Geek Tools – My Keyboard Journey

As a software engineer my days and nights are driven by the need to type instructions for a computer to execute into text files. Thus the keyboard is my primary tool for this input.

My primary workhorse over the last couple of years has been a MacBook Pro laptop and now majority of the time, I use it in clam shell (closed) with an external monitor and mouse. An external keyboard is critical in this mode, so sharing my journey over time

Regular Computer Keyboards

I started with the DELL Keyboard and it just works when you need it

Apple Keyboards

I purchased the full wired keyboard and the Magic Keyboard 2 – these are excellent low profile keyboards for use anywhere and I would totally recommend them. The full wired keyboard is best for a fixed location, while the Magic Keyboard is a lightweight travel friendly keyboard with great battery life, can be used during charge and the key responses are excellent, though I find it a little low and hard on my hands

Logitech MX Keys

I started out with the MX Keys and later got the MX mini (as the full keyboard would not fit on my standing desk with the mouse), and I should say these are awesome keyboards. They are so alike, one just having a numeric keypad while the other does not. The build quality is excellent, feel bulkier and more solid the Apple keyboards, love the 3 computer switch capabilities by just pressing a key, and the travel is just right (like Golidilock’s porridge). They are priced similar to the Apple keyboards, but IMO they provide more value

Mechanical Keyboards

I have had the chance to try out the Keychron K6, and I love them – more travel than the MX Keys but love the RGB backlighting, and the tactile feedback. I am currently in search for a low profile mechanical to try out, with an eye on the Keychron K3, as I await feedback

I am also eyeing the Numpy Air75 ( and the Logitech MX Mechanical Mini ( that is before I start building my own custom keyboards

UPDATE – September 2022: I got myself an RGB backlit Keychron K7 with Gaeton brown switches (which are very quiet) and I am in love. However I should have purchased the K3, which I am looking forward to so that I have the extra line of functions without needing to keep pressing the Function switch keys

Split Keyboards – The Bucket List

These I have on my bucket list with leading the pack – will see if 2022 gives me the opportunity to try this type of keyboards out

What is working for you, do share your experiences and ideas, I am a work in progress and continously experimenting to find those tools that make me happy


My Code Review Workflow

My role involves reviewing code written by different members of my team, which is an important process in the software delivery lifecycle. In certain cases, code reviews turn into gatekeeping which does not deliver the intended value for the process

The reason for code reviews

  1. Get a shared understanding of the code submitted – an opportunity to share, learn and collaborate
  2. Find opportunities to improve the code and what it is doing – refactoring
  3. Find edge cases that may not have been covered
  4. Verify that the code does what is expected

I just thought I would share my PR review approach and I hope it may help others here

  1. Read through the code changes across the files in the GitHub/GiLab or version control UI – this helps me get a sense of files which should not be there, too many files, too few files etc
  2. Pull the PR locally on my machine – Jetbrains IDEs and VS Code have pull request views and functionality if you are not a cli guru like yours truly
  3. Run the code and test the features as documented both happy path and some random abrupt paths

The improvements we are going to add to our projects (still looking for ideas here)

  1. Automated code checking for formatting and linting

I tend to use Firefox developer edition (set to always start in private mode) for web stuff to view it in a clean browser. Chrome is the new Internet Explorer 6 (the most painful growth phase of the web)

What is your code review workflow, what tips and tricks have you used to make it smoother and more streamlined?

UPDATE 1: November 4, 2021 – excellent reference on by Chelsea Troy

Tech Tip: Whatsapp Groups for Record Keeping Purposes

Over the years my wife and I have been sharing lots of information via Whatsapp some of which we need for tracking purposes, the most common being weekly metrics from a business operations where I am a silent partner but key stakeholder

One neat trick that I discovered from a friend, I have forgotten who, was to leverage Whatsapp groups as a record keeping tool, this group only has the 2 of us, is named Farm Finances, and only contains the information we need to share with regard to the specific topic

Try this for your next business endeavor, wedding, construction activities, long or short running project whose records you do not want to have across the noise of day-to-day communications as you prepare to move this into a more formal tool

As I wrote this I figured out that you can also do the same for keeping notes for yourself, to-do-lists, project reminders etc

Agile driven requirements wishlist for Integrated Telcom Service Provider Packages

I am constantly frustrated by having to remember voice, data and SMS bundles not only for my own use but for my family and dependants, and I am envious of family data plans in the rest of the world.

Being an agile practioner here is my user story

As a telecom service customer I would like to purchase and track a single package for the users in my household and dependants

Acceptance Criteria

  1. The package includes the following services at a minimum
    • On-net voice calls
    • Off-net voice calls (same country)
    • SMS messages
    • Internet access
  2. All phone numbers on the package use the services transparently
  3. The package is paid for monthly, with the ability to purchase additional optional services as need
  4. Ability to add and/or remove numbers at will
  5. Ability to pay for additional batches of numbers e.g., 5 numbers – the service fee helps the telecom cover losses due to the service discounts
  6. Weekly and monthly payment options – to help manage cash flows
  7. Generation of tax invoices for the service payments
  8. Web/app based monitoring of service usage broken down to a daily usage
  9. Ability to set usage thresholds for all user at least 2 levels – I know individual thresholds may be difficult so nice to have
  10. Reminders to pay for services before they expire

What do you have on your wishlist for your telecom provider?

An Alternate Approach to Improving the Girl Child Experience in King’s College Budo

There has been a much needed and timely furor of activity in Ugandan social media circles of the terrible experience our sisters in King’s College Budo go through. IMO there is no lasting solutions can be found without treating the root cause, which is that girls are second class citizens within the school despite being a key pillar in the learning and experiential outcomes for those who go through Budo.

The second class citizenship is excerbated by two factors, their population is 20% of the school, and they are physically located ~1.5km away from the main day-to-day school activities, making it a natural exclusion.

I was in Budo for 6 years, class 1990 to 1996, the last year to do UACE in April of the next year, during my most formative years 12 to 18 (you can compute my age now), residing in Ghana house of Lords. I can say that personally I thrived:

  • Academically – sufficient challenge to stay in the 5% percentile
  • Socially – found ways to survive within my sorroundings and made great friends both boys and girls till today,
  • Sports – learnt volleyball, lawn tennis, table tennis (was on the school team), chess the team of 4 Stephens lifted Father Grimes National Chess Tropy in 1994 and 1995 respectively
  • Leadership – supervised communal work from my S2 which meant I could plan for asssignments, break down tasks and get the work done
  • Business – oh yes retailed bread in S3 and S4 which helped me make ends meet

My suggestions, pretty radical are based on my experience working in civil engineering and software delivery domains both of which require working with diverse teams of professionals of varying skillsets, based in-situ and remote at different times during the project lifetimes

  1. Repurpose Girls End from dormitories to another use which is not in the day-to-day activities, could this be the new school science and arts innovation hub with carpentry/welding, computer systems etc – the physical distance provides the necessary disconnection
  2. Move Girls End to Muteesa/Nigeria area – this covers 2 sets of dormitories which is the equivalent of Grace/Gusta and Sabanzi houses
    • This seems the only workable option as South Africa/Australia do not provide sufficient space for girls, Ghana/Canada/England will be a tough sell on the reduction of the boys numbers
    • This reduces the boy population to a 65%-35% ratio
    • Brings the girls into the mainstream activites, reducing the 3km journey to and from their dorms to class and other activities
  3. Refrubish and improve girls supporting school infrastructure across accomodation, sports and welfare
  4. Bring back communal work – recent change which removes the need to clean up after ourselves
  5. Ensure that all dormitories have consistently flowing piped water with backup water harvesting – was not the case when I last interacted with the school in 2000
  6. Educate the leadership and teachers of the school on how to support the growth and development of the girl child
  7. Bring on more senior female leadership who have experience in all girls schools to help run day-to-day operations – bring a balance between the traditional schools and the newer age modern schools (I have just stopped short of calling for a head-mistress but that would be awesome!)

This is not a change of guards but a fundamental change to help move Budo in 2020

Gakyali Mabaga! 

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts – do share them

PS: I intend to update this post with a map of Budo to provide distance perspectives for those not familiar with the school layout

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