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Word from Mike

Mr. Nsubuga Mike – Mentor at #CodeZone

This Article is shared from the #CodeZone WhatsApp Group

About #CodeZone

In 2015, I was in my first year, you see right now its easy to get members to join a WhatsApp Group, Henry Mutegeki (our Academic Minister, SCIT 2019) can send out a few invites and within a day, you can see that the group is full already. Sadly, that time I think the group invite feature had not been introduced, if it was there, I guess we didn’t know about it, Boub⁩ came at our college, room by room requesting people to join this learning platform, yes, he could write down the numbers and later he could add them in #CodeZone</>. At that time you would call him one of those university scams looking for money from students, but you would be wrong, that man was never paid a single coin from anyone, he used to do it all because of passion, he looked for students and he shared learning resources like programming PDFs and also helped us to breakdown some challenges in course works etc.

Lucky me by then, I knew some little C programming which I had taught myself out of love and passion, together with Boub⁩ and a few other group members, we used to conduct classes from this group, it really helped me a lot because I was forced to learn advanced concepts all by my own for the sake of the group, I even used to prepare study material customized for this group, this group used to go as late as 2:30am. #CodeZone was always active, we had a timetable and made plans of what was to be covered, we could set a topic for a day for example, people prepared themselves and by 10:00pm, we used to kick off till late.

It was fun, students from different universities all came and shared knowledge. As a freshman by that time, programming gave me an edge. While the biggest number of students spent time mastering it, as for me, I spent time mastering other course units and in the end I passed other course units highly. For programming, every time I saw a semester with a programming course unit, I counted an A or A+ because it never mattered which language it was, Java, Python, Javascript name it, the C knowledge always came in handy.

Advice to freshmen

For the freshmen here, I can speak for ones from Makerere University because it is where I have been, the knowledge the lecturers are going to share with you is going to be very very little (like 30%), its not that they want to share little, its because there’s no time to cover everything.
What does that mean?
It means you are going to self teach yourself the other percentage if you really want to be good.
What will happen if you don’t?
Well, you are going to keep on studying programming courses in the coming semesters and they are going to give you trouble if you don’t study.
For now it’s not about how good you were at some subjects at A level like physics, chemistry, biology etc etc, a programming language is like studying a communication language like French or German, you are going to start everything from scratch.
Optimize #CodeZone, ask in case you are stuck, there’s a 99% chance that the problem you are experiencing has ever been experienced by someone here, use the platforms, we have this group, we have a slack channel even when you’re scared of asking, at least inbox someone. That should be the last option because posting to a group calls for attention from different members, help your friends in case you have understood something, that way by discussing for others, the trick is that you will understand the concepts very well. The human mind understands and retains more from what it is discussing, and again a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

Don’t feel sad/discouraged when you’re not answered, some people here like me are very busy during the day, so there’s a possibility that your question has not been read by some group members or even that they don’t know, use other platforms like StackOverflow for more detailed explanations in case something is not clear, also remember that in this world you need people more than anything else, don’t put people down, instead help them, the job market is tricky but that will be a story for another day because for me right now, most of the jobs I do or have done have always been secured for me by the people I have helped. You’re going to work hard and also remember that sometimes you’re going to work hard, put in much and things still may not come your way. Those situations are going to come.

Career

About my career interests for those who may want to work with me, I will begin with my career path, I luckily got a position with MUK, CoCIS in my second year where I worked in the System Administration Department as a Junior System Administrator for over a year, the team in the department trained me a lot of things and it was a nice experience overall (Thank you Ezra & Hillary).
In my final semester which was early this year(2019), I was called upon by my former programming lecturer to voluntarily work as a Tutorial assistant and help out freshmen students who were facing difficulties, it was quite fun working with my former tutor to accomplish the same mission.
After my papers, the following week, I joined the Infectious Disease Institute(IDI) which is at Makerere. Together with a team of other scientists, we are currently working on a new project(opened a few months ago) which deals with a discipline called “BioInformatics”.
As some experts are saying that the top 5 technologies which they predict to change the future of Technology are Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Quantum computing and Blockchain technology.
Bioinformatics comes handy as it applies artificial intelligence in the medical field, As an interdisciplinary field of science, bioinformatics combines biology, computer science, information engineering, mathematics and statistics to analyze and interpret biological data, data like human genes, protein sequences and so much more is analysed and in the end result is priceless! things like combating infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, it can help reduce the fatality of these diseases by early detection of viral DNA so the patient could be treated right away avoiding detrimental complications. We use Python and R programming together with a set of other Bioinformatics tools, the center where I work at just introduced that discipline in Uganda and the first set of Masters and PhD students are undertaking the course under the college of health sciences this year. The project is run by National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the U.S and the Infectious Disease Institute Makerere together with lots of partners.
Our website is ace.niaid.nih.gov (NIH) and idi.mak.ac.ug for updates about the program, you can follow us on twitter @AceUganda or @IDIMakerere. and by the way ACE stands for African Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Data-Intensive Sciences.
We also have a Virtual Reality lab, the first of its kind I guess in the country or even E.A, Its also going to work in 3D visualizations of models like viruses but it is open to other disciplines like engineering, computing, business, education and training, and anything as along it can be accessed virtually, for those interested in that technology, always feel free to email me and we could arrange an appointment to access the lab and see how better we can utilize the technology, there’s also a framework for those interested in development, built on top React, just like React-Native, this one is called React-vr, it comes handy with developing VR applications, companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Google etc have all invested in VR. I also do web applications and I have a grasp of VueJs, ReactJs and Laravel framework.

This January 2020, I will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology(First class honors), I can say that being part of the Codezone community greatly contributed towards this. Once again thank you to this great family.
Always feel free to drop a message or even an email at nmike@cis.mak.ac.ug incase of any help, I rarely use this green app but you can easily find me via an email.

Once again am grateful to have been part of #CodeZone under the administration of Boub⁩ Am always willing to help but most of the times I see the group messages late but I closely follow this group though I come in late when sometimes the issue has been resolved. And again to the freshmen, use the experts in this group, they are always willing to help you free of charge.

Mike Nsubuga
The African Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Data-Intensive Sciences.
Infectious Disease Institute McKinnell Knowledge Centre,
Makerere University – Main Campus.
College of Health Sciences, Makerere University
Email: nmike@cis.mak.ac.ug
Github | Twitter | Facebook

5 thoughts on “Word from Mike”

  1. Thanks a lot for all the efforts. I have acquired the little skills I have from this platform.
    A big thank u to the admin.

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