Monthly Archives: January 2014

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Work life isn’t any different from school

Starting this week, a number of you will graduate from the highest institution in the land. You are done. Woo hoo. Done with bean weevils, course work and exams! Welcome to the next level. This is me and all those out in the working world lining up on both sides of the street and singing “You are welcome dear freendiii, you are welcome dear friendi.” We have hired a band to make us sound good. Work life is glamorous, fancy and easy. Trust me, you’ll see. But, it is not different from university.

You will still have a headmaster here. We call him the CEO. The difference is he will wear suits that fit and he will speak with a twang-one from having coffee at bourgeois places. You won’t understand how one gets an accent that way, neither do we. Let us proceed.

You will still have lecturers, called supervisors. Like lecturers, supervisors will also give you assignments and deadlines. They also won’t be happy when you say you failed to deliver because the dog ate your computer’s power cable before you saved and pressed ‘send’. No one takes that.
You will still have lecture time called “working hours”. There will be no breaks in-between. You won’t be able to go back to your Hall to catch a power-nap. It is work all day here.

You will still have to wake up early. An alarm clock that hugs you and tells you everything will be alright could help.
You will still have teachers; they do not cane but whip. You will learn about hard work when your friends who hang out with her start to get ahead. You will learn to cut corners when your friend makes it to the news for wrong things.
There will still be exams. We call them “interviews” around here. You will still need to prepare for those. Be calm, like a boda boda guy going the wrong way down a one-way street.

[Android Development Tutorial] Resolving “R cannot be resolved to a variable” error

Android Development Tutorial level: Easy

If you’ve developed apps for the Android OS using the Eclipse IDE for longer than 2 hours, then you’ve met cheery  “r cannot be resolved to a variable” guy. He’s quite a stud in these parts. Loud and talkative, he won’t let you do anything when he walks in


R-cannot-be-resolved man
Image by: aaipodpics

There are a number of ways to deal with him. Below are a few tips on how you can politely send him back to the lonely part of the world he comes from.

1. Check your manifest file [AndroidManifest.xml] for any errors. Resolve them

2. Clean your project [Project > Clean Project]

3. Go to the top of affected classes and make sure that they don’t import android.R;   (Or any variants).  Delete that line

4. Check all your layout files (res/layout/*.xml). Ensure that they have no errors. If they do, resolve them

5. Check your console for any errors. Make sure the console is set to display Android errors. Resolve the errors


6. Right-click on the project and choose ‘Android Tools > Fix Project Properties’

7. If your class is located in, move it to then move it back

If you’ve gotten rid of the guy using something else, do share

Cloud Architecture | Learning from the best

I had the unique opportunity to talk to an industry expert in cloud architecture. Bas Moussa, chief architect at Nuvole Computing, is in the country kicking back, getting away from industry-expert-things to unwind. For a developer in my parts,  speaking to a who’s who from Silicon Valley is like Popeye getting spinach with steroids. Kindness dictates that I should have let him unwind-no cloud architecture talk. Kindness wasn’t with me so right after a thumb wrestling match (I still hold the world title, life is so kind), he shared several insights. He’ll share more deep stuff with YOU tomorrow. Come and learn


Uganda police now recruiting

The Uganda Police Force is recruiting. Now is a good time for you to apply. Earlier this week, the police spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba, appealled to anyone with a university degree and no criminal record to apply.

American officers are in the country to help with the recruitment. Your next opportunity to be interviewed by an American officer will be when you are caught buying a phone with a cracked screen from a hooded guy in an alley in New York.

Apply to the force now. They’ll take you through rigorous checks to see whether you meet the requirements. Suppose you are asked to pronounce “Hello”. The correct answer is ‘Elo!’. You usually have to follow this up with ‘you man’-even to ladies.

Here are a few other things that come with the job, should you get it:
As soon as you don that uniform, you become superhuman to us lowly citizens. In that white uniform, with laser vision you can inspire an entire movie, rather, the superhuman that doesn’t have feelings.

In our eyes, you are inconsiderate, mean, self-seeking leeches who only flag us down to drain us of the few shillings we have managed to wrench from this ailing economy. You are probably a nice person, just doing your job, enforcing law and order but uniform seems to have a way of hiding that.

We will hurl all kinds of vitriol on people in high places caught with their hand in the cookie jar. We will use a lot of adjectives to describe them, their ancestors and three of their generations. We will however, be quick to slip you a few notes when you point out that our side mirror is missing.
You may have to battle students on strike. They will be faster and overpower you. Don’t take the things they say about your intelligence to heart; it’s the youth and adrenaline talking.

May 2014 be yours again

This time of the year is like early morning on steroids; you have several plans, so much energy and a lot of hope. Last week, this column was dedicated to some of you. It turned out though that the people to dedicate the year to more than the first article could contain. I dedicate this year to you. Not just any ‘you’.

You who won’t stop at using Facebook to show us how good your life is but you’ll use it to make our lives better. You may share what you are having for lunch and “OMG, this party is so much fun (insert several photos here)” but you’ll also share incisive articles about the dilemma youth are faced with currently, about goal-setting, about self-improvement.
You who sweeps our streets every morning, bearing with the drivers, rushing to work, who almost run you over every day. You who takes it in your stride when we, litter-generals that we are, litter where you have just cleaned.
You who does not litter. The urge to hurl the maize cob, empty mineral water bottle, sweet wrapper, banana peel out the window hits but you resist it.

You, the politician who cares about the people you lead. You who is more concerned about changing lives, making a difference, adding value than about politicking, getting in front of cameras and being in the press.
You the spiritual leader who wears your title with pride; you who takes the trust people have placed in you seriously. The trust God has placed in you seriously. You, the servant of your congregation. You who does not lie to them. You who feels it’s more than work for you, it’s a calling
You who keeps time. You get to work on time. You get to appointments on time. You who communicates when you are running late. You know of African time but your watch knows nothing of it.

You who gives good customer service. You who smiles in spite of your bad day. You who listens closely to our order to ensure that you bring back exactly what we ordered so you do not have to guilt us into taking what you brought. You, the receptionist who does not treat us like we have leprosy. You the waiter who does not add stuff we did not take to our bill.
May this be your year!

May this year truly be yours

The New Year has sneaked in and asked that we put our hands up in the air and show it pomp, excitement and a few resolutions. We, not wanting to let it down, have obliged. With your hands still in the air, waving them like you do not care, may this year be good to you. Not just any ‘you’.
You who is up early, every day to do honest work
You the conductor who does not take our change. You who gives us every last coin you owe us.

You the security guard without a complex; you who does not think we all believe we are smarter than you. You know we are only there to get checked so we can be on our way
You the Boda Boda man who does not break the rules; you who does not go the wrong way round a roundabout just because you can. You who does not run the traffic lights since the traffic officer will not stop you. You who is not crass. Or dirty.

You the traffic cop who does not believe that you are entitled to chai just because you flagged me down. The car is in good shape, let me go.
You who puts in honest work every day, in spite of all those stories of how well your buddies who stole from the business are doing
You who is constantly striving to be better. To do better.
You the taxi driver who gives a turn signal before turning off the road.

You who doesn’t stop smack in the middle of the road to pick passengers. You who doesn’t behave badly just because we’ve labelled you bad drivers
You the man who is there for your family.
You who is constantly looking for honest ways to take your family to the next level. Late nights in the bars are alluring, so are the women, but you choose to give your all to your family.

You put in work to make it work
You the loyal friend. You call. You text. You care. You do not consider writing, ‘HBD on someone’s wall a thoughtful and meaningful gesture.
You who is out there in the community changing lives, listening to heartbreaking stories, reaching out, offering support. You may take part in the
#stopTheViolence tweets but you will do more than that. You know that changing lives takes more than 140 characters.
May this year truly be your year.