Thursday, October 31, 2013

Core engineering shizniz is coming to Connect

Yesterday, I offered to blog about engineering at the yet-to-be-opened "Engineering" segment on the InterSwitch Connect website.

As weird as it sounds, I must confess that I find it quite difficult to blog about core software engineering things. Even though I consume a lot of engineering content online + I try my best to use best engineering practices everytime, that shii just doesn't wanna flow in my blogging. However, I intend to force it! I'll take cue from the engineering blogs of Facebook (which I've been consuming since 2009), twitter, etc.

Expect an expose on the stuffs going-on behind the hood in The Switch; how we put in our best to ensure that your transactions are safe and secure and how we apply best practices, from coding to testing to [automated] deployment -- using CI tools, like Jenkins. Those nitty-gritty things that take place, from the people who make them happen.

I look forward to it and hope it's gonna be a fun ride...


Happy birthday to my awesomely creative brother Anthony. Your is a place among the greatest!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

How I give my best in what I do

I've been thinking about my method of work, my style and demeanour. I wonder deeply why I do what I do, how I do it and this occurred to me:

To give your best in what you do, you have to be proud of it. What shows that you are proud of what you do? The major indication that you are proud of what you do is when you are never ashamed/afraid of talking a lot about it, of showing it off... I mean, you won't be dating a smoking hot & sexy girl and not show her off! Even the Bible says:
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. -- Matthew 5:15
That's the way I work. When I make a decision about something, I immerse myself totally into it. It shows in my daily activities, my tweets, my blog post, etc. I don't just do my job, take my money and leave, I immerse myself. Some of the people I admire also act likewise, most notably 2Pac.

The downside of this is that if whatever it is fails, you feel the pain much deeper, and maybe for longer.

That's how I roll!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Another access into the Beast

Yesterday made it two weeks since I join InterSwitch TechQuest, and I have really surprised myself at the rate in which I blended in. I won't give myself credits though, rather I'd say the guys there are just fun to be around, especially the crazy in-house web designer Senator Wale Abba.

I successfully completed my first sprint yesterday, showing my demo to the Director pushing for the product and the product manager in-charge of the product. Both seemed impressed. I created a PHP/MySQL website demoing the prowess of our yet-to-be released Single Sign-On (SSO) and third-party app authorization systems. The website was for a hypothetical coffee shop, Blue Cups, and the product manager is going to use the demo to entice a major player in the online e-commerce space to sign-up for these systems.

I felt the fulfilment of contributing to the bottom-line. However, not much people would get to use Blue Cups -- not as much number as I'll love a large number of people to use something I've created. But my next task would solve that!

Demoing to the director, he made some suggestions as improvements & consolidation in application flow that should be incorporated into the use-cases. After looking through his suggestions, the architecture I designed contained patterns that could (and should) be abstracted into an SDK. By happenstance (or not), a web SDK was supposedly in the works... Then that became my next sprint. I am to merge my new concept to the prior proposals for the web SDK, and build it.

I've been thinking around the implementation details, and the reality of this task just dawned on me. I believe the web SDK would be one of the major entry point into the beast which crunches most online payment transactions that happen in Nigeria. This single realization gives me some chills and compels me to put in a lot of responsibility into the authoring of this tool.

My colleagues at TechQuest put in loads of work in making this beast function at its best capacity, this tool must do justice to their work!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hypothesising a cure for my over-engineering

I've got the bad tendency to over-engineering a lot, bad thing is, it just comes naturally...

Building the demo app for our new API releases, I spent an upward of two hours trying to fix an issue of syncing the locale of PHP with MySQL. After spending over two hours, both of them just refuse to agree to exchange date information on the same timezone. Being the developer, I had to be the advocate!

At a point, my colleague, Yaya noticed the repeated sighs and he asked if I had a problem. Upon describing the issue to him, he calmly let me know why I don't even need to collect that particular date data in the first place. Then it felt like a scale fell off my eyes.

Two painful hours have been spent trying to collect data, which wouldn't even make much difference in the life of a user, in the context of my hypothetical demo app. Within this time, I could have sealed the app development and marked my sprint as completed.

Anyway, as it now stand, I'm hypothesising a fix for my stubborn over-engineering problem. At the moment, the best fit is: "Assume a feature/data is useless until it proves itself useful beyond questionable reason".

This should help me save some time and energy, and allow me finish-off project faster.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out.

Some time earlier this year, Oxford dictionary added the word FOMO, among others, to its dictionary. Now, I see it as the bane of many people's existence in this generation.

We want to belong, so much so that even when we see that we aren't getting commensurate benefits, we still hang-on to the circle of friends, chain of activities, routines, etc which we have gotten accustomed to.

Yes it is said that we shouldn't give-up easily, however knowing when to go tangential is as important as knowing when to continue in a circle.

Happy independence Nigeria.

I thought I should embed my tweet which inspired this post