Nigerian software developer shares her experience at the Microsoft LEAP Hackathon

Jun 27, 2019

Microsoft hosts 30 female developers in Lagos.

Microsoft LEAP Hackathon

Microsoft invited female developers in Kenya and Nigeria to participate in the Microsoft LEAP Hackathon 2019 event. An initiative of the newly launched Microsoft Africa Development center. The all-female event seeks to strengthen the place of women in technology. A four day program combining traditional classroom learning with hands on projects. 

In Nigeria 30 female developers were selected from about 170 who successfully applied to participate in the event. Nelly Tadi from Abuja state was one of the 30 selected female developers. She shares with us her experience of the Microsoft LEAP Hackathon.
For Nelly it was a learning curve. Learning new technologies and tools, practicing how to use them and working with a team.

Microsoft LEAP Hackathon Nigeria

I got a forwarded message from a friend on WhatsApp and actually ignored it at first. I later went back to it, clicked on the link and started to fill the form on my phone.” She mentions almost giving up as there was a quiz section in the form where she had to write code and the phone wouldn’t allow. She however had the urge to continue because she found the quiz challenging, intriguing and wanted to solve it. “So I picked up my laptop, entered the link and started the quiz again.”

I was super excited to be selected. I felt honored. I mean it was a Microsoft event with free accommodation and feeding. It felt important.”


Having once participated in a hackathon event in school – Bingham University – I thought it was going to be coding throughout. We had trainings for the first two days and then the Hackathon for the remaining two days of the event. To be honest before this I had never heard about Azure, Microsoft teams and DevOps.”

Microsoft LEAP Hackathon

Participants were taken through writing maintainable and testable code. Learning about DevOps, Azure, machine learning studio, virtual machines, Azure AI and other Microsoft technologies and tools.  

 “The mentors were really patient with us. Going over the same thing again and again just to ensure that we were learning. The organizers, mentors were all so friendly and easy going. The atmosphere there was enough to give anybody the confidence to ask questions and learn.
We hosted our web app on azure and also did a machine learning project on it with the free credit given to us. So yeah, it wasn’t just about the training, it was great because i actually got to practically use these tools

Hacking with Team 5X at the Microsoft LEAP Hackathon

Microsoft LEAP Hackathon

During the hackathon Nelly Tadi was put in Team 5X. A team that saw her becoming friends with Busola Okeowo, Catherine John, Mary Olohitare Belo and Hope Oluwalolope. Learning the valuable lesson of working in a team. Nelly says “I’m so glad we learnt to understand ourselves. If not i’m quite sure we wouldn’t have been able to come up with a good project not to talk more of winning. I was really excited about winning.”

Nelly’s Team 5X won the Microsoft LEAP Hackathon with a solution they named AGRIFY. A platform that connects buyers, sellers and transporters of good and quality farm produce.

“We created a solution based on a real life problem. Our idea was a product called AGRIFY. Agrify is a platform to connect buyers and sellers of farm produce and also ensure delivery of good quality farm products. We used machine learning to determine quality of farm produce and built the web application with PHP Laravel. During the training we were taught how to host web apps on azure so we implemented that knowledge by hosting our demo app on

Nelly Tadi lives in Abuja and is the founder of Why Code. An organization training young people in different aspects of IT. She shares “we are currently working on introducing coding clubs to schools, running summer schools and other training events. I intend to continue to pursue this dream and also keep learning more about programming and improving my skills.”