Daryl is one of the most active members at BongoHive and if you ever visited us here, even in his absence, no doubt you’d hear his name creep into a conversation. He is an involved young mind enthusiastic about being in the forefront of innovation. Even with all he has to offer, he still remains passionate about helping others.
Background: Daryl joined us in December 2011 after attending our first Mobile Application Development Training session. Before that he was working for an advertising agency and was also in the middle of studying chemical and biological sciences, which was leading to a degree in Medicine at the University of Zambia. Towards the end of his second year, he made a decision to put his studies on hold to pursue his passion for software development.
What does an average day at BongoHive look like to you? An average day for me at BongoHive usually starts between 8AM and 9AM. I usually spend it doing research online and sharing ideas with friends, i.e, from the time I arrive at BongoHive until about 5 PM. Then from about 7 PM, I write code and work on my projects, usually for about 8 – 10 hours or until I get tired.
How did you find out about BongoHive? I met Lukonga, co-founder of BongoHive, at an ICT-Education workshop in August 2011. He invited me to the Mobile Application Development Training.
What made your final decision to switch career goals? The idea of dropping out of college came to me in December 2010, just before the second semester of my second year. When the semester began, my lecture attendance reduced as I spent most of my time coding instead. The final decision, however, was made when my mum was transferred to Kitwe for work, just before my final exams. I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing much at school and decided it would be better if I moved with my mom to Kitwe so I could focus on my programming at home.
How did the idea to pursue software developing come about? I have always been intrigued by computers and the idea of creating something other people could use. My decision to get into software developing goes back to when I first played a computer game. I was curious as to how the game was made and wanted to make my own games.
What was your biggest challenge when beginning down the path of a software developer with no previous experience? My biggest challenge was doubting myself. I wasted a lot of time wondering about whether or not I was doing things properly, especially since I was self-tutoring and had no mentor.
How many projects have you been involved in during the last 2 years? I have worked on a lot of projects but only 3 have been published.
- Bantu Babel, an African language translation application.
- Fist Drive, a file sharing application for Google Drive and Android that allows two people to share files by simply bumping phones.
- The Zambian Draft Constitution app, an application that allows users to give feedback on the development of Zambia’s Draft Constitution.
What is the most exciting project you’ve worked on so far? The most exciting project I’ve worked on was the Bantu Babel app. Mostly because we had a lot of support and feedback from inception.
What are you looking forward to this year? This year I’m looking forward to learning more, especially about entrepreneurship and founding my first start-up.
What are your plans for the future? My long term plan is to start a social good initiative that will aim to use technology to empower disadvantaged groups, especially the youth. I also plan to go back to school to study Computer Science and learn something new.
I first had access to a PC when I was about 9 or 10 years old. It was love at first sight and I have been playing around with computers ever since.