JoomlaDay Kenya Brings Exciting Times.

9F64E55D-6561-4102-A489-6B0807FCC165

JoomlaDay Kenya was held yesterday. The location of this event was ihub one of the best African support system for ICT focused tech entrepreneurs and individuals who aspire to create great companies that tackle some of our biggest challenges. iHub were amongst the sponsors for this event and they have been JoomlaDay partners for four years now.

The other sponsors were Open Source Matters, a non profit organization that provides financial, legal and organizational support for the Joomla! project. Open Source Matters (OSM) is a not-for-profit organisation, incorporated in the United States, created to serve the financial and legal interests of the Joomla project. OSM has been designed to be flexible and change as the needs of Joomla! expand.

At all times, OSM is fashioned to suit the needs of the Joomla project. OSM will also engage in regular self-assessment to ensure it is accountable to Joomla!, acting in Joomla!’s interest and ensuring that it is the right shape and size to support Joomla!.

CMS Africa an organization that supports and evangelizes the use of open source softwares also a JoomlaDay partner for a long time. CMS Africa also organizes the CMS Africa summit now on its 5th year. This years summit was held in Abuja Nigeria and we are looking forward to our next summit which will be held in Kigali Rwanda in March 2018.

Joomla Monster came too with amazing templet sponsorship. This is the second year they are supporting our JoomlaDay event. Joomla Monsters have good templates, Extensions and Themes that you can use with Joomla.

SasaHost a leading web host was coming in for the second year. SasaHost provide reliable and secure web hosting and dedicated servers. They are also 2015 award winning in customer support.

This was a full day of learning, interaction and networking and for those attentive enough they managed to go home with some of the goodies from our sponsors. I started the day with an introduction to Joomla, who is Joomla. Shedy Serem coming in with Joomla 4, what to expect before breaking of for a healthy break by TranquilFoods. Joan of Sasahost talked about using Joomla as an eCommerce platform followed by Oduor Jagero’s creating for the user.

TranquilFoods also came in with a delicious lunch, Hungarian chicken, Rice, assorted stir fried vegetable and some gravy. The food was amazing. our afternoon session saw us learn about HikaShop and later accepting Mobile payments online by Patrick Mutwiri. We ended with a question and answers session and giveaways.

We want to thank our sponsors, Open Source Matters, iHub for the amazing space, CMS Africa for the support in expertise in organizing this event, SasaHost and Joomla Monsters our giveaway sponsors and for SasaHost who sent a speaker for this event.

One of our challenges this year was that this being an election year, JoomlaDay Ke was not organized as always scheduled. It has been really difficult, but we are happy that we were able to accomplish the mission.

Our next JoomlaDay event will be in September of 2018, the date will be communicated. We invite you to visit our facebook page and we will soon be posting the pictures and we hope to interact with you. See you then.

 

#jdayke17

 

Advertisements

Being in the history of currency.

Greetings from Rome. Rome, Italy’s capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins such as the Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, has St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes.

It has taken me to come to Rome to learn about two currencies I knew nothing about. The Lira and US 2 dollar bill note. The lira was introduced in Europe by Charlemagne (c. 742–814), who based it on the pound (Latin: libra) of silver. No lira coins were struck during the Middle Ages, and the lira remained strictly a money of account.

By the 16th century several of the Italian states actually struck lira coins, but they varied considerably in weight. One of the states that used the lira was the kingdom of Sardinia, and this monetary unit was adopted in all of Italy when it became unified under Sardinian leadership.

In the United States, the story of the $2 bill starts in 1862, when the federal government printed its first nationalized paper bills, Bennardo says. The $2 bill was in that first printing, along with the $1 bill, but it took a while for paper money to catch on.

That’s because a lot of folks made less than $15 a month before the turn of the century. Inflation slowly brought the value of paper money down, but then the Great Depression hit. “This was a time when our country did not have much wealth, and a lot of things cost less than a dollar,” Bennardo says. “So the $2 bill really didn’t have much of a practical use.”

The economy recovered, but the $2 bill eventually found itself in a strange price point. It became the the perfect note for some rather nefarious purposes. “Politicians used to be known for bribing people for votes, and they would give them a $2 bill, so if you had one it meant that perhaps you’d been bribed by a politician,” Bennardo says. “Prostitution back in the day was $2 for a trick, so if you were spending $2 bills it might get you into trouble with your wife. $2 is the standard bet at a race track, so if you were betting $2 and you won, you might get a bunch of $2 bills back and that would show that you were gambling.”

My friend after giving me to note for the two dollar bill told me how rare the note is, that there are some US citizens who have never seen the bill and on many occasions calls have been made to the police, when making payments with the bills with the assumption that its a fake note. The Lira on the other hand has gone to its grave. Here in Rome, while I was on my morning run, I encountered two pieces on Lira notes.

Here in Italy, it’s not easy finding this notes and today was a lucky day for me because I get to see one. As a collector, this has revealed a lot about the Italian History. I am on my Roman holiday.

When in Rome, do what the Romans do.

Visa Duties…The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

schengen visa

Visa application is always a challenging process. I have never meet anyone, either a frequent or a first time traveller, who has gotten used to this tedious process. But there are countries that one doesn’t have to go through all this, but unfortunately they are few, so we can’t avoid it, and if you are doing business globally, touring or visiting family this, is a cake you must bake.

The most important thing to prepare for this day is to have a lot of luck. I have seen people who had their Paperwork right and still missed the visa. If you come from countries such as Kenya, having a stable job helps a lot. The trouble is that most people who would go through the visa process and still defile the same laws are people in stable employment.

When you are in business, depending on what kind you are doing. Sometimes you are ahead and sometimes you are behind. But my argument has always been that their is no way you will know the person who will want to defile the immigration law and the one who will not buy only looking at their faces. I agree that the information has to be accurate, but yes, if the person you are looking at has been travelling and never broken any immigration laws, then his passport should help you make a decision amongst other requirements.

We all agree that there are countries taking their fair share of their shit, be it economically, politically and socially. The life span difference between the African countries and western countries is like how far east from west. Kenya for example has a very challenging political environment and especially at this time.  And the same time I was planning my travel and if you looked at the situation at present, it will be very easy for you to overlook the big picture if you are the one with the authority to issue a visa.

So when I went for the visa, i realized that the Italian embassy has different requirements than other Schengen countries. They require you to have a eight days international insurance after you land back home. They need six months of bank statement and copy of identification of the person inviting you. After a lot of shuttling to meet the requirements, and fifteenth day of waiting, my visa was granted. Breathing a sigh of relief I walked to the bureau that processed my visa and pick my passport with my visa.

My itinerary had a ten hours layover in Abu Dhabi, something that needed a visa for me to be able to transit through Abu Dhabi International. So I went to the website where Etihad recommends for their passengers seeking visas. With all the documentations scanned, I filled in the online forms attaching my documents amongst them my bio page, Ticket that is confirmed, my hotel booking in Abu Dhabi and my earlier visa when I travelled to the United Arabs Emirates for business, my current schengen visa that I was travelling on.

I later received a message from the organisation that is tasked to processing the visas. The gentleman said that he is sure my visa request will be negative, and the reason is that because I am Kenyan and most Kenyan passport holders have been denied the visas to transit through Abu Dhabi. The weird thing you are thinking is that why would someone want you to pay him for flying in his place and deny you a place to rest your head. I took the chances and allowed the gentleman to go ahead with my application knowing very well that if it comes out negative, I would lose my visa fees.

It was a few hours, maybe two or three, after I had given a confirmation that I received an email from the same gentleman that my request had been denied. Yes, I also wondered how. For the rest of the day I nursed my devastated heart, went to bed feeling sad and lived to make new plans. As I said, I have never meet anyone who has this process covered for themselves. Maybe my circle is not of influence, but still my statements stands.

If you are a traveller, and you go through this every time, this is something that many travellers have to go through. The bureaucracy that many countries have put between countries and citizens to restrict movement. And this kind of stuff, affect many people who would wish to travel either for business or pleasure. The people enforcing them sometimes don’t do them well.

For me, I pray not to break any countries immigration laws, to respect my host, to be at my best behaviour while am being hosted in a foreign land. This is the right thing to do, and the wise thing if you intend to continue travelling……just like me.

Wherever your travel my take you, I hope it’s fun and profitable.

 

Speaking at Joomla World Conference in Rome, Italy.

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 15.17.29

I always thought there is a procedure to speak in a world event. I always thought that to position to speak was very reserved, to the big people. ana for many years I felt like I should learn from them, those who knew sometimes what I knew and sometimes what I didnt know. This has led me to study something about Public speaking, with the desire to discover if my knowledge can impact society.

Public speaking involves talking in front of a group of people, usually with some preparation. It can be in front of people that you know (e.g. at a family celebration) or a crowd of strangers. Unlike a presentation there normally isn’t a lot of opportunity for interaction between the audience and the speaker – the speaker speaks, and the audience (hopefully) listens.

Speeches have different functions. These include being persuasive (e.g. trying to convince the audience to vote for you), informative (e.g. speaking about the dangers of climate change), entertaining (e.g. a best man’s speech at a wedding) or celebratory (e.g. to introduce the winner of an award). Some speeches may have more than one of these aims.

Joomla has promoted public speaking though Joomla Day events and two of their Joomla world Events. Most people, at some point in their life, will need to stand up and speak in front of a group of people. Teaching students the necessary skills for doing this will therefore help them to do this more successfully.

As a result of the practice, students often report an increase in general confidence as well as a marked sense of achievement. Many students get incredibly nervous the first time they have to do a speech in front of their classmates but with practice the nerves subside and they usually begin to enjoy the whole process.

Working on public speaking also helps to develop students’ overall fluency and requires them to consider how they speak as well as what they say. This is useful for speaking in any situation, public or otherwise. Learning about public speaking takes you through many topics; the presentation or subject you want to speak about. How to introduce yourself, body language, your standing posture, gestures and eye contact.

You want your speech to flow like a river, and that won’t happen if you don’t take time to prepare for it. That’s not an easy goal but it can be done. Begin by setting aside time to assemble your piece. Move on by jotting down points you want to get across to your audience. Then arrange them logically, so they flow naturally from one to the next.

After this you can mix in something more to hold your audience’s attention: stories, illustrations, and props, like images, and videos in your slideshow. You likely dread public speaking because you’re not sure what to tackle in your speech, and how to deliver it. By taking notes you make way for your talk to crystallize in your head. Strengthen your speech by doing your due diligence and researching your topic. Being an expert in your topic will help you to flow with it, doing research.

What kind of a speaker are you? To be more effective, you have to identify your style. Get in touch with your strengths and weaknesses as a speaker and zero in on what you do best. Do you have a great sense of humor? Or are you a good storyteller? Perhaps you’re someone who teaches well; someone who can break down concepts and explain complex ideas into simple facts.

After a thorough analysis, pick your kind and focus on delivering your talk with your own style and in this way, you can shine like a star. Don’t alter yourself because you think one style is better than another, or try to be somebody you’re not. For me, maybe I am there, maybe am headed there. I am working on my presentation and I hope when its done, it will be perfect for the people I will be delivering it to.

See you at the Joomla World Conference in Rome Italy.

A chilly Joomla! Day in Arusha.

WhatsApp Image 2017-07-06 at 12.02.08

Welcome to Arusha, the town so calm, so beautiful, so welcoming. You should come here, if you can afford it. Endless queues of tourist are arriving here in their numbers….you wonder why, but when you are here, everything makes sense, makes peace. Driving in Arusha I can see how a large, sprawling city with all of the contradictions that brings, it is, the best place to be. The traffic police standing on the street in their white uniform, very white my friend asked how they wash it, they keep it white, just like new.

On the one hand, Arusha offers a nice break from the rigours of life on the African road – it has excellent places to stay and eat and, for the most part, it is lush, green and enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year, thanks to its altitude (about 1300m) and location near the foot of Mt Meru which by the way, I can see from the comfort of my living room. I should brag, but I won’t. Resting on the foot of the hill, cool weather and a sight to behold. Waters flow freely from the hills, in many directions, if not all. You will not get enough of banana plantations and you will not miss them on your dinner table. You are in the land of it.

Starting point for many safaris and cultural tours, it’s a place where everything happens. Roasted free range chicken with roasted bananas and potatoes, from Kenny’s place…..right on the open street, to Hawaian pizza at George’s Tavern. Everything is great. And worth the fight.

Which brings us to Arusha’s alter ego. As the safari capital of northern Tanzania, Arusha is where you’re most likely to encounter touts offering safaris, souvenirs and all manner of deals, some genuine, many of them not. Their main haunts are the bus stations and along Boma Rd. What brings me to Arusha? That which has taken me everywhere, Joomla love. We travel, eat good food, meet friends and get lost in Joomla. A family of open software enthusiasts, techies, who bring people together, share ideas, share visions, and help run each other’s mission. I mean those guys……I am one of them.

Enjoying great conversation, maybe networking, a lot of that, sharing great food, made so amazing with much of the East African love. So I must say, my arrival, at 2pm was wonderful. The sun was up and there was a taste of life in everything, including the things not edible.

Then I fell asleep at midnight only to wake up 30 minutes late for breakfast…….to a heavy drizzling morning, not pouring, just heavy drizzling. Here, there is a difference. That meant I was one hour late for everything, including my presentation which was starting 9am. So when we pulled over at a gas station to buy fuel, we got a call, and the shame attacked me like a bitter woman. That kind of shame that will follow me all the way to when I arrive at JR Institute of Technology, and there I could see everyone sitting in humility waiting……….not for someone important but me, this guys who could not keep  time. So then, I pretended nothing was wrong and even that was more shameful, it was cold and I was struggling to keep me alive.

Then there was my introduction, and before I went further, I was interrupted, by the teacher. He urged me to keep it in Swahili…….my presentation. That my students are a little handicapped when it comes to English he said. What he did not understand is that even if you are really good in both languages, its difficult to make a presentation in Swahili when you did it in English. But I had to brave myself, picking all the words I could remember……because the word Joomla! itself is Swahili……Mradi wa Joomla! to mean my Joomla project. But then it all went well for all my two presentation.

While in the car with Gloria, after the event she mentioned to me, that the students were very happy and I asked her why she thinks so, she said that if  Tanzanians are happy, you can see it on their faces. I wouldn’t have known that. Back at our Airbnb Pamela the lady in charge of the house took us to the market to get some fish for our dinner project. At the table was also Karin, who is visiting here from China though she is originally German. She lives and works in China together with her husband and they are trying to start a business here in Arusha, she has been here many times.

She narrated to us how she drove from Cape Town, where they had bought their Toyota Landcruiser to Arusha, something I have always wanted to do. The car sits at the parking when she is not doing her safari’s and when I went to check it out, I admired the big wheels on it and the inside fitted with a refrigerator. Before we left Arusha, I had made good friends, and helped to create Joomla User Group Arusha, managing one of my desire for this trip. I have not yet gotten anybody willing to volunteer for Joomla! but am still hopeful.

Joomla! on Community leadership.

IMG_4857

The Jand Beyond conference has always been a special event. Like a family event and this years was not an exception. We gathered at the Pre-Party Event organized by dashboard at Wazze Krafta on 10 Dolnych Mlynow, a place full of creativity. Walk a few blocks down and you find Perfect Dashboard. My friend Djamel, who heads the Joomla User Group calls this place “the Incubation Startups of bars” As a creative, this was the perfect place to start the three day event. The #Jab17 was an opportunity for several of our newly-elected members of OSM’s leadership to meet with the Joomlas who were attending the conference in Krakow, Poland, for a drink a chat and brainstorming.

Poland and most importantly Krakow, once the city were the King sat,  was a great choice for this event at we discovered from the welcome we received from the Joomla community in Poland. The city hosts many historical buildings including St Mary’s Church, Cloth Wall and town hall tower sitting in the middle of the square. Robert, the President of JandBeyong has always done a great job organizing this event together with the newly elected team who were at forefront to make sure that the event was on point. Alexander, the Vice President of OSM was very involved, together with his company Perfect Dashboard who were also the sponsors, we had Mike “Demo” Demopolous, OSM’s Treasurer; Yves Hoppe, Department Coordinator for Programs; Rowan Hoskyns-Abrahall, Department Coordinator for Events; and Robert Jacobi the President.

Since this group was recently elected, it also presented valuable time in the evening and following the conference to get to know each other and discuss the important priorities for their departments. Different meeting were taking place in different rooms. Joomla is powered by a team of volunteers from all over the world, dedicated people who put a few hours a day to create a product that will help people at the end of the other side of their computers. Events like this bring fun and renewed strength to the people behind Joomla! and the community. The community representation was in different ways, jRunning on Saturday and Sunday, the beer evenings at the lobby of Best Western, the “going for a smoke” team at the entrance of Novotel and the “late night crew” who went to bed at 2am and woke up at 6am for breakfast.

The main take-aways from this event included ideas for maintaining the health of communities formed of contributors that put in just a couple hours a week.   The topics attracting the most attention when i  comes to creating a vibrant community included:

  • how to “onboard” our newest contributors to make sure their first attempts to contribute to documentation or user support are a success and that first attempts to submit a Pull Request to improve the software are properly mentored and result in a successful and positive experience;
  • how to communicate effectively to a diverse community that is spread across continents, time zones and languages;
  • how to prevent burn-out of volunteers that have moved into critical leadership roles, especially release managers;
  • how to create a culture that teachs new contributors the “right way” to contribute in a way that does not embarass or discourage them; and
  • how to build succession into the responsibilities of each leader so that fresh enthusiastic faces can rise quickly in an organization and not be discouraged by long-term leaders that have lost some of their energy.

Joomla is always in  need of volunteers, hance a “call to volunteer” you can always make a difference. Joomla is now represented by 370,000+ lines of code, made by 780+ contributors. It is used by 6.9% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 3.3% of all website, with 82,000,000+ downloads from joomla.org since February 2017. It is also home to 7,888 extensions, and translated in 68 languages.

As any ecosystem – Joomla’s ecosystem is fragile and needs to be nurtured to sustain and grow. Through joomla.org you can volunteer and for more about certification programme, certification.joomla.org. Joomla community will be heading to Rome Italy in November for the Joomla World Conference dubbed “The Italian Bridge” I haven’t seen the movie, but I hear Italy is a home of bridges.

 

JoomlaDay Kenya 2016, a great success.

img_1042

Greetings from The Joomla! Community in Kenya. The fourth annual JoomlaDay Kenya hosted by the Joomla Community in collaboration with CMSAfrica was hosted by Strathmore University. @iLabAfrica is a Centre of Excel­lence in ICT innov­a­tion and Devel­op­ment based at Strath­more Uni­ver­sity. It was estab­lished to address the Mil­len­nium Devel­op­ment Goals(MDGs) and to con­trib­ute toward Kenya’s Vis­ion 2030. The research cen­ter is involved in inter­dis­cip­lin­ary research, stu­dents engage­ment, col­lab­or­a­tion with gov­ern­ment, industry and other fund­ing agen­cies.
Since the first in 2012, this conference has rapidly developed into an important forum where Joomla! ethosiasts can meet, have interactions and network with each other; where mattendees can cooparate and learn from tech exparts about the latest processes in technologies to deliever an even more efficient business. In today’s digital world, we download and upload tons of information from and to the internet. We visit millions of websites in our internet lifetime and sometimes, we even want to make one of our own. However, this could prove to be costly and you may not know how to go about it by yourself. This is where an immensely useful product called Joomla! comes into the picture. Put in simple terms, Joomla! is a software for making and updating a website in an easy way.

img_0888
The best part about Joomla! is that it requires no prior programming knowledge. This means that anyone can creat and develop a website in easiest possible manner. This is the massage we have tried to spread in all our Joomla! Events throughout East Africa. We have managed to bring enlightment on what joomla! can do and how the community work something that very few people know about. Among the topics where Joomla! 101, by Shadrack Serem, taking us through the Joomla!3.6 including the latest and greatest features from the developers supporting Joomla!, Creating a joomla component in 30 minutes, this was a practical talk which tusked the attendees to participate, learn and show their results, with two keynotes, Payments in Joomla! and Intergrating voice call API to Joomla!

We take this opportunity to thank our speakers who took their time to participate in this event and share their great knowledge to better others. Its a great sacrifice to make but for the community, it goes along way. In the same spirit, to our sponsors, the people who made this day a success, our host Open Source Matters, @iLabAfrica, CmsAfrica, Netrixs Business systems, NorrNext, Akeeba, Web357 and DJ-Extentions and Joomla Monsters. Your support has always gone a long way and we value your partinerships and hope that they will continue to grow and flourish. Joomla! Day may have ended, but the community is still active, look up for our meet-up, with our upcoming Joomla User Group coming in the early 2017. Its also important to announce that the 2017 CMS AFRICA SUMMIT will be held in Abuja Nigeria. for bookings please visit summit.cmsafrica.org. So see you in Abuja, Nigeria in 2017.

#jdayke16

@susumunyu

joomladay.or.ke