AMA Session with Akinpelu Tobi, Creator of MavenStickers and Gingered

Please note that the contents shared in this article rightfully belongs to Oluwatobi Akinpelu.

I was delighted at the opportunity to share my over 5 years experience in software development with the ingressive community.

Here is a bit about how the conversations went.

My special thanks go to  Ingressive for the opportunity.

Interviewer: Kindly tell us about you

My response: A bit about me - I started programming as self-taught in 2012. Started with Website development, which I later made the bold decision to specialize in mobile development in 2014. I've done a series of projects for clients, and the majority of the rest ended up as localhost projects. Learnt my lessons about being productive as a developer and made my adjustments. These corrections helped me to be spotted by the best tech company in Nigeria, and the release of MavenStickers and Peppercolor.

Interviewer: So you recently launched Maven Stickers and it has been trending for some time now....tell us about it

My response: Fast Forward to 2018. Because I believe in creativity. I wanted to bring an idea to life that has an impact on the lives of people I felt what people use daily is good to start. Something like that came to my mind in the era if BBM. But I could do it due to the lack of adequate needs of a good laptop. And then telegram But Telegram is already crowded. When I saw WhatsApp, I was excited and I knew immediately- I need to do this. I wanted to create a simple tool that will have a massive impact on the e-social life of people, so I decided to create a tool that can make it more expressive and engaging at the fingertips of people.

I built it in 24 hours ( on a Wednesday/Thursday) -  wrote contents about it on Friday -submitted to play store on Saturday - Made the announcement on Sunday.

Mavenstickers had over 230,000 impressions on Twitter alone within the first 36 hours - and the happy thing for me is the feedback of how it has brought more fun to chats.

Let’s dive in quickly into  some actions I make that enables me to develop and produce faster faster faster!

Interviewer: Tell about how to get localhost projects to live in such a short time...like you did with Mavenstickers.

My response:

1. Don't start with codes. Start with good plans

Before you build it, research for all libraries and frameworks you will need upfront. Usually, what elongates production is because developers try out something today, and tomorrow changes it for the name of "it looks better". When looking to increase productivity for developers, it may seem counterintuitive to have them spend more time away from their keyboards. But adequate planning and specification of work are well worth the effort. Unclear requirements cause confusion, which is the most frustrating roadblock for every developer who needs to code rules and logic into their applications.

By spending some time to properly plan your project and simplifying your planning process, you’ll save time on fixing and redesigning things whenever you are actively coding. This is a very vital point. Please hold on to this. Don't start with codes, start with good plans.

2. Don’t optimize prematurely

Premature optimization is a serious issue among the coding community. For real-time projects, optimization is necessary. Other projects, such as games, also require optimization to a certain degree for better user experience, certification for publication, etc. However, that doesn’t mean you should start optimizing your game in its half-baked state. It's a good idea to optimize after a good chunk of functionality has been implemented. The game also applies to any other software. The late start will help you to avoid unnecessary work and keep you productive.

3. When codes get naughty, sleep over it! please I beg you, sleep over it

Have you ever been in that situation when you get those naughty errors for 6 hours? Just to go out to play, come back, write a few lines, and voila- it works. And you start wondering, why did I forget that comma? Or why could I have made that silly little mistake?

Working fewer hours can help you remain productive. In the meantime, you also need to get proper sleep. Without proper sleep, you can easily hamper your productivity to a great extent. Not to mention, improper sleep can also hamper your health and cognitive capabilities. I do it a lot, whenever the code doesn't work, I just sleep, play games, chill out or just do something fun.

4. Reduce cognitive coding, increase building usable software.

Let's take a look at these problems: 3 of them

(A) Write a function that returns an array containing the currencies  for an ATM transaction, assuming the ATM can dispense all the available Nigerian currencies, 1k to N5 so if you have someone that wants to withdraw 750 the function should return [500, 200, 50] you can't return 100 naira bills since there's a 200 naira currency...

(B) Create a software usable that an ATM machine that handles improve the experience of the withdrawal process.

(C)  Build a module/part feature adoptable by banks or/and fitness.

Above are 3 problems, which can be solved by developing software for it. The only difference are the purpose, goal and mindset of the developer.

In A, B and C, which of these will bring more productivity to the developer and will likely go from localhost to live usage? (edited)

I leave the thoughts to you guys.

5) Be creative, keep growing into excellence

Just like me who believe in creativity, to do things differently. No matter how small the uniqueness could be - It will propel you to do more and push it to the hands of people to use.

Interviewer: Finally from me. I am very curious about your Publicity. It was very strategic..How did you do it…

My response: Thanks Sandra, I believe when there is a good content/product, it will fly with effort. I basically shared it with friends and few in the tech community I could share it with who could also reshare to their audience.

 

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