Open space for technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in Nairobi.


iHub By Jessica Colaço / July 11, 2011

iHubber: Marie Githinji


In a quest to tell the stories of the people and the projects that make the iHub community, We have been interviewing our community and listening to their stories. These are stories about The iHubber - The People and The Projects we see at the iHub every day! This week, we talked to Marie Githinji. A green member, a coder and an AkiraChix.

Briefly tell me about yourself, How your day starts and How you get your inspiration?
Im a Software Developer and also a Co-Founder of Akirachix. I jump start my day with my daily shot of vitamin (Cappuccino) from Pete’s Coffee, Correspond to my mails. I have three mail accounts so it takes me a bit over half an hour to read and respond to mails. This ranges from work, personal and of course Akirachix, then proceed to select a play list for the day and dive straight into code.

When and how did get into Programming?
I was introduced to programming when I was in high school and when I accomplished my first “Hallo world” I was hooked,so when I left high school I already knew what career path to take.

Tell me about you latest projects
I work for an NGO called SODNET – Social Development Network. I am the lead developer and currently we are working on UGATUZI which is a Budget trucking tool. The tool highlights Development Projects’ detailed descriptions, status of project and funds disbursement history. It also provides a list of organizations/groups monitoring projects at the Constituency level, a possibility for monitoring groups to upload data (documents, videos, photos, reports) on anomalies or instances of malpractices or corruption.

What are your guiding principles?
Understanding the problem im trying to solve and when planning for this it means identifying necessary tasks and procedures

Whats the one aspect of Programming you give highest priority to?
Functionality! It beats the point if the system looks good but doesn’t function as intended.

What do you love the most about being a programmer? And what led you to start using the iHub?
I love being a software developer because there is always something new and exciting to learn every single day. The one thing I’ve come to appreciate about the IHub is the community. Irregardless whether you are developer, designer, or more than that, there is always a community in there.

iHub for me started with the forming of the Akirachix and we used and still use the space for team meetings, hackathons and monthly meetups ever since.

What do you wish people would understand about working in the software development industry?
Fun factor, casual wear is the rule t-shirts and jeans. This is one industry that things change at the speed of light, so there is constant learning of new technologies.

What can other innovators do to take advantage of the iHub space?
Well first step is to apply for membership, the iHub like I said is a community and from a community you get knowledge, jobs and also make new networks and friendships

Whats the one piece of advice you can give someone thinking of a career in programming?
You should NEVER become bored as a developer. There is always something new to learn and so the challenge is up-to you to make it exciting. This could be a new language, a new tool, a new framework, a new methodology etc, Its up-to you!

What trends do you see being big in 2011?
Mobile technology is growing faster than any technology. Fact is mobile devices are going to be the majority of the way that people get information so as a programmer, we should all aim to innovate for the default device.

Follow Marie on Twitter (@mariegithinji). Also see more about Akirachix here

Author : Jessica Colaço

Jessica Colaço is currently the Director of Partnerships at iHub. She was the Founding Manager between 2010 and 2011 at iHub and Research Director between 2011 and 2013 at iHub Research. She is passionate about Innovation, Research, Mobile and Robotics Technology, Mentorship and Entrepreneurship in Kenya as she uses her position at iHub to court local, regional and international stakeholders to adopt Kenyan-made and African-made solutions. As an upcoming angel investor, she courts local and international investors to invest in great tech ideas and companies at idea and concept stage. She is also a Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist, Co-Founder of WMIAfrica and AkiraChix, ISOC-Kenya Chapter, Treasurer, ACM-W Nairobi Chapter Chair, TED Global Fellow 2009 and upcoming Guitarist. She was named one of the top 40 women under 40 years in Kenya's business scene by Business Daily on 2009, 2011 and 2012. Her endeavour is to put Kenya and Africa on the map for technology achievements and spur innovation within the country and continent! She blogs at:

  • Nick Kemboi at 10:08:22AM Monday, July 11, 2011

    Keep it up Marie.

  • vincent macharia at 12:31:47PM Monday, July 11, 2011

    seems the guyz at the market are doing well..then why is it so hard to get attachment that fully exposes future developers.

  • Githinji at 15:14:07PM Monday, July 11, 2011

    Nice profile Marie! U inspired me…

  • Elizabeth at 15:43:26PM Monday, July 11, 2011

    Good stuff, Marie! You make programming seem so enjoyable, which it really is.

    And, on another note, I think I will have to concur with vincent up there, getting an attachment that gives good exposure has proved to be a challenge… Can you imagine being called for an interview and then later getting the reply that you are not qualified for a developer position? Shouldn’t internship be a learning experience to sharpen practical skills? No one ever loses by sharing knowledge.

  • Damaris mbinzi-chore at 16:34:50PM Monday, July 11, 2011

    big up Lil mama proud of you….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Arthur Mwai at 00:14:10AM Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Feels good to read about Marie,programming isn’t so popular amongst our Kenyan sisters.The brightest girls go to medical school,actuarial science and other traditional courses.
    I hope to see more Kenyan female programmers like what they have at M.I.T.
    Let the future begin….

  • Gilbert at 16:13:31PM Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    “Daily shot of vitamin” :-). You inspire lots of people Marie, all the best to you and Akirachix

  • simon jomo at 11:34:21AM Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    hey marie thumbs up ….n u just inspired me….lately i’ve been working on a software of my own…..codename “shadoweb”….hope it hits the airwaves soon…

  • Bridget at 14:31:06PM Saturday, November 5, 2011

    keep up the good work. I hope to see you getting involved with the UXKenya meet-ups!


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