Why I Joined the Health-Tech Hackathon – Sula Mabuza

An Update on the Ongoing Health-Tech Hackathon Through the Eyes of Sula Mabuza – A Network Member Who Leverages All Opportunities.

With the Health-Tech Hackathon in full swing, we thought it best to give you a little bit of an update on the progress of the contest. The best way to do so is through the eyes of a current participant and avid AL for Infrastructure network member, Sula Mabuza.

Sula is no stranger to competing in an opportunity presented through AL for Infrastructure. Prior to the Hackathon, Sula competed in the 2022 Lafarge Industries SA(Pty) Ltd.’s Design and Innovation Challenge where he and his team were the runners-up. Sula exemplifies a person who strives to take opportunities that come his way, which is why it is so pleasing to follow Sula’s journey from the Design and Innovation Challenge through to the current Hackathon. Sula beams about how the two experiences have granted him the chance to understand the power of research, explore workplace challenges, and eventually provide viable solutions. His keenness to participate in the opportunities provided by AL for Infrastructure has inspired him to develop a solution-based mindset with impact in mind.

He recaps that with the Hackathon projected to end on the 7th of October, the past few weeks have been busy with vibrant activity as the 65 creators who are working in groups are working to provide solutions to the health-tech challenges provided. When asked about his personal experience thus far, Sula replies enthusiastically that his experience has been amazing. He admires the Microsoft and mDoc teams for the passion that they have shown for solving pressing societal issues through fostering technology. The training sessions that have been provided also gave him the chance to learn more about Azure and GitHub. Azure is a great cloud services tool that he realized is more often required or used by companies across the globe and it is critical for software engineers to be able to use it. He has also benefitted a lot as the Microsoft team engaged them in a training session on Azure security, giving him a deeper dive into cyber security and the safekeeping of cloud services platforms which he is interested in.

This has most certainly been a fruitful experience for Sula. He acknowledges it as one that is ‘mind-opening’. He gained an understanding of the importance of GitHub repositories and how it enables team collaboration. Even though he had learned about GitHub in university, it has been through this experience that he got to explore the platform more thoroughly. He believes that this will especially benefit him when he gets a career placement in the future.

Another tool that he can put under his belt is the use of Visual Studio Code. He finds that it makes programming easier through its various extensions. Prior to his exposure to Visual Studio Code, he had other preferences in terms of the development area, but this has now changed as he sees himself using Visual Studio Code even more, especially for node.js application. He is also learning React Native and React more. It is very evident that Sula is gaining a wealth of experience and skills through the Hackathon. Many such skills are bound to benefit him in the future.

The Hackathon groups have been deliberately divided between participants with health-oriented expertise and those with tech expertise. Sula is in a team of health enthusiasts and has found their feedback to be very insightful. Their contributions and different perspectives have been invaluable to all the ideas that he brings forth to the group. This experience requires teamwork and aids the collective improvement of all the participants.

Sula is a Computer Engineering graduate from Ashesi University in Ghana. He has been involved in projects that are aimed at driving social change – one such project is Unleash Africa. Unleash Africa had been accepted for two fellowships, namely the Millennium Fellowship class of 2019, and the Clinton Global Initiative University class of 2020. Under these two fellowships, Sula engaged in sessions to cultivate core values of empathy, humility, inclusion in leadership, and social impact. He honed skills including how to write a budget and set and meet strategic goals. He also helped to build a community of practice – sharing best practices across organizations. Sula is always open to learning new things and as a result, he has been invited to summer school in Edinburgh.

AL for Infrastructure is using Mighty Networks as another platform to engage its Network. Our Mighty Networks platform has become the main platform of communication for the Hackathon. Sula acknowledges the platform as a great vehicle through which he can connect with his teammates and other network members and an easy and efficient platform from which he can receive information. We urge all our network members to join Mighty Networks. It provides for a more interactive user experience and encourages greater engagement within our network. Join our Mighty Networks here.

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