Showing posts from April, 2022

Being a problem solver

We like to complain in Trinidad and Tobago. Seems to me like there is plenty more complaining than us finding and sharing solutions. Is our education system producing problem solvers? I have a background in tech and coding and I think everyone should learn to code. Steve Jobs has been quoted as saying, "Everyone in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you to think." Employers often look for problem solvers. I was once asked, "What's the best bit of advice you received since entering the world of IT?" My response was, something I came across on twitter, Dr Tariq Khokar advises developers to make something that people will miss if it went away. This was in his Caribbean Developer 2012 webinar. Chances are that if we are creating solutions then those solutions will be missed if they went away. When I think about what I am doing with this local tech blog, I ask myself, what problem is my blog solving? There is a need for local content.

Getting started as a coder in Trinidad and Tobago

What is a coder? A coder writes instructions (or code) for the computer to follow in a language it can understand. Programmer, developer and software engineer are also terms that are used. I use those terms to mean the same thing but there are articles you can Google for that spells out the differences. My journey as a coder began in secondary school. I started with pseudocode then Basic, Pascal and Visual Basic. I got a perfect score in my CXC SBA and was getting good grades in my computing classes at St. Mary's College. We were fortunate to have a decent computer lab. I recognised the power of tech to make the world a better place and I was having fun and this motivated me to choose tech and coding as a career path. If you want to become a coder you have to start asking yourself some questions. What are your goals in life? Can becoming a coder help you achieve those goals? Think about finding your ikigai which for me is doing what I love and making a difference. I think everyone

It is not the camera, it is the photographer

Sometimes we see a great photograph and the first question we ask is, what camera did you use? We might think that to take great photographs we need a fancy camera. The latest and greatest. I want to say that this is not true. A good camera helps but the main thing and most of the times is the effort and skills of the photographer. Many good photogs spend plenty time and effort honing their skills. We practice often and practice better. Filters, lenses, dslr and flash can help but nothing beats the effort of the photograher. The best camera is the one you have. Make the best of what you have. If all that you have is your smartphone camera then make the best of that. Mobile phones have really made photography accessible to the masses. Good photogs are knowledgeable about lighting, angle, framing, bokeh, composition, dynamic range, exposure, aperture, shutter speed, dept of field, rule of thirds and golden hour among other things. I get much joy from photography. For me it about creating

My Interview with the Jamaica Technology and Digital Alliance

How would you describe the tech space in Jamaica? Technology in Jamaica is at an all time high. The pandemic accelerated the digital plans for most companies and for the government. Tell us about the Jamaica Computer Society? Tell us about the Jamaica Technology & Digital Alliance? In 2021 the Jamaica Computer Society, which has been the leading technology advocacy organization in Jamaica for over 47 years, joined with the Jamaica Information Technology and Services Alliance to become the Jamaica Technology and Digital Alliance. The JTDA’s vision is Our Vision is to enable people and businesses by providing access, influence, and empowerment through technology. We bring together the stakeholders in technology to collaborate, learn, and grow. What technology improvements are needed in Jamaica? Technology continues to reshape every aspect of our lives in Jamaica. To support the growth of technology in Jamaica there needs to be a combination of robust, modern govern policies that bala

I had these Questions for the IDB about the Tech Space in Trinidad and Tobago

Country Representative for Trinidad and Tobago, Carina Cockburn How would you describe the tech space in Trinidad and Tobago? Trinidad and Tobago is in position 46 out of 65 in the Annual Report of the Broadband Development Index (IDBA) ranking that includes Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. When we focus on the Latin America and the Caribbean region, it is in position 10 out of 26.  Furthermore, the penetration rate of fixed broadband services is 24.33%, whereas the penetration rate of mobile services is 48.92%, far from the average of the OECD countries which is 34.8% for fixed broadband and 127.3% for mobile.  You can find a report from Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) here . As a result, businesses, entrepreneurs and government actors operating in the tech space are aiming for improvements and looking forward to the opportunities offered for expansion, greater efficiency and improved service delivery.  In what relates to the use of digita

My Digital Transformation Ideas

The MDT website has a form for submitting ideas. I submitted my ideas in the form of this blog post. The following are the ideas that I have that come to mind. I encourage you to share your ideas with them also. Track next bus and pay fare with app Encouraged use of FOSS by government, private sector and public TATT approval for Starlink satellite internet Work with Paypal to make it officially supported locally Make work from home the norm Tech as a core subject like Maths and English Etextbooks A local developer survey Text to donate system Encourage hackathons and participation Mandate all government bodies to provide at least 10 open data sources Tech labs as described in my video Locally developed workflow platform for the government Public tech education campaigns Make Tobago and Trinidad remote work destinations IoT flood alert sensors Plan and action to hasten IPv6 adoption Experimental CBDC Laptops for students who cannot afford Indepen

How can you make money online in Trinidad and Tobago?

This is a common question. Maybe you are now out of school. Maybe you are looking for a side hustle. Trinidad and Tobago has good internet infrastructure and good options for high speed broadband internet and mobile internet. We have cheap electricity. We have free education. We have no taxes on computer equipment. We have an enabling environment for persons who want to make money. One question that will arise as you make plans for your hustle is how do you accept payments online? Services like Paypal are not officially supported in Trinidad. Wipay is an alternative that was started in Trinidad. If you are getting paid through Youtube and adsense you can have a check mailed to you. If you are working for a remote employer you can have them wire transfer your salary. If you are advertising your services online, it helps to have a strong online presence. Make it easy for potential clients to find you and interact with you. There are freelance services marketplaces like Fiverr. There are

My love for walking

The above photo was taken on a walk back home in Cunupia in 2017. I love walking. For reasons, it has been a few years since I stopped long distance (5km to 15km) walking. One day I will start again. On Runkeeper I have 2509 km recorded but there has been more that has not been recorded. When I lived in El Socorro I would walk to the Aranguez Savannah, make 7 laps and then walk back to El Socorro. Those who regularly walked around the Aranguez Savannah could recognise each other. Aranguez Savannah is peaceful and green and serene. It is wide open and sometimes breezy. If you live next to this savannah or any savannah, you are lucky. When I stayed at my uncle's place in Tobago I had several routes. I walked from Sou Sou Lands to Mt Irvine, Tobago Plantation, Little Rockly, Store Bay or Scarborough. Tobago is quiet and relaxing. When I land in Tobago all my problems disappear. In Cunupia my routes are linked to the different grounds that I can walk to. Wilderness grounds, Munroe Rd g

Finding Tech Jobs in the Caribbean

This is a quick listing and work in progress of places to check for vacancies. Comment with ones you would add to the list. Check for ads in the daily newspapers Check the companies websites and social media Search social media, especially LinkedIn Caribbean Tech Talent Pool Caribbean Developers group Reputable headhunters Hello Trinidad whatsapp group National Employment Services Service Commission