In the heart of Nairobi's Westlands district, in late September, 47 Microverse students and alums, affectionately known as Micronauts, came together to connect in person. Organized by Microverse team members Tina and Riley, the Microverse student meetup in Kenya joined people for a day filled with fun, learning, and connections. In this article, we share more about this meetup, the power of in-person connections, and Microverse’s continued commitment to our mission.
One attendee, Michael, traveled for 5-hours and arrived an hour early to join the event highlighting his dedication and enthusiasm for the Microverse community. The event began with a bingo game icebreaker that encouraged everyone to mingle. Participants had bingo cards with questions and tasks and aimed to complete five squares in a row. The bingo activity helped attendees get comfortable and led to more meaningful conversations.
Afterward, Micronauts exchanged tech stories and discussed the impact of Microverse on their lives over snacks and drinks. "I really enjoyed meeting up with my fellow Micronauts. I got to learn a lot from the seniors who joined before me and also got encouragement and advice about the job market, which gets frustrating from time to time. Thank you, and I really look forward to more of this," shared Brian Yengon.
Many of the Micronauts in attendance met online while attending Microverse; however, this in-person meetup gave them an opportunity to deepen their connections. One participant, Shaquille Kimolo, expressed, "It was so wonderful meeting fellow Micronauts and having the chance to expand my network…I had an amazing time. It felt more like a family gathering than just a social meetup." This sense of belonging was felt by many at the meetup.
Microverse’s mission was a recurring theme throughout the meetup. Students and alums bonded over their developer journeys and shared their passion for learning and growth. They discussed how Microverse's unique learning experience and the support they received have been instrumental in their development. Attendees spoke about the progress they have made and the life changes that have occurred since joining Microverse. Alice Mirigo shared, “It was a good event and by talking to other Micronauts we were able to see common challenges we have faced and how to deal with them.”
The meetup attendees also shared some valuable suggestions for future meetups. One common theme was having more opportunities to connect with fellow Micronauts, as the program's intensity can lead to isolation. Another recommendation was to have Microverse meetups for students in other countries, with potential remote collaboration to organize these events.
Additionally, someone proposed hosting a mini hackathon where teams compete and collaborate, providing a practical and engaging way to apply coding skills and build a stronger sense of community. We loved this suggestion as we hosted a remote Hackathon back in 2020, and had a great response!
Finally, many women attended the event, and a suggestion from them was more mentorship in tech for women to ensure they complete the program and thrive in tech.
Looking back on the Nairobi meetup, we see the extraordinary power of community, connection, and a shared mission. Microverse students and alums are not just global web developers; they are a network of support, a source of collective wisdom, and a testament to the passion that drives our international team. In-person meetups like this and the company retreats we host remind us of the incredible energy and motivation that comes from connecting with our community and team in person.
We encourage all Micronauts to seize opportunities for in-person connections when they arise, as they can be such enriching experiences. The Nairobi meetup highlighted the strength of our Microverse community and the potential that emerges when like-minded individuals come together to learn, grow, and connect. We look forward to implementing the valuable suggestions from our attendees in the future and creating more opportunities for our global community to flourish.