To truly understand Yusuf Mugagga’s passion for his new profession, we have to roll back the years to the time he was a campus student who was not sure which career path he would take.
“I was always in love with tech, and I even considered doing law, but for some reason I enrolled for a Bachelors in Development Studies at Makerere University. The course was not what I had expected and for the next 3 years I was really sad about the choice I made because I didn’t feel like I belonged there”, the 25 year-old software developer said.
Around October 2019, Yusuf rekindled his desire for tech and started teaching himself coding, but he soon found out that it was not as easy as he’d expected. “I was learning from the internet and each source was giving me a different perspective on how best I could learn so it was very confusing. In my efforts to learn so many things, I learned nothing”, he said. “It’s one thing to know how to use Microsoft Office and other aspects of basic computing, but programming is a whole other thing”.
His turning point came later that year when a friend encouraged him to join Refactory, a tech hub located in Muyenga. “I joined Refactory in January 2020 and I was immediately given a new lease on life. Not only did I learn web design and development, but they gave me a chance to reflect on my life, the mistakes I made and gave me the courage to turn my life around for the better”, Yusuf recalls.
He has since graduated from Refactory and is currently working on a number of projects, but he says he’s most passionate about a project named CritiCare, a real-time patient monitoring application catering to patients in intensive care. Yusuf also says has a tech startup that he and a few of his friends are slated to start soon called Carrot Code, adding that he intends to provide employment to more developers and develop apps in the long term.
However, it’s not all rosy for Yusuf as he’s facing a few challenges. “Since I’m new to the profession, I tend to experience exploitation from clients who offer money that’s way lower than the work I’m expected to do. Also, keeping up with technological advancements is difficult since trends change regularly, and the learning curve is pretty steep.”
He encourages the youth who are at a career crossroads to take more risks in life and to resist the fear of failure. “You have to fail to get perfect. Never fear to fail, you’ll eventually get there”, he asserts.
Never fear failure. That should be a mantra for every hustler to live by.