From left: Toni Yannick Kalombo, Edward Lawrence, Innocent Ruzindana, Issam Fayad, Ben Maddison, Isabel Odida, Quamar Fatima (Google), Portia Rabonda, Bennie Joubert, Alan Kemp
In 2017, Workonline Communications hosted its first Engineers Tour, sending a team of top African network engineers to a conference hosted by the North American Network Operators’ Group (NANOG). June 2023 marked the return of the Workonline Engineers Tour as 10 senior network engineers from across Africa attended NANOG88 in Seattle, Washington, USA, along with participating in roundtable discussions with some of Silicon Valley’s leading tech companies. The goal of the Workonline Tour 2023 was to allow our engineers to network with other professionals, share the value of the largely untapped African market, and once they returned, share what they learned with their respective communities. Social media support was provided to boost awareness of the tour before, during and after the trip to Seattle.
Co-sponsored by FLEXOPTIX, the Workonline Tour was created with the purpose of exposing top African network engineers to cutting-edge technologies currently in use by leading companies, as well as building their professional networks and sharing the value of the African telecom market. Event attendance and special meetings with companies in Seattle gave the engineers a remarkable opportunity to be introduced to some of the best minds in the business. Workonline believes the knowledge gained from the Engineers Tour will enable the participants to develop the internet ecosystem in Africa upon the trip’s completion.
The 2023 tour, dubbed #WorkonlineTour_2023 across social media, kicked off on June 11 as senior network engineers from South Africa, Uganda, Burkina Faso and Rwanda arrived in Seattle. NANOG88 took place from June 12 through June 14, allowing the team to network with top industry professionals and attend events, panels and more for three full days.
While NANOG ended on Wednesday, June 14, #WorkonlineTour_2023 continued. June 15 and 16 saw the team meeting with multiple tech companies in the Seattle metropolitan area, including AWS, Fastly, SpaceX, Meta, Google and Microsoft. After nearly a week in Seattle, the engineers departed the city on June 17.
Workonline Communications posted regular social media updates about #WorkonlineTour_2023 through the company’s official Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels, attracting over 6,000 impressions across platforms. The coverage began the week before NANOG88 and continued throughout the week after the team had returned to Africa.
Overall, #WorkonlineTour_2023 was successful both in terms of team member development and social media promotion. One attendee of the tour shared insights into their experience with Workonline and the trip to Seattle:
“I appreciate Workonline for the initiative and support in the recently concluded tour. The tour has brought insight on how other companies have emerged to the level they are on now. My company will learn from their history to get to where we want to be in the near future.
Having had discussions with Google and SpaceX specifically will enable my company to engage them directly to see how we can optimize existing services.”