Dev Retro 2022: Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities as a Full-Time Student and Developer

Dev Retro 2022: Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities as a Full-Time Student and Developer

For the past three and half years, I have been making waves in the tech industry as a Software Developer and a Full-Time undergraduate student. I began this journey in 2019, almost 2 years after joining the university for my degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. Since then, I have gained a wealth of experience but it's been a rollercoaster ride.

The pandemic forced many developers to work remotely, which brought its own set of challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, working from home allowed developers to have more flexibility and freedom in their schedules. On the other hand, it also meant that they had to adapt to new ways of working and communicating with their team members.

First Hackathon

I participated in my first-ever hackathon in 2020. It was a remote hackathon that had been organized by Digital Matatus. Digital Matatus is a project that shows how to leverage the ubiquitous nature of cellphone technology in developing countries to collect data for essential infrastructure, give it out freely, and in the process spur innovation and improved services for citizens. This project has captured transit data for Nairobi, developed mobile routing applications, and designed a new transit map for the city.

In this hackathon, I built an application that helps commuters find buses in the city, the routes they operate in, and know the fare beforehand to avoid being conned by the Matatu Crew. It was a great experience building the application and presenting it to the panel.

Building a Start-Up

My friends and I decided to use the time we had during the pandemic to build two SaaS startups. Long story short, they weren't successful but the experience was enormous. Building a startup as a student can be both challenging and rewarding. One of the biggest challenges is finding the time and resources to focus on your startup while also managing the demands of your academic responsibilities. Additionally, it is difficult to secure funding for your startup. However, the rewards of building a startup as a student can be great. It provides a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in entrepreneurship and to develop valuable skills such as leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork. Overall, building a startup can be a challenging but rewarding experience that can provide valuable experience and skills for the future.

First Bootcamp

In 2020, I joined the Google Andela Developer Scholarship Program. I got an opportunity to learn new skills and improve using the resources that were provided by PluralSight, through Peer programming, and participating in the project phase of the program. Among other projects, my team and I built an aggregator for trading in Forex and a tool for tackling fraud and misinformation surrounding the industry.


One of the biggest challenges has been juggling between school, working as a developer, and keeping up with the constantly changing landscape of technologies and platforms. With new technologies and frameworks emerging all the time, it can be difficult for developers to stay up-to-date and choose the right tools for the job. To stay on top of these changes I've turned to online resources such as blogs, forums, and online courses to learn about new technologies and best practices.

Opportunities and Achievements

Despite the challenges, 2022 has also been a year of great opportunity and achievement. I finally finished my undergraduate studies and graduated with a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, including an application for a large financial institution. This project gave me valuable experience in agile development and project management, and it allowed me to showcase my technical skills and ability to work well with a team.

My First Book

Outside of being a developer, debate has been the one place where I run to when I'm burnt out i.e participating in tournaments and engaging in discussions about various topics including tech. So, I wrote a book that acts as a guide for anyone who wants to engage in meaningful discourse.

HojaLeaks and Building Courses

This year, I started building which is a resource for anyone who wants to learn about Tech.

Rust Crash Course

This crash course in Rust is a great way to quickly learn the basics of the language and get up and running with writing Rust code.

JavaScript 101

This is a quickstart JavaScript tutorial that I have also created.

Partying Shot

As we look ahead to the future, it's clear that 2022 has set the stage for a bright and exciting future. With new technologies and opportunities emerging all the time, the sky is the limit for those who are willing to learn, adapt, and stay at the forefront of the industry. So, it is the perfect time to take the lead and shape the future of tech.

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