Have you ever thought that python programming can be applied to Geo-informatics(contemporary called land surveying)? Well, think no further.
Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Mr. Umar Yusuf for a conversation. Umar Yusuf happens to be a geospatial expert. He is also a python programmer and a seasonal blogger.
The conversation is a bit lengthy but interesting as well. I hope you enjoy it.
Godson: Hi, Mr. Umar Yusuf. it’s my delight to have you here on my blog. And I will like to thank you for your precious time.
Umar Yusuf: You are welcome. It is my pleasure.
Godson: Thanks, Mr. Umar. Please, I will like you to introduce yourself to the readers.
Umar Yusuf: My name is Umar Yusuf, am an African based in Nigeria. I have a background education in Geo-Informatics. I am married with a child, Sabeer.
Godson: Mr. Umar can you briefly tell us what Geo-Informatics is for the benefit of our readers?
Umar Yusuf: Geo-Informatics is the contemporary name of the discipline “Land Surveying”. So a surveyor is a geometrician according to the contemporary name. Hence, it is correct to say I studied land Surveying during my undergraduate studies.
Godson: So Mr. Umar you blog and program right?
Umar Yusuf: Yes, I do seasonal blogging and programming. My blog
Godson: Our readers that want to be readers of your blog, what do they expect to see, Mr. Umar?
Umar Yusuf: Basically, any one of your readers interested in automating Geo related processes will find something interesting on my blog. And Python is my chosen language as it is very well utilized by big players in the Geospatial industry including ESRI ArcGIS and QGIS.
Godson: Wow!!!… I am sure those in the Geospatial industry will love to go to your blog.So when did you start blogging Mr. Umar and why did you go into blogging?
Umar Yusuf: I started blogging in 2009 but wasn’t serious about it so I quit for a while. I returned back in the middle of 2015 and my motivation was mainly to help me learn geoprocessing with Python programming language as I learn new things on daily basis.
Godson: When did you start python programming, Mr. Umar? And did you have any challenges?
Umar Yusuf: I started learning Python Programming about two years ago, in 2014 to be precise. I was coming from a PHP background, so no many challenges along the way for me. It has been fun all through.
Godson: How did you know about python and why did u change from PHP to python?
Umar Yusuf : Am in the Geo related industry and Python is very a popular script language in the industry. That was how I got to know it and decided to learn a defector programming language within the industry.
Godson : Mr.Umar, how do u blog, program and do your job and have time for your family?
Umar Yusuf: Well, you got to give everything it’s own time. With proper planning, I don’t feel the stress of maintaining an equal balance between my daily activities.
Godson: Mr. Umar, Do u blog or program when you are at work, or you do them strictly at home?
Umar Yusuf : Whenever an idea come to my mind, then I write it on my blog. This keeps the idea in my mind for future use. And also help someone out there who may be searching the Internet for a similar solution. So I blog virtually anytime and anywhere.You know Blogger is very well accessible on mobile devices, so that keeps me blogging anywhere even when I am on a journey.
Godson: Yes, Blogger is very accessible.The contents of your blog are very informative. I would like you to tell us, Mr. Umar, How do you come up with great posts? What are your major sources of information for your great informative posts?
Umar Yusuf : As I mentioned earlier, my source of inspiration for a blog post is documenting what I learned or what I intend to learn in the future.Then just like any other person, I use the Internet (Google) to source materials to study while I try to solve the task I want to achieve.
Godson: Mr. Umar, how much time do you think is sufficient for a newbie learning python programming to dedicate to achieve success?
Umar Yusuf: Honestly, there isn’t one answer to this. The advice I have for the starter is to spend more time on a project he/she wants to achieve using Python Programming language.
Godson: Mr. Umar any advice for someone who may be reading this post and wants to quit python programming, maybe because they are finding it difficult.
Umar Yusuf : Programming is not for everyone so those who jump at it just because their friends are doing it will be tempted to quit early. But if you code for a reason/goal, you go along the way until you become a Pro. My advice is for them to get a reason why they are learning and the goal won’t make them quit.
Godson: Yes. Mr. Umar. Some even join because of money and give up at the end. Mr.Umar we all know how a community of programmers is essential as we can learn new things. So are you in any python related community, forum?
Umar Yusuf : Yes, I am in a programming forum as it gives me the opportunity to connect with experienced folks.
Godson : For the benefit of a newbie or python developer that want to join a python related community, can u tell us the name of the community?
Umar Yusuf: Virtually every country has one python community. So for example, if you are a Nigerian and what to join the community in Nigeria just search for “Nigeria Python community” via Google and you will get their details. I strongly recommend you also join the community in US and Europe as they are more active and engaging.
Godson: No one wants to be in an inactive community. So how do see python development in Nigeria, if it is bad, can you identify any problem?
Umar Yusuf: It is growing and I won’t say it is in bad shape. As many events do spring up from time to time notably among then is Django girls.
Godson: Yes Django girls, I wish it will become more popular than it is now. Mr. Umar, can you tell us any project or accomplishment you have with python?
Umar Yusuf: With Python Programming Language, I have written Geospatial processing scripts, desktop applications, Web scraping script, Data science, and visualization scripts. Some of the scripts are on my blog while some are written for a third party.
Godson: That’s wonderful Mr. Umar. Mr. Umar do u have any mentors or any python programmer you have learned a lot from whether on YouTube or any other social media?
Umar Yusuf: Sure, I am a fan of the inventor of Python (Guido Van Russom) and Mark Lutz, the author of many python books.
Godson: Yes, the inventor of Python, Guido Van Russom did a great job. Also, we have to appreciate the python community for their efforts and contributions to python.Mr. Umar have u written any book on python, and if you have, how can your fans get it?
Umar Yusuf: Not a standard book per se with ISBN. But I have tutorials compiled into ebooks, some are blog post. I have some online on my personal blog, website, and my academia page.
Godson : Mr. Umar, do you have any other hobbies apart from programming and blogging?
Umar Yusuf: Sure, I play and watch football.
Godson : So Mr.Umar, do you have any goal or projects for yourself or for the younger generations that what to learn python programming?
Umar Yusuf : Yes, I always have this in mind, that I will one day create a simple platform for learning to code that any kind of person irrespective of Education background will use to learn Programming with or without an instructor.
Godson: Mr. Umar, do you advise Nigerian python developers to look for greener pastures aboard?
Umar Yusuf: Yes, anywhere they can find it even in space(Mr. Umar laughs). On an honest note, the Nigerian ICT ecosystem isn’t mature enough to sustain developers especially freelance developers.
Godson: Before we wrap up this conversation, would you like to tell the readers how they can contact you, Mr. Umar?
Umar Yusuf: It is very simple to contact me, all my contact details are on my website.
Godson: Mr. Umar, I want to specifically appreciate your time, it was wonderful having a conversation with you.
Umar Yusuf: Thank you too.