Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Am I ready?

A lot of young CS grads in Ghana – myself inclusive – hope to have their own start-ups after school. Others just want to be employed so they earn some income. The job market, however, is very competitive and the barrier of entry for start-ups is pretty daunting.
The real barrier in my opinion is the fact that most of us want to be perfect before we start our own enterprises or even bid for projects. How do you become perfect without practice?
I remember instances where I did get some projects to work on. I was scared of failure because I thought I was not ready. Guess what, as I started to work on the project, my skills sharpened and I gained new insight into Software Development.
Then comes the next fun-killer, (some) organizations not trusting in the abilities and skills of their young interns/employees, when they design software in-house. These organizations do not even test the software to ascertain its good and bad parts. They only want to buy software they feel is complete and professional – from well established vendors. Sometimes, these ‘so-called’ professional software do not even meet the requirements of the organizations!
This attitude dampens the spirit of these young, enthusiastic interns who literally ‘kill’ themselves to develop something.
It’s about time we start believing in our own folks’ abilities and inculcate the habit of testing in-house software so we get the right software to meet our requirements.
To my fellow yet-to-be developers/entrepreneurs, let’s not be afraid to be ‘thrown into the pool’. With determination and self-belief, we would stay afloat and conquer.
Let’s do it.

Friday, April 29, 2011

My three joys in two days

The last couple of days have been full of activities -- tiresome, but rewarding.
I came to Accra for the G-Ghana Conference at the Alisa hotel (I actually cancelled two lectures I had to deliver, so I could attend this conference).

So what activities have I undertaken since Wednesday?
On Wednesday, I actually combed the whole of Accra (hyperbole) for a new battery to replace the dead one that was shamelessly squatting in the battery compartment of my Gateway NV5212u laptop! The search proved futile. I consoled myself by buying other computer accessories rather.

Thursday was the day I had been waiting for -- G-Ghana 2011 is here. I actually had a bit of trouble finding the Alisa Hotel. A lot of enthusiastic developers and tech geeks were there; I actually felt like a geek myself.
The Google team really had a lot to offer -- Chrome, HTML5, CSS3, Android, Maps, Mobile et cetera. In the course of the programme, I met a dude who showed me a place adjacent Busy Internet where I could actually get a battery for my laptop -- and guess what -- I actually did get one. My first joy. Another highlight of the day was when I joined the Eduction track of the conference. Participants were introduced to Eclipse and Google Web Toolkit. I went home fulfilled at the end of the conference. I couldn't wait for Friday.

I woke up on Friday morning feeling really great. I got to the Alisa Hotel environs and decided to pass by a bookshop close by. I walked in and found a book I have been looking for, for the past year -- Software Engineering by Ian  SommervilleMy second joy. I went back to the conference grounds and joined my teammate (we were divided into teams the previous day), Dr. Agyepong, so we complete the task given to us -- completing and enhancing a Picasa app demo. At the end of the day, the completed apps of participants were judged; ours won!
Then came the moment I still can't believe -- we were both rewarded with the new android IDEOS smartphone with google! My third joy.

The whole experience has been worthwhile and fulfilling, and if there's something I've learnt, it is the fact that, the more you teach, the more you understand; the more you give, the more you earn.  ;-)



   


Monday, April 11, 2011

Thinking Aloud

Growing up, I have always tried to be a good dude -- sometimes I have been successful; other times, not so successful. I am a product of my environment, I guess...

As everybody does, I have formulated my own principles along the way. These are solely to guide my ways and strengthen me, while differentiating me from others. Trust me, it's not so easy sticking to principles -- especially if you are free-spirited. Do circumstances direct our actions? Sometimes, they do (so I think).
I have been in certain situations that have made me take actions that defeat my principles -- and I felt really bad. It is moments like this that make me remember the saying, "Never Say Never."

But then, after assessing the situation again, I seem to understand why things had to go the way they did. My perceptions change, I gain a renewed insight, and my sensitive nature deepens.
"In all things, give thanks to God", so says the Good Book.

I guess all I am saying is that, we are not perfect as humans -- but it is no excuse to continue doing wrong.
Make a mistake -- by all means make a mistake -- but learn from it to help yourself and others!
People might see you as a saint -- if only they knew your imperfections! But hey, don't let it get to you. Live your life and perhaps add this principle of mine to yours: "Always try to be at peace with God, your neighbour and yourself".

All is well and Stay Blessed.