Robert John Thas has emerged the first Sub-Saharan African (SSA) certified a Google Developer Expert in Machine Learning.
Machine Learning (ML) is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that teaches machines to learn and operate by themselves without explicit instructions.
According to Google, becoming a Developer Expert means:
“[U]ndergoing a stringent evaluation process, as well as being nominated by a Google employee or partner, authorised by the Google Developers team, and all based on the special contribution they make to their field.”
Robert John Thas was nominated by Aniedi Udo-Obong, Google’s Programme Manager, Developer Ecosystem for Sub-Saharan Africa who confirmed Robert was indeed the first in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Google Developer Expert In Machine Learning certification is also a major validation of recognised expertise and thought leadership in the ML domain.
And also a track record of voluntary, meaningful and consistent contribution — like technical, talks, mentorship, training — to the community.
For Robert, who also is the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at the CoLab in Kaduna State, the result of the 4-week verification process means access to network, resources and support from Google to further evangelise machine learning vigorously.
According to Robert John Thas:
“Africa has its own unique problems and use for technology and Silicon Valley is not going to delegate engineers to solve them for us. Even the startups that exist today will not be able to do without machine learning once they start to scale because there is a limit to what you can manually do repetitively.
Typically, we need education and access to resources to solve the engineer deficit in the African AI and ML space, even globally.
[Aspiring engineers] should start by taking online courses. The University of Washington, Google, IBM, Harvard and the MIT all have courses on online learning platforms that can get you started in the field.”