Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Why to become a Software Developer?

Nowadays Software is everywhere. You can find it in your car, your TV, lights and watch are becoming "Smart". Your phone that is something that you use everyday is full of apps.
Software is not just for the few anymore, everyone has the tools in their hands to start doing some software and become a Software Developer.
I am going to list some of the benefits of becoming a Software Developer. I might be able to convince you.
The average salary of a Software Developer is high.
This is an interesting one and a big motivation to become a developer. You can easily get paid in an entry level the same salary as someone with 10 years of experience in other fields. Let me tell you something if I were you I would just stop reading this and start reading about coding.
There is always work
As a Software Developer you can find a job really easy. There are lots of jobs out there. I always struggle to find good people for my projects. And when I had to find a job doing development I always found myself with 3 or more opportunities to choose from.
You can get a job anywhere
Software is the same everywhere. Something that you do in one country can be applied and used in another. There are lots of companies that sponsor developers work locally. One day you can be working in Argentina and the next you can go and work in Singapore. There is paperwork always to do but that just take time.
You can travel the world while doing Software
You can find customers everywhere in the world and ship the software easily, only thing you need is a Internet connection and that's it. If finding customers is not your thing. Well you can find a company where you can work remotely. Today you can be working in Spain and enjoy a sangria after finishing your work and next week you can book a ticket and go to Italy. The only thing that you need is a bank account where your customers or the company that you work for pay into.
You can create your own company doing some coding in your room
eBay was founded by a guy working from home and now is a multi-billion dollar company. What are you waiting for?. Lets start coding.
You can work in cool stuff that lots of people use
One of the coolest and satisfying things that I have experienced is sitting next to a person that is using one of the apps that you have developed.
Everyone will be a Software Developer in 30 years from now
Software is everywhere and future generations will learn how to do coding in school. Governments are making mandatories software courses, then even if you are going to become a Doctor, Lawyer or Salesman you will know how to code. You don't want someone 20 years younger than you stealing your job. I think you should start coding.
Many more
There is many more reasons why you should become a Software Developer and start coding if you are not convinced let me know and I will try to convince you. But if you are don't waste any more time and start learning now. You are so behind.
Also if you want me to help you become a Software Developer. Subscribe to my course. There are some prerequisites but it is not something that you could not learn before we start.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Create an Angular app using Angular CLI and Deploy it using the AWS suite

Some months ago I found my self learning Angular 2, the final release wasn't available yet and I struggle to find a way to publish the app that I was developing in a easy and quick way.

We are going to do that just now. We will create an angular project first and after we will use AWS to deploy the code to a S3 bucket. Let's start.

We first need to create an Angular project. To do that, I found that the easiest way was using angular cli. As a result, that is what we are going to use to create the project.

Lets make some assumptions. I am going to assume that you are using a Mac. Also that you know how to use the terminal and that you have brew installed.

To begin with we need to install nodejs. To do that, we need to go to the terminal and run the following command.
brew install nodejs
After having nodejs installed we will use the NodeJS package manager npm for short, to install angular cli. Lets go to the terminal again and run.
npm install -g @angular cli
If that is successful you will be able to use the ng command in the terminal to see what version of node and angular cli you just install in my case is:
ng --version

node: 7.7.1
@angular-cli: 1.0.0-rc.1
We now should be ready to create our first angular project and run it locally. To create our first project run the following command, my project will be called hello-angular.
ng new hello-angular
This will create your project with all the files that it needs. Also it will download all the dependencies needed for your project to run. If everything goes well you will be able to run your project using the following command.
ng serve
After that you can go to http://localhost:4200 in your browser and you will see a lovely message in my case app works!
Now that we have create our first angular app and it is up an running. However, I want to release my app somewhere because I want everyone to see how awesome it is.
To do that, we need to add our code to a repository. We need it there in order to use CodePipeline to deploy the code to our S3 bucket, for those how didn't know we can use AWS S3 to host a website. Also why CodePipeline, well it is because we want to publish the app immediately every time that we commit any changes. 
If you are as lucky as me the angular cli command also create a local git repository. As a result, the only thing that I need to do is to add a remote to your local repository and push the code into origin. I am going to use GitHub as it is one of the options that CodePipeline gives me as Source Provider
I have create a project called hello-angular in my GitHub account, the same as above. After that, I need to add the remote and push the code. I will do that using the terminal with the following commands.
git remote add origin

git push -u origin master
My GitHub account is acastano replace it with yours, I am using https to make it easier You just need to enter the username and password in the terminal. That way you don't have to deal with setting up SSH, I encourage you to do it your own way this is just for simplicity.
If everything went smoothly now the code is in the repository and we are ready to create our pipeline. But hold on, we are still missing something. We need to add the buildspec.yml file in the root directory of the project as we are going to use CodeBuildfrom AWS to get our artefacts to be deployed on S3.

Here is mine, I am not going to explain what everything means just change the bucket name for yours:
version: 0.1
        S3_BUCKET: ""
        BUILD_ENV: "prod"
            - echo Installing source NPM dependencies...
            - npm install
            - npm install -g @angular/cli
            - echo Build started on `date`
            - ng build --env=${BUILD_ENV}
            - aws s3 cp dist s3://${S3_BUCKET} --recursive
            - echo Build completed on `date`
        - '**/*'
    base-directory: 'dist*'
    discard-paths: yes
Don't forget to add the file to the repository, in the terminal do
git add buildspec.yml
git commit -m "master - adding buildspec.yml"
git push -u origin master
Finally, we are ready to deploy. Lets go to the AWS console. The first thing that we are going to do is to setup our S3 bucket. For that, we need to open the S3 section and press create, my bucket name will be as state above, it is important to highlight that the bucket name needs to be what your website url is going to look like in my case is
After we created the bucket there is two things to do.
First, enable the bucket to allow website hosting. Go to properties and select Static Website Hosting, enable website hosting and use index.html for the index document and error document. Press save. You will see the endpoint that AWS has generated for you grab that because you are going to need later. Mine is
Second, we need to attach a policy to allow external access. Go to permissions and click on add bucket policy. Paste the following and press save. Remember to change the bucket name for yours
 "Version": "2012-10-17",
 "Statement": [
   "Sid": "2",
   "Effect": "Allow",
   "Principal": "*",
   "Action": "s3:GetObject",
   "Resource": "*"
This is pretty exciting we are ready now to create our pipeline. Lets go to the CodePipeline section. First hit create and add a name for your pipeline. After that you will have to pick the source in our case is GitHub. Select the project that you used above and the branch that you want to deploy. In my case is hello-angular and master. You will have to allow Amazon to access your GitHub account. Hit next. 
After that, we need to select our build provider, we are going to use AWS CodeBuildfor that. Select create a new build project, give it a name and select the environment image in our case we will leave the default one. Use an image managed by AWS CodeBuild. We will have to select an Operating System at the moment there is just one, Ubunto. Later, to build the app we need a runtime. Select Node.js as we are build and angular app. 
Lastly, you need to select a version, in my case aws/codebuild/nodejs:7.0.0, and create a service role in your account just leave the default value and take note of the name, mine is code-build-hello-angular-service-role. We will have to add some permissionsto that role to allow CodeBuild to push the artefacts for us to S3. Press save build project to continue. 
Before we continue let's go and add the access to that role, if we don't the pipeline will fail. Lets open a new tab in the browser and go to the IAM section, find the roles section and edit the the role that you created above. For convenience, I am going to add full S3 access to that role but you should just allow access to that specific S3 bucketthat you are using. To add the permissions I go to Permissions and select Attach Policy. Find AmazonS3FullAccess select and add it.
Let's go back to the Pipeline creation. We are going now to hit next step. You are going to be asked to select a deployment provider, here we select no deployment because we are already doing that with code build using our buildspec.yml file. The following is the line that does that.
    - aws s3 cp dist s3://${S3_BUCKET} --recursive
Lastly, you will have to select or create a AWS Service Role. Hit create role give it a name and leave all the default values. Select that role and hit next.
We are finally here. Now we can review everything that we have done but if we did everything right there is nothing to review. Just hit Create pipeline
If everything goes smoothly your pipeline should be running and the artefacts will be deployed to you S3 bucket. However, there is one thing that you need to do. I don't want to give my users the AWS url. As a result, you need to add a CNAME record to your domain. I will be using hello-world as host and the url that will point to is that is my bucket url. Remember, sometimes it takes a while for DNS records to get propagated.
If you have done everything correctly you should be able to see you website using your own domain. Until next time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tech City Visa and Endorsement

Andrés Castaño, 33, is Colombian and moved to the UK in 2009. He had already set up a technology company in Colombia in 2004, which grew to 12 employees and revenues of £300,000 before he sold it. Following that he came to the UK and did a MBA at the University of East London. At the end of his MBA he decided he wanted to stay here. “I saw the huge potential for starting another business here. To get experience in British tech companies he took roles at Sky and at Voucher Cloud. But he really wanted to start his own company and was already talking to investors.

In April 2016 the visa rules changed again and it became clear to him that he needed a visa that would give him the freedom to work for himself, rather than tying him to one particular company.

With Tech City’s help he gathered together all the paperwork and recommendations that he needed.

“Before this type of visa was very restricted but now the criteria are clearer. It actually only took four weeks to get the visa, once I had all the paperwork. With an endorsement you can work in the industry or create your own business. Tech City helped me to put my story together. It’s all about yourself and your skills.”

“The fact that there was someone at Tech City who was always there to answer my questions really helped. It gives you confidence. There’s no set rules about what sort of qualifications you have to have, so it is important to talk to someone,” Andrés says.

Now Andrés is working as founder and chief technology officer in ELEVEN and Patch Property App. Patch Property App includes amongst its investors the founder of the UK’s biggest estate agency chain. Andrés is also mentoring other entrepreneurs through MassChallenge UK, an accelerator programme.

“London is the tech hub where everything happens in Europe. The second place is Berlin, but London is the best place to be. I could go to the US – it was a choice of London or San Francisco or New York, but I decided to stay in London. I met my wife here and we are also having a baby now,” Andrés says.

“I like the culture here and the fact that people come here from everywhere. I call it my home now. To work in technology here and to raise money here is so much easier than in Colombia. Everyone here has a smart phone. In Colombia, your chances of buying and being able to afford an iPhone are much lower, because the standard of living is so much lower and lots of people are on minimum wage.”

“Brexit hasn’t changed my mind about staying here long term. It might be affecting the economy a little bit and it might affect our ability to get the right people for the skills – the industry has so much demand for people. When I worked for Sky we had to recruit people heavily from outside [the UK] because there weren’t the skills available.”

“I feel optimistic that we will still be able to recruit here. The VISAs are very restrictive but we think we will be able to apply and bring people in. The UK has become a tech hub that people want to be in.”

Thursday, July 21, 2016

We don't need testers, we need good developers.

We don't need testers, we need good developers, it is a hard thing to say. However, after having worked for the last 12 to 13 years in 3 different countries in my own companies and others, from small to big corporations, with people for all around the globe, with developers in all levels. In general it has been fun, however, you always don't work with the best. Working with the best is not working with someone that talks a lot. It is working with someone that delivers well written software with almost zero bugs.

Saying that. There are good practices in the industry that everyone is using. What we can see are companies using some those practices such as continuous integration, TDD, BDD, clean code, etc. All of them or at least most those companies use Agile. All or most are using Scrum or Kanban to manage their projects. There are other companies that use other methodologies like DevOps. I think that is amazing, the industry is moving forward and organising to get better results and keep customers happy.

However, there is still huge problem. None of methodologies and practices mentioned above,  helps you with common problems (incomplete functionality, crashes, bugs, to mention some) that you find in the development process.

There is another problem also, recruitment. The recruitment process doesn't really help to identify the best people either. Coding exercises, algorithm solving, questions in interviews that only test your memory. It doesn't help at all to solve the problem. On the other hand, companies think having people that do QA will solve the problem. The process goes this way a developer write a piece of software, it is dev reviewed and after that it goes to QA where it normally fails, if it doesn't fail is not necessarily because it meets all the criteria but because the QA didn't do all the proper checks either. Every time that I helped with QA I always found lots of bugs and issues I wonder why. 

I know that the topic is subjective. Some developers will learn how to be a good developer others won't. But you are better of paying a little bit more and taking the time to find someone good that having to deal with big problems when in production. At the end, it is better to have a good developer that knows how to build software and makes sure that its code works (I pay double for that).

Here are some traits of a good developer.

- Self managed
- Readable code
- Attention to detail
- Testing all edge cases
- Ability to communicate
- Ability to see the big picture
- Good understanding of the problem

Still a good developer should:

- Write tests
- Keep on with trends

A developer with these traits is difficult to find. If you come across or one of them works in your company hold to him/her, they don't get the recognition that they should sometimes.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Free again.

People just take freedom for granted. I guess it is good to clarify that I have always been "free". I have been able to do take decisions regarding my life. No one has pointed a gun to my head to make do something, they did point a gun at me once but I ran away, lol, actually it is not funny. What I mean is I have been in charge of my destiny within limits.

Saying that, the last 3 years and a bit of my life I have felt that I haven't been able to do what I was supposed to. The reason that this happened is simple, I decided to go for a visa that restricted me to have a full time job for a specific company. If it was the best decision or not at that time I don't know but it was what I did. Well that is over, I now can do anything that I want.

Speaking of that and seeing what it has been happening in the last weeks. I felt really disappointed that the UK voted to leave the European Union, I live there and in a no long future will want to apply for a citizenship there. The disappointment come because I would like to live and work anywhere on the European union be free to move around even if I don't I would like to have the chance. We sadly it looks that I won't be able to and I bet that others will feel the same. 

Currently emigration is thought in the wrong way. We should be free to go anywhere live everywhere move everyone, within limits, a person should be given the chance if integrate with the society where they want to live to be anywhere. Utopia it is what it is. Whatever it happens, I feel lucky and blessed  of choosing a career and having an education that allowed me to develop tools that I can use to move anywhere, technology doesn't have frontiers. I will still have to go to the of the painful process of paperwork but it can be solved.

I bet that I will keep struggling because we don't know what the future will take us. I will have to move again at some point, my home is earth but if we could leave it I would, frontiers are invisible and built by some.

The important thing is that where I am at the moment I am free! And it feels amazing.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

WWDC 2014 (Apple World Wide Developer Conference)

WWDC is one of the biggest development conferences on the globe. Taking place over five days, at Moscone West in San Francisco, Apple gave five thousand developers (from 65 different countries) an in-depth look at the latest iOS and OS X software. The conference also included a series of hands-on labs with Apple engineers for attendees.

On the 1st June I touched down in San Francisco which was the day before the conference began. After dropping off my luggage in the hotel I wandered over to the Moscone centre to pick up my event pass. Even though, I always closely follow what happens at the WWDC, I was surprised to see how much hype the conference attracts. San Francisco seemed to be catering for the WWDC tourist, offering meet ups and tour guides to all the big tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook.

At around 7pm I arrived at the Moscone centre only to see it lined with people laying down camps to guarantee a front seat at the keynote speech the next day (one of the most exciting moments in the conference). I don’t know how many people spent the night, but by the time I left at 8pm, there but about 50 people outside.

After this I made my way to a few of the external events that different companies which benefit from the Apple ecosystem host such as Reveal app, Twitter, Pinterest, Cocoapods and others. If you come here one day I fully recommend that you attend all this meet-ups. I was able to interact with developers from Australia, Switzerland, fellow Londoners and more, and share our experiences.

The big day finally arrived, and even though I didn't sleep outside the Moscone I was there at 7 am. The queue to get in was about two blocks long and it took about 3 hours to let everyone in.

After a long wait, the keynote speech started. Apple played a promotional video with people sharing their favourite apps. To my great surprise one of the girls in the video, mentioned Sky Go! I have been working on the Sky Go app for iOS for almost two years now and to be mentioned by Apple, one of the most important companies in IT today, in the keynote of the biggest IT conference, is real validation of all the hard work that everyone in Sky has put into all the apps which give such an incredible experience to customers.

After this emotional start, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO then came onto the stage to present some of what Apple has been up to in the past year.The biggest release is the Mac OS X Yosemite. This is the latest version of Macintosh’s operative system which is set to go live in autumn. Also due at the same time is iOS 8 which includes new widgets and extensions. These will come with new apps like ‘Health Kit’ which organises data from fitness and health devices in a single place; and ‘Home Kit’ which lets you control internet connected devices from your phone. There will be the possibility to complete a task across apple devices (e.g. start an email in iPhone and finish the same on your mac).

Apple also announced a new programming language to develop iOS and Mac apps called Swift. It will allow developers to write code easier, faster and with less bugs. If you look at Swift you can see that its syntax is really similar to other programming languages such us Ruby and Groovy. But with Swift, Apple has introduced ‘Playground’ that will allow developers to run their code while writing it without the need to run a simulator. I can’t wait to start writing apps using Swift.

From here it was 5 days of talks with amazing developers. One of the most useful events was the developer labs, where you can speak to Apple engineers to get advice on how to improve your apps. For example, an Apple Engineer recommended that we should not use ‘burger menus’. He said those kind of menus don’t meet the requirements of intuitive user interfaces (being focused, clear, simple, easy to navigate and platform savvy). Don’t wait for Apple to add those as one of their UIs default component any time soon.

It was an amazing experience. It was a week that I will never forget.


Key note link:

Apps that I can't live without link:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My experience with startups (my own and others)

My startups

I have been trying to recall on how many startups I have been involved. But as sometimes memory can be tricky I am going to do the exercise of writing it down that way I won't forget. I haven't make any money with any of them on both founded or worked not a substancial among anyway  but it has been definitely fun.

Here it goes.

The first one. 

When I was 19 myself and some people that I studied with while I was doing my bachelor degree in Colombia got together to start a software development company. The company sells products to other companies to support their operations as well as custom software. At that time I just wanted to be independent, I didn't want to have a boss, I wanted to do my own thing. 

I started as the CEO of the company after 2 months we demoted ourselves to project engineers to be more "credible". We thought that as such a young age was better for customers to see us more at their own level, I guess that was the reason. After 8 months we got investment I resigned from CEO because I didn't want to have as much responsibly as I had at that moment in Colombia the CEO is legally responsible for whatever the company does, no one actually knew why I did it no that they cared but one of my life goals was to live abroad at some point and that was in my way. After that I became the R+D Manager just a title not really in practice, I used to sale our products, do development mainly in the projects that I was managing or had sold. After a while that role name didn't fit at least in my head. As a result I changed to new business manager, some of my partners didn't like it but the business cards were already on production nothing to do there.

From there, there is not much to say was selling the products and at the end I opened the office in Bogota and left the company 5 years after I had founded it to pursue my dream to go and live abroad and study my master in business. 3 years after I sold my shares to my business partners for not much and moved on.

The second one

A guy approached us while I was working with my first startup, he wanted to partner with us on his interesting idea, he was not technical then he needed some people to get his product together. The idea was to be able to send sms through a website for free and sell advertising in the website and sms that people were receiving. 

We developed and launched the product in Colombia, after just four months ir was getting traction but we didn't have money to support it. As a result we have to close it down. By that time the website attracted 30.000 people and its growth was exponential. But nothing to do the sales didn't take off and do the cost to maintain it was a lot and we didn't have the muscle to maintain it.

The third one

A guy in Singapore contacted me to work in an idea that he had. The idea was an app to seal deals (a Groupon copycat) when he was running out of money at he offer me 20% in change for development but I didn't interest me at all. The thing didn't go anywhere.

The fourth one 

I started to work in the UK with a company his owner at that time my boss. Offer me to participate with him in a venture to develop together an app that was supposed to use the Facebook Graph API to replicate Facebook but giving users the opportunity to personalise the app skin. We signed an agreement to work together started the development but that was it.

The fifth one

It looked like at that time the Groupon like apps were the thing. I am saying that because I got a job offer in a town called Bristol to work in another Groupon like app. In there I had a interesting opportunity to have access to a million user based I didn't think it twice and left London and went to work there. I have some share options there but they don't really meant much to me. I left the company after having rebuilt the app from scratch and there was not much to do anymore. The company was sold to Vodafone a while after.

The sixth one

This one was a last minute hotel app with interesting backing. Again share options but no really interesting really. The thing that interest me the most was to have the possibility to live in Spain. I went to live and work in Madrid for 9 months it was an interesting experience but that's it. At some point the company was sold to Groupon.

The seventh one

Another Groupon like app with millions in backing where I got less than 1% in exchange for development. It was a really interesting opportunity but again the company didn't last.

The eighth one

I am still working on this one. I am the CTO we are doing some work for other people as well as creating our own products the future will tell what it is going to happen with this one but it is looking good.

The ninth one

I really love startups as a result myself and my wife got together to offer consultancy services to small companies and potential startups not such in IT but also in strategy. Right now I am helping my wife to develop a product of her own and helping friends with startups of their own it has potential but I need more time.

To sum up the only thing that I can say really is that entrepreneurs are not made they are born. I don't like to work for other people. I don't need people to tell me what I need to do because I know what to do. I was born an entrepreneur it is my lifestyle and as long my heart is beating I will be one no matter what entrepreneurship is my addiction.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

No one will remember him but I do

It is something kind of personal, I do normally don't go for this kind of statements but I think that today I can make an exception. 

15 years ago I was just a little kid probably you couldn't say that I was any different than a lot a my friends on the UK, Spain, Canada* where as everyone claims they live or have been living or have grown in there first world. Just a normal kid going the the mall to get his new convers probably a lot of people on the 90's wanted to get those at least I did. However that is not the point. What I want to really talk about is about my dad. A guy that wasn't really around a lot normally he was just working minding his own business I could go in detail of what he used to do since I did go one or two times with him or my uncle to do that they used to do. 

You will think that it was something ilegal but it wasn't really it was dangerous and probably it is still, even though I hope it is not anymore because a guy like that doesn't deserve the end that he had and if you don't want to know more about him I will tell you what I remember. 

He was a guy committed to his family that will give anything for them, he was in love with his wife I think that even if I was 14 I was able to see that I would do anything for them he would even give his life away I believe. Probably I am being naive but that what I saw from my undeveloped mind at that age. The most important thing is that for me even if he didn't do much with his life he was a hero. It didn't end well though, he died when two guys in a motocycle killed him because they wanted to get the merchandising (gold and jewellery) that he used to distributed all over the country.

There is not point to get into details my only point is that I feel that in our lovely country (Colombia probably it is not just the only country that this hapens there is not value for life), no one remembers whatever has happened in the past. It doesn't matter how many were killed, we are used to that, as used to that a week after any tragedy happens our memory will be erased. 

To give you a example, I don't think that anyone will remember the day that hundreds were blown up in the Tesoro's mall in Medellin, what day was that September 11th I don't think so. Probably you know that day for whatever reason but the fact is that when that happend we just cry for a week and after that it was forgotten. Well the funny fact its that I don't remember either what I do remember was the day that my dad was killed for no reason and in 3 days to be precise it will be 15 years from that day May 4th, I remember because that day I went to buy those converse that I wanted and instead when I got home my older brother just told me that my dad was killed. Not a happy memory but the past is the past and it is nothing that we can do about it. What I can do now it is to say here what I always wanted to say.  Dad  I remember you, thank you for all the good moments that you gave us . Thank you Ramiro Castaño we will never forget you, you will be for eternity (if that even exists) in our hearts.

*I refer to those countries so that I have lived on everyone one of them and the "world" claims there are first world

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Porque estar online siempre?

Estar online, que es? Es difícil tener una definición exacta, pero la pregunta que me genera curiosidad es porque nos gusta estar online siempre?, lo unico que por el momento les puedo decir es que hemos creado una dependencia la cual es difícil pasar por alto, todo el tiempo estamos conectados y queremos que nos encuentren de una u otra forma, cada dia se crean mas y mas dependencias, y en cierto sentido es debido al avance de la tecnologia. La primera y que es casi que obvia fue el telefono, y aunque con este medio de comunicación no éramos tan dependientes, su evolución la telefonia celular nos a vuelto esclavos, porque esclavos? creo que no es una pregunta muy difícil de responder, y para demostrarlo solo basta hacer una simple y nueva pregunta a la cuestión, que pasa si se te queda tu celular en tu casa? pues normalmente la gente que conozco (me incluyo) se sienten como si estuvieran desnudos en sentido figurado obviamente, como si se les faltara algo, basicamente no podemos vivir sin ellos. Por otra parte, de un tiempo para aca las nuevas generaciones, han empezado a crear diferentes dependencias, mas relacionadas con la tecnologia, aplicaciones las cuales nos permiten compartir con nuestros amigos y conocidos acerca de nuestros actos y pensamientos, un ejemplo claro de esto es el msn donde desde hace muchos años nos conectamos y de vez en cuando hablamos con algunas personas que hemos conocido a lo largo de nuestras vidas, contandoles como estamos, alguna noticia sobre algun acontecimiento "Importante", y muchas otras cosas, esto obviamente gracias a una nueva funcionalidad que te permite poner un mensaje acerca de lo que queres compartir, con respecto a esto y aunque desviandome un poquito del tema muchas veces esos mensajes van mas alla de lo que quisiera saber de estar personas, aunque de verdad a veces son utiles, bueno en fin volviendo al tema aparte de esta aplicación que para algunos es maravillosa y para otros no tanto, existen nuevos fenomenos un poco mas intrusivos, como por ejemplo el famoso facebook, donde te terminas enterando de la vida de todos sin querer, ya que aunque antes no te importaba ni te interesaba, ahora no te aguantas las ganas de entrar a ver las fotos (aunque msn por my space tambien lo permite, la moda a cambiado por lo menos en nuestro entorno) de alguien con la quien no hablas quien sabe hace cuantos años, solo para enterarte donde esta, que hace, si esta mejor que vos, si te sirve para algo o en otros casos solo por curiosidad.

En conclusión y para no alargarme, la pregunta importante es: si es necesario hacer este tipo de cosas?, en muchos casos el estar en la red no es satisfactorio por lo menos yo he escuchado historias donde empresas investigan y toman decisiones acerca de tu futuro basado en estos sitios, por ejemplo un amigo el cual era profesor de ingles en una institucion en canada fue despedido por unas fotos que se publicaron en facebook ni siquiera el tenia facebook por lo menos en esa epoca, y lo echaron con base en esas fotos sin ni siquiera preguntarle si era o no cierto lo que supuestamente se veia en ellas.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Insitu: Una idea de negocio bien puesta

Insitu: Una idea de negocio bien puesta

In situ quiere decir ahora mismo, en el lugar, en el sitio. Así es Insitu Mobile Software, una empresa que nació en la Universidad Eafit y ahora presta sus servicios profesionales en el momento exacto que una compañía quiere automatizar la fuerza de sus ventas.

Esta empresa que desarrolla y comercializa aplicaciones para celulares y PDA’s (agendas electrónicas) es el producto de la unión de fuerzas de cuatro ingenieros de sistemas de la Universidad Eafit que, cuando eran estudiantes de octavo semestre, se mostraron interesados por la telemática y el empresarismo.

Eugenio Bolaños, Pablo Gil, Andrés Castaño y Juan David González componen el cuarteto de emprendedores que desarrollaron esta propuesta que hoy día es conocida en el mercado por incorporar la informática y la tecnología móvil en el mundo de los negocios. Y para ese presuroso mercado han logrado producir varios aplicativos que posibilitan a los empleados de las empresas mantenerse conectados entre sí, garantizando una gestión eficiente.

Los inicios

Cuando estaban en octavo semestre de ingeniería de sistemas, Eugenio, Pablo, Andrés y Juan David comenzaron a manifestar un cierto interés por la telemática y la creación de empresas innovadoras. Buscando, estos emprendedores encontraron el Laboratorio de Telemática y el programa de Empresarismo de Eafit, lugares donde empezaron a concebir su primer producto: Ulises.

“Ulises es un programa mediante el cual todos los estudiantes de pregrado de la Universidad Eafit pueden consultar su información académica personalizada”, comenta Eugenio. “Este fue el primer producto que nosotros tuvimos y fue a partir de este momento cuando nos dimos a conocer en la Universidad, entidad que se convirtió en nuestro primer cliente”.

Las iniciativas de emprendimiento impartidas por el profesor Jorge Mesa comenzaron a dar fruto y en 2004 los cuatro emprendedores formalizaron su empresa bajo el nombre de MDG Software, razón social que con el pasar del tiempo fue cambiada por Insitu Mobile Software S.A. “Cambiamos el nombre porque tuvimos unos inversionistas que nos dijeron que MDG no expresaba mucho, entonces nos aconsejaron un cambio”, dice Juan David.

Añade que “Insitu comenzó como un proyecto de interés en el que se empezó a notar un desarrollo de los temas de tecnología móvil, los cuales empezamos a trabajar desde el campo empresarial, siempre con el apoyo de la universidad”.
Hoy día el equipo de Insitu cuenta con 10 trabajadores: los cuatro emprendedores y seis empleados más pagados por la empresa.

Bienes y servicios

Insitu lleva tres años en el mercado, tiempo en el que se ha consolidado entre empresas tan importantes como Comcel, Compañía Nacional de Chocolates, Arroz Caribe, Prebel, El Colombiano, Protabaco, Arroz Caribe, Jomark Seguridad, XM (filial de Interconexión Eléctrica S.A., ISA), entre otras.

Este trabajo con grandes compañías, como expresa Juan David, “lo hace crecer a uno cada vez más”. Pero este logro ha sido posible gracias a los bienes y servicios que, con un alto valor agregado, posicionan a Insitu dentro del mercado.

Estos emprendedores están preparados para brindarle a las empresas adopción de tecnología móvil que les permita:

• Mantener relaciones en tiempo real entre la oficina, sus empleados y los clientes.
• Garantizar una gestión más eficiente de la información y de ciertos procesos corporativos.
• Mejorar la calidad del servicio para el cliente al reducir los tiempos de entrega y de procesamiento de la información.
• Incrementar la eficacia y coordinación de los equipos de ventas o de trabajo de campo.
• Facilitar el control de los procesos, el personal y la organización.
• Reducir los costos administrativos al descentralizar las operaciones.

Eugenio Bolaños resume todo el trabajo de Insitu en la automatización de las ventas, un proceso que define como “la fuerza de las ventas. Este proceso es aplicable en las empresas que tienen vendedores en campo. Ellos son personas que manejan mucha información, datos que tienen que estar enviando a las empresas. Lo que hacemos en Insitu es llevar esta información hasta los equipos móviles y ponerla a funcionar en línea”.

Adicional a este proceso, Insitu adelanta otras aplicaciones para móviles. La mayoría de sus desarrollos pueden ser instalados en cualquier móvil; no obstante, algunos aplicativos para transferir fotos desde el celular hasta páginas web en tiempo real, requieren de equipos más sofisticados.

Hacia el futuro Insitu Mobile Software planea alcanzar un nivel de cobertura internacional. Mientras tanto trabajan con dos clientes que tienen planes de expansiones hacia Perú y Panamá.

Casos de éxito

Los emprendedores de Insitu destacan entre sus casos de éxito las siguientes experiencias:

• Comcel ha encontrado en la empresa un aliado tecnológico para la transmisión de datos.
• La Compañía Nacional de Chocolates utiliza el Merchandising Insitu, un producto desarrollado por Insitu que permite hacer reportes y chequeos de la empresa y de su competencia en tiempo real.
• XM utiliza el aplicativo Notificaciones Insitu, un programa que facilita la creación de grupos de usuarios, plantillas, mensajes y perfiles que envían notificaciones a la empresa vía e-mail o SMS.
• Arroz Caribe utiliza Ventas Insitu, con éste tiene el control de sus vendedores y el desempeño de los mismos en el campo de trabajo.
• Cyclelogic, multinacional integradora, comercializa juegos desarrollados por Insitu.