Software developer says sector is not just for ‘nerds’

November 12, 2020
Kenardo Smith
Kenardo Smith

Since having his first interaction with a computer in the summer of 1998, Kenardo Smith grew fascinated with all things related to information technology.

Though he wasn't sure at the time what his profession would be, he would have never guessed that 22 years later he would be a software developer.

He is keen on distinguishing himself from the perception that persons in the field are "nerds that sit around the computer all day with big glasses, clacking at the keyboard coming up with codes."

Instead, he boasts that being a software developer is being a problem solver; one who is called on to propose tools and systems that will improve a company's systematic issues.

Smith, 33, started his career in 2010, having completed his degree in computer and information technology at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

However, he found his niche as a game developer in 2016 after getting the idea to create the mobile application, ABC Fast or Slow, which he launched this January. It is based on the popular game usually played with pencil and paper.

"Even though I'm a software developer, I really separated myself from what others were doing when I came up with that idea. It's about showing persons what you can do as a developer, and gaming systems are not really an area where traditional developers go into," he said.

He said that there is now a need for software developers based on the current situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Competition in the market

"Everybody's movement is limited and more persons are working from home. Companies now have to adjust their way of operating by implementing software solutions. Software developers are needed more than ever to carry your business from the physical site to the Internet," the deCarteret College alumnus said.

He cautioned that there will be saturation and competition in the market for the emerging professionals, but insisted they are still needed. Smith believes that based on the increased use of technology, Jamaica doesn't have a choice but to adapt to the changing digital environment.

"I don't believe we will ever go back to where we were before the pandemic. All the changes that have been will have to be analysed, assessed and improved, so as to not revert to what we were doing before."

Smith hopes the market will expand to welcome more gaming developers.

"When you look on the Google Play Store, you see more international games. Jamaican games don't get much exposure or developers don't take up the challenge to create a game. There are so many traditional games we used to play as kids, such a ABC Fast or Slow, before we have Internet. I'm just using my skills to bridge the gap," the Mandeville, Manchester, native said. "I hope more persons see that it is not a nerd thing and boring. We are regular persons and it's really satisfying."

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