The latter half of 2022 have been hectic and flew by so fast before I realised it. So much so that I dropped the ball on posting a summary update to the blog in a while. In this post, I attempt to summarise stuff completed over the last 6 months.
At work, I got promoted to Senior consultant on a new team following completion of the graduate program and a stellar performance review. I was already familiar with the current team, having completed a brief stint during the graduate program, so rejoining as an official member was straight forward.
Outside of work, I have mainly been focusing on learning new things rather than building/working on side projects.
My learning efforts have been directed towards courses I think will help make me a better technical architect. An example includes the curriculum for the AWS solutions architect certification. Beyond technical trainings, I have also been reflecting on potential soft skill trainings that might be beneficial as I progress in my career, given the change in scope and level of responsibilities. While I have a rough idea of what could be useful, I think I might benefit from speaking to a mentor about this to get some guidance.
In terms of side projects, I added two new projects to my existing list:
- The first is a gift card resale site called PlayNim(https://playnim.codes/en/), that accepts Guinean mobile-wallet payment methods. For those unaware, the Guinean financial system is shallow and very informal (as is in most subsaharan countries). It was estimated by the International Monetary Fund, that at end-2017, less than 8 percent of the population had access to an account in a bank (source). Nevertheless, in recent years, two mobile network operators in Guinea; Orange and MTN, have been offering an alternative solution in the form of a digital mobile wallet. A mobile wallet account allows for storing and transacting money, and only requires having a mobile phone with a sim card to sign up for one. It has enabled the unbanked to access financial services more readily as it substitutes for a bank account, enabling saving and transactions. As these mobile wallets do not provide a debit card to use for online shopping, purchasing a gift card on PlayNim (a site that accepts mobile wallet payments), gives users access to services that would be unavailable to them otherwise. With PlayNim, anyone, anywhere in Guinea can now access western services without worrying about having an acceptable payment method. Let’s say for example, that a university student in guinea, without access to a bank or debit card wanted to buy a book on amazon. He/she can simply visit PlayNim, purchase an amazon gift card and pay using their mobile wallets, with the received gift card, they can then go on amazon and order the desired book.
Since launch, PlayNim has slowly been gaining traction and an upward tick in number of users, despite not being extensively marketed as it solves a particular pain point for Guineans.
- The second side project was open source in nature, and mainly created to demonstrate my full-stack programming skills, and usage of different technology stacks. The project involved creating a locations directory for Guinea, using data from Open Street Maps. It comprised three parts; Data Engineering, Full-Stack Web Development, and DevOps. You can checkout the website here at https://site224.com or the source code and project details at https://github.com/inimaga/Site224.
Besides working on side projects and studying, I have also been trying to stay consistent with going to the gym as I have come to find out that exercising has a positive impact on my productivity levels. Afterall, the saying goes a sound mind in a sound body.
Mens sana in corpore sano
I have also been playing A LOT of Overwatch 2, currently ranking at Plat/Diamond level.