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From grocery shop to tech career: the story of Amos Walugembe

‘From grocery shop to tech career’

BY TUNGA

His mom owns and manages a grocery shop in Kampala. But the Ugandan Amos Walugembe had his heart set on a career in tech. Then, in 2017 Tunga crossed his path. ‘At that time I was employed as technical manager,’ he says. ‘But I really wanted to build my career as a software developer. Coincidentally a colleague told me about the company.’

Amos decided to apply and completed this process. A decision he has never regretted. ‘Tunga exposed me to the real world of software development on an international level,’ he states. ‘I had never dared to dream being part of a professional team like this with software developers from Africa and Europe. When working on a project with other developers you get to share a lot about your experience. Moreover, at the end you learn why they are doing what they do and how developers’ life is like in their country. This in turn lets you learn from the shared knowledge and experiences. This can be motivating. And it takes my skills and my tech career to a next level.’

‘Coming out of my comfort zone’

He has a wide range of experience with the development of different software products. ‘From embedded systems to desktop, mobile and web apps in several environments. That is all right up my alley,’ he laughs proud. ‘Right now, I have mastered a lot of programming languages. The best things in my job are nevertheless the challenges. I love to work on projects that require me to work outside my comfort and knowledge zone. Important for the success of my tech career is to continue to learn new languages, technologies and development techniques. You are never done learning.’

A tech career is much more than just coding

‘I explain my job to friends and relatives by trying to make it tangible with examples of what a software developer does. Those with smartphones I tell them that the apps they use on their phone are an example of what I am doing every day. Of course, my job entails so much more than simply designing software. Identifying the wishes of clients, finding the right technical solution, testing the software and making a clean and maintainable code. It’s all part of my task package.’

Easy Software Deployment

Amos is not only working on large projects for Tunga. In addition, he is also involved as a dedicated developer for one client in particular. ‘Easy Software Deployment,’ Amos explains. ‘A wonderful project that helps systems administrators save time and costs, allowing them to manage their systems with more control, flexibility and ease. One can, for example, in just a few clicks deploy software packages to a number of computers. And get software usage reports for each one of these. Why make things so complicated if it can be done so easily?’

Empowering the outside world through my tech career

His mother was the owner of a grocery shop. But he has other ideas about the future. ‘I want to build a tech career as one of the best professional software developers in Uganda and Africa at large. And I am looking forward to spreading my skills and work experience to the outside world by empowering many young developers. Most of them come out of the university with barely any knowledge of what the outside world requires of a software developer. Many have given up on their dreams just because no one is willing to take them up at their level of expertise.

I have gone through the same system and I know what it takes: you have to be aggressive enough. Helping prepare the aspiring young developers to overcome such barriers such that they can compete in the same job market with the senior developers is one of my goals.’

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