Blog Archives

#London Chapter 4: My Propeller

I’m a bit late with my this but it has been my 4th “Londonversary” at the beginning of the month. It’s getting harder and harder to write something because so many things happen every day and I have always less and less time for my blog.
The truth is.. I’m getting probably older and I’ve even forgotten having a page somewhere around the web 😀

This has been a damn intense and fast paced year.
I had the same feeling in the past, but this time I can guarantee it was even too much for me. Probably, this post is not even for you but just to make me realize how things happen so fast and so many all at once even when you cannot control them.

Work

I tend to really like what I do, so don’t take this “section” as a negative bit of this year.
It’s what probably I’ve been really invested in for the the last years but I’m getting better also at other stuff 😛

Since the beginning of my journey at Bloomberg, I had a chance to work on a new Android app which is part of what the company offers as complimentary service to its customers. As usual, there were some hard times at the beginning because I had to understand how things were working but I managed to find my space and perform a lot of improvements those were not affecting just me but the entire ecosystem we were trying to build. I also had a chance to interview tons of people and for the first time in my life do some volunteering teaching math to kids(at least I tried haha).

It finally came the time to move on. I wasn’t really planning to change for any other job but something really big this summer came. For a lot of people this would be just a chance to work for the biggest social network in the world, adding a nice stamp on their CV. Honestly, while this can be true, I don’t really give a fuck about my CV and if you think like this is gonna be the perfect recipe for failure.
For me this is all about learning a lot of new things, working with the most skilled people in the World and tackling problems that any other company cannot even dream to have.
Even if it’s just the beginning, It’s really an honour working at Facebook and trying to strive towards the company’s mission.

Travel/Misc

In March, my girlfriend and I moved to a different flat and we had crazy time packing all our things and getting rid of all that crap people cumulate in years(someone was right.. garbage collection has few tiny little drawbacks).
Around the same period, I went for the first time in my life to Sicily with my friend Kfir and it was absolutely awesome. It was still to early to have a swim in the sea but it’s definitely a place where I’d like to go back again.

In May, I had a chance to go for the second time in my life to Google I/O. The conference was nothing crazy and not really well organized but I had really good time with chaps from Badoo, Deliveroo and many other companies.  I also had a chance to meet Vincenzo and Emilio from SmartLauncher, a really cool mobile company from a city call Manfredonia which is definitely in my todo list in the place to visit.

In June, my girlfriend and I went to Copenhagen for the third time and it was awesome.
The girl that was hosting us through Airbnb left us a couple of tickets for Tivoli and it was great to go there even if it’s such a touristic place 😀

In July, taking advantage of a friend’s wedding, we finally had a real holiday in Portugal. It was my first long road trip and it was awesome to see everyday different cities, cultures and traditions. If you haven’t visit the country, I’d definitely recommend give it a chance and your holidays will definitely be great ones.

In September I spent some time back in my hometown with my family and few friends.
It was awesome to see them again after a long while. Sometimes I feel kind of sad because I cannot play cards or have a coffee with my grandma, watching my grandpa still working from 6am, driving with my father, seeing my brother and old friends, cooking with my mother, … whenever I want.
On the other side, staying far from home and trying to achieve better and better results gets rewarded every time I see their eyes: that sense of admiration and happiness when they see me and what I achieve doesn’t have a price. This is my propeller.

In November, I went to Menlo Park CA for my Bootcamp and I had two awesome weeks seeing Facebook even closer and leaving a bit the American Dream. I honestly don’t know if I’d like to live in California but as of Today and looking at past experiences… you never know what future is preparing for you.

Last but not least, I still have to go back home for Chrismukkah(XMas).

I think I’ve never travelled so many times in my life in a year both for work and leisure.

Merry XMas to everyone 🙂
Simone

Curious/fun facts

  • My lemon tree looks the same as probably one year go
  • My last 3 jobs last 1 year and 3 months (cit. LinkedIn)
  • The number of hours it took me to prepare for Facebook interviews was directly proportional to the number of wine glasses I had this year. The only difference is that interviews had an end but wine hadn’t 😀
  • In California, even if you have five/six lanes each side in the highway, you’ll still get stuck somewhere with your car

 

First time at #droidconuk :)

Hi all,
at the end of last week, after the Apps World conference, I went to the Droidcon conference here in London. It has been an event full of Android rock stars and full of good speeches like the one of Facebook, ProGuard and Gradle.

This time I don’t want to spend many words but only give some pics from that experience.

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Taking pics easily with #WeddingSnap

On 17th September I have taken part into WeddingSnap project as Android consultant and developer. At first, I was so confused and astonished by the idea that a guest takes pictures with his phone at a wedding. But after a few days I have noticed that this is a great idea! Far from Italian traditions, catching pics socially is a great thing because it increases and amplifies the sense of friendship and closeness between people. In fact, if you consider that we are talking about unforgettable and precious moments you’ll certain understand that the bride and groom want all best things in their precious day.

15 years ago we were used to take pictures through simple cameras but now, in an era governed by most famous social networks and technologies, we are using smartphones more and more. WeddingSnap tries to collect these special moments merging wedding’s pictures into shared album, avoiding  useless tricks to share pics between guests. Through this idea all people involved in a wedding can take and share a lot of photo shoots without caring of number limits and distribuition of them.

In just one month the Android app is grown quickly, giving to this project a great contribuition. In particular, if you decide to take a look on GooglePlay, you’ll find these new features:

  • Off-line mode: you can collect pictures without connection and upload them in another moment
  • Share: you were so marvellous at your friend wedding! Why not share that shoot on Facebook or Twitter?
  • Get it! now you can download on your phone pictures shared by other guests!
  • Fastness and responsiveness: old version of WS were too slow… and now it looks very fast!
  • Delete it! Don’t worry if you have upload the worst picture of the Wedding!
  • Several improvements on errors! have you noticed that now app is more stable?

If you aren’t ready for your first, second,….. wedding, give a look at ForeverSnap! You aren’t forced to use a wedding app if you only want to collect other events pics 😉

The fall of Facebook: the rebirth of social.

FB on Nasdaq

FB on NASDAQ

The title is just a provocation because it’s not only referred to Facebook but to all those kinds of social networks which are similar to it. In particular I’m referring to all social networks which are based on the concepts of groups and closures. If you think just a few moments to the reasons that have led you to join them you’ll find a strange need to spy people which live near you. Maybe I’m exaggerating but how many times have you looked at some pictures of your neighbour or your classmate or your workmate without knowing him/her? I really don’t believe that at least one time you don’t have done it. Features like people tagging, friends tips,… have helped you to perform these kind of actions in a simply way without thinking of it. Sometimes it’s very easy to hide ourself behind a screen to view many different contents but unfortunately you end up to use these social networks only to inspect contents and other lives without contributing to the real sense of Social.

In my opinion social networks like Facebook, Google+,… will not have much future because they only move the concept of friendship circles into them without offering features related to real needs of people. They work only as people’s boxes leaving them the possibility to choose what kind of box to create into them: and this is the failure of the system. In this way they split two times their user base loosing great opportunities.

I think that we can consider some important notices/considerations of the recent moments to prove that this kind of social manner will be a complete failure:

  • Facebook acquires Instagram for $1 billion
  • Facebook on NASDAQ: is glorious as everyone expected?
  • Google+: is it different from Facebook or just same box with different presentation-logic layer?
  • What are the difference in Twitter, Instagram or Foursquare?

In the last month Facebook has acquired the “new” social platform Instagram. Someone have said “this is a moved to bring the Mark Zuckerberg creation to the Chinese world” but in my opinion it’s is an investment in a network that can really bring the concept of social to the extreme level. On Instagram you receive many good feedbacks on your photos without reducing your perspectives only to small boxes and increasing your sense of satisfaction. If you think to the American NASDAQ, Facebook is entered with a great value for every stock quote but loosing many points in just some days. Actually its value is increased (3.22%) but I think that in the next month it will decrease again. The Instagram purchase will be a good choice to improve Facebook service and at the same time the interst of many user. On the other hand if you consider Big G with its social network you’ll find a service similar to Facebook but that force you to migrate to another platform. This is boring and I don’t believe that it’ll be massively used. I have to admit that Google+ is very well integrated with other Google services but it’s not enough to be innovative. So if you consider other social platform like Twitter, Linkedin, Foursquare, Grooveshark… you have to understand that their power states into a single great box, not in just many small realities, and that they work in a single field that involves thousand and thousand of people. I hope this not seems cynical but this is what I am seeing in this Wide World Web.

As developer I think that all kind of applications and systems (except for low level ones) have to include and support social features, the most used of the moment, because in this way they can interact with an immense user base, granting themself more visibility and popularity.

What do you think? Am I a black dolly that thinks only strange things? 😛