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Africa’s first female Google Expert named

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DVT Android developer Rebecca Franks has been selected as a Google Developer Expert.
Franks is the first female developer from Africa to qualify for Google’s global Developer Expert program, and is also the first Google Developer Expert from Johannesburg.
“As a passionate Android developer I was already blogging, YouTubing and arranging meetups about some of the apps I’d worked on when Google took notice and approached me about the Developer Expert programme,” says Franks.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to use my skills and experience to reach out to more people, to learn from other developers from around the world, and to get more people making better Android apps for the community as a whole.”
Google Developer Experts actively support other developers, startups, and companies through community engagements such as conference presentations, publishing videos and tutorials, writing code samples, and personal mentoring.
Becoming an expert means undergoing a stringent evaluation process, as well as being nominated by a Google employee or partner, all based on the special contribution made to the field. The programme itself is run by Google Developers, which gives Experts access to valuable know-how and a network of product, design and marketing experts within Google and the wider Android community.
“Rebecca’s achievement is an example to other women of how far they can go in this industry if they show the aptitude, commitment and passion for the work and the industry,” says DVT CEO Jaco van der Merwe.
“Women tend to shy away from a career in software development because they don’t get exposed to it often enough at school level to consider it an option, and only end up fearing it,” he says.
“The more we can encourage young women in particular to appreciate how incredibly creative and enriching the industry has become, and how much developers contribute to today’s business world and society in general, the more the pendulum will swing in favour of attracting more female participants and graduates.”
DVT runs one of South Africa’s leading internship programs for technology graduates, a growing number of whom are women.
“Working at DVT has given me incredible exposure to the local software development industry, and license to pursue my passion for Android app development in particular,” says Franks.
“Together with a Cape Town-based NPO I’ve also been working on my own app, called Book Dash, that makes hundreds of children’s books widely available in many of South Africa’s different languages. Just these two examples show the scope of what you can achieve as an app developer if you put your heart and mind into it, and I’m grateful to Google for the opportunity to help spread this message even further.”