So I’ve recently enrolled in a short Design Thinking course to occupy my time as I wait for school to reopen so and start “the next chapter of my life”- or so I thought.
Of course, starting out when I looked at what the course entailed- computer programming basics( java, python, and mobile app development), design thinking- I immediately jumped at the prospect of computer programming and completely overlooked design thinking. Computer programming was what I needed. It was the future. Design thinking was a “by the way.”

Needless to say, I was wrong!

From the onset I realized design thinking really wasn’t what I thought it was( Entrepreneurship skills). It poked at the way I think and the first thing that came to mind was John Maxwell’s book “How successful people think.” My tutor kept pointing at thinking about the big picture and “Trusting the process.” Its a tedious course, but that’s what makes it more fun.

Human Centered Design.
Humans are no doubt the most complex creatures I have ever encountered and because Design thinking solves human-centered problems, it involves days and days of research. Its literally a whole new way of thinking! Looking at the world through another filter. The best example I can come up with is; its like playing a First Person shooter game and suddenly they just change it to third person! Its amazing!

What the new World has to offer
Doing my research on the employment models and generally how people work in Uganda I was fortunate to interview one IT specialist, Julius. His insight was so instrumental in the way I thought about all the research I was doing. I always knew that software developers in Uganda would have some way of networking with each other, but never had I imagined it at this scale. According to the specialist, there’s a whole developer community out there if you know where to look. There’s tech hubs spread across Kampala of people that specialize in different programming languages (Java, python, Kotlin, etc), all of whom are engaged in free lance work one way or the other. Another thing I learnt from the interview, was that these developers actually prefer to freelance, that it gives them more freedom. My next immediate question was about efficiency. Julius told me that in his business set-up he has both remote and on-site developers, and that surprisingly its the on-site developers that come up with the most excuses for not finishing tasks. According to him, its more about business ethics and not where his employees work from.
That being said, I realized its easy for developers and tech companies to adopt remote working, but for other organizations in different sectors, it becomes more difficult. But with more and more people having access to Internet in Uganda, I believe there’s something here.



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