As I had mentioned earlier, last week I made my way to Strathmore University for CMS Africa Summit 2014. In case you did not know, CMS stands for Content Management Systems.  This forum brought together IT enthusiasts, students from various Kenyan universities, web developers and bloggers.

My takeaways from the conference:

Knowledge is Power: This may sound cliché but it so true.  The existence of open source software has enabled its users to   improve their skills (and personal development). By sharing one’s knowledge of open source, you not only increase your connections   but improve how businesses are run and contribute to the greater social good. It is very important to carefully pick CMS that suits your particular needs.  I have been loyal to WordPress since it hosts my blog but I will explore others such Drupal, Joomla and Typo3 to see what they have to offer.

From Huston Masinde of Skyline Designs, I learnt that it is very important to empathise with your clients and the final users of your products.  Know that money is not the only measure of value.  In case, your clients are not able to pay cash for your services, tap into their networks or services that they can offer.    In the case of the end user, ensure they are able to easily use your product. Web developers should ensure that    information is easily accessible once a user logs on to a page.

Paul Otieno shared about having a creative village which he compared to a typical village in a traditional African set-up. It is important that people in your creative circle, are bubbling with ideas just like in the olden days, where the grandparents were custodians of stories that were to be passed down generations to generations. Creatives need to trade their ideas in order to refine them and  to build social currency.  This goes hand in hand with protecting and looking out for each other. The villages  did not only do  good business,  but they also did  business good.  I know that we were taught that the business of business is business. However, doing genuine CSR will go a long way in building your brand.

Ruth Cheesley of Joomla shared her experience as a woman in the world of open source. She stressed the importance of making one’s voice to be heard. Ms. Cheesley encouraged the audience to make contributions in their areas of interest through commenting on posts, reviewing codes and sharing their work.

Though I attended one out of the two days of the conference, I had a great time , met new  people  and I am definitely challenged to start coding!


2 thoughts on “What I learnt at the CMS Africa Summit 2014

  1. Your conference sounds like it was very inspiring!

    Knowledge is Power – how absolutely true! The World Wide Web is a fantastic resource to underpin education and democracy as well as business I think. [Did you see the new campaign by Tim Berners-Lee this week seeking an Internet Users Bill of Rights for every country? ]

    For us, open source software is truly part of of our daily lives. I have literally just been having a conversation with two of my sons about openSuse, a Linux distribution that can be run as a lightweight operating system. We use a lot of open source software as a family, but I also really believe in its long-term positive role on a much wider scale in supporting economic development. I think one of the great things about open source software is its collaborative nature – it’s all about sharing creativity I guess.

    I’d say go for it with coding 🙂 I found it was not as difficult as I’d always imagined before I tried it! I used W3Schools as my main source of information – plus input from my more technically-minded family 😉 This is the link if you’ve not seen it already,


    1. Hi Peggy!

      It’s great to hear from you. I have been saying that I learn for the last….years. I guess I have scared that I would not be disciplined enough to stick to a study plan and because the last time I wrote code was in C+ while in high school. At the conference, one of the speakers shared his experience. I got ticked off when he said he paid Kes 40,000 (approx $460) for a month-long wed design course. At the end of the course , neither him nor his classmates could do a simple design. To make matters worse, he later discovered the course material was a free online e-book! That was my tipping point.

      Thanks for the links (as usual);-). I will check them out


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