Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nigerians,this is your time to code!

Computing has changed the world in profound ways. It has opened up wonderful new ways for people to connect, design, research, play, create, and express themselves. However, just using a computer is only a small part of the picture. The real transformative and empowering experience comes when one learns how to program the computer, to translate ideas into code.

These days we all have pretty fast computers with us wherever we go.And we really love them. It defines who we are.
But, should we continue to sit by and watch this amazing technology? Shouldn't we participate in defining it?
My answer to this is we can. And it would not even cost you anything to get started. All it needs is a bit of your time.
If your answer to my second question is "YES", then we can walk together. You will not only walk with me, we will walk with
global community of programmers and developers.
(map int "church")
I would want you to make an intuitive guess what the above is? And do you think it is really difficult to figure out? Maybe yes, but my
bet is that you will someday find out that it is not as difficult as 2 + 2. Remember that we were made to believe that 2 + 2 = 4. Is that
really true? I will say a big "NO". Say we have two goats and two tubers of yam, is it not same as 2 + 2? And what do you think the
answer would be?

Back to the reason for this writeup , it is to motivate you and to let you know that you can write your own computer programs. That your can
write your own games, that you can turn your Microsoft excel and co into something amazing by adding a few lines of code. You can monitor your warehouses via
your phone. You can open your gates with your phone. What you can do is only limited to your imagination and skill set(note that I am only referring to computers here). You don't need a degree or university education. One may say that I am wrong here. Okay, MicroSoft, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter they all have one thing
in common. Guess what? They were all started off by dropouts. One may say that that is US not Nigeria. Okay, largest Nigeria forum site, Nairaland,
was started by a dropout.
Now, let's sketch how to get started. We have thousands of free computer languages out there on the net. And most of them are Turing complete.
And in computer languages some are imperative, procedural, functional, class-based, logical , and etc. But what you need is just the simple ones that naturally
match the way we reason, that will not stand on your way while learning and coding. Ones with amazing online communities and free text ebooks and articles.
I will recommend Ruby language or Python language. Pause now, point your browser to google and search for Ruby language or Python language. However, if
you are a Maths genius(First-Order Logic and Co) then try Clojure language. If you are an Engineer, then I would say you should also check out Arduino and Octave. Arduino is not really a language,
it is a hardware and software suite. With Arduino boards and Arduino IDE you will effortlessly program Micro-controllers and ARM processors. Please note that all the smart phones
out there are based on ARM processors(Intel please bear with this lie!). Octave is really pretty cool, it is a free alternative to Matlab. It shares the same syntax with Matlab. You will use it to do heavy algebra and calculus. And above all it is pretty easy to use.
But remember that I promised you something, I will walk with you and I really have a lot for you. If you are interested, then send a mail to us[satajanus(at)gmail.com].

2 comments:

obinna Henry said...

ok, your speech was ok, but u lack the idea. speaking of nairaland, the so called nigerian built it off a free opensource forum application http://www.simplemachines.org. he dint build form scratch. if u want to motivate nigerian developers, motivate them to build original stuff. In nigeria thats all we know to do, use other ppls stuff, never do ours.
your idea is nice, but i think ur not approaching it the right way.

by the way i am a nigerian and a independent professional java developer based in abuja.

our government, our leadership, environment, power problems, cannot allow such innovation ur takking about.

Emeka said...

@Obinna, Seun is not a low-level geek. I have interacted with him for some months now. I must say that he is pretty brilliant and might even do something far better than NAIRALAND in near the future. Basically, one has to start from somewhere. Let me give an example, say you want to use SORT in a language, you will just call its function or method. But someday you may be needed to code it. Then you start off hearing things like mergesort, quicksort , and the Big Oh. I would say that we should first start from somewhere. From there see where the wind will take us to.
Well, I don't believe that I should wait for handouts from Government. We always complain of this or that. It is common everywhere. All we need do is to get started. And that is all. Igbo traders do not go to government for support. The IBETOs, the Innosons , and thousand of others do not wait for handouts.
I guess we should talk more and see if we can flesh out something.

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