Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I have an eye for good technology tools ;)

The following are proofs that I've got great eyes for technology tools (A.K.A, I'm not your cheap-ass tech dude!):


Yesterday, we had some folks from Microsoft came around to discuss with my development team (Quickteller team) about Windows Azure Notification Hub. It went so cool that the Quickteller product manager concluded on the spot that we were going to use it and started wondering why we hadn't adopted Windows Azure since.

I felt great!

Having used Windows Azure for Tiketmobile for almost two years now (since 2012), I'm the most experienced Windows Azure developer in my team. But that's not why I felt great. I felt great because, being responsible for the technology decisions on Tiketmobile, I had seen the prospect of Windows Azure and adopted it for our product. Even then, it was against the advice of our supporters, who suggested we go with Rackspace or AWS, because everyone in the hub was using those. Also it came with little local support... in fact, when we first started using it, it wasn't even available for Nigeria yet. I had to figure-out a lot of things, including roping-in PHP to the Cloud Service, from Visual Studio.

I'm glad that that skill of mine won't suddenly get redundant after all... Well, I would have used it during my nightshift anyway!


My CIO shared a professional report with TechQuest yesterday which listed the frameworks that are in-vogue for developing web applications in Java, with their pros and cons, using several metrics. On the top 3 was Play! Framework. Vaadin was first, Grails was second and Play! was third.

Apart from me wondering why the fuck I hadn't heard of Vaadin before yesterday, I also felt great because, when I move to my nightshift (which is every night, after my 9 to 5), I'm mostly hacking off on Play! Framework... with Scala programing language though, not Java.


CIO (of life!) also shared a great article about Reactive Application Development, which argued that it wasn't just hype, but would help applications better handle stress/load. I had earlier tried to bring-up the discussion of reactive programming with some of my colleagues, as a means of better understanding it, being a learner myself. Reception wasn't so great, so I relaxed my learnings to my personal space and when I'm on my nightshift.

I guess this is a little blessing of some sort to talk about how TechQuest could adopt Reactive app development in our methods... even if it's only talk we talk about it. Understandable, old systems might not need to be touched, I mean, why fix something that isn't broken? But new systems could benefit from the new cool ;)

Alternative title of this post:
Why it pays to have a CIO who's in-vogue (A.K.A hippie CIO aiye!)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I'm quite the adventurer

Whoever knows me by now, knows that I'm a software engineer, a proud one at that! I love my job, I mean, I love what I do, it's a passion... I sometimes can't imagine how it would be if I wake-up and I don't look forward to writing computer programs.

However, I haven't always been like this.

When I was a kid, in primary school, it used to be drawing that I couldn't imagine letting go of. I have a faint memory of me swearing that I would never stop drawing! Everywhere in Air Force Primary school 1, Ikeja, I was known by my peers. Not just me, my brothers too, all of us: Francis, Anthony & Chima! We defied all caution by my Dad, who would rather have us focus on school, to engage in this...

Well you can see the results in Anthony's Insecta + him being nominated for the future awards last year. Chima is also another person who would take everyone by surprise when he arrives  from his just concluded NYSC, having been second runner-up at the Commonwealth Art Competition in 2007.

As for me, as soon as I got to my senior secondary school, I dropped drawing for sciences and mathematics. I enjoyed advanced mathematics so much, I used to be the best in further mathematics. I loved it so much I added "calculus" to my name, hence "celestocalculus".

But then, after secondary school, I left it for programming.

Last weekend, I actually started learning to play the guitar I bought myself as a new year's present. I'd looked forward to playing a musical instrument for a long time, and this is just it. Now I'm wondering if mastering the guitar would (re)define my next 10 years.

The trend shows that I'm an adventurer in this life. I chase interests and master them, then I move on to the next. However, I love software development so much, I don't look forward to letting go of it anytime soon. I doubt I would, it makes me feel like a creator.

Besides, I  haven't even gotten to my perceived apex of software development: building world-class technology companies... Still I've got my guitar skills to learn.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

We might not be alone

I believe in evolution.

I just saw the video below on my Facebook feed and it re-affirms that belief:

And then I shared it with the caption:

"See this bird using bread as a bait to catch a fish. If the earth survives subsequent stages of evolution & man haven't hunted this bird till it's extinct, they would create tools & be far more advanced!"

While typing it, I began to have a stream of thoughts and imaginations.

  1. What would the earth be like, if in billions of years, this creature evolves to a highly intelligent being?
  2. Where would the human race be by then and how would they be reasoning? How intelligent would we be by then?
  3. What are the chances that we would even still be on this planet? Maybe we would have discovered how to survive at other parts of the galaxy and we would have migrated there, then leave the earth as a desolate land for other evolving species.
  4. What are the chances that there aren't other highly evolved species, who after evolving past a certain level of intelligence and migrated out of this planet to other places in the galaxy, leaving earth as a desolate land for evolving mammals which later became us?
  5. If this is the way it goes, then chances are that these highly intelligent beings won't even be mammals, or maybe they won't look anything like us, but they would be monitoring us over some "purple matter" (like Frank Ocean would put it).
On a parallel thought train, I imagined that dinosaurs were the most intelligent beings of the times when they reigned supreme. Maybe they didn't build computers, but they found a way to subdue the other occupants of this planet. However, they didn't understand or try to figure-out how the elements of this planet works, hence they were wiped away by natural processes.

The seed has been planted and the thought process is still executing.