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Saturday, 26 December 2015

Star Google Student Ambassador Award: Best Christmas gift 2015 to Mbarara University Students

To do something that changes a life is something I hope to do each and every day. I am so grateful that I was the Google Student Ambassador to such an awesome University like Mbarara University of Science and Technology. It isn't just the University but the people that make it up that's special.
The Star GSA Award i received
Becoming a friend to the Googley students at the University; learning together with them and flourishing will always be one of the best moments in my life. I am glad that the Institute of Computer Science at the University helped make this a smooth process.
Admiring the accolade

We deserve it dear Mbarara University
Recently I received the Star Google Student Ambassador Award from Google on behalf of the super awesome Googley students at the University in recognition of the remarkable work we did together. Congratulations to you dear friends; The Android Students' Club, the Google AdClass members, the two teams that participated in the Google Online Marketing Challenge as well as all who got involved in all the Google events we had that year 2014/2015 including the Google Summer of Code 2015.
Posing with the award i won
I would like to thank  Mr. Chimdindu AnekeMs.Jeminatu Alabi-Isama and all the Google Student Ambassador Program team; Dr. Anabella Habinka, Dr. Evarist Nabaasa, Mr. Kimera Richard, Mr. Galiwango Martin, Mr. Wasswa William and all the lecturers and staff of The Institute of Computer Science at Mbarara University of Science and Technology; my mother Mrs. Gertrude Kalule; Amanya Ziyal and Ankwasa Bernadine (the GSA Alumni), Phyllis Ntananga and all the GSA Core Team; GDG Mbarara, Ugandan GSAs and all GSAs from Sub-Saharan Africa for making this a reality. I am forever grateful.
Thank You God for this award. Thank you Mbarara
Most importantly thank You God for this Christmas gift to the best students in the whole world; the Google Students @ Mbarara University of Science and Technology. As always, don't forget to...
                                    Do Cool Things That Matter

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Team from Mbarara University emerge Semifinalists in Global Advertising Competition

Mbarara University of Science and Technology should be glad. Uganda must celebrate. A team of six students from the University recently emerged as AdWords Business Semi-Finalist in the Google Online Marketing Challenge 2015.

The Google Online Marketing Challenge is an annual global advertising competition. Here a University team of 3 to 6 students with the guidance of a University lecturer sets out to market a local business online using Google AdWords over a period of 21 days maximum under a budget of 250$, which is provided free by Google.

Google AdWords is the platform that lets businesses show their ads alongside Google search results, on YouTube, inside mobile applications etc. The beauty about it is that businesses only pay once the user clicks on the ad and is then taken to the business' website. 

The team advertised a local business http://masanyu.com/, which sells computer devices and appliances during the competition.
The team shows its' swag at the start of the campaign [12-April-2015]


The competition brought together a total of 1761 teams from the four regions ie 584 from Americas, 199 from Asia & Pacific, 811 from Europe and 106 from Middle East & Africa. 
Of these only 5 teams represented Uganda, 2 being from Mbarara University of Science and Technology. 

The team was ranked as AdWords Business Semi-Finalist which means "they demonstrated very good AdWords proficiency and understanding of online advertising and were among the Top 15 teams in Middle East & Africa." according to the official website; http://www.google.com/onlinechallenge/past/winners-2015.html
In other words, they were among the Top 60 teams in the whole world.

The team comprised of
  1. Noah Aboda (Team captain), Bachelors in Pharmacy 3
  2. Mirembe Vaolah (member), BSc. Computer Engineering 2
  3. Nestor Atukwatse (member), BSc. Computer Engineering 2
  4. Byamukama Boniface (member), Bachelors in Business Administration 3
  5. Katusiime Patricia (member), BSc. Computer Science 2
  6. Kagimu Brian Vicent (member), BSc. Computer Engineering 4

Our team Professor was Dr. Annabella Habinka Ejiri, the Director- Institute of Computer Science.


Am so glad to have been part of this amazing team. We are so grateful for the opportunity to learn digital marketing skills together as one. We hope to apply the acquired knowledge and expertise to help more local businesses meet their customers online.
Noah and Vaolah set up the campaigns




















To the winners of the competition, congratulations.  For more information; go to http://www.google.com/onlinechallenge/past/winners-2015.html

To see the ranking of our team, 
Use the ‘Find’ function in your browser.

Windows users: Press the Control key + F and type 
1615550487
Mac users: Press the Apple key + F and type 1615550487

Next week's article will be an interview with the team members. Stay tuned!

by Kagimu Brian Vicent, Google Student Ambassador (2014/15)

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Android App Presentations @ Mbarara University 2015

It brings me great joy to say that the Android Student Club at Mbarara University of Science and Technology successfully completed the Udacity course and submitted back their projects. They are part of a much bigger team of students around the world who dared to learn Android mobile application development.

They went through 7 intensive weekly sessions based on the Android Fundamentals course on Udacity as well as the Android Developers’ site. They learnt concepts such as Intents and Intent Filters, SQLite Database, Fragments, etc.

The Android Student Club Poses for a Group Snap

The closing ceremony took place on Saturday 20th June 2015 at the Mbarara University campus. We were privileged to have Mr. Bamutura David and Mr. Mugonza Robert, who are both senior lecturers at the University as the chief guests. 
A total of 10 students submitted their applications and demoed them before the entire class, chief guests as well as the two facilitators who also double as lecturers at the University in the Institute of Computer Science.

A lady developer demos her app, CleanDisposal

The facilitators after carefully judging all the applications based on the implementation of key android development concepts chose the best three applications as follows;
  1. MyBeats, an app by Waako Brian that allows one to mix their music files on their phone (DJ).
A Google Online Marketing Challenge 2015 Professor congratulates the MyBeats Developer
2. SmartTransportation, an app by Kalende Rebecca that eases payment for bus transportation by using mobile money instead of hard cash.
The facilitator hands over Google Swag to the SmartTranspotation app Developer
3. ShakeToCall, an application by Gusimba Paul that allows one to dial a number simply by shaking their phone.
    The facilitator hands over Google Swag to the ShakeToCall Developer

    The Club walked away with Google Swag inform of T shirts, Notebooks, Pen kits etc. I am so glad to have been the organizer of the Android Study Club and it wouldn’t have been possible without the facilitators; Mr. Kimera Richard and Mr. Galiwango Martin. Thank you so much. 

    We are equally grateful to the administration of Mbarara University of Science and Technology most especially the Institute of Computer Science under the leadership of Dr. Annabella Habinka Ejiri.
    Most importantly we are also grateful to the Google Students at Mbarara University of Science and Technology as well as the Google Student Ambassador Program

    Hopefully we will continue to “Do Cool Things That Matter”. It was an honor to have served Mbarara University of Science and Technology as the Google Student Ambassador for the year 2014/15. God Bless.

    For a link to more photos from the session; please click Android @ Mbarara University App Presentations or view the YouTube playlist; Android App Demos at Mbarara University 2015 for some of the session videos

    by Kagimu Brian Vicent, Google Student Ambassador 2014/15

    Tuesday, 26 May 2015

    Android Session 7 @ Mbarara University 2015

    Hey Android developers! Hope you're great. My name is Felix Kiiza, a second year student at Mbarara University of Science and Technology pursuing a Bachelors degree in Information Technology. 

    I am passionate about coding especially developing mobile applications. Therefore i am right to call myself a Developer.

    Developers during the session

    Personally i have learnt a lot from all the Android Sessions. It's compelling to be part of the Android Study Group here at campus for instance i have managed to come-up with a Camera App which is encouraging me to build other Apps.  

    On Saturday 23rd  May 2015, we had our 7th weekly meetup in lab 1 at the University where looked at Content Providers; how they work, and examples such as: The API you use retrieve data from a content provider etc     
    Student Developers answering a question
    A Content Provider manages access to a central repository of data. A provider is part of an Android application, which often provides its own User Interface for working with the data. 

     I learnt how to make a Calendar provider, which is a repository for a user's calendar events as well as the Calendar Provider API that allows one to perform query, insert, update, and delete operations on calendars, events, attendees, reminders, and so on.
    Part of the Google Swag during the session

    Finally, a word of encouragement to anyone there, programming is not only for the "geeks". Anybody can code. We can all make it if only we work hard and make research outside what we learn in class sessions. Thank you so much.

    For a link to more photos during the event; go to Android Session 7 @ Mbarara University 2015 while to have a glimpse of how the session was watch either Android Session 7 Video or Android 7 @ Mbarara University of Science and Technology

    +Chimdindu Aneke +Jeminatu Alabi-Isama +Richard Kimera +Kimera Richard +Galiwango Martin

    Monday, 4 May 2015

    Android Session 6 @ Mbarara University 2015

    Hi Developers! My name is Ndibarekera Maureen. I am a final year student at Mbarara University of Science and Technology pursuing a Bachelors degree in Information Technology. 

    Am glad to be part of the Android Students' Club here at campus because it has enabled me as a lady developer to discover alot and acquire new skills such as mobile application development.

    Students work together on code during session

    On the Saturday 2, May 2015, we had yet another Android session where we focused on SQLite Databases and i'm going to share with you what i learnt. 

    SQLite is used to model databases where data is stored. During the session, we were able to insert data into a table and retrieve it afterwards. It was a fun packed lesson yet informative that we deserved before we begin our end of year exams. We'll resume android immediately after exams.


    Maureen and other student developers during the session
    The application that am working on and plan to submit back to Udacity by the end of the training is a "Hair Style Chart" guiding both men and women on how to have a nice looking hair style.

    Finally i would like to take this opportunity to encourage all the ladies out there who think that programming is an activity for only men to believe in themselves. They can do great things if only they are willing to try by writing the first line of code.

    Lady developers @ Mbarara University writing code
    Thank you once again for your time and for a link to more photos; please visit Android Session 6 @ Mbarara University 2015


    Wednesday, 29 April 2015

    Android Session 5 @ Mbarara University 2015

    Greetings dear Android Lovers and Developers,

    My name is Norbert Tumukunde, a software developer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology, currently in my final year of study.

    I am so grateful to be part of the Android Student Club here at the University. It has helped me to learn and improve my programming skills most especially in Android, which is of course the most widely used mobile operating system in the world running smartphones, tablets etc.
    Students during the session


    We have held a number of sessions and the focus for the session on Saturday, 25th April and Tuesday, 28th April 2015 was on Data storage in Android

    We developed an app that could save data on a mobile device's memory. The app allows the user to enter content ie text, which is stored once the user decides so and is retrieved at their time of choice. 


    The code for the Android Application that enables the user to save and retrieve their input

     It is of importance to store data in static files on Android because memory content of small magnitude can easily be stored on the memory card of the phone.

    I am so privileged to learn Android because of it's relevance due to it's wide market share. I have been introduced to Google Play and i hope to start uploading applications soon. 
    I, Norbert, during the session


    The application i'm working on is a "Diabetes Patients' helper" guiding a patient on diet and exercises to do basing on their Diabetes' levels. 

    Thank you once again. For a link to more session pics, please visit: Android Session 5 @ Mbarara University 2015 

    +Chimdindu Aneke +Jeminatu Alabi-Isama +Udacity +Android Developers +Google Students +Android +Richard Kimera +Kimera Richard +Galiwango Martin +Norbert Tumukunde +Brian Kagimu +Ankwasa Bernadine +Ziyal Amanya +Ziyal Amanya 

    Norbert Tumukunde,
    Android Students' Club member

    Monday, 20 April 2015

    Android Session 4 @ Mbarara University 2015


    Hi Developers! My name is Lynet Ampiire, a second year student at Mbarara University of Science and Technology pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering.

    Participating in this Android training has given me an opportunity to enhance my programming skills especially learning how apps are developed.
    Student explains concept during class

    On Saturday, 18, April, 2015 we had our fourth study session where i was able to acquire more experience. The focus was on Shared Preferences and I'm going to share with you what I learnt.

    I, Lynet and my groupmate explain our assignment app to class


    • Shared preferences enable a developer to store and retrieve information. This works for simple information such as user names and passwords. 
    • SQLite is preferred when dealing with complex information.

    Additionally a couple of methods come in handy when dealing with Shared Preferences which include;
    Android Class during session


    • getSharedPreferences() method which retrieves information stored and is applied in multiple application components.
    • getPreferences() method does the same thing as the getSharedPreferences() method only that it is applied in a single application.

    We also looked at the Editor class that has a name that can be used to invoke or reference other methods such as edit () method, put (), and get () method.

    Finally, I take this opportunity to thank Google in partnership with Udacity for enriching us with this great knowledge.  I look forward to applying these concepts in the application i intend to develop by the end of the training. 

    I would like develop a digital diary app. I just can’t wait till it's done…....Cheers!

    For a link to more session photos; click Android Session 4


    +Chimdindu Aneke +Jeminatu Alabi-Isama +Richard Kimera +Kimera Richard +Galiwango Martin +Brian Kagimu

    Thursday, 16 April 2015

    Android Session 3 @ Mbarara University 2015

    Hello programmers! Have you heard of the Android revolution at Mbarara University? The study sessions are getting more exciting, fun and engaging for the Android Team @Must with each passing day.
    Android Students have fun after the session
    Googlers @Must have formed teams to specialize in different concepts as they learn how to develop Android Applications.
    Programmers are developing apps based on specific topics and they get to present to the rest of the Study team during the sessions, get advice from the facilitators and explain to the rest better. It's efficient, effective and more exciting since each one of us has to be the best at what they specialize in. 
    A student explains layouts in Android
    Developers are acquiring public speech skills, team work, learning how to use GitHub and Doing cool things that matter. Three teams got a chance to present in this session and guys did amazing work each taking home nice Google swag.
    A lucky student admires his Android T shirt
    If you have a dream of making a great impact in the world, then this is an opportunity you can't afford to miss.
    Don't miss the next session on 16th April 2015 its going to be [bloody] as the rest of the teams present and we learn from them. Hope you have already gotten a project to work on.
    Have fun. For a link to more photos about the session; go to the link Android Session 3. Thank you.
    Android Student @ Mbarara University and GSA Core Team Member

    Wednesday, 8 April 2015

    Android Session 2 @ Mbarara University 2015



    Hey Googlers. My Name is Blessing Davis. I am a student at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in my second year of study pursuing a Bachelor's degree of Science in Computer Engineering.
    The facilitator explaining a key concept

    I am privileged to be part of the Android Study Class at the University. It gives me the opportunity to meet and interact with fellow programmers with whom we share a common goal.

    The second session, on the 4th of April 2015 was a pure hands on session with code. I have to admit it seemed a bit abstract due to the introduction of new concepts like Intents as well as Fragments.
    Students getting their hands dirty in code


    However, i learnt how to create a Blank Activity, call different Activities to execute etc.I will just keep getting better with time and dedication.

    I hope to develop my very own Android application and improve my mobile development skills in general by the time the training ends.
    Time for refreshments bro


    Wednesday, 1 April 2015

    Launch of Android Sessions @ Mbarara University 2015

    Whooohooo!!!!! Wondering what the excitement is all about? I'll tell you in a moment. Nothing feels more thrilling than not just being on the right track but moving towards your target destination as well.

    I've always dreamed of developing an application to run on my smartphone or a friend's. However i didn't know how to begin the journey ie where to start.

    Are you ready for the next session?YESSSS!!!!!
    Thanks to the Google Student Ambassador Program at the University led by the current GSA, Kagimu Brian and the team he works with, our dreams are about to come true. This however calls for hard work and commitment on our side.

    The Android Study Club was launched at the University on Saturday, 28, March, 2015 with our lovely facilitators, Richard Kimera and Martin Galiwango. The class was fun packed with alot to learn as well. I could feel it in the air, "The start of a good cause". At the end, our minds were reading "Android Mode Activated".

    attending to the facilitators...
    During the session, we were able to set up the Android Studio and run the Hello World application. We also began the Video course termed "Developing Android Apps - Android Fundamentals"

    By the end of the day, we all walked out with the mind of a mobile developer. Nothing can cause that except Android.

    I and my friends can't wait for the next session. Thanks to the GSA and his team for the wonderful work. Some session pics are below;




    Mr.Richard explaining to us some concepts

    Students in action on their computers and laptops others upfront consulting

    Photo-time...anytime after the event is photo time you don't wanna miss out

    Don't miss out the smiles....they mean everything went well Ben and Mr. Richard


    Rock on!!!


    For a link to more event photos, go to the link; Android Study Group Launch

    As always, we will "Do Cool Things That Matter".  #androidmust +Chimdindu Aneke +Jeminatu Alabi-Isama +Kimera Richard +Kimera Richard +Galiwango Martin +Brian Kagimu +Benjamin Otim

    Monday, 23 March 2015

    GSoC 2015 Meetup @ Mbarara University

    The Google Summer of Code is an opportunity for technical students to learn the best practices of software development by engaging in open source software development.
    On the 26th of February 2015 from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm, we had a meet up at Mbarara University of Science and Technology to raise awareness about the program and encourage students to participate.
    A total of about 72 students attended the event.
    Students listening attentively during the event
    Three students who're part of the Google Student Ambassador team facilitated. Phyllis Ntananga talked about the program, its' benefits and the experience to be gained.
    Patricia Katusiime encouraged the students to join the GSoKites Virtual Classroom (GVC) in order to be effectively prepared to apply for the competition once application opens on March 16 2015.
    Kagimu Brian talked about Git, a distributed version control system as well as GitHub, a site for code collaboration.

    Phillys explains the GSoC program
    Students got excited and it ended in challenging the dance-shy GSA to pull off a few strokes.
    This year, our students are more likely to be successful in the program than before.

    We are grateful to the University administration for provision of the facilities, the student community for their participation in the events as well as Google for enabling the Google Student Ambassador Team to Do Cool Things That Matter.

    Selfie of the event

    Students interacting during the event


    For a link to more photos; click Google Summer of Code 2015 Awareness
     +Chimdindu Aneke +Jeminatu Alabi-Isama 


    +Karani bob kennedys +agnes katusiime +Ntananga Phyllis +Patricia katusiime +Brian Kagimu 

    Tuesday, 3 March 2015

    Google AdClass Session 4

    On the 2nd of March 2015, we had our fourth session of the Google AdClass here at Mbarara University of Science  and Technology.

    We met as a small group at the Balcony of the Development Studies Block at 4:30pm. Some of our members could not make it due to ongoing lectures and other engagements.

    Our main aim of meeting yesterday was to practically create an advertising campaign using Google AdWords. The Procedure is as easy as follows;

    1. Go to the Google AdWords site
    2. Login or signup or simply create a new Google account
    3. Create a new campaign
    4. Make it as descriptive as possible for your business
    5. Create an Ad Group and create ads in it
    We did create a sample campaign about a Boutique and created different Ad Groups about Fancy Tops, Ladies' shoes. 

    We used the Google AdWords: Keyword Planner to help us on a few suggestions on keywords (words or phrases that trigger your ad to show).

    We also formed two groups to participate in the Google Online Marketing Challenge. We have briefed them and i know this morning they will talk to the professors to sign them up. They are also going to talk to some local business to get their approval in order to advertise them.

    I just can't wait to see what will come out of the current AdClass at Mbarara University of Science and Technology. Only God can tell. As of now i am hoping for great results.

    As always here at Mbarara, we will continue to "Do Cool Things That Matter"

    Wednesday, 25 February 2015

    Google AdClass Session 3


    On the 25, February 2015, Wednesday evening, we had our third AdClass session. I am personally grateful to all the students who showed up. They inspire me.


    The event yesterday ended on time, just about 5 minutes after the ending time because we kicked off a little bit late.

    The challenge of poor Internet connection got to us again. We were however able to cover how to structure one's account for success. We looked at why it is important to have ads as specific as possible because it helps the business to offer ads that are relevant to the user.



    We looked at a few examples of bad ads (that are too general) as well as good ads (that are as specific as possible).

    We also looked at the structure of your AdWords account and broke it down it into its' components ie the account, campaign, ad group as well as the different ads and their keywords.

    By the end of the class, students were able to know how to structure their account for success as well the strategies that help to ensure success.


    We also gave them information on why improving the ad quality as much as possible is the ultimate winning goal of any advertiser.

    Of course this can be improved by ensuring you have a good landing page that your potential customers arrive on after clicking on your ad as well as ensuring that you create relevant ads that are as specific as possible targeting your potential customers.

    We will have our fourth session on Monday 2 March 2015 hopefully in S210, Science Block, Mbarara University of Science and Technology. Incase of changes in location due to Internet connectivity, we will shift to the Development studies block and we will make sure everyone is informed.


    Hopefully we will continue to "Do Cool Things That Matter" here at Mbarara University of Science and Technology.


    Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. - Harry Ford




    Google AdClass Session 2

    We had our second Google AdClass session here in Mbarara on Tuesday 24 February 2015. The location was Room S103, Science Block from 5:00 pm to 5:45 pm.

    The turn up was about 15 students. The remainder seems to have been caught up in ongoing lectures as well as other engagements. We covered how to setup a new campaign on Google AdWords.

    Our main challenge however still was the limited Internet connectivity that denied us access to the Google AdWords site. We however were able to cover all this in the session.
    Google AdClass Session 2

    We did have to review the previous session in order to better understand the second. Our next session is on today from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm in room S210, Science Block.

    I have great hope in the current Google AdClass at Mbarara University of Science. These are some of the most brilliant students i have met. They do have the ability and potential to make it in life. They can achieve good results in the 2015 Google Online Marketing Challenge.

    During the session


    Only time will tell. We will still continue to "Do Cool Things That Matter" here at Mbarara University of Science and Technology

    Tuesday, 24 February 2015

    Google AdClass Session 1


    It marks the dawn of a new era at the University here in Western Uganda. We are busy preparing the next marketers to send a shock wave throughout the world. We are preparing them for the prestigious Google Online Marketing Challenge.

    We will be killing two birds with one stone; we will be getting more local businesses online as well learning how marketing is done using the most widely used search engine in the world.

    We are kicking off a marathon of training sessions this week. We had a session on Monday 23 February 2015 from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm (ideal) Ugandan Time. However, we actually finished some minutes later. We hope to improve on this with time. The students were on time ready to learn. I was impressed by their zeal and desire to learn.

    We learnt about an introduction to online marketing. We got to talk about the history of the World Wide Web, online adverts, why advertise on Google and the benefits of Online Marketing compared to the traditional forms of advertising.

    Our next session is this Tuesday February 24 2015 from 4:30pm to 5:30pm in Room S103, Science Block at Mbarara University of Science and Technology. Nobody can stop us now. We are destined for greatness. So help us God.
    #mbrAdclass15 #adclass #gomc #gomc15 #docoolthingsthatmatter

    Saturday, 14 February 2015

    Why the fuss about Open Source software?

    According to the Open Source Initiative, Open source software is software that can be freely used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone. Open source software is made by many people, and distributed under licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition.

    So why should you care? Have you ever realised how much you would have to spend if you were to buy all the software that you use daily. For instance the browser or the editor or the player. It just wouldn't make sense. Right?

    Have you realised people put up their best show on the big day when all eyes are watching. When they're alone, that's when their true character is revealed. The same goes for software, let it out (make the source code making it up) available so we can know if it's what it claims it is.

    Let millions of developers around the world take a look at the code and improve it. Don't leave in the hands of a few. Take a look at it and change it for the better.



    We all love using the Internet....right? Imagine the technology behind it was proprietary software or closed source. I am talking about the Linux operating system or the Apache Web Server. The world would definitely not be this cool.

    Let us allow our students all over the world become better by embracing open source software. It enables them to see how it is all built and learn a thing or two. This is what am talking about. Open source software.

    If you are a student, wherever you are and are interested in coding, This is your chance, participate in the Google Summer of Code 2015. If you're in Sub-Saharan Africa ie Mbarara University of Science and Technology, join the GSoKites Virtual Classroom (GVC) on Google+ to know more.

    Don't forget to do cool things that matter
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