Joburg-based BlackBerry devs and wannabe coders got good news today, when the smartphoine maker snipped the ribbon on its latest Apps Lab. It’s setting up shop in super-cool tech centre JoziHub, and installing a full time member of staff and multiple handsets at the back of the shared workspace to help train a generation of software designers on BB hardware.
African MD Alexandra Z was on hand to announce the set-up, which will be cared for by Venture Solutions. She reckons that around 100 developers have benefited from coding advice and business training doled out at existing Cape Town and Pretoria Apps Labs, creating “African apps that can compete globally”.
Apparently the chief users of the other labs so far are students, and sure enough a few were on hand to talk about their experiences. Including this smartly turned out group of schoolboys who apparently have a successful app business called ‘Many Apps’ before they’ve hit matric. Their repertoire includes a bible reading app and one that features dating tips for boys so they can be more confident around girls. Sex and religion – what else does a 15-year-old boy need?
There’s not much in the Apps Lab at the moment mind, for the first month or so BlackBerry plans to focus on events and hackathons, with actual staff and day-to-day stuff following later on.