Landlocked by two of the world’s fastest-growing economies, India and China, Nepal strikes a sharp contrast to its neighbours as it ranks among the poorest nations in the world. Agriculture remains the country’s predominant economic activity, providing employment to 80 percent of the population, yet it contributes to only a third of Nepal’s gross domestic product.
As part of its initiative to stimulate the local information technology (IT) sector, Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) Nepal teamed up with Neoteric, the Nokia distributor in Nepal, and its software partner, IT Nepal, to conduct a Windows Phone 8 application (app) development camp. This event was held from 10 June to 24 July 2013 at MIC Nepal, and comprised multiple five-day workshops for students to learn how to develop apps for Windows Phone 8.
Allen Bailochan Tuladhar, Country Director of MIC Nepal, said, “We want to develop their interest in IT as well as their capabilities—to inspire them to play an active role in Nepal’s IT sector and bring innovation to it.”
Participants spent the first two days mastering the essentials of app development, then worked on their own app ideas and pitched them on the final day of the camp. To further encourage students’ creativity and learning process, the programme offered incentives to those who submitted their apps that week: they will receive 50 percent of their course fees if their app is successfully published in the Windows Phone Store, and the participant whose app has the highest number of downloads would be awarded a Windows Phone 8.
Twenty-seven apps were eventually published in the Windows Phone Store, with a cumulative download of more than 95,000 times; the winning app, KiLL THEM!!! accounted for a whopping 85 percent of total downloads.
KiLL THEM!!! is a simple and fun shooting game created by Arjan Maharjan, a computer engineering student from Kathmandu Engineering College. Arjan could not believe the popularity of his app when he was announced the winner of the new Windows Phone 8, and attributed his success to the knowledge he gained from the five-day workshop.
According to Arjan, the Windows Phone 8 app development camp was interesting as well as informative. “I learned a lot of logic related to programming. It has definitely helped me upgrade my programming skills. I would highly recommend the workshop to anyone who takes an interest in app developing and programming,” he added.
Fired up by his app’s success, Arjan is looking to develop more apps in the future and hopes to participate in advanced app development courses to further his skills.