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Mobile Monday Kampala Uganda -How Do We Create an Enabling Ecosystem for Developers and Industry Leaders?

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Mobile Monday Kampala is pleased to announce that its next meeting, on the theme, How Do We Create an Enabling Ecosystem for Developers and Industry Leaders? The event will be sponsored by Nokia and held at the Protea Hotel on Monday 9th May 2011 starting at 5:30 PM. Delegates are invited to arrive from 4:30 PM for a poster session during which they may meet with Makerere University CIT students who will be presenting thirty-five or more products that they have developed, using mobile Java applications programming, to be made available to clients through Nokia’s Ovi Store.

There is some seriously interesting reconnecting going on with a lot of us, through mobile applications, people with peculiarities just like you and me, who have needs just like yours and mine. In fact one of the things that makes life interesting is that, although we may have a lot of things in common, there is a huge variance in what each of us needs, likes and dislikes. Viva la difference! The one-size-fits-all has its place, but nothing beats expressing one’s own individuality! And this is one of the reasons why social networking tools, blogs, Facebook, tweets, are so useful to us; they jump-start our creativity and also lead to greater sociability. And now we are learning how to use mobile phones in all kinds of interesting new ways that allow us to further express of our individuality through mobile apps.

The variety of ways we link to others through mobile phone apps is increasing almost at an exponential rate! Who can supply us with companionship, differing viewpoints, validation, camaraderie, information, news about events, direction, how to move in towards where we want to go, physically, spiritually, how to stay out of trouble, how to take good decisions, how find what we are looking for, guidance on how to spend our money more wisely, how to pay for things more conveniently. The ringtone just downloaded has the refrain: “Did you ever try to change your life?” So where do I go to find an answer to a question like that? Is there an icon for such a service available on my Nokia E7, Huawei Ideos, iPhone or iPad? If the answer is no then, hey, why not create a new mobile app for you and me; you never know; might beat the hell out of Angry Birds?

This brings us back to the theme of our next meeting. How do we create a more interesting learning or working platform for ourselves and a more enabling ecosystem for developers and industry leaders? Do you believe that the university system is where it’s at, curriculum relevant? If not what can you conjure up in its stead? What role will these wonderful mobile apps play? One lecturer I know gives students Stanford University podcasts. Instead of listening to his lecture they spend the time discussing the really cool podcast. And what can we do about primary and secondary school learning? My children do their homework watching Sal Khan math and science YouTube lessons. I heard about a school where students are given an independent project on their first day. One lecturer informed her students that they would be building a product in Drupal, and that if they had any questions they had better join the Drupal Forum, and ask their questions there. Though not exactly “You’re on your own kid”, it’s close enough to the real thing. Another proposed that students begin university under the auspices of a company’s apprenticeship programme; something old, something new; something borrowed, but definitely not blue, not Dumbing us Down? Let’s liven us up.

Mobile Monday is a great platform for discussing ideas that will stir up one’s creative gifts. As the energy levels rise we find ourselves in an expansive mood; everything seems possible. Look around; who is there? Under the right circumstances, you could make something interesting happen, create a new product, start a new company. I look forward to seeing you.

Daniel Stern

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