I am Agatha N., born in Mbarara, Uganda. I am currently working as a Software Engineer in Kigali, Rwanda. Indeed the COVID-19 epidemic has left no one unaffected from businesses, families, individuals to governments.
Software engineering has the the very strong advantage that it is easier to work remote than a whole number of other industries. The challenge we faced mainly was getting the remote tools to transition to full time remote. That meant that for the first few weeks, we suffered a bit of limbo as the development environment was brought up to scratch. After that, we were back to normal working hours with a pace that almost equaled the one in the office. Of course, virtual interaction would never equate to in-person interaction and that is where COVID-19 delivers it’s back kick. That I am able to transition easily to remote work, I am lucky, though I have had colleagues in other Software companies laid off due to lack of projects during this time because of economic challenges.
Lock-down in Kigali, Rwanda is as efficient as they get. That means I can barely move 100 steps outside my home before I meet a policeman asking where I am heading to and if that is an essential service. With bars, restaurants only serving takeout and transportation at a minimum, my social life is confined to the neighbors whom I must keep 1.5 meters away from. This counts for a boring life in-front of my laptop streaming Netflix every evening -(yes even La casa de papel gets old if it is all you do). Also I can’t visit my people in Uganda-(I miss “real” matooke).
On a brighter note, I have saved a lot of money sitting at home. I have listened to podcasts, read books and really gotten to know my neighbors (1.5 meters away of course).