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Zim university student develops business apps & working on virus removal software

Luke Madzdze's Alvin PC Security

Luke Madzdze's Alvin PC SecurityWe first heard about Luke Madzedze at the Research and Intellectual Expo at the University of Zimbabwe some 4 weeks ago. At the expo, we saw some desktop and Java mobile applications whose development was attributed to the young man. We arranged to meet Madzedze and finally did last week in Harare.

Luke Madzedze is a 23 year old final year student studying Business Management & Information Technology at Catholic University in Zimbabwe. Luke tells us he’s been writing code since he started learning programming back in high school.

Software applications he’s worked on include an Inventory Manager, a Point of Sale (POS) application, an Internet Cafe’ Billing application for an NComputing/Thin Client setup, a payroll system, a Java mobile audio player app, a java ‘call me back’ mobile utility and some virus removal tools. His latest project he says is to develop an anti-virus application.

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We found it quite impressive that even though Madzedze’s a full time student, he has managed to sell the Inventory manager, the Point Of Sale (POS) application and the Internet Café Billing application. He says his oldest POS client, a baby clothes retail shop at the Westgate shopping center in Harare, has been using the application for 4 years now. The Internet café billing application, now on its second version and close to year old, is also being used commercially by an Internet café called Platinum Online in Harare at their Causeway branch, Girls High School and Churchill Boys high school net café.

Madzedze’s virus removal tools have been used by colleagues at his college to remove some notorious viruses that were spreading on campus via USB memory sticks. Madzedze says traditional anti-virus applications would fail to deal with some viruses because of lack of updates, poor configuration and heavily compromised Windows machines rendering the anti-viruses unusable. His tools are designed to deal with known viruses and reverse their effects on heavily compromised Microsoft Windows computers.

Madzedze says he’s never received any external funding for this software development and that he essentially works alone writing the software, marketing it, selling it and supporting. And since he’s studying full time for his first degree, his software business is really ‘work on the side’.  He explains that “balancing between being a student and being a software developer is definitely one of the biggest challenges that I face on a daily basis.”

Now to be clear, developing a point of sale system, an inventory management system, or a virus removal tool is obviously not the big thing here. There are a lot of geeks in Harare that can do these things. In fact we have a number of software development houses in Zimbabwe that have worked on similar solutions (except the ambitious anti-virus software that is (not that they need to)). What we find attention worthy here is the promise at show in this one man band.

It’s the promise and potential of a tech entrepreneur still a student but actively monetizing his software development work. A student providing practical virus removal solutions to problems faced at his college. A student with applications that are actually being used by everyday businesses which are actively experiencing the benefits of his solutions. Looking at these things you imagine the heights that can be reached with a structured team a strategy and software dev skills harnessed to produce innovative solutions not just for Zimbabwe but beyond the borders even.

And in case you’re wondering why we have not provided a link to his website; other than a Facebook profile, and some entries on classifieds.co.zw, there’s nothing else.


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28 thoughts on “Zim university student develops business apps & working on virus removal software

  1. Nice to see there are some promising developers in Zim, would be nice if he could put up a site where we can see more of his work.

  2. Excellent stuff ! Keep up the great work. How does one go about getting in contact with this Developer or does he have a website? etc… am interested in his Java app’s.

  3. Good Stuff, i suggest we set up a developer think tank, where we can have all sorts of events plus we get to share ideas

    1. this is the time guys. lets get into serious business. How can we meet? My name is tichaona Miti, 4th year INFORMATION SYSTEMS AT MSU , have also developed some applications in the market. Guys lets come together.

      Everywhere students are doing it. Revolutions always start with students. Don’t doubt our programming capabilities. IT students should come together
      LETS SHARE IDEAS.
      mitaics45@cooltoad.com

  4. Waal, this is interesting. l would like to work with people like this young man. I think WE (University students) should come together and form a group of developers. There are a lot of experienced developers now in this country – what we need to do is to organize ourselves into a powerful voice. Lets come together – Lets hold seminars together. lm interested in programing and would welcome anyone with constructive ideas. Lets not just be IT consumers but Producers also. HOW CAN I CONTACT THIS MAN , I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR A SERIOUS PROGRAMER

  5. we have the talent…im an ex-MSU Computer Science student, i would like TechZim to visit the Computer Science Dept and see for themselves Zimbabwe’s IT prodigies’ work, past projects by senior (final year students) you will be shocked by the talent that often goes to waste

  6. this is good and such an innovative spirit should be encouraged. I do hope that all software developed that is claimed to be owned is purely self-written. if it is GPL, due credit should be given. if it is a modification of xxx code from pscode.com and should credit be acknowledged, do so too.

    license & intellectual property awareness is also very important.

    other than that, this is good news!! Good luck to the fella!!

  7. Not to diminish his achievements (and congratulations to him for getting this far) but I would like him to concentrate on one application and get it to a truly professional standard. Programmers make their money from resale, selling 1 or 2 copies means you have to continue to develop new applications all the time. After school if he can get funding or some partners and perfect one application that can then be sold over and over it is money without the continued work of always having to write another program.

  8. LukeSoft mdara uyu. He is not a pscode.com type. I’m not a software developer but I think it’s rather silly to try and lure a guy just because he’s geeker than you.

    Develop your own solutions guys, inga Luke anoita ega wani.

  9. Inini i hope this young mupfana is not jiving like those guys at Nhava.

    We need indigenous solutions for indigenous problems – not solutions borrowed from other people and then branded as our own. Handitika?

    1. …otherwise Techzim could be as embarassed as Ministry of ICT when we found out Nhava to be a scam

  10. SAd story though. If this guy is as good as he seems to be, Microsoft Oracle e.t.c will be onto him him in a second. Brain drain people its the braindrain! Funny to think that the guy who helped develop the palm top was from Prince Edward Zimbabwe.

    1. If it’s basic why didn’t you do it first then? No need for being jealous. that is what hinders Africans from moving forward.

      I think we shud award praise where it is deserved.

  11. yo luke gudd stuff man from the codebreaker cleaner, shortcut cleaner now Dr alvin PC antivirus wonderful this is gr8.yo anti virus is a bomb far betta than avira,avast,microsoft essentials and tha rest. nyc 1 !!!! viva CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY!!!!!

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