Ask A Techie 20 Questions – Bitz Leon – Software Developer

Ask A Techie 20 Questions – Bitz Leon – Software Developer

How would you define a techie?

As the name suggests, anyone who is interested in technology- may it be hardware or software.

Tell us about yourself (short bio).

I will call myself Bitz Leon- as it is the name I have always gone by. I am from Trinidad and I have had an interest in tech since I was 6, only getting into any kind of development at the age of 12. Went to DeVry University and graduated with a BSc in Computer Information Systems and Systems Security.

How has tech improved your life?

To me, that feels like asking a person “how has breathing improved your life?”. Tech is so inherently a part of my life that I cannot define myself without saying that tech is a part of my life in the most inclusive ways.

How can technology be used to improve Trinidad and Tobago?

So many government run systems would benefit from modernization and computerization. For example, most consumer facing facets such as Public Transport and Public Utilities and Health Care would benefit from being modernized. Also- education. Though, some schools have been taking the initiative to actually have an online presence beyond a mundane web portal.

How did you end up studying and living in US?

Studying abroad was always my goal after Form 6. I had no interest in going to UWI to get a standard education by UWI’s standards. (This was around the time when I was helping my step-dad with his Access Database Project for his Masters). Plus- I knew the job market would be much larger in the US. Affording myself a chance to work here gave me a chance to improve my standard of living.

Do you think a country should tax online shopping?

Yes- though the % Trinidad’s government settled on is absurdly high.

Is CES becoming too mundane?

It’s becoming less about something “new” and more so about innovating the same old products. It’s a consumer based show- and consumers are predisposed to getting the shinier newer version of what they already have. So, by nature, that is what everyone will try to showcase. So, in short- yes. But only because it is what it is.

What question would you ask yourself and how would you answer it?

What do you want to learn next? AngularJS and App Development. It’s been on my mind but I can’t find some time.

What has keys but no locks, space but no room and you can enter but you can’t go in side?

Keyboard? Though technically a keyboard has (caps)locks…

What tech would you like to own?

I really want to build a tower PC- but I really have nowhere to put it and no time to use it.

Would you choose a million dollars or a year with Bill Gates?

Bill himself isn’t front facing anymore. Not much I can learn from him, and I don’t think he would match that 1 mil in cash himself, so I’ll take the cash.

The best advice you have received?

Drink lots of water

Mouse or touchpad?

Mouse.

What sports teams do you support?

Uh. I don’t follow any. Yankees I guess?

What tourist things must I do when I Trinidad?

Go buy a doubles. That’s all. Buy your doubles and leave.

What tech event would you like to attend?

CES. The shiny lights tho.

How would you invest a million dollars?

Neural Net Research or companies that specialize in Neural Computing. Once Quantum computing becomes more viable, I can see computer learning becoming explosively viable as well.

What future technology interests you?

Neural networks and computer learning.

If you had to start a tech company what would you call it and why?

BitzNet. Don’t know, already decided this like 6 years ago.

How can you use technology to help benefit your community?

Introduce online shopping. Man, I would love if more stores acknowledged the rapidly growing market.

What question would you ask the next techie?

Do you think there should be more focus on improving hardware or software systems?

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Ask A Techie 20 Questions – Jaeson Bowens – Computer Science Engineer

Ask A Techie 20 Questions – Jaeson Bowens – Computer Science Engineer

How would you define a techie?

From my point of view a techie is someone with great interest in technology, keeping update with technological advancements and finding ways to help improve his or her day to day routine or solve basic problems with the technological resources at their disposal.

Tell us about yourself (short bio).

My name is Jaeson Alonzo Bowens affectionately known as Papi Chulo by some and Pimp by others, nicknames that I got from my adolescent days as a young aspiring singer / song writer / actor, performing in various events in SVG. Besides having a past in the entertainment industry, I’m a computer programmer / software engineer / database administrator by profession with a degree in Computer Science Engineering. My love for programming came about from my affection for creativity; it’s amazing the stuff that can be created by writing lines of codes.

How has tech improved your life?

Tech has improved my life in many ways but the most outstanding; is that it has enabled me to help others by using my profession or talent to create Software or Information Systems that generates social, economic and environmental benefits for institutions and public organizations.

How can technology be used to improve St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

Technology can be used to improve many sectors in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In the health sector for example; an inventory system can be developed along with implementing certain protocols to help carry out a stock control of medicines and health equipment, resolving many problems at the General Hospital relating to its inventory; such as missing equipment as recently reported. Technology can also be used in the education sector to assist teachers in dictating lessons to students. Starting simple by using multi-media, videos, power points etc. in class or taking a step further by developing educational software with lessons incorporated to meet their needs.

How did you end up studying and living in Venezuela?

To be honest I have asked myself that question on many occasions while studying and living there smh loll. As we may know Venezuela present economic and politic situation is no secret but graciously I survived it all and accomplish my goal for going there. Now back to answering your question, I ended up studying and living in Venezuela because I took advantage of a scholarship granted by an agreement between the governments of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela. As we may all know a university education is not cheap, hence the reason why many students try to take advantage of scholarship opportunities and besides it’s way better than borrowing student loans and having to pay it back.

Do you think a country should tax online shopping?

I see no problem with a country taxing online shopping, once the tax on goods and services is not a huge percentage. The revenue generated, little or small can be used to invest in general public necessities.

Is CES becoming too mundane?

Maybe just a bit but recently I have observed that people are gaining more interest for CES as it gives start-up entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their products and to capture potential investors. It’s even becoming something more popular in the Caribbean. Maybe it’s just the Shark Tank effect loll nice show by the way.

What question would you ask yourself and how would you answer it?

How can I use my knowledge and abilities to positively impact those around me? I have thought of a million and counting ways. Maybe not the best answer but too much to write 😀

What has keys but no locks, space but no room and you can enter but you can’t go in side?

I believe it’s a COMPUTER or as Christopher Columbus would say; Una Computadora. (No relevance what so ever to the riddle lmaooo)

What tech would you like to own?

It would be nice to own a new laptop as my previous laptop got damaged. NB: Thou shall not eat or drink around an electronic device. Lesson well learnt lol.

Would you choose a million dollars or a year with Bill Gates?

As influential as Bill is, I would prefer to choose a million dollars as I can think of a million ways to invest it.

The best advice you have received?

“Stretch little and live long” – It’s a quote that I heard as a teenager, it means to do with the little that you have and make it work. It also stresses the importance of budgeting wisely.

Mouse or touchpad?

Mouse – it gives me more freedom using certain image and clip art editing tools.

What sports teams do you support?

Jamaican Athletics Team, Argentina Football Team, Barcelona and Manchester United.

What tourist things must I do when I visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

You must definitely go yachting or boat sailing in the Grenadines Islands; it’s to die for :D. Or go hiking at the Vermont Nature Trail or La Soufriere Volcano. You can also look out for the night limes at various venues on the weekends.

What tech event would you like to attend?

Any tech events with products and start-ups on display would be nice, once it’s not drawn out with long boring speeches.

How would you invest a million dollars?

I would invest it in something profitable, I would need to analyze the market before investing.

What future technology interests you?

Artificial Intelligence.

If you had to start a tech company what would you call it and why?

B-Tech – The B comes from my surname and Tech is short for technology (Bowens Technology). B-Tech can also mean Be Technological; Technologically Innovative.

What question would you ask the next techie?

How can you use technology to help benefit your community?

Ask A Techie 20 Questions – Ghaffar Ellis – Tech Founder

Ask A Techie 20 Questions – Ghaffar Ellis – Tech Founder

How would you define a techie?

A techie is a person who is enthusiastically driven by technology both for fun and for business.

Tell us about yourself (short bio)

I am a dreamer, a designer of experiences, a relationship builder, a visionary maker, a techie. The most important aspect of me is I believe in interdependence of communities. I believe it is a great trait to have as a leader and a follower.

How has tech improved your life?

Tech played an important part of my childhood, almost as equal to the community that raised me. A simple tool as a pencil was a major part of my development. The small chairs that I used to have to sit on throughout school made me rethink its design as they all made my tall bones ache. To my first phone in 2002 that allowed me to understand dial-up, WLAN and broadband services. To my first PC [Dell E310] in 2005 that introduced me to the digital design apps and something new to explore the world wide web.

How can technology be used to improve Jamaica?

Technology is a tool that provides access to its potential users to reduce resistance to success. Technology can assist Jamaica extensively [across industry and culture] only when we make it a vital part of how we build assets and express our desire for assets or anything of value.

Tell us about your startup Apply 3D?

Apply is a technology startup that designs, builds and distributes 3D hardware and software solutions for the Original Content and Equipment Manufacturing (OCM & OEM) industries. We hope to make 3D technologies the foundation for tomorrow’s desires for those who make, create, engineer and manufacture.

This effort is to advance the deployment of new products and market segments, with the advancement of rapidly growing 3D technological tools and solutions which are key in developing the goods and services of the today, tomorrow and the future. We just happen to start with the Caribbean.

I started looking into ways to make stuff and the technologies that would help me to do this. I also had a problem helping my clients to physically represent the product I would design. So then in 2013 I found out about 3D printing and was blown away by it capabilities and limits. I used to own a view finder and this technology sparked my interest the same way it did, lol. So with the help of my friend Nicholas Coley I started Apply 3D. We are looking into business models that we could make money from using this 3D technology in some way, shape or form and the growth pains are still very real.

Nicholas decided to walk away from the project though he was instrumental in helping me to find other like minded persons to help with R&D and tackle the learning curve.

Our team of Nomadz include:

Ghaffar Ellis – Founder, Product Architect, Business Executive Officer
Davonne Beckford – Chief Industrial Engineer [Animation, Products, Infrastructure]
Patrick Meikle – Chief Design Officer [Animation, Product, Branding]
Randane Gould – Mechanical Engineer [Systems, Hardware, regulations]
Gregory James – Research Engineer [Bio-Chemical, Minerals]
Kristen Mullings – Administration Manager
Monesh Davis – Software Developer [Front-end Android]
Glenford Williams – Software Developer [Back-end Web & Mobile]
Jerian Lewis – Audio User Experience Engineer [Sound composition fx]

What do you know about 4D printing?

I have a lot more to learn about generative material, their development, their use cases and product segments, lol. Essentially, it takes static materials and makes them responsive to different environmental stimuli by both software and hardware, thus far. I can tell you from what I know, that new materials and the growth of augmented reality will drive a massive demand for 4D operational products from the nano-micro-macro level devices that are fully capable of solving problems in new ways that we have yet seen from applicable technologies in the past.

What is the meaning of your first name (Ghaffar)?

Interesting question. It means to forgive or the forgiver.

Your thoughts on the CARICOM Single ICT Space?

It is my first time hearing this term officially as it is something I think about and hear others discuss openly. From the context though, I believe there is a desperate need to have such a space as it will aid in unearthing new talents, funding opportunities, strategic workable relations, and regional connectivity.

I also believe it will give the region an advantage given our various cultural similarities and vast amount of differences. We get to test, implement, monitor, reshape and re-engage the market like never before.

Which house can fly?

The house of Heaven is my final answer, dwl.

What tech would you like to own?

You shouldn’t have asked this question.

I want to own the first version of our very own [NICR] 3D Printer so so badly!
There is a local company that makes backpacks called Bresheh, I want one real bad.
I’m in love with the One+ Company and the 3T is my favorite phone right now.
I need a shelfire box so if you know anyone make the connection asap, lol.
I like the new Samsung refrigerators and washers, real nice stuff.
I wish I held a few of Intel’s integrated circuit patents, that’s some nice tech to have.

I would love to but my team a few personal devices to increase our workflow and rate:

4 Microsoft Surface Studio – [We’d be killing them designs]
2 Production work stations – [64 GB of ram each]
Stratasys J750 Industrial 3D Printer – [Out of our current collective budget]
Tesla P950 – [I would sleep with Elon Musk on a bed separated by pillow because I might hug him for making that car]

Would you choose a million dollars or a year with Bill Gates?

A year with Bill Gates would be a worth more than that in value and money. I would learn the lesson he learned to make him money and then I’d make more than than a million.

The best advice you have received?

Fail fast, learn faster, implement fastest. By our design we are made for success.

What colour would you paint all the houses in Jamaica and why?

Green – it makes Jamaicans recognize a change is coming.

What sports teams do you support?

Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Mercedes Formula 1, Reggae Boys, All Caribbean Track Teams, Indiana Packers, Golden State Warriors, Red Socks, I also watch Liverpool because of Stevie G.

What tourist things must I do when I visit Jamaica?

Walk the streets and don’t listen to the scare tactics of these hotels.
The beach is a must on any side of the island but a river will please you.
Attend local event on either Wednesday, Friday or Saturday, seriously.
Eat local food, get out the hotel as the food doesn’t taste anything local.
Spend a day in the house of parliament and make friends with a politician.

What tech event would you like to attend?

CES, TECH CRUNCH, EUROMOLD, MAKERS FAIRE, TEDTALK CONFERENCE

How would you invest a million dollars?

I could create a model to compound every dollar into creating 2.

What future technology interests you?

3D-4D printing, AI, AR/VR/MR, Bitcoin, IOT, Dynamic Applications, Fin-tech, Robotics, value based ecommerce

How do you keep yourself “special” compared to your colleagues?

I never though of needing to feel special my colleagues they just tell me that I am. I feel really normal most of the times.

What question would you ask the next techie?

What was life like when you were at my stage of development?

Ask A Techie 20 Questions – Theo Boomsma – Innovator and Entrepreneur

Ask A Techie 20 Questions – Theo Boomsma – Innovator and Entrepreneur

How would you define a techie?

Someone passionate about technology and new tech innovations.

Tell us about yourself (short bio).

LinkedIn Profile

Creativity and inventiveness combined with multi-technological background makes me an innovation driver. Technology background in mechanical engineering, systems modeling and advanced control and early entrepreneurial experience with many ventures in many areas of expertise. More recently the “Social Enterprise” has captured my interest with the question: How to develop a nation from within? How to create true wealth in society, agnostic, free and independent!

How has tech improved your life?

Technology = Freedom,
understanding it gives you peace of mind,
beeing able to build it makes you independent,
innovating it gives you joy and self-respect!

How can technology be used to improve Suriname?

Taking down bureaucracy, creating transparency and destroying corruption. Improve lives of the poor especially in farming and energy.

How important are blogs in the tech space?

It’s a techie’s daily breakfast, an essential if you even think about innovating.

Tell us about IT-Core

IT-Core is a non-profit/social enterprise that promotes innovation in ICT. We established the RoboKidz Lego Robotics school, initiated many activities like the first yearly Hackathon in Suriname (2013-2016), the HackOmation IoT (2015-2016) and the Fishackathon for the Guyanas.

In what ways can a developer secure an application?

Compile it and delete the source code 😉

Your thoughts on the CARICOM Single ICT Space?

AMEN!

What is the square root of 12345678987654321?

111111111

What tech would you like to own?

Serious Robotics lab

Would you choose a million dollars or a year with Bill Gates?

Could I swap Bill for Linus or Elon?

The best advice you have received?

Shut up and listen… (to the silence)

Is there a disconnect between Suriname and the rest of the Caribbean?

Yes very much, I think because of our Dutch historic ties compared to most Caribbean Commonwealth ties. But this is just the focus of our 2017 strategy, we are not selling stuff or subscriptions. We are usually giving stuff and knowledge away so our strategy should be very easily achieved with the right people on our side.

What sports teams do you support?

PSV Eindhoven (sorry I studied almost next to the stadium)

What tourist things must I do when I visit Suriname?

Visit the inlands, waterfalls, nature, pristine rainforest, party hard in town, my office!

What tech event would you like to attend?

Caribbean ICT fair with a huge tent in the jungle hosting a Hackathon!

How would you invest a million dollars?

A tech lab …

What future technology interests you?

All modern technologies that could make life easier and healthier. Advanced control, AI, Voice/NLP, nano-machines, cryptology

What is your definition of the perfect smartphone and what would it have to do for you?

I really don’t care, but the iPhone 5 comes close but a little more voice control would be nice to talk to my phone (but it’s storage is constantly full).

What question would you ask the next techie?

How do you keep yourself “special” compared to your colleages