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Meet Charles Kibuuka

Head of Technology and Product Developed at One Solutions Limited

Information and Communication Technology have surely been the game changer is arguably every sphere of life.User needs keep growing each day that goes by and the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the field practitioners to satisfy those needs. 

We caught up Mr Kibuuka Charles, the Head of Technology and Product Development at One Solutions Limited and gave us a sneak peak into the life of an IT practitioneer. This is what we asked

Tell Us about your self ?

As Head of Technology & Product development my role encompasses the overall management, strategic planning and operations supervision of the Technology department, Marketing Committee and the Product Portfolio.

Describe your typical day ?

I get to work at 7:30 am and review the list of on-going tasks within each project, these range from new products, cross-department system request and tickets, system change requests, and major tickets or escalations.

The major meetings with suppliers, partners and clients for the day are reviewed too - these activities take up most of the day, and range from; reviewing new supplier's offers, liaising with suppliers on various issues, analyzing reports and giving the necessary direction or having a discussion with colleagues to generate consensus.

All this is geared toward keeping an eye on major milestones to keep the teams' work at the desired quality, cost and scheduled time. Also assessing risk of actions being taken and adhering to the pre-planned mitigation steps.

Furthermore, there is a need to ensure our team is on-track to achieve our quarterly and subsequent annual targets. Since we are service oriented industry (information and communications) there is need to stay vigilant for abrupt occurrences; like system failure, fiber cuts etc. that would impact a customer's experience - both internal and external, these issues need to be resolved within given time frame to preserve the agreed upon Service Level Agreement.

Why did you choose that career path?

I think my career chose me; I got introduced to the computer at an early age and have been fascinated by them since. Even with various choices for University, I ended up doing a Bachelor of Information Technology and Computing at Kyambogo University. I appreciate this career choice because of the vast possibility to utilize computers to process and communicate information in all industries and professions, hence being able to serve a large part of the society.

What are your main tasks and responsibilities at work? 

My major activities include; approval of changes to; infrastructure, network and technical processes, project management, management of the product development process, organize the plan and execution of the marketing strategy, standards compliance and quality assurance.

What are your main challenges ?

As an industry, ICT is limited by the choices, capability and financial constraints of the users in our market. There are many interesting innovations made that still not being used here. There is a need to continual educate our users on technology that is taken for granted in other parts of the world.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace ?

1. Strategic decision making
2. Team building skills,
3. Quality assurance and standards compliance
4. Project management
5. Continual training and technical competence in; network administration (Wide Area Networks), Network Planning, data center and server administration, security and ICT product design.

What's cool about your job?

Understanding and delivering the big picture within an ICT services company i.e. translating the customer's needs to efficient and quality products, and most especially being able to do this with a team of smart people - my workmates.

What's not cool about your job?

ICTs form very strongly inter-dependent systems. Any inefficiency can lead to poor end results like extended time-lines and unplanned costs. A good competency for risk management, clear communication and team work is very essential.

What subjects did you take in school and how have they influenced your career path ?

Sciences like mathematics give the rigour required pursue the relevant University courses to join certain industries. I studies Physics, Mathematics, Economics and Technical Drawing at A-Level.

What is your Education to date?

Bachelor of Information Technology and Computing from Kyambogo University. I am also pursuing a Master of Science in Information Technology Management and Architectural Design of Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi.

What aspects of your Education System have proven most important for your job?

Our school system has been essential in nurturing the discipline required in everyday working life. Other than the technical basic theories/subjects required for the field like Networking, Operating Systems, Databases. Also subjects like English at Primary & O-Level, Business Communication at University contribute to communication skills.

What trends are you seeing in your career field ?

We follow a trend of catch-up to the more developed nations like cloud computing, mobile apps, enterprise information systems. In East Africa, Kenya is a leader in adoption this has allowed important local solutions like mobile money to be widely successful. Hence there is potential for Uganda to produce home-grown solutions for our market. Many students are being educated in Information Technology at university level so the potential for widespread need and ability to use ICT products increases.

What are the most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Continual learning, team work and customer-service oriented attitude.

Which key people influenced your career direction ?

Firstly, my parents and teachers. More currently my former bosses, Mr. Joel Kepaou and Mr. Shem Nnaggenda.

As a student, how did you cope up with the pressure to succeed / excel in class?

Have a balanced personal study schedule and adhere to it. Use all the extra-curriculum time adequately; have a sport or club, this is essential to rest and building other useful skills.

What outside class activities did you engage in that have proved beneficial on your career path?

I had no significant outside activity, that is why I advise anyone at that stage to do better but i read a lot of non-academic books, it has helped me gain some uncommon knowledge

What advise would you give someone considering this job?

They should commit themselves to in-depth learning about their chosen field, this dedication will lead to excellence. Secondly, they should consider their end-users needs. Always keep your promised commitment.

What kind of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

A good competency is a particular field of ICT is required, however, ability to understand and work with your users and team who have diverse needs and skills is of utmost importance for growth.

Any Concluding remarks?

Students should utilize their time in school to learn all their abilities; this calls for balancing academics with other activities offered by the school. There are opportunities all around us for the right skills, and school is the perfect preparation environment needed to develop the skills needed by our society.

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