March 2022 status update

30 Mar 2022  Issa Nimaga  3 mins read.

Going forward, I will be posting short summaries of things I’ve been working on outside of my main job/work. A first of its series, I am hoping regularly journaling about these activities will help me retrospectively reflect on the progress I am making.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into it: is one of the side projects I have been primarily working on in march. It is a cross-platform mobile app built using Google’s flutter SDK (like most of my mobile apps), that allows one to compare exchange rates and fees across different remittance services (international money transfer providers. Ex; WesternUnion).

Perhaps in the future, I will do a proper write-up of the project, including details on how I came about the idea, prototyped, and then built it. But in summary, I had built a quick nifty python script one Saturday afternoon (back in February) to scrape the sites of remittance services for their exchange rates and fees, compare these, and tell me which one is best. The gap between the best and worst rate were significant enough that sending using the worst rate, would have resulted in me losing about £150 for the transfer I was about to make. £150 in a developing country is a lot! and goes a long way. So, I thought to myself, if this was this useful to me, then I have no doubt that expats who regularly send money home would find a service like this useful as well. After some initial quick research on the available solutions addressing this specific problem, I found very little that were adequate. While a very good web app exists that addresses this problem, I found no decent mobile applications. The apps I came across were very dated, clunky and had the wrong rates most of the times. Thus, I set out to build my own version/solution.

Development has been going on well so far although quite challenging. I had underestimated the amount of work that was required to build a solid backend of bots that continually retrieved the latest exchange rates consistently. To make the task more manageable, I am starting out focussing on a subset of countries and remittance services. Once version 1 of the app launches, I can improve the app later by adding support for additional countries and services as well. If everything goes well and proceeds according to plan, I am hoping to launch the app by end of April 2022.

Assembling the 224Flix dream team

224Flix is a niche streaming service a couple of buddies and I are building. It is essentially the netflix for Guinea. I’ve been looking around for additional co-founders to help make this a reality. If you’re interested in joining or could help with this, please feel free to reach out.

Front-end web development courses

Finally, I have been developing and improving my web-development skills through a couple of online courses I am undertaking. Having built multiple production mobile applications, I am confident enough in my backend and mobile development skills. I hope to achieve the same level of proficiency in front-end web-development and acquire skills akin to a true fullstack developer. Once I’m done with, the next side-project I shall be working on will be a web application (rather than yet another mobile app).

Final notes

That’s it! for march’s update, and keep your eyes peeled for FinestRemit!