What will be able to do in 2018?

From experience I know either set your goals for the new year a few months before the end of the current year and be guaranteed some success or end wondering why you’re not developing as some of your colleagues and age mate. Not to mean to compete though, just emphasizing taking full responsibility.

Last year, I planned to be a better coder, tech trainer, team member than the years before.

At the moment of this writing am enjoying every moment I spend with fellow founders and employees at Gagawala Graphics limited. A branding agency located in Kampala, Uganda along Nasser road, where I double as a web developer and operations manager. We intentionally work in an open work space, producing crystal  clear prints, graphics, webs and mobile apps. Doubling responsibilities has never been as easy as said however much it’s a joy to see accomplishments in a good timing and through a peaceful way. Ours is a brand where people don’t get bigger salaries but everyone reports at work everyday, inclusive weekends sometimes.

Towards mid 2016, I met someone who would actually be a fellow coder and great friend. I hadn’t found a challenge before until I met him. We shared ideas about our work and personal goals. You can really see someone energized and ready to face any code challenge in favor of helping businesses improve. He sets himself deadlines and meets them most of the time, he loves to help out friends if they are failing with a code challenge. It’s for Ronkas that I manned up and coded my first ever Hybrid Mobile app, which has taken me about 10 months. Being able to extend WordPress and build a custom API which serves our mobile app, has not only challenged me, it has made me a better coder and a web developer.

I have also held a couple of tech training classes throughout this year teaching the basics of technology in local communities, to web development at Hostalite Cyber Academy and Metajua a coffee processing company.

To be sincere am happy 2017 have achieved some and looking to 2018’s task. So what’s in the goals?

Languages.

With the availability of internet which looks to get cheaper next year, I hope to use this opportunity to learn some French and Swahili, which will be a big inspiration for the taking on Chinese. China an interesting country that I would love to visit someday maybe to import some tech items to my country or even export skills. I decide to learn French, because I love it and am looking forward to make friends which our neighbors in Kenya and would love to communicate effectively as much as possible.

Career upgrade

My path into technology started with selling translated movies to being a typing to serving in an internet cafe as assistant helping clients who were not comfortable to search on their own, repairing and troubleshooting computers and networking them to make sure they share resources efficiently.

During my free time, I could learn about coding in HTML, PHP and little bit of JavaScript. When I left internet cafes, I co-found a business offering computer repair, network setups and consultation to internet cafes and small offices. Cutting the long story short I was aspiring to be a web designer which have done for some years and now want to upgrade to web and hybrid mobile app development. That said, in the new year I should be a MEAN or MERN stack developer. Able to use Mongo db, Express, ReactNative and NodeJs efficiently.

Music

As of now all I can say is that the piano has got 8 notes which are C, D, E, F, G, H, A, B also called 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 keys on the scale. These notes run across the low and high pitch sides whereby the low pitch is the left whereas the high pitch is the right of the piano. The player has got 10 fingers numbered started from the thumb as 1 to the little(pinky) as 5,

At the moment am able to play the 8 notes as well as the C, D and F chords. Looking forward to a better piano and guitar player before end of 2018.

I have a feeling I want to communicate and connect with many people of different life backgrounds and my involvement in such things will help.

Want to advise me anything or wanna share with me your goals, let’s meet in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Our dreams have been awaken!

One of the reasons we started a community Mobile Digital Hub, is to introduce as many people as possible to technology in Uganda and around the world. Fulfilling this that task won’t only teach most Ugandans about technology, it will also encourage learning of many important skills for life.

We discovered that most people who applied for the training were older than 19 years and had either little education background or none at all. When we introduced them to internet, and they learned how to carry out simple research with the internet you could see each of them one searching something of their own interest. One of them was searching about money lending businesses, the other was searching about the best schools in Uganda perhaps because she has a daughter who could start to go to school soon.

On the graduation day we gave out both certificates of completion and participation, we also received a lot of feedback from the learners. [Photos coming soon]

 

 

 


A millionaire despite offering a world changing product for free for over 20 years.

Today I would like to publish about the creater of the web who happens to inspire me a lot because I resonate with his works.
If you don’t know him, his real name is Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee from United Kingdom, born on June 8th, 1955 and a professor, computer scientist, engineer and public speaker widely known as Tim Berners-Lee.
I think during his early days of employment there was a challenge to share and update information not only by the researchers where he used to work at CERN. In 1980 he proposed a solution which would for decades be change the entire planet.
So he proposed a project based on the concepts of hypertext, to solve this problem among researchers.
Though HyperText Markup Language was achieved in 1990, a decade after his proposal, he provided it to the world free of cost without any patents and licenses whatsover. In my personal opinion, I doubt if google, facebook and numerous popular web platforms would be in existence the HTML invention and being free of charge. Would I be able to send emails and blog?
Some sources say his networth is $50M, rich enough to retire. The challenge we face today as young men and women is our ability to put in a lot of efforts to solove a problem we all face and open it to world for free.
Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee has never put it to rest, at 62 years, a World changer he is still an advocate for the web, he has never made HTML private, he still teaches and talk to people.
A take way from all this. People matter.
Photo credit to http://olayemiogunojo.com

Ordering for a new logo? Here are some tips for you.

A logo is a sensitive symbol of our causes and businesses/organisations. Most of the time they communicate our character in the market, so they are subjective.

In this article, I would like to share one important consideration for anyone planing to make a logo by themselves or order one from professional graphics designers. The critical part of the logo today is ease of use on numerous devices and technologies.

Some years ago that flexibility wasn’t much of a requirement because logos could be mostly shipped on print media.

Technology growth is quickly changing that. In that a logo should now be produced in various versions characterized by dimension and color.

Therefore a new logo or even a old but revised one should at least have three basic versions:- the standard version, alternative version and mobile version.

The standard version

This version is what you are likely to get if you design a logo for yourself or even from a professional designer who doesn’t care much about the other versions.

Pros

It is in full color.

It is big enough(dimension) which makes it good for any print.

Cons

It may not work well on small devices like mobile phones, tablets and websites.

The alternative version

As much as it’s important, this version is usually ignored by many logo owners. It is also called the negative or grey scale logo.

Pros

It comes at a dimension of the standard logo though in monochrome.

Being monochrome it can be used in most of the partners’ media especially the mobile, web applications and websites.

Cons

Since it’s monochrome, it can’t be used anywhere if your logo originally comes in more than one color.

Mobile version

The mobile version is a small logo in terms of dimension(width and height) made in both full color and monochrome. It is an important logo for mobile applications and websites. If the standard logo is complex i.e has many symbols which may not be visible shrink mode, effort should be taken to remove some of those symbols in this version.

Pros

It will fit and represent the brand on the widely used devices today.

It is good to be used as an icon, for a mobile application and website fav icon.

Cons

It is not good for print media.

Bonus: It is good discipline to always have the original editable versions of the logo and any graphic for your brand. Without them flexibility is not paramount as you stand a high chance of color and dimension inconsistency in the future publications.

 


Mobile digital hub has started, will you join us?

Mobile Digital Hub(MDH) is a program carried out by You Inspire You in Uganda, focusing on expanding technology awareness and use through offering a free technology education to people in the local communities.

MDH was for the first time rolled out to the people at the former home of Righteousness Palace Ministries church at Lukuli Nanganda. YIY through it’s leaders talked to RPM leaders about the idea before it was welcomed. RPM took the responsibility of mobilizing the community people to participate on top of facilitating space to be used for free.

Around 21st July 2017, we provided about 22 printed application forms to help RPM to register interested participants. From that total we would only choose 10 people to participate based on available resources.

On 11th and 12th, we were able to start the activities to which we are very proud of the training team and the community members who are very interested and committed to learn despite the age, academic and life background.

The group we are attending is a mixture of age groups, ranging from 17 to 50 years and both genders.

Though they were some challenges especially on the first day when our own laptops failed to work, RPM and Gagawala graphics ltd donated the computers we used on both days. The trainers were late by an hour on the first day.

The biggest achievement was everyone apart from one  individual attended both days.

Everyone is now able to switch on and shut down a laptop as well as some are comfortable with the touch-pad already and one or two individuals are still getting used as we go into a week were practicing with the keyboard and mouse will be intense.

With gratitude we appreciate everyone who made our commencement a success. Words can’t explain the happiness we have in our hearts, having introduced 10 Ugandans especially from the local community to technology.


Hail to the KING

In other news google has published updates for the Nearby Communication API, allowing offline peer-to-peer communication among Android devices.

What does that mean, it means there is a chance we could use WhatsApp and other Android chat applications without having an active internet connection.

In Google’s google android blog stackoverflow.com is referenced as a recommendation for developers who may face problems while developing the apps integrated with this new API.

No wonder some developers in my circles nick name it StackOverBro.

Stack Overflow, or stackoverbro in our language, is a network of Question and Answer websites visited by 116 million people on a monthly basis and my appreciations go to Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood the developers and co-founders.

Are you a software developer? What have you developed, what does it solve and how many people have been helped so far?

Until then.

 

 

 


100s meet at Luwero district, in Uganda to attend a cocktail of workshops ?

In month of May a group of young adults planned a social community activity in Luwero district in Uganda. Luwero district, is one of the districts located in the central part of Uganda, the biggest part of Luwero is rural despite the district being the place of safety during the war, that paved way for the National Resistance Movement on their way into power to govern the country since 1986 to date.

Whoever attended would had access to several workshops including but not limited to  beat-boxing, Rapping, Bboy dance and technology for free of cost before taking part in several Hip-hop Breakdance battles.

I was also able to attend and take part because such are the days I get a chance to expand the awareness of technology among people in the rural parts of my country.

IMG_20170527_143436
David getting closer to listen to a participant’s question.

Observed challenges

  • Luckily some of the participants had smartphones though the biggest number of them were wondering how computers look like. Actually 70% of the young people of the rural areas seems to have missed the biggest opportunity to change the world through the technology simply due to accessibility. As much as the reason  to lack of access many blame it to poor financial standards and corrupt leaders.
  • The lack of communicating comfortably in the official language (English ) of Uganda, leaves one questioning the quality of education the rural people acquire at school. I believe this is contributing a lot to lack of self-esteem among most young Ugandans.

Take a ways

  • To be honest the energy in the room, noticed from the number of participants no matter the age in each single workshop boosted my will to continue participating in such workshops.
IMG_20170527_131508
Ugandan rapper, St. Nelly Sade coaching takes children through a music workshop focusing on Rapping.
  • The questions asked are a significant symbol of desire and commitment to learn regardless accessibility.

My thoughts

  • I believe sooner than later, the technology skill and knowledge divide in Uganda will soon be overcome especially if leaders and parents get involved.
  • As much as the government claims to put in place inclusive systems, the impact is yet to be felt. More effort should be put in especially to combat corruption which is a major hindrance to accessibility of many services today.
  • Should put final touches to the training guide we are developing to allow us increase our attendance more people in rural communities as we teach them about technology and participate in life change.

 

 


Empowerment through each one, teach one concept.

If you are a son/daughter of the ghettos or rural areas in Uganda and across Africa, and made it out there, I guess you have a great story to tell. I’m sure you shared a pain that will never be forgotten for your entire life as much as \ things are better now. This is manifested when I find a young man or woman or child who is doing his or her best to make a living or learn a skill which can give them an alternative way of living a life. Currently as I type this, I can recall the 2 to 4 years I spent using internet cafe and computers of my friends. In the process, I seemed to be selfish to some, aggressive to some and a good person to some. Fortunately, some years fast forward am happily running digital agency which also offers printing services in Kampala, check out gagawala.com This is where it all begins. I’m able to earn a living and as well as help 6 others earn. But that’s not all, the businesses, organisations and individuals we serve are also able to sustain their ideas and businesses, which maintains the employment and service delivery in the country. Continue reading "Empowerment through each one, teach one concept."

Kansanga, first Ugandan town to publish local content online?

In 2016, I had an opportunity to attend several web and blogger meet-ups in Kampala, Uganda. With hospitable people, Uganda has over 1000s of tourism businesses contributing millions of dollars to the economy of the country. Tourism is enabled because of the nature of the country which is gifted with rivers, lakes, hills & mountains, very unique and miracle making hot-springs, wildlife and abundance of the biggest bird species on this planet! However, every part of Uganda has something that the world doesn’t know about or will never know about unless it’s shared on internet where over 4 billions of people end up for information. Continue reading "Kansanga, first Ugandan town to publish local content online?"

Why haven’t you developed a single Mobile App yet?

Are you interested but have never gotten the courage to take the chance or have tried but upbeat by the long learning curve?

First of all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so you are not to blame. I personally love to create solutions for myself and the other people around me.

I utilize the skills I have to create the solutions. Take for example, by having a HTML, CSS and PHP skills, I’m able to run a web agency which also gives printing and graphics design services. At this agency, I work as the operations manager and leader of the digital department.

Due to business dynamics, there is need to learn a new skill to strengthen my personal portfolio as well as that of the company.

What comes to my mind is developing mobile apps which can solve real life problems. For this I will concentrate on developing Android apps not Windows and iOS, due to my target consumers. Since am not a fan of Java, I chose to go Hybrid way because at least I wouldn’t have to learn a lot, I will port my HTML, CSS, PHP and SQL knowledge to reach my target. Additionally, I would have a chance of compiling my mobile app code, for other platforms as well we grow without investing money for another developer yet the client’s budget is too low.

Recently I posted about setting up the Android Hybrid App development environment article, to let you know how practically it’s easy to get started.

Right now, am creating my own App, which will be used for personal finance book keeping, with features such as automatic notification  a few days towards loan date expiry, loan amortization and so much more as time may allow. I hope to an api and remote storage in the cloud, in future to be able to attract more people to use it.

I think by now, I would have completed developing the app but looking at available resources, couldn’t manage learning one.

Listen I have set 10 days, of researching and studying about JQM. In a few days, I have been able to develop the login and logout screens.