Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Mr. Osaetin Daniel for a conversation. Osaetin Daniel happens to be a web and Odoo developer at Vascon solutions Abuja, Nigeria.He loves working with Python, HTML, CSS, js, PHP, Django, Linux, Odoo, PySide.
He developed a polling service known as VOTR, which is an open source project.
VOTR is a polling application built with Flask and React.
Below are some demos of VOTR.
Cool Python Codes had the below conversation with this amazing Nigerian developer.
Interview with the Developer of VOTR
Mr. Osaetin Daniel. Please, I will like you to briefly tell us about yourself like your full name, hobbies, nationality, education etc.
My name is Osaetin Daniel, I’m an Alumni of Madonna University, Okija. I am a Nigerian by birth, from Edo state.
I currently work as an Odoo developer, and recently I started blogging because I wanted to reach out to more people like I said earlier, I like helping other programmers to solve their problems.
I love everything about football and I’m an Arsenal Fan. I also enjoy swimming, teaching others and listening to rock music. Don’t ask me why (laughs).
(Laughs ) I guess it’s for inspiration because I also have a friend that listens to rock music. If I may ask, who is your favorite rock music, composer?
If I may ask, who is your favorite rock music, composer?
I can’t really say…but I Love Coldplay and Green Day. I listen to Coldplay when I need to relax and calm down…and then Greenday is for ginger!
Can you mention how many programming languages you have learned?
Wow! Mr, Osaetin Daniel, what inspired you to venture into the world of programming and drove you to learn a hand full of programming languages?
It all started with playing video games on a desktop computer I had when I was little. Then out of curiosity, I started to wonder how those games were built and I wanted to build mine also.
Then somehow along the line, I got interested in websites and web applications.
If I recall correctly, around 2007 there was this craze among boys of my age. So many boys had one website or the other thanks to services like Wapka.mobi.
By the age of 14, I had my own mini-forum called 9jatinz.tk.
But then I started to ask myself,
who build wapka.mobi?
How can I build something like that?
After ‘googling’ so much I came across this statement somewhere
“Nigerians are just lazy if you want to build a real web app learn PHP and forget about wapka.”
That was how I found myself learning PHP and it’s the same curiosity on how things work that has carried me to where I am today.
Curiosity kills the cat but not Mr, Daniel.
So Mr, Daniel did you do all these while you were in school?
Yes, I did everything in school, and my grades really took a hit because I couldn’t balance the time I used to study for exams and tests with the one I used for programming.
But in the end, I was glad that I made that decision and I have no regrets.
That’s one of the biggest challenges students that are programmers face but if it’s their dream, they won’t give up.
Mr, Daniel so your interest is in web development? And what’s your favorite programming language and web framework?
Yes, my interest is in web development.
My favorite programming language and web framework are Python and Flask respectively.
I also love Odoo, though it’s not really a web framework.
Why do you prefer Flask to Django?
There are so many reasons but they all boil down to its simplicity.
A hello world app is roughly 8 lines of code in flask.
I also like the way URLs are handled in flask. You just have to decorate a function, unlike Django where you need to have separate urls.py file.
Moreover, flask offers you a lot of flexibility because everything is left to you the developer, so you can organize your project as you see fit, tweak a lot of things and install only the libraries and tools you need.
So are u still working with PHP?
Yes….recently I built a recruitment website that communicates with Odoo via XML-RPC with PHP.
Interesting Mr, Osaetin Daniel. So when did you start blogging? and give us a brief description of your blog.
I started blogging two months ago And till date, I have written one tutorial, a flask tutorial with 10 parts.
I’ll be releasing some articles on Odoo development soon.
It’s a Jekyll blog hosted on GitHub.
Do u have any role model in your field of web development? Maybe an author, YouTube tutor, or anyone in the web development community?
Yes, Martjin Pieters, he has the highest reputation for answering Python related questions on StackOverflow.
I’ve come across his answers in StackOverflow and it really amazes me that he has so much knowledge about Python and he is more than willing to share that knowledge with the StackOverflow community.
He is a core developer of Zope2 Framework and Plone CMS, the latter being a very solid and secure alternative to WordPress.
One of the nightmares of any programmer is finding errors (bugs ) in his program…
Can you tell us your experience in debugging especially in web development?
For me, it’s not a nightmare.
In fact, it’s actually fun (Obviously when you have time on your side…laughs).
If everything you tried or did as a programmer “just worked”, then programming wouldn’t be any fun.
Debugging is an essential skill that every developer out there should have.
That’s what really makes a lot of newbies give up on programming because they don’t have the patience to settle down and find out exactly what’s going on when their program doesn’t work the way they expect it to.
As for me, the time I’ve spent on StackOverflow answering questions has really changed the way I see bugs.
How do you run your schedule? How do you manage work, blogging and also being active in a programmers’ community?
Proper time management!
During the day I focus on my work solely, during lunch break at work I take some time to answer a question or two on StackOverflow (If I see any that I can answer).
If I don’t, I just fool around (with social media or co-workers)until it’s time for to work again.
When I get home I just relax and then in the evening that’s when I write my blog articles, check various forums and communities I belong to and work on the side projects I have.
I’m not a robot, so sometimes I don’t follow this routine, especially when I work from home. (I go to work 3 times in a week.)
What’s your peak time for programming?
I prefer working at night. There is no disturbance and I can focus fully on whatever I’m doing.
If I may ask, do you take any stimulant to keep you awake or is it your rock music?
Just coffee sometimes and yes, my rock music is always playing in the background.
I hope the rock music doesn’t keep the neighborhood awake as well (laughs). Mr, Daniel can you mention some of your projects you have done?
Hahaha…No, it doesn’t.
I’ve worked on various web applications in the past, but the one I enjoyed the most was an ERP my current company deployed for a big construction company here in Nigeria.
It had so many modules and moving parts, Human resource management, Project management, House allocation etc.
I was involved in every aspect of the project, from requirement gathering and system analysis down to deployment. Now the system has gone live fully and over 500 people depend on it to help them out with their daily work.
That’s wonderful Mr. Daniel. Can you briefly explain “VOTR”?
Initially, VOTR started out as a tutorial to teach some members of a WhatsApp group I belong to how to build a web application with flask and ReactJS(the tutorial on my blog).
Along the line, I got really interested in the application myself and decided to turn it into a side project.
The main goal is to create a free service where people can create polls and mock elections to get feedback on what others think.
It would also serve as a guide for others as they can use it to compare two products/services based on popular opinion.
And for those that own websites, the poll(s) can easily be embedded so their users don’t have to leave their site to vote.
Do you want your service (VOTR) to be in the marketplace?
And how do you plan beating companies like Google that have their polling service?
Short answer, by making the process very simple.
Not that creating polls with Google requires a university degree(laughs), but it requires you to have a Gmail account and the analytics and results aren’t very interactive.
The results are just saved to a spreadsheet.
The problem is everyone isn’t an excel guru so they may not be able to extract the useful data out.
On the other hand,
VOTR simplifies the process of poll creation and provides better analytics, for example, there would be a heat map that shows you the regional participation of voters in your poll (In a country, state or the world at large).
But really the plan was not to build a service to beat Google polls, It’s just a side project that I’m working on for fun.
I wish you success in your project and can you please share the link so those interested can use your service.
Mr, Daniel will you consider being an entrepreneur like Bill Gates?
I think for those who want to contribute because it’s not ready for public use.
Yes, one day I dream of being as successful as him or even more successful.
Mr. Daniel, I know most Nigerian web developers love to use shortcut application like dream Weaver to develop a website.
It is even a heated argument that developing a website from scratch is a waste of time. What do you have to say about this?
That’s a good question but as we speak now, Dreamweaver is outdated and so many new tools have taken its place.
There is no right or wrong, it all depends on the kind of website you’re building, and the person that’s developing the website, it’s not a black or white situation.
Sometimes you just want to build a static site that just displays information and doesn’t interact with the user in any way.
Also, the client may not have enough money to pay for a standard website coded from scratch. In this case, it’s perfectly okay to use tools and frameworks that can give you a website quickly.
These tools are also good because, with them, people that are not professional web developers can easily build websites for themselves.
A good example that I really love is,
They’ve taken it to the next Level by creating an A.I web designer.
You just add text and pictures and the A.I takes care of the colors and layout.
How cool is that!
But these tools have their limits and anyone who calls himself a professional web developer should know these limits.
You don’t expect to build an interactive web app like Twitter using a website builder like wix.
Anyone that builds websites solely with website builders is not worthy to be called a web developer because without those tools they won’t be able to do anything.
They’re like script kiddies who claim to be a professional hacker but can’t exploit systems on their own without using the tools that other hackers have developed. Without those tools, they simply can’t function.
Yeah, you are right. Mr, Osaetin Daniel, we know there are not much tech industries in Nigeria and coupled with the recession now, do you advise Nigerian web developers to go abroad to look for greener pastures?
By all means,
if you get a better opportunity abroad then go for it (I hope you’re not surprised by this…laughs).
I am not (laughs ).Mr, Daniel can you tell us any programming community you belong to and any experience you have had?
StackOverflow, I already mentioned it several times because I can’t get enough of it(laughs).
StackOverflow has really made a huge impact in my life as a developer.
First of all, it all started from searching google for questions to various problems I encountered when learning any technology.
Then I discovered that most of my questions always led me to StackOverflow and I always wanted to be like the developers that answered my questions.
So I decided to join the community and I still remember the first question I asked,
“How do I build a music streaming website in PHP”
and the stream of downvotes I got.
I got 4 downvotes in less than a minute because that question wasn’t a good fit for StackOverflow and it was closed as too broad.
I also got some very funny responses like
“You should start by getting a license for all the music you want to stream”.
Only one person pointed me to the rules on how to ask a good question.
my question was closed and I was banned from asking a question except I was able to answer someone else’s question and gain reputation to undo the terrible question I asked.
So I started reading through the new questions queue and believe me I couldn’t answer any question at all.
Even when I finally managed to come up with an answer, I would discover that the question has been answered like an hour ago and the OP of the question has accepted an answer and moved on with his life.
It was really frustrating then, but I kept on waiting for the perfect question to show up.
Then one day I saw an Android question,
“How to change API level from 15 to 16 in eclipse?”
that was relatively simple for me to answer because I had been learning how to develop android apps for over 3 months at the time.
I quickly rushed and answered the question and waited anxiously for any feedback. I kept on refreshing the site. (I was so naive then I didn’t know the notifications were pushed to the browser.)
About 15 minutes later I saw a green bar showing +15, my first answer had been accepted, and I had gained my first rep on the site…I was overjoyed.
From that day I made a promise to myself to actively participate when I have the time, and I haven’t looked back since then.
I’ve written over 250 answers till date on various topics and programming languages which include android programming, Python, Django, flask and Odoo development.
I’ve also gotten a lot of feedback on my answers, and that’s what encourages me to keep on helping others.
StackOverflow was really helpful to me when I was still in the university. I got stuck on so many things during my final year project, I kept on asking questions and getting answers.
It was amazing, without them I don’t think I would have been able to complete my final year school project on time (I finished first and I was given an award as the best programmer of my set).
The most amazing part about StackOverflow is the chat rooms and there you can meet and interact with several developers.
I’ve even had the chance to talk to my mentor Martjin Pieters and one of the core contributors to Flask, David Law(@davidism).
For the sake of brevity, I’ll cut my story short…
but they’re a lot of things any developer stands to gain From StackOverflow and the StackExchange network in general (I also belong to askubuntu, though I’m not very active since I made the switch to Arch Linux).
What an interesting story to wrap up this conversation. It was nice having you on my blog. Mr, Osaetin Daniel one last thing, can you tell us how someone can contact you?
Or, you can send me a mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
It was wonderful interviewing you and thanks so much for your time Mr, Osaetin Daniel.
It was nice having a conversation with Osaetin Daniel, I hope you learned a lot.
What did you take from this interview?
Were you also down voted on StackOverFlow?
Please, leave your answer in the comment section.
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