Global Editions

First Facebook for Developers Workshop Held in Pakistan

by Mahrukh Sarwar

Facebook for Developers, in collaboration with startup accelerator PlanX, conducted a one day workshop in Lahore. The aim of the workshop was to introduce developers to tools from Facebook that would enable them to share, monetize and grow their applications.

This is only the 6th workshop that Facebook has held in the world and the first to be held in Pakistan.

“Facebook has a social obligation. Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. It applies to software just as it does to everything else,” says Hasnain Lakhani, Software Engineer at Facebook. “It’s more than just that. It also accelerates innovation in the world and forces us to do better too.”

The sessions were conducted by trainers from the Facebook Product, Partnerships, and Engineering teams. The participants were provided with exclusive, hands-on instruction via code-labs, tech talks, and updates on the latest Facebook Platform products that were designed to help the developers build and grow a successful business.

“There are lots of exciting products and services being built not just for the Pakistani market but others all over the world,” says Sarim Aziz, Manager Strategic Partnerships at Facebook. “We wanted to spend time with talent here to figure out how we solve problems and how we build products for engineers here.”

Participants were able to attend workshops on Account Kit, Bots on Messenger and React Native by speakers who helped build these tools for Facebook.

The first session on Account Kits was conducted by Andrey Belokrylov, Software Engineer from the Facebook Platform Login team and Ethan Goldman-Kirst, Software Engineer from the Identify Tools Team. This was an entry level session for developers which helped them more basic problems like registration, sign-ups and discovery. During the session, Belokrylov and Goldman-Kirst also explained why it should be used and can be done with this Facebook tool.

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The Bots on Messenger workshop introduced the audience to a completely new way for businesses and developers to engage with their users through Facebook messenger conversations. This tool creates meaningful experiences for users who are now able to engage with bots more instantaneously and effectively without having to leave the conversation. The workshop walked Pakistani developers through how to create a bot. The trainers also discussed how to build a good product, the policies that the bot has to follow and the best practices on bot experiences. The workshop was delivered by Hasnain Lakhani and Adnan Majeed, Software Engineer in the Traffic team at Facebook, New York.

The most advanced session was on React Native which was delivered by Abdullah Jibaly, Software Engineer (Oculus) at Facebook and Umair Sadiq, Software Engineer in Large Scale Distributed Systems at Facebook. React Native is designed to help developers learn transferable skills so they can write native applications in IOS and Android for Javascript. Essentially, it helps developers save time by not having to learn multiple platforms and languages, and still share as much common code as possible.

“The workshop was an immense learning experience for the developer community in Pakistan,” says Hafsa Shorish, Director of PlanX. “We are happy to see Facebook realize the potential of the Pakistani ecosystem.”


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