An Interview with John Maina (Dalavin)Wachira John
As promised, I introduce to you a new section of the blog. The interview section. This week, I interviewed John Maina. I met him four years ago and right from the start, he looked like a really sharp person to me in many areas. And he is. He is many things, some of which are highlighted in this interview.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet John Maina.
Who are you? How would you describe yourself?
My name is John Maina, I am a born again Christian taking a bachelor’s degree in computer science based in Jomo Kenyatta University main campus. I am twenty four and a half years old.
Anything else you would like to add to that description?
I am in a relationship with a lady called Sophia.
What entails you day to day activities?
A typical day would involve prayer, reading God’s word, involvement in things related to my course, especially programming, a little bit of business. Something else that I also must do daily is speak to Sophia.
What business are we talking about?
I am integrating my IT skills into business mainly by sourcing clients who are in need of the services I am capable of delivering.
Why Computer science?
Growing up, I did not have the chance to interact with computers. All I did was hear from people that there existed machines known as computers which had immense abilities to do things that seemed mysterious to me. So I grew curious and developed a passion to know what computers are and how they work.
Any advice to aspiring computer science students?
The course requires a lot of commitment and time. It’s also a hands on course so practice is very critical. Practice a lot as early as possible as soon as you can.
How many programming languages would you say you know?
That question is a bit ambiguous granted that learning a language has a scope. I can say however, that I have some basic understanding of about seven languages, give or take.
Is there a project you have done to completion?
Tell me more
It’s an online management portal belonging to a music school. That system covers the fact that the school has three branches and its functionality entails everything that’s done in the respective departments of the school ranging from finance, to timetabling, to managing lessons and synchronizes the three schools so that harmony is achieved. The system is up and running.
Do you see a future of you with software development?
Definitely. Apart from being contracted by clients I seek to possibly start my own innovation that solves a need in society. Take Zuckerberg for instance, he created Facebook to solve a need in communication. I also am thinking on those lines so that I solve a need in society and fulfill myself in terms of career.
Who do you visualize yourself as in 5 years?
In five years’ time, I see myself as an investor in the IT field. I see myself stable with a company which will not necessarily serve clients directly but will sort of be subscription based.
How do you set and achieve your goals?
I have very specific and realistic goals. I hate vague and too ambitious goals. For instance, I can’t say a year from now I will have learnt a programming language which will then enable me to create a large system. Instead, I will say, tomorrow, I will start on some tutorials for this language, I will go to person x for help et cetera. Such kind of specific goals.
Who do you look up to (Role Model)? Why?
While I do not have any specific role model who is all rounded, I have figures in various areas that I look up to. For instance, Jente Russell, mentors me in programming. The late Mezga, in the field of theology motivates me through his bible scholarly credentials and his vast pool of knowledge.
Smartest person you know.
Anyone you hate? Dislike?
Are there traits people poses that you dislike?
There is a trait that I actually hate, people who are dishonest not only to other people but to themselves as well.
Is there something you can mention that is complex but you know it well?
Dual-booting windows 8 and Ubuntu.
If I ask you to explain how to go about the process, can you do that?
I see, what single task do you consider most significant accomplishment to date? How did you achieve it?
Getting Sophia. [Bursts of laughter] I achieved it by loving her then proposing to her continuing to love her more and more. And she loves me even more!
How would you describe your interactions with other people?
I believe I am gifted in interacting with people. I like people. I find it easy to understand people and their unique differences and personalities and that helps me interact with them. I can fit in to accommodate almost anyone in my interactions with them.
What would you say is the best decision ever made?
Getting born again.
What would you say is your most valuable item right now?
[Thinking] That has to be my laptop.
HP Envy touch smart.
What do you do in your free time?
Play chess or visit friends, reading religious stuff.
Which book are you currently reading? Which genre?
I have just completed reading The Case for the real Jesus by Lee Strobel. It’s a theological book.
What is the book about?
It’s a contribution of many biblical scholars that try to prove that Jesus actually existed historically.
Who would you recommend such a book to?
Anyone who would like proof that Jesus existed.
I have to ask, do you have a dream car?
Which of these persons do you prefer: Excellent and late or average and on time?
Excellent and late.
Give me one weakness that you have.
(Thinking) Too high self-esteem.
What does that mean?
I don’t really have a word for it. To describe it though, in meetings, I sometimes find myself imposing my opinions on other members.
I noted that you mention Sophia quite a lot in your conversation. What kind of a lady is she?
She is the best person in my life. I would say she fits into my life well. Sort of like gears. (Physicists in the house?) Or like substrates and enzymes (biologists in the house?) and the other marginalized subjects. She is outright selfless, it’s never about her. She can easily loose anything to help others, her character is excellent, she is God fearing and she also keeps me accountable.
What has your experience in JKUAT been?
I think I have learned more here than I have leant my entire life. Spiritually, I have made great leaps especially in Biblical and theological areas, I knew nothing about computers when I reported, and that is not the case now. I have interacted with lots of diverse and different people especially ladies; having come from a boy school you would understand that. I also learnt how to play softball.
Interacted with Especially ladies? What does Sophia feel about that?
She has no problem with it and I know she does trust me.
Anything else you would like to add?
Yes. I am grateful to God for bringing Sophia into my life.
Is there anything you wish to tell her?
Yes. Proverbs 31:29.