We are almost half-way through the first month of the year and I just wanna retrace my life in the past year (2011) and touch on the awesome stuffs that happened in the course of the year. Better late than never. The past year was really a successful one for me. I learnt a lot and I developed myself widely.
3. G|Ghana 2011
“At any given time, we are becoming the average of the five people with who we are closely associated with.” - I don’t who said this
This quote makes me understand that if I want to be successful, I have to be surrounded by successful people. I met a lot of great people in 2011 and I even hope to meet more of such people. People who are passionate and determined to make impact in the environment in which they find themselves.
Folks from the Python African Tour
2. Doris Anson-Yevu - She’s such a great photographer. @kafuiday
3. Henry Addo - Henry works with the vast Google APIs like he was part of the development teams that work on the APIs at google. Most of the code he’s written is helping Africa in diverse ways. @eyedol
4. Kamon Ayeva @kamon
5. Emmanuel Okyere @eokyere
6. Nnenna Nwakanma @nnenna
7. Bayo Opadeyi @boyombo
The awesome people from the first Mobile Web Training
1. Florence Toffa @florencetoffa
2. Max Froumetin
3. Franco Papeschi (such an awesome dude. UX/UI and business expert) @bobbywatson
4. Nii Quaye - The best SMS App developer in Ghana.
5. Francois Daoust
Enthusiastic Coders met at Coders4Africa
Nana Sarpong - Nana is an iOS App developer (Nkyea Learning Systems). I met him one afternoon in his office and he gave me an advice on how profitable it is to develop for iOS devices. I am still preparing towards that. Develop these apps does involve a huge investment. :) @nanasarpong @nkyea
Amma Baffoe - I met Amma at Barcamp Ghana ‘10, KNUST Tech Fair. She is so creative and is an amazing communications fellow at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST). @ammabaffoe
David Osei (Dropifi, CEO) - In simple words, Dave knows so much for his age. He can really research and I really admire that. He has been a source for most of my information. He’s the only person I know who reads in his sleep. I guess that contributes to him being a polyglot programmer and an astute entrepreneur. Check out the team behind the hot and new Dropifi.
Pierre Brunache Jr - Hmmmm, Pierre is too much. He is so passionate to help people (students, as far as I know) at no cost. He’s doing so much here at KNUST, he’s urging students to add value to themselves by providing a platform and opportunities to students for mobile application development. We get to work on internationally outsourced projects. And the awesome part, wait for it, we get paid in dollars. It’s so amazing. @pierrebru
Robert Okine (aka Braa Bobby) - Bobby + Pierre is fireworks. Bobby is a senior member at KNUST and with him around and in support of our projects, we are always so certain that the school will adopt solutions we develop. He is the “go to man”, if you have an idea, just walk up to Bobby and he will gladly and passionately help you refine it. @bobby4tweet
1. With knowledge gathered from Pierre Brunache and Robert Okine, each day, I think like an entrepreneur.
2. I have established a vibrant network of professionals in my areas of interest which include Information, Communication and Technology, Entrepreneurship and Business Development.
3. I have attained some amount of spiritual growth. I have also come to know that I must take the things of God seriously. I ain’t going nowhere without the knowlege of Him, His guidance and protection.
Well, one of my resolutions for 2011 was to engage in active blogging. Honesly, I totally sucked at it. Most of the time I wrote on some random topics which I never got time for myself to edit and publish. This time around, that is really gonna change. I have really become so passionate about reading and writing.
Reading has really had a great impact on me. It has broaden my knowledge and generally, the way I think and perceive things around me. It is really a beautiful thing and I am not really gonna just let it go just like that.
In 2011, I kept my head down, staring at my phone most of the time. I barely socialised with the people around me. I am looking forward to changing that but I am still not sure whether that is really a smart decision after all. Well I guess it is, of course I have to get to know the people around me, it’s a good thing. What scares me is that when I get my Amazon Kindle Fire, I might not be able to change from being *anti-social*. I might be more interested in seeking out more knowledge from books than socialising with people who only give a sh*t about their CWAs.
In a nutshell,
I really am grateful to all the people I met and had time for all my questions. You all rock. I hope that we stay tight together and discover ourselves as we live our lives. More #vim to us as we contribute our quota to develop our sinking country. The list of the people I met throughout the year is incomplete, I am sure. These are the ones who have been on mind throughout most part of the year. If you didn’t appear in the list, please don’t hate me. Your time will come, :-)
/dev/nullis great but reading is a problem.
I think I should blog on some difficulties that I have been facing recently when I meet people at conferences. First of all, I must indicate that Google is my friend and I am a die hard Google fan(you will understand this indication, later on because of what I am gonna rant about today).
Well, I have a BiG problem with guys who ask me “Do you know this”, “Do you know that” before they talk about a particular technology with me. My part is to listen. I think if you talk about a technology and I don’t know about it and I’m supposed to know about it before and I can’t make sense out of the context in which it is used, I will ask you, “What is this …” or “What is that …”. I take notice of new technologies people mention to me in conversations and do my own research on them. I have recently realized that technologies that are preceded by those bugging questions are the ones I don’t really pay attention to because of the spikes within when I hear about them first time through those means.
One thing that is obvious is, I only follow technologies that have a lot of HYPE from the developer community. Heck, I know the story of the geeks who spent hours learning the so-called J# (pronounced J sharp) from some company called Microsoft. My general rule of thumb to learning a new technology or library or framework or whichever you want to call it is;
hype + usefulness + extensive docs + vibrant community = count me in
Can anybody tell me why I am still stuck with Relational Databases instead of moving on with NoSQL?
I am looking for any excuse to implement either CouchDB or MongoDB and also NodeJS in my applications even if it’s for experimental purposes.
“If you conceive an idea and you believe in it, it can possibly be implemented”
CEO, MegaNet Ghana/Nigeria Limited
So the CEO of MegaNet happened to give a presentation on making a living through SMS (Bulk) business and he really made some good points. I learnt from him that money is about people. The secret of the development of Japan is their human resource.
He made mention of the various applications of bulk SMS. So long as you can read, SMS is useful to you. It is a more convenient way of communicating with people who are deaf. It is also very useful in banking, religion and beliefs, etc.
From the men in the business (MD, Esoko and CEO, MegaNet Ltd.) the field is green and you don’t really need sophisticated hardware to start bulk messaging business and trust me, this was proven later on in the week during our time with Nii Okai Quaye. So who are the target audience? Well, you can devise your target audience from the applications you create. However, churches, mosques, schools, organizations, health centres, politicians are the most targeted audiences.
Nii Okai took us through Mobile Value Added Sercices (VAS). He made mention of the vairous areas in which VAS is useful to the community.
- Provides info to subscribers usefulness of content is relative to person and context
- solicited and unsolicited
- market information
- Pull (user requested info)
- Provides fun and leisure
- Ringtones/Caller ringback tones (CRB)
- Dating services
- mobile payment
- premium payment(SMS/USSD)
- direct mobile billing
VAS Ecosystem(everybody is dependent on one another)
- Content partners
- content creators owns copyright to the content
- content aggregators gathers info from various sources and serve to end mobile users
- Data carriers and platform providers
- short code providers
Avenues for VAS
- revenue sharing
- short code providers
There are exciting times for Africa and Ghana because of the ever increasing mobile users. Most people are now hooking up unto smart phones, 3G and internet capable mobile devices. This is a great development for developers.
So I happen to be at UG, Legon as I have already said in my previous post.
I went to church with my friend at ICGC Legon and today the ministration was about Integrity.
The are so many things that I learnt from the ministration and I’m gonna share them with you all.
What is Integrity?
It is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, principles, expectations, measures and outcomes. As such, one may judge that others have integrity because they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold. So in essence the things you do, the words that comes out of your mouth, the adherence to your words, etc depicts your level of integrity. As Christians and believers of the word of God, we are tested so that God can judge our integrity as in the case of Job.(Job 1)
“Examine me and test me, LORD; judge my desires and thoughts”-Psalm 26v2
Integrity is a very important asset in our lives.
Principles of Integrity
It is a disciplined behavior
If you have integrity, you must disciplined. Your behavior (your actions, words, etc.) should depict some level of seriousness and discipline.
You must have a determined behavior
This is well demonstrated by Joseph, when Potiphar’s wife offered herself to him, he refused and because he had some set standard values, morals, principles, etc. he didn’t give in to the advances Potiphar’s made towards him.
He refused and said to her, “Look, my master does not have to concern himself with anything in the house, because I am here. He has put me in charge of everything he has. I have as much authority in this house as he has, and he has not kept anything back from me except you. How then could I do such an immoral thing and sin against God?” - Gen 39v8-9
Job 27v9, Psalm 26v11, Genesis 39v7-23
It is a demonstrated behavior
It must be made evident. Everything you do must be seen as that of a person who has integrity. Always walk in integrity.
“Judge me Oh LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity; I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide” (Psalm 26v1)
Ask yourself questions
Well, ask yourself the questions below and determine for yourself your the level of integrity.
Am I truthful?
Am I honest?
Am I pure? (in my hear and in my relationship with the opposite sex)
Am I selfish?
Do I honour my promises?
Is my public life the same a my private life? (Remember, if there are no correlation, you have no integrity as a Christian)
Do I stand for what I profess?
Is my YES my yes and my NO my no? Mt 5v37
Do I keep my commitment even if circumstances change?
Do I say “I know I promised but …”?
Do I compromise when it comes to my walk with Christ?
How do you develop and maintain integrity then?
I takes a lot of time and efforts to have great integrity. This notwithstanding, integrity can be lost in a matter of seconds.
Set your principles right - determine your code of morals, values, etc.
Adhere your principles.
Don’t compromise on your identity, always remember who you are. (a Christian for that matter)
Have a consistent lifestyle.
Keep your word. Integrity is validated by words and actions.
Don’t make promises you can’t honour.
Be truthful to yourself and others.
Importance of Integrity
It defines to others who you are.
It determines how you react in certain situations.
If you lack integrity, it will damage your testimony. Nobody would want to listen to you.
Integrity will always guide.
It attracts generational blessings. It protects and preserves you.
So I am leaving school for 3 weeks to take part in a training program by Mobile Web Ghana.
Mobile Web Ghana is a community of mobile-technology entrepreneurs, developed as part of the World Wide Web Foundation’s Mobile Entrepreneurship in Africa program. Challenges are met to be faced and this going away for the the program is a challenge in my education at the University? I love Technology and as a matter of fact, I always want to pursue what I love. Circumstances dictates that I stay on campus to continue my semester’s work but it ain’t gonna happen.
The question here is that, how do I do both at the same time? Well, I wouldn’t say it’s that simple, the training is in Accra and I am supposed to be in Kumasi for my semester’s work but to heck with this whole Agricultural Engineering stuff. Anyway, I would have to make up for the lectures I would be missing.
The training is very important for my career but I can’t say the same for my studies at school. I am a technology person. Moreover, the training is worth a $900 fee but I am having it for free (nope, almost). Tell me, who would want to skip such an opportunity?
I believe my life is on the web, developing web applications is what I do and basically, this training is to train me on how to make the applications I create usable on mobile devices, which is the future of the web.
I will do my best to document round ups from the training I am receiving here. It’s been great so far. We have been put on teams to work on projects which working prototypes would have to be delivered after the training.
So from the 24th of February, 2011 to the 19th of March, 2011, I will be on the campus of University of Ghana, Legon. I have been here for the past 4 days and I am already missing some people back at school, big ups to the guys at KNUST GTUG (KNUST Google Technology User Group). Guys, I hope our project is ongoing. Will see you guys.
So, one of my new year’s resolution is to become an active blogger in 2011 so here I am.
2010 has really been a successful year. I learnt a lot of new stuff, understood things I didn’t really understand about myself, unleashed some of my capabilities and among other things. Actually, let’s say, I remember the happy moments more than the not-so-great moments.
I have been inspired by a lot of people from the web application and software development community. I have been so driven to gather knowledge that even sleep eluded me some times. I will be listing some of these people later on.
My reason for this desultory article (or ramble as you may call it) is to have some kind of a reminder of the major things I want to do in 2011.
What’s Up 2011?
I anticipate greater works in this year. I list some of the things that I intend to do or improve upon below:
* First of all, I want to develop a very close and personal relationship with God. Dedicating my all to him to take me through the year and also get to know him more.
* I want to lessen my “jack-of-all-trade” attitude and concentrate on web application development. I love the web and how it is trending. My particular interest is in cloud computing (taking normal desktop application on-line, eg. Google Docs).
* Become a social media evangelist. Putting together all forms of social media to facilitate branding, networking, exposure, etc.
* Attend seminars, conferences, camps (like Bar Camps) on personal development (spiritual, career), Information Technology, leadership, development in Africa, etc.
* The worst resolution (for some of you), is to not work for free again. I have been generous enough. I have my own reasons for making this resolution, perhaps, I might share it with you some other time.
* Work towards achieving a more balanced life. By this, I mean being a good christian, developer/programmer, a student and an amiable person. I know Samuel Tinagyei’s got my back with this resolution.
Did you INSPIRE me in 2010?
Well, I stated earlier on that I will be mentioning people who have affected my life some way in 2010. Here they are, from the top.
1. Marc Van de Heuvel
He is a great web designer and a photographer. He and the SmartKids Foundation (coordinated internationally by Kees Hoogendijk) gave me a reason to be serious about web development.
2. Francis Adu Gyamfi eduSOFT Ghana (Lead Developer)
He has been a source of inspiration for a very long time, way back, in 2008. I could just stand behind him and watch him whiles he codes without him noticing me. To the best of my knowledge, he doesn’t have a degree in Computer Science but he is really good.
<softvoice> He is an Aerospace Engineer</softvoice> but please, you didn’t hear it from me. Check out his custom made CMS, KAN here.
3. Kwame Nkansah, the Uber-geek of Haunted Shell
Ooo this guy?! He is soo geeky. He’s a Designer, Developer, Photographer, Programmer, what can I possibly leave out? I’m just not sure. What I love about him is, he is very passionate about whatever he does and when he speaks, everything he says is so informative. You know what, <softvoice>Kwame studied Materials Engineering at KNUST</softvoice>
So then what prevents me (studying Agricultural Engineering) from becoming as geeky as they are? <softvoice>I deny myself sleep when I think about Francis and Kwame.</softvoice> Funny huh?
4. Samuel Deesam Tinagyei His blog
Deesam is a very savvy, intelligent, talented, downhearted, (the list goes on and on) young man. He is more like a big brother. His comforting words have really brought me far. Just head over to his blog and find out for yourself, he’s really great guy.
5. Edward Tagoe of Nandimobile
Well, I recently met Eddy (specifically through BarCamp Ghana 2010). He was an organiser of the camp and he and his team really played it out well. It was a great event. I did some background checking and I found out he’s been through the Meltwater programme (I won’t really talk about it here) and now he is a co-founder of Nandimobile. I’ve met him personally and I like his personality so he made it to my toplist.