Nairobi Tech Week (NTW) is sub-Saharan’s largest annual Tech event. This year they were holding their second event in Strathmore University, Nairobi Kenya.

Was so excited to attend this year’s event for two reasons: one, since the previous one was really engaging and very insightful and second, they actually accepted my application for attending this year’s event! :b  after rejecting my application last year (even though I still found my way to attend the event).

Anyway, it’s #day 1 ,at around 0945hrs, the event officially started . We were introduced to some of the #NTW sponsors from IBiz, Angelhack and the Co-founder of Moringa school. After the introductions, we were then asked to take breakfast and later we got to our rooms where some workshops and talks were being done according to your interests.

The first talk I attended was by Safaricom: Intellectual Property Rights by Reuben K Lang’at. Intellectual Property refers to the creations of the human mind such as inventions, images, symbols used in commerce. While IPR(Intellectual Property Rights) is a set of Legal rights granted by national regional government authority to creators of new ideas being protected. It was not surprising how only about ten people showed up to this talk. It was clear that most people were more interested in the tech talks. But I believe that it’s also as important to know how your idea/application or software can be protected.

In this talk we got to understand more about how one can protect their ideas, brand name, applications and software. I also got to learn about a Patent, Copyright related rights, Utility model, why one should protect trademarks and much more. If any one of you guys would want to protect your idea or brand just go to KIPI(Kenya Industrial Property Institute).You can thank me later 🙂

Aaaaannnddd…It was Lunch time!!My second favorite thing after Sleep! We were served some Bhajiah looking potatoes together with tasty chicken and juice with an apple! mh! mh! mh. During lunch we were presented with some questions about how to empower women in tech and had a chat about it with my table mates. I enjoyed it!

At around 1400hrs, we were asked to wind up and start heading to the afternoon workshops. I was torn between attending a workshop by JUMO, a fintech company and Artificial Intelligence by Intel. But since my interest lays between Data science and Machine learning I ended up spending my afternoon being shown applications of Artificial intelligence and the Deep Learning techniques that Intel uses.

During this talk, I learnt about the Machine learning pipeline :

ML Pipeline

We first feed Data to the Machine Learning model together with our algorithm so as to make a prediction.

There are 3 types of ML: Supervised, Unsupervised and Reinforcement Learning, maybe we can get deeper into this at a later post 🙂 and there are also 3 Machine learning solutions which are; Classification, regression and clustering. Then after some theory about AI and Machine learning we were shown a Demo on how to use one of the Intel deep Learning SDK. It was amazing!

After the Intel workshop, we had a small break and people dispersed to the final workshops of the day and I was super excited about the one I was attending!

It was Think Like Data Scientist by Chris Orwa! Oh, how I had always wanted to meet this man! How he gets insights from data is amazing. We once had an assignment in one of our course units to do from one of his data science articles/Project about Breaking Safaricom scratch card code . Did you know that if the third number of a Safaricom scratch card is greater than zero, the sixth number is the same number as the third minus one! e.g. if the 3rd number is 4 then the sixth number is 3, if its 5 then the sixth is 4 and so on. How cool is that! with some statistics and an algorithm he was able to find some relation between the third and sixth number!you can learn more about this here .

Anyway, going on… During his workshop, we were able to think like data scientist and we didn’t even have to use code!!!how cool is that! I’ll take you guys through this activity:

The “Theme” of this workshop , if I may call it was “what is the root of all evil?”

So, we were given a couple of shapes:


Then asked to make clusters out of the shapes and take a photo. Well, my group was so confused, we tried making other shapes from the shapes we were given but what we were supposed to do was totally different. Chris then explained what he was trying to put across.

we first created a matrix showing which shapes changed and which ones didn’t when rotated at 45 degrees, 90 degrees, 180 and 360 degrees. our table looked like this:


The 1’s show that the shape changed and the 0’s show that the shape didn’t change. from this table, we can now put together the shapes that had the same number of changes. The circle clearly doesn’t change shape no-matter how many times you rotate it. That’s the first cluster. The square rotated once, second cluster. The rectangle twice, third cluster, and the triangle, semi-circle and quarter circle rotated thrice,  the final cluster.

from this we came up with  a tree diagram by putting the clusters together:


We can see that from the circle, we can get a square, from a square you can get a rectangle, from a rectangle you can make it into a triangle, a semi-circle or a quarter-circle, so in this case our root of all evil is the circle!

We also did an exercise on how Java or any restaurant would know the root of all evil by getting data from customers by asking them why they wouldn’t suggest the place to their friends. From this information, we created a matrix using some features from the data , then put them in clusters ,and through the same process with the shapes, you can find out where the root of all evil is I.e. you can know the main reason why some people would not recommend java to their friends.

This concept is known as the Dendrogram concept. Whatever is mostly common stays on top. You can go on and read about it if my explanation didn’t make any sense .

So, I got to meet Chris and other interesting people, I’d say my day was really insightful and I learnt a lot! I bet the other two days will also have a lot to offer! 🙂