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I bet our universities is the reason we hate coding in Tanzania

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by Greentech360, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. G

    Greentech360 Member

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    Sep 19, 2012
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    You can choose to differ with me but it is the harsh reality that our Universities is the main reason most of the Tanzania ICT professionals eliminate programming as their career option. Most of the students with interest in programming and developing applications have been witnessing their dreams cut short. You might say what is the reason behind and why are you blaming the syllabus that describe clearly that the students is practicing all the basic languages that a computer science student, IT student or Computer engineering student should study whither is Java, C-language, C++, Data Structures, Visual Basic and others. But believe me displaying in the syllabus and practicing the syllabus to reach to the student’s requirement and be able to prepare the students as a programmer these are two different things.
    When I was in second year Computer Science students at my college I got a chance to admit two guys from University of Dar es Salaam who just now appear to be my best friends. The first one was college dropout of engineering background and the other one college dropout of Computer Science first year. With other challenges they face the main reason for the computer science dropout to quit University of Dar es Salaam, his father who just appear to be a civil engineer realizes his son was not having lab sessions in whatever is practicing and if he had the opportunity it was just for the purpose of passing the exams meaning that, clamming few lines of codes ready to answer the exams then that’s it. He was not ready to face the challenges that are coming outside there for programmers .The guy was even surprised to see that it is compulsory to attend lab and have the lab record book and submit project report for almost every language you are practicing at the college when he was admitted to our college. I remember him asking me that if during the exams the lab results counts, I told him without passing the lab exams you are not going to get your degree and it means you have to pay another ticket fees to come and clear your mess in the fourth year after finishing your course if you didn’t attend third year’s lab.
    This is what makes people to develop interest in coding in most of the universities overseas and reputed universities in Africa coding is taken seriously since it is what distinguish a Computer science student (software engineering student) from other people in the industry. It is so disturbing to see someone graduated with clean and sensational GPA but he cannot even declare variables in C-Language or explains to you the concept of function overloading in Java and do it practically. In universities like Harvard and other reputed universities they consider coding as the measurement of students creativity and involvement in the study while to us is just another exam you have to pass. I wonder that’s why each college graduate you ask in Dar es Salaam want to be a network professional. Am not saying this is not good but for a country like ours were by we have few resources and most of the people are poor and cannot even afford to buy a router to practice at home how do you expect them to be good network administrators or engineers. I say programming is the get way for people who are coming in the tough background all you do is to download Borland C, NetBeans, Eclipse or whatever and up you go start to develop your applications don’t wait for the college to teach you or the college to accomplish whatever is mentioned in the syllabus course that will never happen.
    Final advice programming is an art; you have to develop passion on it in order to understand it. Don’t create a state of mind that told you it is hard to code believe me it is easier hundreds time compared to networking and system administration if you decide to practice and be frequent on it. They are a lot of resource available online W3Schools is there waiting for you to go and practice. Youtube videos for beginners training for each and every possibly known computer language go and try out because the University will never give you that. You can even go for the bigger projects and download them; there is a lot of open source projects waiting for people to exploit them for example PHP project OpenCMS, Orange HRM, Open Source Commerceand others. For Java students you can always Google for free projects available online download them and edit the codes and start developing the interfaces. If you want to for Visual Basic or C# am there for you with a lot of projects contact me I will give them to you personally. By the way it is my way of giving back to the community. For although who have read this article and they are PHP and MySQL developers am giving this gift to them OPENCART . Have fun with coding guys ……….

    By Jumanne Mtambalike
     
  2. Capital

    Capital JF-Expert Member

    #2
    Sep 19, 2012
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    Thanks so much j4. though iam not a programmer neither do i have computing background, all we see here not in computes alone, is systems failure. most graduates are awash with basic aspects by the graduation date. universities in tz are in state of total neglect, destitute indeed. until that day when education reforms are effected, i am hopeless. thanks.
     
  3. L

    Loloo JF-Expert Member

    #3
    Sep 19, 2012
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    Da umehit aisee yani hapa me hata ukiniuliza a simple code ya jina c++ sikumbuki na yote ni baada ya kugundua TA alikua anadowload nilichofanya na mimi nilikuwa naload nacrame though i do remember mosst othe rules.sasa ninahangaika na Sql,mbaya zaidi Oracle 10g sql wanakupa direct sio kama 9 or 9.g which means at the end nitakuwa na very little knowledge.Walimu wa bongo akirun code akaona imamshinda anamalizia.....anyway for the purpose of exam this will not be there" sa bora hata nyie wanaume utundu na muda kujifunza mnao sio kina mama?aa ndio elimu yetu
     
  4. Astro

    Astro Member

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    The main problem could be the mindset that most university scholars/students have,which simply originates from the secondary and advance level of education system in which students mainly focus on passing the exam by any means necessary(cheating,cramming) rather than learning something first and then passing the exam. Yes the lecturers have to play a part in delivering the knowledge to the students and motivating them as well as guiding them but the student has to play his/her part as well, It is very hard to become a programmer by just relying on what is delivered in class, one has to dig deep and build an interest in this field to become a programmer...I remember teaching pointers concept in C++ to my young brother and after a lengthly discussion the first question he asked was "what kind of questions do they bring in the exam ?" this simply shows that his interest was to simply pass the exam first and not to find an area where he might use pointers. I'm learning different web development languages simply because I am fascinated with how web systems work and the great things they can achieve and not because of the pressure of passing an exam. Our universities (in tanzania) may be poor when we compare them with the likes of Harvard et al. but we must wake up and banish this tradition of "kuzima moto and kudesa ". The advantage that we have in the programming field is that it is very cheap to obtain the materials needed to learn, you simply need a computer,internet and some simple Google and torrent searching techniques and you can have all the books you need and even guidance from different online forums like this one. Lets work together to build a better nation.
     
  5. N

    Nyasiro Verified User

    #5
    Sep 20, 2012
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    Yeah ni kweli Astro , sweetbaby Capital & Greentech360 . Kinachotokea ni kwamba watu wengi wanasoma programming ili wafanye mitihani wafaulu kwa gpa za juu n.k lakini kuelewa programming ni zaidi ya kukariri codes. Naweza kusema kwamba kila ki2 kinaweza kuwa rahisi kama mtu utajituma na kujua unachokifanya. Walimu wengi wanafundisha programming kwa kusoma vitabu na sio kufanya practice na wanafunzi wao nao wanafuata hukohuko. Kitu kingine ni kwamba lazima tuzielewe hizi programming languages na matumizi yake kabla ya kuanza kujifunza coding. Zipo programming languages nyingi sana lakini tumekua tukifundishwa C++!!!!!! Kwa nini sio kama napinga, hapana natambua uwezo wa C++ lakini pia natambua ugumu na muda unaotumiwa kutengeneza program kutumia C++. Hivi umeshawahi kujiuliza hata wanaofundisha vyuo vya hapa TZ wamesha tengeneza program ngapi from C++? kama wapo basi ni wachache sana. Nnavyo amini mimi C++ ni kwa ajili ya project kubwa na ambazo zinafanywa na TEAM ya programmer wengi sasa kama wewe unafanya mwenyewe chumbani kwako ni vigumu kupata product nzuri kutumia C++ ni bora tuanze kujifunza simple language ambazo haziko complicated kabla ya kwenda kwa huyu C++ huo utakua msingi wa kutoa programmers wazuri kutoka TZ. Wamesema kuna resources nyingi online lakini ukitafta za programming hasa C++ mara nyingi utaishhia kwenye Hello World. KUMBUKA: DON'T CODE THE MACHINE BEFORE YOU UNDERSTAND THE CODE
     
  6. L

    Loloo JF-Expert Member

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    hahhaa hapo pa "helo world"nimepapenda manake hakuna kitabu cha c++ nimewahi kuikosa kumbe na wao wanafanya tu plagiarism kama siye
     
  7. Kiranga

    Kiranga JF-Expert Member

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    If you know anything about coding/ programming, you would know that it is inspired more by a personal drive, love for the sometimes unorthodox innovation and environmental factors nearer and dearer than a university curriculum.

    In fact coding requires a mindset that deviates from rigidity. This is why you have all these college dropouts and social misfits turning out to be great programmers.

    Bill Gates hailed Ray Ozzie as "one of the top five programmer in the universe" (Wired, Dec 2008 pp 174) not because Ozzie is the type to adhere to an orthodoxy, but because Ray was so unorthodox he was totally deconstructing the Software Development Life Cycle itself in order to enhance Software Development. No sacred cow approach. The curriculum driven orthodoxy is nothing but a sacred cow that is slow to adapt, and if you look up to it for inspiration and innovation, you are probably looking for paper credentials or are too slow to understand the dynamics of programming today.,

    So if you are looking for a truly innovative Software Development nurturing environment, start with the home, not some static and archaic University curriculum.

    I should know. I saw the same thing in Tanzania and abroad. The classroom is always far behind.

    By the time I was using my class time to learn HTML coding (wayyyy back in the days when "Geocities" was the thing and Facebook not even thought of), my classmates were laughing at my unothodox ways, some were even concerned that I was going to fail. But I not only learned to create websites, I emerged with a distinction too in the curriculum based course, so I outdid them on both counts. This goes to show you if you have talent and the right environment like a lab and internet access, becoming a good programmer comes natural.

    I saw the same thing in college abroad, where professors -even the knowledgeable ones- are still tied to teach about the archaic and overly theoretical OSI model, to the chagrin of practical issue-solvers.

    So I look at this as more of an environmental issue than a curriculum one.

    How could a curriculum introduce one to computers from scratch and hope to make one a competent programmer while history shows the skills and almost cult like lifestyle is developed by many years of practice and dedication?

    Also, coding/ programming is a talent.Either one has it or doesn't. You can't say "it is easy" just because you find it so.

    That would be like Usein Bolt saying running at his speed is easy just because he can run so fast.

    Halafu kitu kingine, unalaumu watu kupenda network related professions over programming, wenzako washaona network admin katika small scale settings zetu haziwezi kuwa totally outsourced to India, software programming could.
     
  8. L

    Loloo JF-Expert Member

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    social misfits?! what is this stand for Mr?
     
  9. Kiranga

    Kiranga JF-Expert Member

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    People who are so much into their own sub-culture that they cannot function in a normal social setting. In this context geeks and nerds.

    Examples include the character of Mark Zuckerberg in the movie "The Social Network" or Sheldon in the show "The Big Bang Theory"

    Many - though not all- very talented computer programmers are like that.

    What nature takes with one hand -social skills- she compensate with another -programming skills-.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. 1px

    1px Member

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    Some interesting thoughts in this thread... I don't think, however, we can have a real honest discussion about learning without bringing in parents. If you study all these young people spearheading online innovation today, the Zuckerbergs of the world, you'll discover the huge role played by their parents or guardians in building a firm skills base so their kids would be self-reliant in the pursuit of knowledge. But one of these basic skills is hugely underrated: READING.
     
  11. Kiranga

    Kiranga JF-Expert Member

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    Yeah,

    This is why I stressed so much about the environment. Ukiangalia wenzetu utaambiwa sijui Bill Gates/ Steve Jobs alianza kucheza na vi Atari tangu mdogo etc etc. Sio kusubiri computer kuja kuiona chuoni, halafu ya mgao, halafu profesor anakukazania u-code kwenye C++ kama somo la ungwini.

    Reading ndo kabisa, dogo haendi kulala mpaka asomewe hadithi, anakuwa na hamasa ya kutaka kusoma. Anakulia mazingira vitabu bwena, kwa nini asisome?

    Sie the only reading material ni gazeti la Shigongo lililofungiwa maandazi.
     
  12. 1px

    1px Member

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    Right on - environment! I've always thought that of all the variables of performance, social environment not (heredity) ndiyo ina make difference KUBWA. Hapa Bongo kids spend most of after-school hours as they please. So pathetic. I go to homes, many parents 'think' they are too busy to spend an hour or two just talking to kids about what they got up to during the day. Just talking to my kids about what they've been doing? Now that's boring! Of course it's boring, but who said parenting is supposed to be time at the beach? Later, you'll hear the same parent complain about how teachers are not doing their job simply because his kid lags in Math. Unfortunately, the question that he never gets asked is: When was the last time you gathered the kids in the living room to check if they have loaded their porous little brains with multiplication tables? Wait a minute, doing math table drills with kids? You must think I have to much time on my hands, right? May be not, but then shut up about govt not building schools and hiring competent teachers because when all is said and done Mr. Kikwete and his men are never going come to call at your home and say, "Haya jamani, najua Orijino Komedi ni bomba, lakini...er Jennifer, amefanya homework? Er...naomba tuzime TV ili afanye homework.

    ---Just My Thoughts
     
  13. morphine

    morphine JF-Expert Member

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    hahaha mi najua Liner programming tu tena hata sikumbuki wanaanzaje nishasahau, halmashauri hakunaga hata server
     
  14. simplemind

    simplemind JF-Expert Member

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    Most computer courses teach very little coding if any. Sana sana ni use of applications mfano word proccessor, spreadsheet, database etc. There is need to introduce coding right from primary school to instituion of higher learning. Whats to be offered at primary level? Procedural language mfano BASIC or simplified/managed OOP?
    Wenzetu have made a head start www.bbc.com/news/technology-17740143
     
  15. GP

    GP JF-Expert Member

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    vyuoni wanafundisha basics tu za programming!, huwezi kujifunza na kujifunza programming language ukasema wewe kichwa kwa kusoma programming semista moja (miezi 4), ambapo mwalimu mwenyewe hajui hata code ya kudisplay HELLO WORLD mpaka apige chabo w3schools.com!.
    wanafunzi nao hawana MSINGI mzuri wa programming, mkuu Kiranga uko sahihi kabisa hapa:

    .

    sasa leo hii denti anaingia chuo akiwa kwanza hata mausi hajui kushika, je unadhani ataweza kucode C++ kweli?,
    ninapoongelea MSINGI wa any programming language ni wewe kuweza kujua in and out kuhusu yafuatayo:


    • introduction
    • syntax
    • data structures (arrays, lists, tree, statements, pointers, objects, etc)
    • functions(switch, if..else, do..while, for, while, etc)
    • data type (var, char, date, string, boolean, int, number, etc)
    • variables
    • keywords
    • operators (+, -, *, /, ++, --, etc)
    • etc,

    baada ya kujua hiyo misingi kwa undani, then programming haisumbui.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2016
  16. Kang

    Kang JF-Expert Member

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    Tanzania hakuna software industry ya maana, local market ni ndogo, hakuna outsourcer anayeifikiria TZ kabla ya India/China au Eastern Europe, ni cheaper kwa biashara nyingi kununua software za nje au kutumia open source kuliko kuanza from scratch, kwa kifupi hata kungekuwa na maprogrammer kungekuwa hakuna wa kuwaajiri.

    Kuna watu watasema tujiajiri wenyewe, lakini ukweli ni kwamba ni tiny minority ya developers duniani wanajiajiri wenyewe, majority either wapo makampuni makubwa ya tech, Google, MS, Yahoo, Tata etc au wapo makampuni ya kawaida wanatengeneza na kufix software za ndani. Of course wapo ambao wanajiajiri na wataendelea kuwepo ila hakuna dalili kuwa programming itakuwa sector kubwa bongo.

    Pia labda niseme programming sio as exciting kama watu wanavyofikiri, ni wachache sana mtapata chance za kudevelop kitu mnachokipenda kweli au kuwa kwenye environment nzuri ya ki startup-startup ambapo mko huru kuexperiment na vitu au kuchagua technolojia mnayotaka kutumia. Majority ya kazi za progamming ni shyt work, utainherit code base ya maelfu ya line ambayo hauyaelewi halafu kazi yako itakuwa kuzitafuta bugs zinazojitokeza, kubadili kitu chochote hauruhusiwi mpaka kiwe signed and approved na management, maprocedure kibao ambayo wewe unayaona useless.

    Kuna tofauti kubwa sana ya raha ya programming for yourself na programming kama kazi.

    Pia right now tupo kwenye good times kama programmers kwa sababu ya excitement na vitu kama FB/Twitter na hasa Apps za mobile, ila sidhani kama hii ni hali itakayodumu kwa muda mrefu, sooner or later hizi mobile startups zitagundua kuwa hazina business model inayowaruhusu kujiendesha na hapo wataanza kupukutika, maana right now wanaenjoy kujiendesha kwa hela za investors, ila reality itakuja siku moja.

    Mwisho niseme hakuna excuse ya kutojifunza programming kama kweli unataka katika dunia ya leo, labda hata miaka mitano iliyopita ningekuelewa, kuna kozi kibao zinafundishwa na world class professors ziko bure mtandaoni nenda Udacity.com

    Introduction to Computer Science: Building a Search Engine (CS101)
    Algorithms: Crunching Social Networks (CS215)
    Web Development: How to Build a Blog (CS253)
    Software Testing: How to Make Software Fail (CS258)
    Software Debugging: Automating the Boring Tasks (CS259)
    Programming Languages: Building a Web Browser (CS262)

    etc

    Coursera.org
    Algorithms, Part I
    Functional Programming Principles in Scala
    Learn to Program: The Fundamentals
    Computer Science 101
    etc

    itunes kuna zourse kibao za programming za bure.
    Vitabu vya programming vipo kibao vya bure na vya wizi.


    Best of luck.
     
  17. Abdulhalim

    Abdulhalim JF-Expert Member

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    this is bull..
     
  18. Kiranga

    Kiranga JF-Expert Member

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    That's the point.
     
  19. G

    Greentech360 Member

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    My aim is not criticizing tech university education system of Tanzania rather is to shape and remove the mentality that lies in most of the Tanzanian tech industry. Recently i have been spending a lot of time with university students of Tanzania who are pursuing tech courses i have realize more than three quarter of them have been affected by the approach used by universities to approach programming concepts. Yah, i understand being a tech enthusiast you have to develop the passion from inside of loving codes but the passion itself is not enough you need someone to guide you through your passion. You must remember Mark Zuckerberg didn't quit high school he is a college dropout and if you known at what stage they are tought programming you will understand what am saying. Leave politics the system is boring and weird has to be changed.

    Second thing about parenting, seriously you guys should check your sources correctly. The worst parenting in the worst parenting in the world is done in First world countries were by people leave, love and worship their works no time for parenting . You can Google that to confirm. I agree with you that white guys they really can develop their child carriers but not all of them they are just like us. That why there are no Zuckerbergs in all of their families just few of them in which Africa we have ours too.

    The other thing you cant force everyone to do what you have in mind the industry is big people they can do whatever they want if its mobile development, programming whatever the only thing they have to learn is the survival skills in the industry especially in Africa's hard working environments. About thinking that the mobile start ups will die when the investors stop to flow cash in that is day dream my brother. Tanzania is going to hit 36 million mobile phone users by 2015 and that is the future of programming when everyone goes mobile other field of computer science will be in serious trouble that why everyone is struggling to cope with the mobile industry, banks, institutions and organization i don't have to tell you that everything starts with M- these days. M-Farming, M-health and M-Money. Us Tanzanian we are still sleeping while Kigali and Nairobi are competing to become the EA Hubs of technology.

    Jumanne Mtambalike
    GreenTech360
     
  20. Kang

    Kang JF-Expert Member

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    The problem is not whether or not things are going mobile, its if mobile applications can be turned into actual businesses, the vast majority can not, people don't want to pay for mobile apps, anything above $0.99 cents is sees as expensive in the Appstore or the Android Market not to mention everyone is giving away their work for free because they somehow magically hope to make it up in volume or they are hoping to get bought by a large company if they become popular (Instagram) or because they have raised millions of dollars from investors and are just burning money.
    Mobile advertising doesn't work, the payment are pathetic compared to even website advertising, you need millions of active users to make any real money.

    M-Pesa is fine and a great success for the operators but what does it do for us developers? We are just being fed B.S about making apps for health or education which have absolutely no sustainable business model behind them, we might win some App competition here and there but then what?
     
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