Actualize Dreams

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A brief wonder about Uganda’s leadership. — November 16, 2017

A brief wonder about Uganda’s leadership.

Democracy.
– A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
– a state governed under a system of democracy.
– control of an organization or group by the majority of its members.
 
Where is inclusion or leadership in the definitions above?
 
But it doesn’t mean we have to act deaf and blind. If you participated in the bush war using the guns, it’s unnecessary to keep fighting in modern society using words and suppression methods to the population. As young Ugandans can feel the pain and see scars that the war left, probably the catalyst to the leadership negative behavior.
 
Modernity encourages equity on top of the freedoms of speech, financial inclusion, education, inclusive leadership, share of leadership, mentor-ship, communication, health and security and protection that you promise.
 
In observation the divide between the poor, middle and rich class is increasing day by day. The fear among citizens is increasing day by day and is observed from some who vote for your leadership just for the fear of the war which could stem if you lost.
 
Is it what many of you in the army and governance of Uganda fought for? You would need to take a strategic step back and reflect, drawing from the examples of having members of parliament fighting in parliament before the nation, the expense of UGX29M on each individual parliament member to promote the change of article 102b in the constitution in a country where not even the senior public doctors and educators, earn a quarter of the equivalent. Yet the citizens pay taxes on a daily.
Attached is the picture of Army in Zimbabwe capital Harare after what many refer to as a military coup to overthrow the oldest state leader in the world!
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Our volunteer’s hurting set back!!! — November 12, 2017

Our volunteer’s hurting set back!!!

The trendy today in a country commonly known as peaceful and a pearl of Africa since the landing of the Europeans dating back 100s of years ago is the total opposite.

It is sad to accept but it’s true, the reality and what we have to find a solution for. I used to hear the so called group of angry youths going around Kampala beating innocent civilians and stealing from them what belonged to them. This were just stories on the internet until recently when 3 of my own people, one of them almost lost life to this group. The other two lost belongings such phones, laptops etc.

One of my people is a young skilled, hard working web design and volunteer aspirant who volunteered to redesign our website youinspireyou.org. Whose way of living has been made difficult by the greedy lazy group of thugs who stole two laptops from him while in a public taxi.

How did it happen?

At around 10:00am Calvin took a taxi from Bukoto heading to Kampala city center, on their way they realized there was a lot of traffic jam which prompted them to U-turn through a different route.

He recalls, being requested to properly close the door closest to him. Then a lot of things happened in this short period of time.

Upon noticing disappearance of the bag were the laptops, that’s when he was sent out of the taxi.

What does this mean?

  • Reporting the case to police won’t really help because so many people have lost their belongings in a similar or worse process but no help has been offered to them besides spending some amounts of money to police.
  • We have to take it and agree that Calvin won’t be able to earning a living until after several months.
  • The development of youinspireyou.org website will pause until further notice. Meaning the arrangement of our community technology skills program( Mobile Digital Hub) has been dented/negatively affected since one of the most active volunteers has no means of contributing anymore.
  • Most importantly is to replace the laptops, therefore we have to raise above $1200 and replace the two laptops.

How do you handle such cases in your location?

 

Web design vs Graphics design, my honest opinion — October 29, 2017

Web design vs Graphics design, my honest opinion

A few days a friend came to me with a question. I believe it was a result of looking a web design as a tough game. Since profound web designers have to pull off a lot of skills to be able producer an above average website.

Her question was. Of graphics design and web design which one is smaller than the other? Find what I answered below.

Though the answer I gave to her was brief, let me try to elaborate.

By definition.

Graphic design is the process of visual communication and problem-solving using one or more of typography, photography and illustration. – Wikipedia

Web design is the process of creating and updating websites.

Web designers may have some level of graphics design skill say they the ability to use graphics design applications such as Sketch or Photoshop or Adobe illustrator to create web layouts and mock-ups which are the static and none functional representations of a website. It is also true that web design encompasses numerous disciplines such as User Interface design, User Experience design, Information architecture, navigation ergonomics.

I will categories graphic design into two primary categories .i.e. Screen and print graphics for more clarity. For whichever element that is designed but won’t be out put through printing on paper, wood, metal, clothes etc I will consider that designed for electronic screen display hence have under screen graphics contrary to it’s sibling which is targeted for print media.

Websites are among those products that will be designed following all graphics design aesthetics and tools but will be primarily accessed on screen devices like desktop computers, laptops and hand held devices.

To conclude, I will say web design is a discipline in the graphics design ecosystem. Other disciplines could include motion graphics, video editing, animation, logo design etc.

Do you have a your own opinion, criticism or suggestion? I have opened and allowed to receive your comments below.

What will be able to do in 2018? — October 8, 2017

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! — September 17, 2017

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]

 

 

 

Aspiring to be a programmer? — September 10, 2017

Aspiring to be a programmer?

Since I started programming I have been asked one question, isn’t what you’re doing hard?

I think it’s in human nature to be afraid of something we don’t have an idea about or we extremely have little information about. In fact most of the time it’s because of lack of passion that will make things look hard.

First of all they are many types of programming, depending on the type one can be harder than other for some people.

That said in my opinion don’t judge programming before you actually get involved, because if you do chances are you may love it more than anything else you’ve ever done before.

Programming has helped me help businesses in my country establish a website, it is also helping me learn a lot of different things in life because of the tasks am sometimes presented to besides of helping teach others about something life changing.

My advise. If you are to try programming and don’t want to waste time.

  1. Don’t live in fantasy, live in reality. Give it a try and if things are not interesting feel free to quit and try something else.
  2. Learn the programming fundamentals before diving into a programming language. Learn the theoretical definition of programming, variables, functions, conditions, loops, initialization, declaration, construction, destruction, instantiation, data types, identifiers, expressions, statements, termination, invoking.
  3. Make friends with programmers in your city. Programmers don’t have a life indeed but they can create one with people who understand them most. That way it’s easy to exchange ideas.
  4. Choose the type of programmer you want to be so that you can specialize in tools required of that particular programming type. For example, you may concentrate on HTML5. CSS3, JavaScript if you want to be a web frontend programmer or JAVA if you want to be an applications developer. You may even want to take a computer science course, if you want to one day develop things IDEs, Text Editors and compilers.
  5. Keep revising, practicing, sharing and learning. Remember moving forward like a snail is much better than moving backword like a landslide.

The above are my personal opinions and I have developed them based on the 5 years of web development experience.

You’re welcome to program.

 

 

A millionaire despite offering a world changing product for free for over 20 years. — August 30, 2017

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. — August 17, 2017

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? — August 13, 2017

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 — August 1, 2017

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.

 

 

 

Our technology education program will be called… — July 29, 2017

Our technology education program will be called…

In last week’s article Updates on the 5 units to educate 100,000 people in Uganda about technology, I was shared an update about the technology education program, my friends and I are about to enroll in Uganda a few weeks from now.

I would to appreciate everyone who is reaching out to support with courage and in any way possible.

In fact many of you have asked what’s the name of the program. Today I will like to give you an answer but after narrating a bit more of our approach and why.

Our approach

To partner and visit learning participants in their communities. It’s our priority to visit the community with training equipment, we are also flexible to utilize the resources on ground hence we can visit a community prior to community interest and invitation.

Our major focus is someone who is just starting out to use a computer and self taught but interested in learning more from our team.

Why?

The tradition method is prospective learners to look out for training centers which offer an education in technology. This is an outdated approach in education service delivery  since it is most likely to exclude low level education background people, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, elderly community leaders,  people living in remote and rural areas which are also far from towns where schools could be located and marginalized groups of people. Our solution will introduce as many people even beyond 100000 to technology through offering technology literacy and accessibility.

If we want to achieve our dream, one of our goals is sustainability, and we think it is important to use little resources on our away to attaining the dream. Instead of waiting to raise capital for renting a space, we are fortunate to roll out the program in the communities where our people live and have an affiliation.

The ordinary methods would attract huge customer acquisition costs, which means the founders and investors must have to invest heavily in the start up unlike us whose approach is to have people push the solution furthest for the betterment of their communities and the surrounding.

So what is the name of the program?

First of all the program will be carried out by a team of volunteers on behalf of You Inspire You. You Inspire You, is a social entrepreneurial establishment, focusing on utilizing the most accessible resources to stir up potential by teaching technology and technology related disciplines to ordinary people, with an aim of improving livelihoods by leveraging on the numerous opportunities presented by a technology savvy.

The name of the program is Mobile Digital Hub and MDH in short. The name was chosen reflecting the process and digital technology skills acquisition.

 

Updates on the 5 units to educate 100,000 people in Uganda about technology. — July 23, 2017

Updates on the 5 units to educate 100,000 people in Uganda about technology.

Introduction

For about 7 years, I face technology challenges many of which am fortunately able to solve due because of the repeated usage of computers, tech gadgets and the internet.

Some of the challenges are education, health and income generation related.

Technology doesn’t only help me keep in touch with the people that matter, it also gives me the chance to learn, earn income, educate others and contribute in different ways to community development.

With gratitude am happy to:- to participate in the designing of websites such as eastafricatourismguide.com, theelephanthome.com, africawildexplorations.com, ugandatrip.org, rubonicamp.com, homesteadtoursandsafaris.com and ucota.or.ug among others. Perhaps some of you reading this article have ever visited Uganda through one of those websites. The existence of the businesses and organisations which own those websites are helping reduce unemployment and provide a way for numerous people to earn an income in Uganda.

I have also been able to build financial business website like rapidadvisory.com, personal websites like kaweesimark.com, bboydancemachine.com, joramc.com, and kibuukaphotography.com other websites are directory sort of such as kansanga.com which is a free platform where a locals in my township can lookup or upload businesses, places etc.

One of the reasons I’m a web developer is to solve real life problems such as lack of accessibility to affordable means of marketing and business opportunities as well to help brands establish a presence on the internet.

Through experience, I have discovered that people are spending a great deal of funds and time to a lot important and useless things due to lack of technology skill and knowledge. Some people spend on expensive web tools to build good looking websites but they don’t have a budget set a side for marketing and maintenance of their websites.

Some people would easily have time to edit and upload content to their websites but they lack technology skill and the confidence to pull it off.

Currently some good number of Ugandans, have managed to get an income opportunities abroad in the other parts of the world and they would love to send money back home, safely, fast and securely which could be easily done through platforms such as useremit.com and worldremit.com  etc but the confidence that they can do it without a mistake is in lack.

What do I do?

A few years ago, with two friends, we found a company discovering the opportunities availed by technology. The business we initiated in 2014 to celebrate 3 birthdays and established itself as fully legally recognized business in Uganda. We started with the capital of less than UGX 300,000/= ( about $80 USD).

From two individuals to six full time employees, in an economically stricken market, we are persevering. We are strategically located in the center of Kampala capital city, at the heart of the printing industry in the country on Mirembe Arcade, 4th floor, office number E09 at Nasser Road which helps customers locate us easily for bespoke products and services helping their businesses grow and become or maintain sustainability.

Additionally I volunteer to educate people of all walks of life and introduce them to the technology since I have developed from someone who couldn’t afford food worth 1000/= ($0.27) to someone is sustaining myself.  The tech training I offer covers, introduction to computer usage, internet, coding through HTML, CSS, JS and PHP and Website design using Content Management Systems especially WordPress and Joomla. As I have many less tech skilled friends and people in my network, I sometimes help with troubleshooting their devices or offering tips for whatever they stumble with the gadgets and software systems they use.

A self question

Looking where I am from, where would I be without the help of the people with a good heart? How can I pay it forward?

A self answer

I should volunteer more often reaching out those who can’t afford tech education at school or paid for training centers.

The progress so far

At the beginning, what was a virtual dream, is becoming a reality.

Have been able to acquire two used laptops at an affordable fee from a friend who deals in selling used computers.

A few weeks ago I was able to set these laptops up by installing Windows OS, Microsoft office suite, typing master and web browsers. Those tools will be enough to get some started with technology.

I appreciate that some few friends have believed in the idea and are willing to involve as trainers, project ambassadors, pilot program hosts and website hosting partners among other responsibilities.

When do we roll out?

I will bring more updates next week.

Conclusion

This will be the first official fully packaged program am heading to impact social change and community development. I have little experience and exposure in managing such a program thus I kindly request for any of your suggestions and ideas.

Thanks for reading.