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My First Computer in My Software Journey

In our previous article, I narrated to you about the early stages of my journey as a self made software developer. In our part two, we continue with this journey and I hope you will have a lot to learn and may be start your journey too. The success of my software development journey beckoned when I bought my first computer.

My Attempt to Enroll in A computer College

There is always a silver lining to every cloud. In the course of my stay in the land of camels, I met with the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) who were in the country as part of their cooperation with the government. I landed a short time contract and then used these new acquittances to have a project I had typed using a computer. The staff in the office gladly assisted. Owing to the way my papers were stapled, page eighteen appeared before page seventeen. Consequently, the typist typed it in that order.

When I accessed the diskette where the work was stored, I noted the mistake. I did not want to bother the typist. So I took the work to a newly opened cyber cafĂ© – the only ‘oasis’ at that time. This is where I wished to start sharpening my skills on computer studies once they started offering computer packages. Wait until I got to the entrance and saw this advert that read: ‘To Our Estimated Customers’. We laughed it off with my friend not knowing that it was just an indicator of what to expect.

When I explained to the lady behind the gigantic monitor that I wanted my two pages re-ordered, she told me it was not possible. Instead, her only solution was to redo the whole two hundred and ten pages project. I left dejected. At least I had an idea about cut and paste but I could not get myself to teach my to be teacher. My plans to enroll as her student received a final blow. I resolved never to subject myself to the joke of being taught computer packages.

I Resolved to Buy a Computer

After dashing my hopes to enroll for computer packages, my dream did not fade away. In fact, my desire to further my computer skills entered an urgent stage. I realized that I had to wade through the murky water or risk drowning. I made arrangements to obtain my first computer from the city, around 531 km away. Given the state of the road, the only sure way to transport the computer was by air. This was another handle but I had to get round it anyway. Two weeks after buying the computer through a friend, it remained at the airport awaiting a plane with space for extra cargo. Finally, a police plane on routine journey offered to help.

On reaching the destination, the plane could not land owing to poor weather. It returned to the city together with my computer of course. Nature was still adamant on testing my patience. I never gave up. Finally, the same plane made it back on a different day and there I got my computer plus a printer. It was a Chinese crone whose brand name-if any I cannot remember.

Digging the Archives

With no one to hold my hand and guide through the operations of a computer, I reached out for the notes I made while at the university. Good enough they served me a great deal. Meanwhile, I installed computer games ranging from pool to scrabble and draft. Do not underrate these games at all. They help you a lot in terms of mouse and keyboard skills. Day in day out I played these games and my mouse and keyboard skills improved tremendously. Typing tutor came in handy too not forgetting that it has its own typing games which are equally good.

All in all, the greatest benefit from my computer then was the money I made by printing documents for fellow teachers and the school at large. At that time, I had no idea of the power behind the computer apart from doing some simple text editor tasks.

Transfer to an Urban school

Nine years down the line, my most sought for transfer came. This time, I transferred to an urban school where I thought technology was the order of the day. This never turned out to be the case. Though situated in urban environment, the school rated very low in terms of computer technology. The only computer in the school was a kind of p3 crone with pathetic speed. Students performance reports were prepared manually while exam analysis were very scanty.

It was then that I embarked on a journey to study Microsoft Excel. With this appliaction, I came up with an exam analysis tool which could also generate report forms. I christened this application “Kwik Saf Academia registry”. Kwik Saf being the name I had come up with in my previous station referring to ‘quick service’.

The Birth of Kwik Saf Company

Following the successful journey of making my first software, I decided to register the name Kwik Saf only that I added the word Express to it. After this, I embarked on a serious journey to come up with more apps geared towards solving the problems around my work place.

Digitizing your world of work
Digitizing your World of Work

Though the journey of self teaching is not easy, the giant resolve within me kept on surging me forward. Many are the sacrifices I had to make so that I could use every available opportunity to learn new ways of coding.

My Entry into VB6

Having encountered Visual Basic for Applications(VBA) in Microsoft Excel, it couldn’t have been any easier for me to jump into vb6. With the help of materials that I gathered from the library, I came up with my second project which happened to be my eye opener. This was a Text Books and Library Management System. This was a huge success and was readily embraced by many schools which were then struggling to keep an eye on their books stock. From one school to another, I knocked on office doors and smiled on my way out having struck a deal.

When Client is More of a Partner

First hand experience taught me the important role of clients in the process of software development. Always listen and consider the feedback coming from your clients. As a matter of priority, address their concerns without complaining and always be available ready and willing to fix any reported bugs. By so doing, your clients will develop confidence in you and even speak well about you to potential customers. By so doing they will be doing referrals for free! This happens to be one of the most effecting way of marketing your products.

I Diversified Technology for Better Results

By sticking to one form of technology and failing to learn and apply new skills, you risk the danger of fading away. On realizing this, I started diversifying my programming languages as I continued improving my vb6 projects. To start with, I moved with time and jumped into VB.Net. This is where Microsoft went from vb6. I integrated this with the vb6 thus giving my apps modern functionalities. However, my attempts to learn C# did not sit well with me by then. Instead, I turned to web based technologies where I focused on HTML5, CSS, Javascript, PHP together with MySQL database

. This helped come up with my first website chuokenya.com which lasted for an year. The story behind this is subject for another day. Later, I came up with kwiksaf.com, a site for my company which you are on now. Right within this website lies a powerful app which I have talked about in another website of mine hacklifetips.com.

Smartphone Technologies that I Use

To spice up my desktop apps and provide easier link, I deploy smartphone apps for mobile phone users. Top among the technologies I have tried using is React Native. An open source UI software developed by facebook used to develop applications for Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, tvOS, Web, Windows and UWP. Download one of my React Native apps here. Other technologies for mobile apps that I have tried are Ionic and B4a. As a matter of fact, you must try your hands in as many technologies as you can before you can decide on one.

My Apps this Far

Apart from the Textbooks and Library System, I have so far developed over twenty applications including an SMS system that uses a GSM modem. This is very ideal for sending large number of SMS since you buy SMS bundles which are over 100 times cheaper than ordinary charges from Bulk SMS companies.

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SMS System

For more information get in touch via kwiksafxpress@gmail.com

The Journey Still On

With all this said, my journey is still on and it’s even getting more exciting. Kindly get to the comments section and let me hear from you.

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