Facebook Developers Circle is a community that is free to join by any developer. The aim of the group is to enable information sharing between developers and create a positive impact within the developer community within a particular country. The group is open to anyone who is interested in learning about the newest technologies from Facebook. The group is headed by a tech industry leader in a local community. The Kenyan team is spearheaded by Anthony Nandaa who is an Engineering team lead at Andela. The group is open to everyone, be it a student learning how to program or an experienced developer looking to turn an idea into reality. The community enables developers both to learn and network with others in the industry.
This program has been launched only in a few cities across the globe. We are privileged to have this program in Kenya since March 2017. Moringa school and Facebook Developers Circle hold the meetup monthly for the Nairobi group. In addition to the monthly meetups, there are events, conferences and hackathons. To organize for this there is a Facebook group where members can share code, links and videos. The last meetup’s topic was conversational bots.
Chat bots are computer programs designed to simulate human conversations especially over the internet. The average person has at least three messaging apps on their phones. This has led to the development of chat bots. This is a new concept in artificial intelligence and brands are planning to use chatbots more in the future but with a more customer centered approach with hope to gain more customer insights, personalizing their brand and improving the general user experience. According to Thomas Nyambati, there are two types of Bot models. To begin with there are the generative models that generate responses from scratch primarily based on deep learning models and they mainly depend on the ability of a bot to gain more information as time goes by. There are also retrieval based models that generate responses from predefined responses. This model can incorporate machine learning to understand different contexts and is the one employed.
The developers in attendance were taken through the steps they require to develop and implement chat bots. Moringa Core 5 students were particularly interested in knowing how these bots can be developed from scratch using languages like Python. Depending on the time, nature and channel different methods can be used. The panel discussion ended with the developers interested told to create videos showing how their bot works and submit it to the Facebook group for review.
In addition to fostering online and offline community and collaboration, Facebook
developer circles wants to help developers gain new skills. The group is partnering with Udacity, one of the largest online training platforms in the world, to launch custom Facebook training programs for our Developer Circles community, which will be available via Developer Circles Facebook groups across the globe. The Developer Circles meetup is also a chance for developers to network and get opportunities as well as learn about coding boot camps like Moringa School. The Moringa school community is glad to partner with Facebook Developers circle to create a large community of developers in Nairobi.