Rapidly changing social and business environments create a need for software development methodologies to be adaptable and produce high quality software in a very short time. This means that developers need to be thoroughly trained not only in technology but also in project management techniques. Some of the project management techniques used in modern software development, such as Agile methodologies and Scrum, can only be learned by hands-on experience. Opportunities for many software developers in Kenya to gain skills by participating in projects using these techniques are limited.
Two Kenyan companies have teamed up with a Dutch software firm to overcome this problem through a training scheme called CodePamoja.
What is CodePamoja?
CodePamoja is a vocational training program where Kenyan developers learn how to work to international quality standards using the latest project management techniques. The training focuses on complementing technical skills acquired from undergraduate level training with up-to-date project management experience and exposure to Enterprise Software Development techniques.
A unique opportunity
CodePamoja trainees learn by collaborating with developers in the EU on real projects. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience in the latest project management methods and software tooling by working with more experienced developers – people who have worked on some of the largest software development projects in Europe.
How it works
CodePamoja uses a buddy system where Kenyan developers collaborate with developers in the Netherlands in Virtual Teams. The emphasis is on knowledge sharing and there is no set training agenda or syllabus. People attending CodePamoja can work part-time or full-time, with reasonably flexible hours. Typically someone will attend CodePamoja for around three months depending on skills levels. Multiple projects can be in progress at any one time, people may work on more than one project simultaneously and may join projects at any stage in their lifecycle from design to deployment. The virtual teams and projects are coordinated using Scrum, which means regular meetings and discussions to review project progress.
What can you expect at the end?
After attending the CodePamoja program developers will understand how modern systems are built using Enterprise software development techniques. An understanding of the importance of teamwork will have been developed. Attendees will have learnt how to produce high quality software and keep up with rapid development cycles by making use of Agile methodologies and Scrum. Technical skills will be enhanced through exposure to tooling (e.g. git, Grunt, Gulp, SASS). Programming skills will be enhanced depending on needs and wishes of the individual.
The Ideal Applicant:
How to Apply
1.Click on https://portal.dewcis.com/hr/application.jsp?view=1:0 2. If you have created your credentials before, login and apply for the post. 3. If new applicant, fill in details in Applicant, save all the details. After saving, a login username and password are sent to your email. 4. Login to the Dewcis portal with these credentials. 5. Fill in all details as required: Applicant’s details
Save all these details
6. Internship – > Internship posts -> Click on ‘Apply for internship’
7. You will get an email confirming the application
NB;In case you are stuck on your application process please go to the
“Innovation is the calling card of the future…” Anna Eshoo
The world is on the move. A report by World Tourism Organization (WTO), estimates that by 2030 a global population of 8.5 billion people will take approximately 2 billion international trips. People are travelling more than ever, further than before, and faster!
The travel industry has had to transform itself to adapt to this shift. The basic unit of the travel industry, the travel agency, has had to forge itself afresh from the agent of ‘yore’ to a forward-thinking, innovative travel partner of the modern age. The biggest catalyst for this reinvention has been the emergence of a savvier consumer. One driven by passions, influenced by and adaptable to whims and trends and who is harnessing the power of technology.
The modern traveler has more control over their travel. Technology has bridged the gap between those with information/experience, and those seeking it. The modern traveler is leveraging this tool, search engines, social media, aggregators and apps.
The modern traveler wants a more personalized, tailor-made travel experience. With content that speaks to individual needs. Their demands cut across conventional travel and tour packages where. For the most part, the modern traveler is calling the shots. He is a master negotiator; he does his homework on every aspect of travel. The travel agent is no longer dictating the terms. He is now a travel partner expected to facilitate the traveler’s needs.
Technology as a Tool in a Travel Agency
Like any tool in any other profession/industry/craft, wielding the right technology, the right way and harnessing it’s potential to the maximum makes all the difference. You would be hard pressed to find a business process that has not and cannot be digitized or automated. While technology has made all this possible, it is constantly adapting to consumer needs and trends.
Adopt Environmentally responsible travel: “…I’m am Green…”
Technology gave us a paperless environment. The world is embracing eco-friendly, sustainable, renewable, recyclable, green business practices more and more. No more paper airline tickets, boarding passes and hotel vouchers. E-tickets and E-vouchers, QR codes and NFC. The new traveler abhors waste and will pay more to save the planet and reduce his carbon foot-print. Technology allows us to buy and check-in online. No need to commute for this. Airbnb’s beat a hotel in that the running costs for the owner are lower, and the experience is more ‘home-like’ & cheaper for the traveler.
Adopt Cost and Time saving practices: “…Click-Click-Cash…”
Online transactions mean we save time otherwise spent commuting to the travel agency. The traveler saves time and money that they could very well put back in the travel package. The agency too no longer needs to set up shop at every corner up every street. This means a leaner staff, lower wage bill (medical, insurance, benefits etc.) Running costs are lower for the agency so they can afford to offer their customers discounts.
Diversify. Language is no longer a barrier: “…Hello World…”
The modern traveler no longer considers language a barrier to selecting a travel destination. Technology exists that allows for easy translations of text in books, speech, signs, etc. This means the travel agent can offer up any destination as a choice the customer.
The travel agency would be wise to market itself with packages covering regions beyond the usual destinations. The more off the beaten path, the better. They should also build capacity to handle clients from these destinations too, because they are coming.
Offer a Seamless Experience: “…From Hero-to-Home…”
The modern traveler demands a travel experience devoid of interruptions. There are apps to notify them how long their cab will take, they get mobile alerts when their flight is delayed, they have directions to their hotel from the airport, seaport before they set off. They expect that bus or airline ticket to be a guarantee that everything has been put in place to ensure their safe and comfortable travel experience. And should any glitches arise, the turnaround in solving them should be fast. Only way this is possible is by maintain contact with the traveler at all times. Not just to fix problems for them, but also to gather feedback from them concerning their experience on real-time. The traveler is left to do the most important part of the process. Enjoy a worry-free trip.
By designing a platform that provides real time information on flights and other travel arrangements, travel agencies can help business travelers save time.
E-Commerce: “…a moment of silence for fanny packs… : -\”
Electronic payments are fast taking over commerce. They are safer, more reliable and faster. Online banking, money transfer apps, mobile payment platforms, all these and more should be modes acceptable and embraced by the modern travel agent.
Partnerships with financial institutions to assist their clients do business with them is a definite plus. Build a secure platform for online commerce with customers, and you will keep them. The technology for this is mature; tried and tested.
4IR is rapidly changing the tourism and travel industry. Consumers are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their power by dictating terms and imposing their tastes and needs. Travel agencies are faced with better informed consumers, with more power and with higher expectations in relation to what they expect from providers.
“Everything is personal these days.
Technology has allowed us to seek out customizable travel experiences as opposed to going for prepackaged ones. Search engines, aggregator websites, internet bloggers and critiques with their reviews and insight. There is a vast pool of information about almost every imaginable travel destination and experience out there.
Millennials want their experience to be as unique as they are. There are real-time reviews on Websites and people get to post their genuine experience regarding their travel experience. The Agencies online presence can incorporate these via social media platforms and websites.
Connections: “…networks & partnerships…”
Social media is a tool of both trade and lifestyle. Leveraging this for business is no longer just a good idea. It is a requirement. Apps to connect the destinations to the agency and the traveler help track and gather feedback necessary to make smarter and more accurate/relevant decisions. Reputation translates to revenue. Shares, Likes, Follows, Tweets-Retweets, Hash-tags, Live etc. are the new currency. #travelenjoyrespect
Artificial Intelligence, albeit still relatively new, will assist with the creation of feedback loops allowing travelers to comment and rate different aspects of their trip, thus improving future experiences. Watch out for Blockchain technology too and its potential to revolutionize the industry by providing better data communication.
Big data for those that can process it is a gold mine. Access to more and more information about the tastes and activities of travelers at destinations, recognizing trends in the seasonality of demand, and other key factors of tourist behavior are fundamental in the development of product linked strategies. A travel agent and or service provider can use it to better understand trends, predict outcomes and develop more personalized services for their clients. The processing and management of Big Data by smart destinations helps to enrich the visitor experience and compete more effectively.
A recent report from the World Travel and Tourism Council and Travelport revealed that business travel accounts for $1.3 trillion of global travel spending annually, and is set to rise at 3.7% per annum over the next ten years.
One key reason for this impressive growth has been the industry’s adoption of pioneering technology. Leverage this market with some after-work leisure travel and you are a travel partner with vision.
“A dream will not become an innovation if there is no realization…” Ciputra
In a wrap, travel agencies have to adapt to the modern traveler by harnessing modern technology and looking out for emerging ones. Then use these tools for intelligent data gathering and management, analyzing the market in real time, studying and predicting travel trends, adapting business processes to change in the shortest time, all these practices are vital to stay afloat in the new travel world.
Facilitate cold and warm calls to prospective leads
Constantly communicate with leads and customers via email(follow ups)
Answer all lead and customer questions accurately
Prioritize and/or escalate lead and customer questions as needed
Create and deliver client presentations, especially power points
Perform cost-benefit analysis for prospective customers
Promote specific products as directed by upper management
Inform leads and customers of current promotions and discounts
Maintain positive business and customer relationships in the effort to extend customer lifetime value
Develop strategies for more effective sales, both individually and as part of a team
Source for new customers and follow up on referrals
Track all appointments, sales, complaints, status reports, etc. thoroughly for manager review
Provide customers with quotations
Negotiate the terms of an agreement and close sales
Gather market and customer information and provide feedback on buying trends
Represent DewCIS at trade exhibitions, events and demonstrations
Identify new markets and business opportunities
Review their own sales performance and aim at exceeding their targets.
Bachelor’s degree or a diploma in sales and marketing
Excellent interpersonal communication skills, both verbal and written
Impeccable customer service skills
Motivated, driven attitude
Sales-driven, results-driven, and target-driven attitude
Aptitude for persuasion and negotiation
Expert in time management
Organized work ethic
Proven track record in sales environment
To Apply Please Follow the steps below
1.Click on https://portal.dewcis.com/hr/application.jsp?view=1:0
2. If you have created your credentials before, login and apply for the post.
3. If new applicant, fill in details in Applicant, save all the details. After saving, a login username and password are sent to your email.
4. Login to the Dewcis portal with these credentials.
5. Fill in all details as required:
Save all these details
6. Available Positions – > Apply for post -> Click on ‘Apply for Post’ again to confirm
7. You will get an email confirming the application
In presenting this article to your notice, kindly bare in mind certain truths, which might escape your memory on this subject of data collection. Be pleased to remember that data collection activities dates back to the 10th century and we are by no means challenging its discipline. However, we are questioning the relevance of a data that is collected and recorded by hand over a period of 6 months, transformed into digital format, verified and analyzed into useful information over another period of 8 months and published towards the end of the following year.
A thousand years and counting, you must be very familiar with walk-in visitors by the name of field interviewers from “so and so research” institution. Once admitted, the interviewer is always very swift to pull out the booklet only to be publicly embarrassed in your audience, with the sheaf of pages coming loose, the spine of the book cracked and ripped, with dog-eared corners at the pages duly equipped to start the interview. This experience of embarrassment inadvertently alerts you to the substandard data collection exercise, which threatens the beliefs you hold concerning the integrity of the research institution and the reliability of the survey outcome.
And yet, the explosive growth in the availability of mobile phones in Africa even in some of the poorest, most remote communities of Kenya does not seem to interest these institutions into adopting automation in data collection, management and delivery. You have heard it said before that if the eyes did not see, the hands wouldn’t take it; and so DewCIS Solutions Ltd has seized this opportunity to create innovative mobile data-centric applications that explore how these devices might be used effectively as part of large scale data collection efforts across various sectors including census, health, market trends and general information gathering.
DewCIS has developed a workflow-driven mobile data collection application, named dataNomads, to streamline the process of data collection and synchronization with the online central database. The application is developed on the open source android mobile platform, allowing it to run on a wide range of devices.
One remarkable feature that makes dataNomads app particularly interesting and extremely useful in the field is that it is has been written to work without network coverage. It might not surprise you that most of remote Kenya is still outside the range of most Internet service providers. So, rather than enumerators collecting information continuously to an online database, all the data is collected and stored locally on the device and uploaded to the online repository only when access to Internet connectivity is restored.
As soon as data from field crew is synchronized with the central database, managers are able to review it in an easy to use Google Earth interface. This interface also allows managers to track progress, identify errors or inconsistencies, and provide feedback to field crew in real time. By exploiting the geolocation capability, exact locations and timestamp of data submitted are displayed on the map as thematically rendered icons, and can be updated in real time to reflect the most current state of the data collection effort.
With minimal training, dataNomads application has the potential to reduce field data collection time by over 50% while its validation features significantly reduce errors providing more accurate and reliable information. More importantly, with pen and paper, you are never sure if the surveyor has really gone to the field to collect the data or if he generated fictitious data while seated under the comfort of a sycamore tree.
In today’s rapidly changing markets, business leaders must make critical decisions like whom should they target with their products or which direction should they expand? They often rely on just internal business data, such as last year’s sales analytics. While internal data gives a great picture about how your business performed in the past, it does not reveal how your business will perform in the future. Faced with this dilemma, within the limits of your own resources, the answer may well be hidden in data outside of your internal systems! With our innovative dataNomads mobile application, we promise business leaders immediate access to diverse datasets gathered from the field, to drive highly targeted business decisions.
Surely, the earth has music for those who listen. Save trees by avoiding unnecessary use of paper and care for the environment by keeping it clean. Our contribution therefore, is to collaborate with research organizations and data driven enterprises to adopt innovative mobile data collection technologies that would waste less energy and boost their credibility, save money and shape how their businesses evolves into the future.