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TO KENYAN MOBILE DEVELOPERS #Advice

29 Jun

I have noticed this phenomenon with many Kenyan techies/wanna be techies/copy pasting techies/code stealing techies, everyone of them has this app idea they are working on, this awesome idea that will earn them a couple of million like @jmwai or like kina Mbugua Njihia and Steve Mutinda. So you will most of the time find them at iHub pale Kwa green members with their eclipse fired up….writing/copying/downloading code to build up their apps.”Sasa Jaymo nini mbaya na hiyo ?” Nothing really am ok with that, at least they are putting in work ki code…they are helping build that Konza city dream/mirage ….what really pisses me of is do most of them sit down to think what they are coding  before they actually do? Do they analyze the current market, study it well? As Dr.Okello my calculus 3 teacher would have said, do they account for Variable change? Do they have a target Demographic for their M-something solution? Maybe, maybe not!

Back in Undergraduate while doing Mathematics and Comp science at JKUAT we were taught the stages of software design and implementation ,the logical flow in developing software….but this is how this guys are doing it now days:

Techies’ come up with brilliant ideas on their own, and often they have not carried out some form of research to find out who is their user, what does their user need and what then would be an appropriate solution to meet this need?

Techies barely leave their desks when coding, or before they begin coding…what you have is brilliant techies with fantastical ideas that no one uses [after they’ve been developed] because the time was not taken to really understand what issues citizens face…

As if that’s not enough most of the apps put out are poorly done, in all aspects starting from design. This new breed of techies fails to understand that when it comes to design of an app’s interface it begins from a sketchpad and not the IDE!! Ask @martianskills of skyline designs and he will conquer. When it comes to design what is the current norm with these techies? The old school Dashboard layout…this design was launched in Google I/O 2010, 2010!! My friend 2010! But that’s what everyone of them is working with…then you fail to develop proper icons on top of that….you get a cheap looking app, aesthetics my friend go a long way…you just look at this  interface below… and tell me what you think .  ..just plain ugly!!!

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Sasa ju you have seen a thwack one..let me show you one by @zacckOS and you will see what a mature interface looks like

and a snapshot from TafutaID:

Secondly: you have your interface…so sasa you are working on functionality, uliskia JSON ndo inatumika and you are all in….umechapa Google search and umepata some code….you slap them all together and viola….functionality achieved….Hata huwezi aibika!! Half of this app developers are just some  guys with kidogo Java knowledge, Kidogo  php, even less C  knowledge and barely any Python at all….you are writing server side code that is so vulnerable to exploit  on Databases you have propped with even more shifty coding….yaani SQL injection is so freaking easy even my 5 year old niece could hack!! Login forms that do not sanitize user inputs…passwords that are not encrypted being stored kwa DB! Au if they are they are all MD5 encrypted bila ata salt…how?? Why!!

Third: Everyone assumes its easy,its like siku hizi kama huna app wewe si mnoma…kama huna entry ume submit wewe ni toast! So everyone has an app….that is freaking great but hold on a minute! Does this breed of devs even watch trends at all? Flash back kiasi let me use my own example Based on  Gogle I/O 2010 I developed KwaRamani…using title bars, dashboard layouts, and themes. Based on Google I/O 2011 I developed TafutaID with support for storing data on cloud and pulling responses back with C2DM…2012 working with google drive….but hawa ma techie wanakuundia a flintstones  app based  on 90’s technology alafu ukiwa kwa lift unaskia wasee wakisema “aaaaiii Android ni rahisi….kitu simple kama JSON encode na HTTP  ndo wasee huona ngumu?” Sawa bratha…endelea kuandika software ya 1999 in the 21st Century

Fourth:  Market…ok app imeisha …finally all those hours of coding have amalgamated into something…you have even showed your ex the app and now she wants you back ju unakaa una bright future ahead! Yes you have that smirk! Ile ya Kanye West “….wait till I get my money right…” But wait a minute….none of your apps are on  the market!! Am not a well established techie, so I can relate to most of this techies not having the $25USD to set up the Android Market account…au Kama uko nayo its in KSH and huna VISA card to pay for the account…so you cant get it to the market….so the app stays kwa comp yako….and two months later your ex /baby mama I looking at you zile za Nyga please. That’s where people fail…kuna many ways to get it out to the masses. Samsung Store is free to upload, good old GetJar  bado iko,remember before Android,IOS na kina Symbian S40 came when Moi was still president and J2ME was the only way…Getjar and Waptrick was the ishh..and it still works so you can upload….watch the trends and kidogo you will learn/earn  and upload to Android Market.

Fifth: No man is an island….as cliché as that may sound its true…and when it comes to code no developer is an island either…ask for help when you get stuck…offer help when you are asked pia…don’t be wale wasee huficha answers kwa exam ati ndo wasee wasicopy (I can think of a couple form my JKUAT days) ….Gain a network sio hapo kwa couch ya ihub pekee. Try and enter competitions not for prize money but more for the exposure you will get and from the people you will meet

PARTING SHOT

Those are just my views, based on what I have observed….moving along swiftly, Last week I was privileged enough to have a long talk with Dele Akinsade- Microsoft Director, Developer Platforms –West, East & Central Africa and Indian Ocean islands…we talked about windows phone development, and I argued with him how Microsoft has not done enough for techies who want to develop on the platform, from the SDK itself to  lowering the price on phones running on this platform to allow penetration into the market. He  told me affordable  feature phones will be launched sometime this year but not running on windows phone 8 but 7.5 .Plus the Windows Phone 8 SDK is out and offers a lot to developers.So if you are a techie you can try and start developing on this platform before the phones arrive and have a niche before the rest.

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11 Comments

Posted by on June 29, 2012 in 254, code, hack, Humour, true stories

 

11 responses to “TO KENYAN MOBILE DEVELOPERS #Advice

  1. wanja

    July 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    hi am a kenyan Mobile developer and was wondering if you could help me out with a certain app am working on

     
  2. Gilbert Kimutai

    September 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Reblogged this on Homework Cheats.

     
  3. andrew molo (@andrewmolo)

    September 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    True..

     
  4. Laban Ndungo

    September 8, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Ok man, just read this and you REALLY got me, especially on the second point. Will make sure I get better at this. Thanks.

     
  5. żaluzje do okien

    December 27, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog
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  6. achachiez

    February 4, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I’m from the market and two of the app I believe to be your either have only on download which I believe is your and another has pretty bad reviews. So why all this kelele.

     
    • akajaymo

      February 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

      What two apps are you talking about? Mode is owned by private entities and hence is not on any Market….Its not a public app…secondly Tafuta ID was taken up by third parties for use…after it won 4 competitions..hence removed from the market…..ama what Market are you refering to? Gikomba Market?

       
  7. daraja

    February 28, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    This blogger seems to know it all yet he doesn’t. A lot has changed since then and I would advice he updates this blog. Those are not UI’s to be proud of now.

     
    • akajaymo

      February 28, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      Dude( or whatever you are) this is an old post dated 2012 to be precise….so you want me to Update it to make you feel all good about yourself? I dont Think so

       
  8. j.chegenye

    March 11, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks for this Blog 🙂 Am working on a Chat App and i wouldn’t mind if sm1 comes up so tht we can put this together as soon as possible. cheers!!

     
  9. blitz brigade hack

    April 12, 2014 at 6:34 am

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