My Story as a YERH Developer – Jecinta Kazenzi

2 years ago

Project Description

My whole hackathon journey was a learning experience, I learned more from my teammates the webmaster and Alexander, both socially and education wise. For the young and newbie in tech go outside there and let the world see what you have. It’s a learning process and teaching process. So whenever you have a chance to join or participate in any tech event just do it. If I had a chance to redo this am doing it again.

We all have heard hackathons and known how challenging they are and to others are interesting. This is not something someone just walks to it without believing in themselves. You just have to be sure of your skills and be sure of you. Perfect Timing is what I can say when I heard of KCA holding a hackathon because it was the time of my life where I wanted to go outside and show the world the skills I had gained. I did not know how but I knew if I attended the functions on tech and hackathons events without participating in them I knew it would be a step further. Later that week emails were being sent announcing the KCA hackathon. The timing was right. But something funny I never got the email I only saw the documents in WhatsApp groups. My classmates showed me and even told me to take up the challenge. I felt like this was my time and all I wanted was to form a group and do the application process. Did I mention am in a forensic class and all my friends don’t believe that a forensic person can also do software development. Well that was my situation. My friends were like let’s make the group and show them what we can do but the discussion ended from there. It was heart breaking but who am I, I can’t force them to do what they don’t want to do. My inner thoughts began making me believe that it was not my time and more opportunities would come. And it was at the end of semester and I had to focus on making my grades better. I let it go and wished the best for those who wanted to participate in After some days, one of my friends, texted me if I won’t mind in joining their team for the school hackathon. This made me so happy and I said yes obviously. First of all, I never knew the members like in person but what’s the point it’s a learning experience and I got skills and I want to show them what I can do.   I went over the details and instructions on what the website we would be developing over a hundred times. You know that feeling of doing something for the first time and you just want to be perfect with it. My team members were fourth year students and I was a second year going to my third year. This scared me a little but I never turned the opportunity down. My enthusiasm took the better part of me, I felt like we have to organize a meeting with the members and discuss the hackathon in details as we brainstorm on various ideas. Unluckily they kept postponing and I felt like I was overdoing it. Who am I to back down I called the group leader and I explained to him my thoughts on the website. And the feedback he gave me was that I was thinking of the same ideas too. That was disheartening a little but maybe I never gave him a chance to explain himself. We just had to wait for the first meeting with sponsors of the hackathon. I convinced myself that I tried and I did not want my group members to feel like am draining them. The day of the official meeting finally arrived. The meeting started late. In my mind I was asking if I was really meant to be in that place., I had to forget those thoughts and focus with what it is at hand. DR Muchiri, came and kicked off the meeting. He attended the meeting physically while other officials attended it online. He looked strict so he had to do some cleaning in the room. An introduction was done by the team supporting the hackathon and we were taken over; the meaning of Youth Enterprise resource hub. The main agenda of the meeting was to take us through some basic things a website should have. We had a quick game play that made us know everyone’s thoughts about the website. We were taken through the requirements of the website and we were given time for us to discuss them in our groups. After that, clear instructions were given to us that we should be doing our designs in a weeks’ time and come the following Tuesday for presentation. Almost everyone was confused about designing and development. That is when it hit me there is a difference between web design and web development. I was listening to my team debate on the difference between web design and development and this assured me that this was a whole learning process. In my mind I knew there was much of learning for me. Learning never ends new things always come up. We had decided to use figma as our design tool so YouTube played its role. I went and downloaded beginner friendly videos and started making figma my own tool. We had an online meeting where everyone said they thoughts which were put into consideration. After the online meeting we had another physical meeting where we drew the designs we used both paper and digital wireframes. Brian one of my team mate found out another tool which was Mira. It was a good design and we decided to go with it. Its features are like for figma so it wasn’t hard when we began using it. Time flew as our design grew. We wanted to touch each and every part from the guideline we even had to rethink our whole idea as we compared with other sites that had similar content with what we are creating. I also got some tricks on how they handled some issues when doing their projects. It was an interesting experience On the day before the presentation the tool we were using Mira had no feature to export to figma where we could make prototypes unless we went Pro.So we had to re do the design in figma. This was to be done quickly because we already knew what we were doing. At least we learnt from it, before choosing a tool we should have done a proper research on it. This was the lesson learnt. We also had to choose the color patterns themes and also the kind of pictures to add on it. We wanted to do our best. That night we worked overnight and on the final day we had to come to school early just to finalize on things and not to cross paths with DR Muchiri. Presentation began. Teams had some nice work and I would say that all the teams did their best. It was our time of presentation. My heart was skipping a bit but with the organization we had I knew everything is going to be fine. We did our part and watched other teams present. After that we left the room and let the judges decide who had the best designs. After some time, we were called back and the results were said. We actually won. My team was happy and we gave thanks to God. It was the best feeling ever. The media team interviewed us. Actually, it was one of my best first moments being interviewed. We had to be given a webmaster who will take us through implementing the design into an actual website. From all that I figured the gaps that I had in my web development career and decide that I would take some online courses in UI UX design. I never knew it was a thing and it should be considered every time when you want to create a website. That’s when I knew were only laying the foundation and now we build. At times I felt had less knowledge than the others because of the terms they used and how they approached things. It was a learning process both knowledge wise and social wise. The implementation of the website was to be done in one month so as to give my other team mates time to focus on their studies. Well meetings were to be held just to set the pace. In the first meeting we had to get familiar with the tools will be using for the website. We were not hard coding we were using the content management system one in particular WordPress. I had zero experience with this. Another learning journeys. This was the recommended one because of the inbuilt features and templates it came with. Luckily one of my team mates Brian had experience using it so he gave us a tutorial which was helpful and with no time we were pros using WordPress. Our team leader, Kiragu broke down the pages so as everyone could have a particular page to work with. We worked at our pace with the help of Alex and the Webmaster. We had problems of communication but with time we worked on it and the website was coming into something nice We did this for two weeks and almost everything was set up and had to present what we had to DR Muchiri. We had the presentation. Luckily, he liked our work and he advised us on some areas to improve. We had to combine our landing page and home page. For me I learnt that it was an informative website since it was its first version so the homepage has to carry more information. The one month was almost getting over and we had to present the real prototype to the organization. We had to make the website as good as we could. We had reached a point where we couldn’t add any features to it because any other thing needed a pro version. We had ideas but implementing them was kind of difficult luckily the web master came really handy in here. He transformed our website into a new whole thing it looked amazing we loved our work. He was the master and we were the pupils so he used his own ways to get what we want. We had our last meeting which was 7 am and another 6pm just to be ready for presentation. Due to my busy schedule I could only choose one meeting to attend I chose the latter one. The meeting was perfect we familiarize with the website made some corrections and wished for the best feedback. Unluckily we as a team we are not meant to attend so we waited for feedback the next day. The feedback was good as we hoped. The team liked our final output so the media team had to add content to the website and launch it later on. My whole hackathon journey was a learning experience, I learned more from my teammates the webmaster and Alex, both socially and education wise. For the young and newbie in tech go outside there and let the world see what you have. It’s a learning process and teaching process. So whenever you have a chance to join or participate in any tech event just do it. If I had a chance to redo this am doing it again

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