On the 12th of October 2019 was Eliud Kichoge’s day. It was his day to show the world something which nobody thought could be done by a normal human being. We all know that he ran and broke the world record of running 42 kms in under 2 hours. Some of us will die without attempting to think we can give that a try. Myself am a cyclist and I almost take that time cycling through that kind of a distance which makes me feel ashamed that a man running with his two feet can actually beat me cycling.
Anyway that one aside because today I didn’t choose to write about sports. I choose to write about the person that most people are getting to know me for. Its the software developer, programmer or if you like the coder and some mischievous people would actually call me a hacker which to me does not fit me in any way. Am not into accessing people’s data, workstations or whatever when they are not around because that is what hacking is all about for those who are wrongly informed about the term.
As a software developer we are constantly writing code to solve various life problems and that are presented to us in form of projects proposals. You could be writing a taxi hailing app, food delivery app, event management website, desktop client app and so much more that is out there for us developers to do. Well in Africa there has never been a software demand explosion like now and people everywhere are all over code, coding camps, hackathons, developer meetups and conference all trying to produce something that will eventually sell out there in the name of an app, software, website or service.
Consumers are like beautiful girls going out with guys and dropping them as they go in favour of others because there is plenty of variety to choose from. Its very few apps that make it to last in consumer’s phone for a long time like my vSongBook available on playstore and for pc and soon to be available for web. We as developer are all in a code race in a bid to capture that consumer somewhere. We just want that man, woman, girl, child or whoever to install our app whenever they change their handset. Kudos if you as a developer make it to win them like that. Personally I do this by having no adverts on the apps, very simple ui with clear navigation and above all my app is free! I am generating money via donations on the app!
Now this brings me to my point of appreciation and reviews. Just like on social media, nothing feels nice and pleasurable like when you post something and find many or tones of comments on your post. Some people have reportedly fell sick for getting no or few likes and comments on their posts that they expected would attract such. So for developers especially mobile apps those ratings and reviews on the Apple Appstore or Google Playstore matter a lot when your app is searched for there. Your app as much as it is good may fail to get downloaded for having few ratings or having negative reviews.
As a developer I can’t fail to say that to get where I am as much as it is not where I have always wished to be was not a one day’s journey and neither was it on a silver platter. Am not alone in this when I say it that. Many of us had to struggle through a lot of things such as lack of finance, enabling environment, adequate resources and so much more. But after achieving some milestone along the way like having an app on playstore, few downloads with a few reviews. But if we get reviews they are mostly negative ones to do with performance of the app.
Most of us Africans we just want to download apps that are popular and perfect but not what someone from our motherland has developed. And when we do the apps only lasts five minutes if it takes long. One time a developer made a game Nairobi X and thought it would hit and probably create way for other apps like such. The review sections had mostly criticism reviews and not many people stayed with the game on their phones for a while.
The common citizen out there often view programmers as hackers and always treat them with suspicion for no apparent reason. And to us developers we are good at discouraging those who want to venture into new grounds and giving negative impressions of something or others. How I wish we could be celebrating each other as a way to uplift one another. And for those selling apps they could be driving and probably have a better lifestyle a year after launching their apps.
I call upon both developers and non-developers to celebrate both upcoming and active developers especially morally, financialy and even technically. It will help to foster the well being of a developer and propell him or her to higher extents just like Eliud whom we have no idea what record he will bring or create next time.