face the fact that for us to stay relevant, we need to aware of these changes.

How do we make time for this and still be productive in our day jobs? How do we know which new technologies to invest our time in? Is this tech going to last or is it just a passing buzz word?

DevEx can help address these questions. Our speakers invest their time in researching emerging technologies. You can come and see some of the possibilities in using these technologies and what kind of problems it tries to solve.

You can think of DevEx as that energy drink that will get you to the gym; then the rest is up to you.

Q: What is your take on digital transformation for business (cloud computing, AI, IoT) and how do you see the future of the developing industry?

If companies and organizations want to stay competitive in their respective markets, then digital transformation is a necessary complexity that has to be first and foremost in the minds of business executives.

I believe technology is going to be one of the biggest differentiating factors that set apart the winners from the losers.

I am excited about where we are going as an industry. It has to be the best time to be in software and technology right now. You can have the processing power of hundreds of computers at a push of a button thanks to cloud computing.

AI and IoT are changing how we do things, how we live. The possibilities are only limited by our imagination, and that is what gets me excited.

When we live in a society that is driven by consumerism, there is a desperate need for more creators, and that is what I believe software developers can and will change.

DevEx events run on the last Thursday of each month. The next event will take place on 28 September from 3 pm to 5 pm at the EOH offices in Midrand.

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