Home Opinion API: Stimulating the sharing movement among developers in Nigeria

API: Stimulating the sharing movement among developers in Nigeria



Dele Odufufe, CEO of Tsaboin reckons that a new movement is underway to encourage increased sharing among the developer community in Nigeria


Ade Atobatele, Ezra Olubi and Dele Odufuye at the API Focus event in Lagos
Ade Atobatele, Ezra Olubi and Dele Odufuye at the API Focus event in Lagos

Ikeja G.R.A in Lagos was the place to be on April 10 as Rodizio Restaurant hosted the Nigerian developers’ community in a breakfast meeting “API Focus: The reason Why” organised by Tsaboin Solutions, the I.T solutions firm behind the successful road traffic solution application: Tsaboin Traffic Talk.

The location of the meet-up was central, making it easy for every attendee to join in. The cool setting of the Rodizzio conference hall sets a good mood as everywhere was cool and calm and was conducive for reasoning for a meet-up of deep thinking individual talents and the place was perfect for the purpose.

The organisers, Tsaboin Solutions, were particularly excited to see an impressive turnout of IT gurus, technology rock stars, entrepreneurial samurais, tech bloggers and journalists. These are people who really develop IT solutions that is of immense benefit to the people. It wasn’t an all-male event as women joined in showing the genderless nature of open technology enthusiasts in Nigeria.

The organisers would be proud of the effort made by the attendees to make it to the event and birth a new era of API sharing in the Nigerian IT sector. The meeting started a little later than scheduled to make room for full participation. And when it eventually proceeded, it was comprised of three powerful sessions of speakers from various technology and entrepreneurial backgrounds sharing about APIs and how it has helped their businesses while also expanding on the benefits. Then the meet-up was rounded up with a breakfast session where there was networking among attendees with lots of ideas being shared over some cups of tea and coffee.

During the main sessions, many ideas were shared by the speakers and the experience was consumed with attendees wishing it could last longer than the allotted time.

The first session was anchored by Ade Atobatele, Founder of Nigeria.com and Ezra Olubi, the CTO of Jobberman. Ade Atobatele talked about the origin of APIs and the reason why the time for Nigeria to benefit from this giant leap is now.

Ezra Olubi shared the experience of Jobberman with API sharing and how it has helped others to be able to latch onto their platform easily and consequently increasing their growth while making it apparent to all that the nature of API usage isn’t a matter of ‘if and when’ but a matter of survival in the fiercely-competitive technology climate. The session stimulated lots of reasons on why being open is the way to grow a business in the current era.

After a series of questions and answers from participants and attendants, the second session was underway with Dele Odufuye of Tsaboin Traffic Talk anchoring the segment with Seun Ashaka of Fun Mobile and Lanre Oyedokun of Top up Genie, all joining in to talk about the evolution of APIs.

Importantly, Dele pointed out the immense ways in which APIs have evolved over time while citing their Tsaboin Traffic Talk as a prime example of how their APIs are to be consumed by developers and idea generators to create their own traffic solutions.

Talking about how developers can now develop solutions faster with the availability of data, birthing the creation of mashups, he importantly points out that there is no need to reinvent the wheels and the time of conception of an idea to its materialisation can be reduced by a great margin.

Seun Ashaka also discussed how Fun Mobile consumes APIs made available for developers and how their own platform would make their data available to make others build businesses on theirs.

Lanre Oyedokun, ending the session explains how his product works and how immensely useful APIs have been to the development. 

Shina Badaru, Dele Odufuye and Chuka Ofilli
Shina Badaru, Dele Odufuye and Chuka Ofilli

One great point made during this segment is the correction of the misconception that being open is synonymous to being free. Being open doesn’t necessarily mean free. There are measures that would make sure developers benefit from their openness. This point was further buttressed in the third and last segment of the vent

The last session was anchored by Chuka Ofilli of OpenApps/Microsmart with Laolu Alabi of 47th Avenue and Emutu Balogun of Traclist.

The expositions made by Chuka Ofilli further buttress the benefits of making your API open. He cited statistics that showed that 75 per cent of traffic on Twitter comes from its API and 63 per cent of SalesForce too: they were really eye-opening revelations.

Laolu Alabi talked about how the usage of API has expedited their development while explaining how 47th Avenue works.

Emutu Balogun explains that his e-commerce platform Traclist is essentially open in nature. He explains the way the system works were just like API in action and showed how being open with information would make the industry grow faster and that companies that hoard information would experience stunted growth and inevitably wilt off.

Chuka further gave the example of Netflix and Blockbuster, a perfect example of a company that opened up its API and the latter that hoards and wasn’t open. Needless to say, Blockbuster filed for closure sometimes ago. All in all, being open is the key to growing at this age of technology, he says.

Thanks to the brilliant speakers, nothing was left to the imagination as they all took turns to explain about the reason why API sharing is apt and they all appreciated Tsaboin Solutions for starting the movement and being at the forefront of being open.

At the end of the programme, Dele Odufuye announced the official launching of the API of their Tsaboin Traffic Talk explaining that it is now easy for anyone to consume their API to build their own traffic solution to help solve the problem of traffic in Lagos.

He says that the system by far is the most intelligent platform to report road traffic incidents with smart coding already in place to check out banalities and make people get their result on time without having to swim through an ocean of irrelevant information.

The range of questions being asked by the participants showed the depth of the event itself and the wealth of brilliance by the participants; direct questions to leave no stone unturned, provoking a new wave of ideas and collaborative possibilities while also correcting a lot of misconceptions about the development landscape in Nigeria.

After the very much enjoyable powerful sessions, attendees were treated to a great breakfast reception or lunch as we could rightly put, in the Rodizio restaurant. It was a relaxed moment where developers and entrepreneurs networked and shared ideas with lots of new products being discussed.

The movement of API sharing has started a new era and very soon we would see businesses being built on other businesses, lots of interesting collaborations and ultimately, the technology landscape in Nigeria would experience a big shake up. Join in so you do not get left behind.


* Dele Odufuye (dele@tsaboin.com) is CEO of Tsaboin, a Lagos-based technology company


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