Raindolf Owusu, a software developer from Ghana, has published this post about some of the challenges a software developer living in African has to cope with. He titles his post, Agonies of an African Programmer, and after reading his piece I realize we share similar sentiments about how the African continent is the new land of opportunity, so long as it’s leaders can get their priorities straight and stop being greedy.
Raindolf outlines seven agonies in his post in which he elaborates on the frustration himself and other developers are faced with. According to Raindolf, technology in Africa is generalized, or thought of as coming in a “box.” Prepackaged, and can be purchased off the shelf. “Let’s all visualize technology as a process and something we are going to build ourselves here in Africa,” he writes. But in order for technology to be visualized there needs to a sustainable infrastructure to enable this realization. The Government and private sector industries must do more to create the backbone where this process can thrive.
Out of all the agonies the African programmer faces, the most poignant, in my opinion, is an unstable source of power. Ghana is still heavily dependent on hydroelectric power, and has been for quite a while—ever since the Akosombo dam was commissioned in 1966. To put things in perspective, that’s 46 years of primarily depending on rain-water to power a country, now of about 25 million people—it’s unsustainable. Ghana is now going through a period known as load-shedding. This is when different electrical grids in the country are rationed with power. So one section of the country may have power from 6am-6pm, and another section from 6pm-6am. I first witnessed this load-shedding back in the 90s, and again in the early 2000s when I lived in Accra, Ghana. It’s unbelievable to learn that it’s still happening after all the talk about the West African Gas Pipeline and how it would provide another source of energy for the country.
We’ve all seen this before: Your friend loses all of their phone contacts and then puts up a status update, or sends out an email asking for phone numbers so he or she can save it again. If this has happened to you, or you’ve seen it across your Facebook feed then you should continue reading.
There’s the obvious way of making sure that you backup (sync) the contents of your iPhone via iTunes at least once a week. But there’s an easier, more sublime way to go about this. Let’s all admit, we are sometimes overwhelmed with work and personal day to day stuff. So if just want things to “magically” work for you, having your contacts backup with iCloud is a no-brainer. An asset, really.
iCloud has been around for a little over a year and most people may be aware of it’s benefits. If you own a Mac/PC, iPad or iPhone, TURN IT ON. Your Contacts, Calendar events, Reminders, Notes and Safari bookmarks are synced across your devices. It’s that simple.
The biggest benefit, though, is having your contacts always syncing in the background. This means that when you add a new contact in your address book you will not have to wait and connect your iPhone to iTunes before it’s backed up––iCloud stores it for you. And you can have access to it when you switch iPhones, or even when you are not on an Apple product. iCloud allows you to download all your contacts as a single file and import them into any phone you want. Cool, eh? It even offers a web version for managing your contacts when you go to icloud.com
The days of asking friends to send in their phone numbers after you lose your phone are long gone. Turning on a simple switch in Settings>iCloud>Contacts gives you the peace of mind in having your contacts backed-up automatically, and accessible anywhere. That’s a WIN. So what are you waiting for? Turn on your iCloud!
Roger Ebert once said: “You don’t have to have a voice to tell the world your story.” Growing up I had a stutter, which bothered me greatly because I knew what I wanted to say but couldn’t get the words to come out—fluently. It’s gotten considerably better over the years—except when I’m nervous. Words are powerful, they can start or end disputes, they can inspire dreams, or they can crush them. The right words may get you hired and the wrong ones will get you fired. Fortunately I have a voice, and this is how I choose to share my story.
But I rather prefer to tell the story of the people trying to make dents in the universe—because in my own small way I’m also trying to make a dent. It’s about sharing my passion for technology with others in a way that makes it easy for people to relate, and realize the benefits. AmbitiousBlogger will be a space where readers can learn about some of the inspiring entrepreneurial stories, and in turn become inspired to pursue projects of their own. In a way, this blog is my own little project that has been a year in the making. I had this idea a year ago to build a place on the web where I could talk about the inspiring young folks that were doing, or building exciting stuff. I wanted to talk about the possibilities of mobile technology in a way that can be understood by the average “non-geek” reader on the web—Void of any technicalities. This is just an attempt to put the ideas I’ve been having for quite sometime down, with the hope of building a community of like-minded individuals.
The second reason I decided to start this blog was because of my passion for technology and how it makes life easy for all of us. In today’s world, technology is all around us—there’s no escaping it. Some are overwhelmed by the pace and intricacies of this industry and prefer to stay away—But they don’t have to. People just want to communicate with their friends, share moments with the people that matter, get things done quicker, smarter and easier. They want to know about that great service that can save them money or enrich an experience. Technology in today’s world offers that, and more. Take the iPhone for instance, it allows you to do things that were only possible on a desktop computer just a couple of years ago—in some cases the iPhone is just enough to be someone’s personal computer. No matter your feelings towards technology it’s all around us. It’s the very reason I can hit publish after I’m done typing this and I will know for certain that at least one person on the internet will see it.
To give an overview, The Tech section of this blog will contain posts explaining how mobile apps and emerging and/or existing tech services can be leveraged to improve how you go about your day, and get stuff done. Period. Let’s be honest, we all don’t care about which chipset was used in developing your iPhone. We just want the damn thing to work. I feel if technology were stripped off it’s complexities and “nerdyness” it would make it easier for everyone to interact with. I know this because I’m able to explain the most complex processes to friends to help them understand. I don’t intend on writing a 5 page post about how the newest mobile app makes posting to Facebook easy. My posts are going to be succinct, relevant, practical and straight to the point. It’s going to add value to how you go about doing the things that matter.
To talk a little bit about giving feedback, we all have opinions: some productive and some not, but the best way to expand our knowledge is by sharing and putting it “out there”. Sometimes a well-written comment can educate everyone and even spur another interesting discussion around a topic. This is what I hope will happen here on AmbitiousBlogger. Welcome.