Hey curious stranger :)
This page is a work in progress. If you're a potential employer short on time and find this too verbose, check out my CV instead :DBrad's CV
My Dad's company and the first "real" website I ever worked on.
This job helped me learn the basics of HTML and CSS, introduced me to SCSS/SASS and Bootstrap.
Soko Nymubani was an online marketplace built from the ground up using Angular and NodeJS, and our (me and a few friends) first attempt at running a profitable software business. It never took off for a whole lot of reasons, but important lessons were learned.
This marked my first introduction to a server-side programming language - NodeJS - and I loved it. It was also the first time I interacted with a database. It was awkward as all hell, but I quickly got the hang of it (Thank you Mongoose).
Aside from writing the backend, I was also responsible for building an Android app. Looking back, we were super ambitious, lol.
Again, my dad's company. It was around this time I first learned about VueJS and decided to rewrite the whole site.
I fell head over heels for Vue. The things I could do with it seemed like magic. I didn't touch plain ol' HTML for a long ass time afterwards.
After Soko Nyumbani failed to take off, we carried the lessons forward and began to work on a new idea - a school management system.
There were actually two parallel projects running at the same time due to our horrid internal communication, and I ended up writing my own system top-down using VueJS (I was hooked :)) and Java. Since I already knew Java from my Android coding days, it wasn't very difficult learning how to write backend Java code.
My first full-time role :D. I never earned a dime from this project, but the lessons learned were immense.
My first official business!
This project marked the very first time I ventured outside the world of programming and into the business world. I wrote the whole thing top-down and even registered a business name. My first experience dealing with a bank. Kinda intimidating, tbh.
It was a project meant to move money from Paypal (most of my money came from online writing :D) to Mpesa. My hopes were, however, shattered when Paypal launched their own Paypal to Mpesa service just as I was gearing up to launch.
My second business!!
Backstory behind the name: Once Retroshift Payments shattered, I quickly realized the business name I chose wouldn't allow me to do much else other than payment-related stuff. I took the "Retro-" and merged it with the "-bi" from "Nairobi" (lovely name btw. It means "A place of cool waters" translated from Maasai) and came up with Retrobi. That name looked ugly as all hell to me, to I added the "useless" "-e" at the end, hence "Retrobie".
Retrobie was (and, up to this point, still is) the largest undertaking I have ever participated in. It introduced me to "real" programming. Recall, I taught myself how to code, and was never really around people that "knew" what they were doing.
I spent three years (2019 - late 2021) building Retrobie with NodeJS and React, taking care of the business side of things - social media marketing, writing articles related to the niche and sourcing stock, before finally realizing I wasn't really making any progress and had a bunch of things I needed to learn.
In retrospect, the chances of it ever working out were pretty slim. Despite the countless hours I spent crunching numbers and trying to figure out how to make the business profitable, the foundations were simply too weak, too rickety. It was like trying to fill a leaky bucket of water.
Anyway, this was _the_ project that transformed me from a junior to mid-level developer, and my first experience as a tech company founder. It was an incredibly frustrating but rewarding experience. By the time I'd decided to shut it down (at least in it's state then), I was so burnt out I didn't write a single line of code for 3 months.
The first time I was officially employed.
First time I was paid for freelance work as a developer :D
First time I was hired to work on an Android project. They ran off without paying, but never handed over the code to them.
Also the first time I designed an algorithm from scratch! What a thrill :D.
The first time I was ever paid as a designer :D
I use modern backend languages to build scalable apps for the web
My work revolves around tech and ideas I think are different or interesting enough to write about. Topics might include everything from React to Java.
3+ years experience.
I'm interested in learning Dart for building hybrid apps with Flutter.