I got very excited when I learnt yesterday that Form+ which was developed by a friend Bolutife Ogunsola along with his team mates, Michael Ifeoluwa Adeyeri, Willie Aniebiet and Omotunde Bajo all from the University of Lagos, finally made it to the grand prize of the prestigious worldwide Google Developer Challenge for 2012. The first time I learnt about the project, I was shocked at the simplicity and usefulness of it, it actually made me think - wouldn’t Google as a company have a bigger plan for this? We all know how important forms are for collecting information. If you've needed to get information from people or wanted a website for people to just register for an event you're organizing, then you will understand what I'm talking about.
However it wasn’t just about doing the obviously needed, they really went a long way in making something not just simple and easy, but something far better than what was existing. If you create a form on Google Doc, and compare it with the forms created from Form+ you’ll perfectly understand this part. In fact the only alternative close to the cuteness of Form+ that I’m aware of is wufoo.com Forms, and guess what? It's commercial!
What does this mean for you as a Nigerian? There is no better motivation or preaching than that which is done by action. The Microsoft Country Director (Nigeria) in 2011 once said, “There’re three ways to be rich, solve a simple problem for a lot of people, solve a really big problem for a few people, or solve a big problem for a lot of people.” Form+ should be a big block of motivation to every aspiring programmer out there or beginners.
There are lots of ways you can engage your skills and contribute to your environment today. Participate in Competitions (Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013) is already underway, there’s Siemen’s Empowering People Award, Students Competition, usually has a lot of techy competitions and so on. Join programming communities, there’re Google Technology User Groups in almost every country. There are organizations like EYAPSSA (a startup which I’m part of), IEEE Nigeria, and so on which you can join to stay informed on these type of information as well as meet great minds, et cetera.
Once again, congratulations to the team for making Nigeria Proud J