AMA Session with Jalasem | Nov 24, 2018

AJALA ABDULSAMII
11 min readNov 25, 2018

At Ingressive Slack: http://bit.ly/join-ingressive

Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

Interviewer: Hey, everyone…
Welcome to Today’s Webinar with

(Jalasem)
Jalasem is a full stack developer at Fluid Angle, a company he co-founded. He will be sharing with us a bit about his journey so far…
Let’s give him a resounding welcome as he takes the floor
Over to you
Kindly introduce yourself

Me: Thank you Sandra it’s my pleasure.
I’m a self-taught full-stack developer with over 4years experience learning, exploring and teaching Full-Stack Javascript development (Frontend and backend technologies & tooling). I specialize in VueJS (Pure Vue & nuxt), of course I write React (ReactJS & ReactNative). Aside from that, I manage a team of creative developers and designers now. That’s a mixture of technical experience with some managerial skills.

I am versatile in system architecture. I have the ability to multitask and thrive in an environment that constantly embrace new technologies, innovation & creativity. Yeah, I like that kinda race. I have a good eye for design. As a result, I craft and built nice interfaces whenever I build apps (Web, mobile or desktop solutions).

I worked as a freelancer. Later on, I felt the need to challenge myself in a corporate setting. I joined a couple of companies. I will mention a few. I joined Parker Labs, USA (remotely) as a javascript engineer, I worked at SWIPEmax as a full-stack developer and Hatixa Solutions as a Tech lead. Then I got into Codementor.io. As a result of the impact I was able to make on Codementor, I left to face Codementor for about 4 months. I got featured several times in a row after two weeks that I joined Codementor. I got into the CodementorX (elite programmers’ team) in about 2 months that I joined as well but out of the zeal to do more FluidAngle came to life.

I am creative and so passionate about solving problems with technology as well as inspiring young and great minds through developer community activities at Google developer groups, FreeCodeCamps, Local I.T Hubs and tech talks. I’m constantly learning to improve my skills and I always keep myself updated with the latest technologies and best practices.
I have a reputation of over 5800 on stackoverflow with javascript as my top tag, I answer questions or read answers on stackoverflow at my free time. I learn a lot from them.

Interviewer: Impressive 👏🏽
Okay….we have over 30 questions here on slido
I will be taking them one after the other.
As people join in they can ask whatever questions they want to ask…
Let’s go
1. What made you venture into software development?
by Anonymous
Over to you

Me: Growing up, I’ve always been worried about seeing people in a deep cycle of struggle, hustle and less output. I’ve always wanted to do something better to live a better life and have a better impact. During my quest, I found out there are so many ways to become a superpower. One of those ways which I believe I could give a shot (risk-free) without much side effect is becoming a software developer and here I am doing what I love.
With the skill, all you need is an idea and relatively little resources to make things happen, to build things. I mean anything 💪

Interviewer: 2. What major challenges have you encountered and tackled along the way? by Tito

Me: Well, I will say a lot. Of course learning how code with existing environment variables such as Nigeria, as in

country=Nigeria

(many can relate) that itself is a challenge. It was a struggle of self-actualization and definition of purpose. Jumping from one language/framework to the other. I figured out I needed to simply focus on a language and understand it’s core before venturing into any framework or technology.

I had difficulties with access to the right resources, being stuck so many times and so on.

Interviewer: 3. Do you really think everyone should learn to code? by Anonymous

Me: Hmm,
My answer is YES
Everyone should learn how to code.
Coding is the new literacy. We don’t have to all be programmers (don’t get that wrong) but it will soon be required just like we all need to be able to read and write.

Right now, ability to use a computer is required in every corporate setting. We are moving to a time when the ability to code/understand code will be the new literacy.

Interviewer: very true… Right “We all mustn’t become software developers…learning to code is the new literacy”

4. Where do you see the Tech Industry in Nigeria in the next 5 years… What role do you see yourself playing in it by then?

Me: In terms of technology, we adapt very fast. Take it or leave it, our banking systems are top notch. They’re better than what you will get in some countries overseas.

I see Nigeria being a big player in the Technology; Blockchain, AI and wearables. So many startups will emerge to solve problems and offer solutions in this field. A lot of them are doing this already and many will follow the lead.

With my keen interest in Blockchain. I’ve built some solutions with blockchain. Among them is Steemgigs. In the verge to do more, I’m developing myself by learning more blockchain technologies and existing protocols. I plan to co-found or lead a revolutionary blockchain startup in 5 years time.

Interviewer: 5. Are there any tools, resources that make you work way easier especially to a newbie…what hacks can you say they can apply to learn development faster?

Me: My Macbook, my amazing internet (even though I can’t brag of its speed anymore with Ada Nduka’s recent tweet) and my lovely VSCode (I wish I can write in red to show my love for my editor)

Interviewer: That tweet is hilarious 😂

Me: Yeah 😁

To learn efficiently, you need to set a path for yourself.
But one thing that is more important is to learn the basics. Foundation is very important.
For HTML, I’ve come across so many resources online. I recommend freecodecamp.org but to have a practical understanding of how the web works, checkout scrimba. That’s scrimba.com
I recommend that you check out these courses in this order

Learning plan
============
https://scrimba.com/g/ghtml
https://scrimba.com/g/gintrotocss
https://scrimba.com/g/gflexbox
https://scrimba.com/g/gR8PTE
https://scrimba.com/g/gintrotojavascript
https://scrimba.com/g/gcssvariables
https://scrimba.com/g/gintrotoes6
https://scrimba.com/g/gintrototypescript

Scrimba is awesome, light and fast. It’s also worthy to mention that it consumes fewer data compared to youtube and regular visual alternatives. You can even pause the video and mess (practice) with the code while you’re being taught a new concept.

In the case of Blockchain technology, if you’re new to blockchain I recommend Codementor.io’s Blockchain Learning Center https://www.codementor.io/learn/blockchain

Participant [Teri]: I am just reading through and getting wonderful recommendation

I have noted the recommended courses for study. Thanks

Participant [fantastic_genius]: same here

Me: Here is my general recommendation (also what works for me)
Watch a video (learn visually) if you want to get a new concept quickly, then read the documentation/books to have a solid understanding of the language, framework, library or technology.

6. Tabs or spaces

Me: Spaces vs. Tabs is an age-old debate (an interesting one though) so I will give my answer since I’m asked
Tabs are meant for Indentation, spaces are meant for separating two characters or words from each other
Tabs make coding easy
Requires less typing
You can configure how many spaces your tab should occupy in your editor. I use 2 spaces tabs. If this doesn’t make sense to you, get VSCode
Code size with tabs indentation is lesser
Spaces Indentation takes more time to fix

Interviewer: 7. Mac, Windows or Linux? 😉

Me: Bing bing Mac wins! 😇
I can’t imagine myself using something else decades from now but if you don’t have one, don’t hit yourself. If you can’t afford a mac as a developer, I’ll advise you to stick to Linux if you’re into Microsoft technologies.

Interviewer: Mac …always wins 😅

Participant [Teri]: I invested in a Mac last year and I’ve no regret.

Me: Mac is the best tool for you (mind you, this is an unpaid commercial) whether you’re a developer, designer, sound producer. I mean any profession in my opinion and from my experience.

Interviewer: 8. Your favorite Tech Conference experience in 2018

Me: My favorite tech conference experience in 2018 was Bakare’s session at Google Developers DevFest 2018
Kubernetes — The full intro

Interviewer: oh… nice…

Me: I also had the opportunity to meet so many people I’ve always had virtual contact with as well.

Interviewer: 9. Can you tell about a time you misunderstood a client? How did they react? How did you respond?

Me: Interesting,
We learn by the day. I had that kind of experience with a client sometime last year. I won’t mention his name. I met him on Fiver.com. He gave a clear requirement that wasn’t perceived by me to be insane for the offer that time.

To cut the story short, I had to fix a meeting with him, I explained what I understood. We reached an agreement which included the fact that I wont get more than half of what we agreed on earlier.

Participant [Tito]: I like how you placed the burden of understanding on yourself, rather than saying the client didn’t communicate what he wanted well.

Interviewer: 10. What new technologies or tools currently excite you and you consider the next big thing? by Adewale

Me: Blockchain & AI
Very soon blockchain will power most of the IT systems we use today. It might put an end to our corrupt government system.
Unlike before or right now, we hear mobile first. The next phase is AI first. I found that exciting. As you build solutions, you think about and consider how AI and IOTs(internet of things interact with it).

Interviewer: 11. What’s an old project or piece of code you’d be embarrassed to read again? And how much has your code improved since then?

Me: This question makes me laugh.
The answer will always be Uniclip. It was on Stamplay before it was removed (free/experimental hosting). It was a web app that I built to serve as a universal clipboard. It was powered with firebase. The most embarrassing thing about Uniclip is that the whole code was on a single file and 90% poor practices (opposite of best practices)

Interviewer: 12. Do you think Nigerian developers are being exploited, underpaid as against international standards?

Me: Yes.
So many exploitations, I’ve not really been into the Nigeria tech scene at a top level (like a thousand foot) so I can’t really accuse or defend them.

Interviewer: I think so too…In comparison with international standards…we are definitely being exploited.

Participant [Daniel]: I’m a newbie, learning python. I wanna get into AI but I wanna also do back end with python n java script. Is that advisable?

Me: Any of the two can be used for backend but python still wins when it comes to AI. My advise is to take them one at a time unless you consider yourself to be a genius.

Interviewer: 13. How would you direct new devs looking for a mentor?

Me: Simple,
Find someone better than you. Someone who has already figured out his stack. If you can’t, be your mentor and attend meetups.

Interviewer: 100%

: Is there a person or organization you would direct them to? We have a lot of young devs on this channel and two have requested a mentor to guide them. I’m trying to see how we can connect them to those people…

Me: There are lots of organizations that have programs related to mentorship but I will say in a corporate dimension. We have the likes of Andela, Integer and so on. I’m also willing to mentor serious-minded people.

Interviewer: 14. What are the important things to focus on when going into the dev world especially as a full stack developer? by Masterlexhie

Me: Focus on the basics
As a fullstack developer, you must understand HTML and it’s APIs (to an appreciable level). You must master CSS (box model, flexbox, grid, css3 animations and more). Understand the principles of UX (user experience) as well as have a good eye for design. Solid knowledge of Javascript, frontend frameworks (at least ReactJS or VueJS) and Backend (NodeJS, Rails or other Backend frameworks). A fullstack developer must also understand system architecture at a high level (monolithic and microservice architecture), databases (related and NoSQL DBs) and DEVOPS. If this look like a lot, take them one piece at a time.

Having a solid understanding of each one of them.

Interviewer: insightful!

Me: I'll always refer to this popular Chinese proverb that says:

千里之行始於足下
Qiānlǐ zhī xíng shǐ yú zúxià
“A (journey of a) thousand miles begins with a single step”

Interviewer: 15. What was your worst bug?

Me: My worst bug was related to not validating user request at the backend and made an entire database polluted then. I’m sure I learnt my lesson

Interviewer: 16. I am learning frontend and it’s beginning to bore me. What field do you think will provide me with the environment to create utility and productivity software? Anonymous

Me: Don’t be bored. Greatness lies ahead. These are not mere motivational words. There are so many times in our lives we tend to loose the juice. Nothing comes easy and believe me, with practice comes mastery.

Also, check out other methods of learning or resources if one is not working for you

Interviewer: 17. What’s the best physical environment for you to code in?

Me: A dark room, ambient low volume sound, my Mac and VSCode

Interviewer: 18. Wealthy enough or flighty rich?

Me: Wealthy enough. All I want is to make an impact and have the ability to do more. There is really no point being flighty rich.

Interviewer: 19. How do you treat clients that don’t like to pay, they want cofounders, but its money that you need at that point?

Me: I call this the new scam

It’s always permissible to say NO

Building up a solution means a lot; Hours of coding, creative & critical thinking and debugging till it eventually see the light of the day. It’s a long term experiment. Unless you believe in the idea so much that you won’t mind undergoing the experiment for the sake of an equity (whatever the number/ratio/percentage is) without being paid. Mind you, experiments could fail.

Let them pay you for the risk please, even if it’s little unless you’re learning or you’re part of the mastermind(s) of that idea/startup.

Finally, I will like to round up this webinar with few things
I will like you to check these out;
— Learning how to learn
https://openclassrooms.com/courses/learn-how-to-learn
— Learn to work autonomously
https://openclassrooms.com/en/courses/5291566-learn-to-work-autonomously
They are both free and it will help you through your developer journey.
Developer Opportunities; Getting ready
Whatever area you want specialize in and whatever technologies you have touched, make sure you have at least one portfolio for it. It could be an open source contribution, a simple todo list app (though I would advise you do something better) or a real life project (recommended). This will help you a lot when seeking opportunities to work remotely or relocate to work abroad.

Thank you Ingressive Community for this opportunity, I’m honored to be invited.
Thank you everyone for being part of this webinar, I hope we’ve learnt one or two things at least.
You’re awesome! 👍🏽
Thank you @sandraajaja :(interviewer) You’re amazing.

Interviewer: It’s a wrap! Thank you

…you are doing an amazing work. This was one amazing learning experience. Was definitely Fun, Educative… We got a glimpse at your amazing personality…which is the whole essence of this..Sharing, learning, 100%

: We really appreciate you coming and giving us this great information. We hope you stay in the community and continue to be a leader for devs within the Ingressive Community. I didn’t want take all the time here, but I’d love to catch up, I still have a few more questions! lol
And thank everyone for attending! We have another webinar coming up soon for all of you thinking about or have already started your own business.
The idea is, all of you are capable of growing and being the top of the developer community, but that doesn’t mean you’ll know about tax laws for your startup. It doesn’t mean you’ll know about things like intellectual property rights as a future CTO. We want to give everyone a resource and a community where we can create innovative ideas and startups from what we have right here in this community!

Interviewer: Thanks Sean… so glad you could join us… Guys Sean is the COO of Ingressive 🤗… We are privileged to have him here with us…

THE END

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AJALA ABDULSAMII

A computer programmer(Fullstack developer) and tech enthusiast