Student perspectives

Salesman turned software developer


Joanita Nassiwa, Refactory


March 6, 2020

“I was one of the sales personnel for a bank (name withheld)and I never enjoyed my job, day after day I grew bored and uninterested. In my spare time, with the help of tutorials I taught myself some code and it became a pass time for me.” Ronnie recalls  

He received an email from the administrator at Refactory that he paid no attention to. He knew he wanted to improve himself while looking up new job opportunities. It was until he received a reminder that he went ahead to read the email and apply therein. “I did over 10 takes for the video;I was challenged to do something different. However I still realized I wasn’t passionate about it, I looked at it as a task” he recalled. Ronnie soon received an email inviting him for interviews and was accepted into the program.

Ronnie Kimbugwe (Photo: Maren)

"Day one with Julia one of the facilitators in emotional intelligence, my mind was opened to different possibilities that could come my way if I pursued this intentionally. I am grateful to her for opening my mind to all the negativity I had held onto about myself and about work. How do I learn and unlearn things, how can gain form this investment? These were some of the questions I started to ask myself. " This was a long thought process for Ronnie but he knew he had made the right decision.  The catalyst class was very instrumental in ensuring we understood the basics of the program before we went on to code.  

Fast forward, Ronnie moved on to the boot camp phase, one of the goals he had set for himself and was assigned to Laboremus one of Refactory’s industry partners. “We were tasked to create a web application that helps estimates project tasks that helps project managers and developer’s breakdown projects into understandable tasks and give appropriate, fair and competitive estimates to their clients.” Ronnie narrates.  They went ahead to share responsibilities in light of their strengths and what each could do best to push the team and the project forward. As a team, we had to walk in the shoes of the people to whom the solution was meant for. This was very challenging for me personally but it was a stepping stone for me to get out of my comfort zone and create something useful.

On February 6th the team completed and presented their project called SKALLA (Norwegian for scale) to the client. “The balance of fair and competitive like a scale inspired the name "skalla" .The old way in which this was done was time consuming, so there was a need for a solution that made the process easy and access to previous estimates quicker. We worked on the front-end first then integrated back-end thereafter. My teammate Benjamin handled the database configuration and modeling front-end while Beatrice Nakabanda handled front-end. I worked on the API and server.” Ronnie recalls with a smile on his face.

Ronnie with his team after successfully completing their project and presentation. (Photo: Maren)

“What I learnt when working on my project with Laboremus, is to always develop what you need on paper first before you go ahead to create.This gives you room to make adjustments and easily distribute tasks amongst each other as a team after understanding the need and the magnitude of the work.” Ronnie shares nuggets he picked up along the way. 


When asked to share a challenge that he faced during the boot camp, Ronnie shared that during the course of the project he added some code onto what his team had worked which set them back by over 2 days, he also had to buy the whole team lunch for the glitch and the extra hour they had to put in to fix the mistake he had made.

Memorable experiences

Ronnie recalls the assignment his class was given by Osman one of the facilitators. “The task was very vast and required us to unlearn everything we knew to learn new things that were to help us have a successful project.”

Ronnie now looks forward to further equipping himself with the knowledge of technological languages and tools that will give him an upper hand in the very competitive job market out there.  Ronnie concluded by saying “I’ve come to learn that it’s not about the code, it’s about your understanding of the problem, your process and then your solution. My time here at Refactory has been so thrilling and exciting. I have experienced highs and lows but the vast wealth of experience, the skills and knowledge I have attained cannot be matched and am forever grateful. This was and still is the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Ronnie making his presentation at the Laboremus offices. (Photo: Maren)

Want to find out more about our programs? Visit our website

Read more news from Refactory

Refactory goes to Mbarara




August 23, 2019

“The launch of a website used to be an event.” Program Director Michael spreads his arms and looks at the 70 students and staff assembled in a computer lab at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST).

Read more
What is Tech Knot?


Joanita Nassiwa, Refactory


February 11, 2021

If you’re here, you must be wondering what Tech knot is all about 🧐. Well, allow us to give you some insight into what it really is.

Read more
A 13-year-old Refactory graduate wants to use technology to reform Ugandan education.



March 9, 2023

Aretha Mugulusi has just completed her primary seven at Greenhill Primary School and recently finalized the Foundations of Software Development course at Refactory. She spoke to Eddie Ssemakula about growing up techy, admiring a female software engineer, and reforming Ugandan education.

Read more

Is this something for you?

Apply now and start your tech career.