1. Seattle

    These last 3 days have been filled with lots of activity. Had a great time with the team at BlueKai on Monday and Tuesday winding up my short internship with them. They have all been really wonderful there and generous with their time. Loved every minute. Loved the morning standups and the walkthroughs and the 1 on 1’s with Ajit.

    That’s me there with Amlan Chakraborty on my right and Alex Zhou on the left. They are part of the team of 5 software engineers at the BlueKai Seattle dev office.

    Had an opportunity to spend the morning at the Microsoft HQ in Redmond and saw some new stuff they are working on. I live tweeted most of the discussion and presentations made there.

    Main takeaway was that Microsoft has a number of initiatives to support entrepreneurs on the African continent in terms of access to affordable (in some cases free) software to use in building applications as well as access to cloud services. They are also key drivers of a number startup focused initiatives on the continent like the inaugural DEMO Africa event to take place in Nairobi later this year.

    In the evening we went off to the University of Washington. I had the opportunity to be part of the panellists discussing the topic “Afro-Optimism: A Positive Outlook on Africa” at an event there.

    The event was organised by the World Affairs Council’s Young Professionals International Network. The place was pretty packed and the enthusiasm for a different African narrative is quite encouraging. Thanks Kunle and YPIN!

    This was the last night in Seattle. Off to Chicago tomorrow morning. It’s goodbye to this beautiful rainy city, its warm people and the Space Needle.

     
  2. What a week this has been!
It’s one thing to read about US tech startups on TechCrunch and Hacker News, and quite another interning for one for two weeks. Like any tech entrepreneur in my country (and I believe the wider world) I’ve read the tips and best practices of finding co-founders, raising money, executing fast, failing fast, learning from it, solving pains and all the other really useful stuff that’s shared on the internet by seasoned entrepreneurs and VCs. I’ve tried a few things myself in my own world; some have worked and some just haven’t for various reasons.
Interning at TrackSimple has been an amazing new experience. It’s from reading about it to experiencing the sausage making as it happens. Watching and probing about the way things are done, why it’s done that way, the development methods they use, the collaboration between the different individuals in the team, the tools they use and their interaction with the product people provides a new perspective in what it takes to build a team, a product and a company like they have done.
The team I’m with is now an all engineers division of the bigger company that acquired them last year. The original company’s co-founder, Ajit Banerjee (guy in shorts in the picture), is my mentor for the two weeks. A smart (brains smart) former Amazon engineer. Actually the whole founding team are former Amazonians. Amazon is headquartered in this city.
It’s hard to pick out and say the one important thing I’ve learnt here. It’s a whole experience. A more connected understanding of the hard work, the unwavering focus on the product and solving problems for customers, the dedication to the scrum principles of project management – religiously shipping iterations of the product each and every week, always tracking progress and tweaking the processes to be more effective, appreciating and respecting team members as equals, and while you are at it, having a blast.
Looking forward to another great week ahead!

    What a week this has been!

    It’s one thing to read about US tech startups on TechCrunch and Hacker News, and quite another interning for one for two weeks. Like any tech entrepreneur in my country (and I believe the wider world) I’ve read the tips and best practices of finding co-founders, raising money, executing fast, failing fast, learning from it, solving pains and all the other really useful stuff that’s shared on the internet by seasoned entrepreneurs and VCs. I’ve tried a few things myself in my own world; some have worked and some just haven’t for various reasons.

    Interning at TrackSimple has been an amazing new experience. It’s from reading about it to experiencing the sausage making as it happens. Watching and probing about the way things are done, why it’s done that way, the development methods they use, the collaboration between the different individuals in the team, the tools they use and their interaction with the product people provides a new perspective in what it takes to build a team, a product and a company like they have done.

    The team I’m with is now an all engineers division of the bigger company that acquired them last year. The original company’s co-founder, Ajit Banerjee (guy in shorts in the picture), is my mentor for the two weeks. A smart (brains smart) former Amazon engineer. Actually the whole founding team are former Amazonians. Amazon is headquartered in this city.

    It’s hard to pick out and say the one important thing I’ve learnt here. It’s a whole experience. A more connected understanding of the hard work, the unwavering focus on the product and solving problems for customers, the dedication to the scrum principles of project management – religiously shipping iterations of the product each and every week, always tracking progress and tweaking the processes to be more effective, appreciating and respecting team members as equals, and while you are at it, having a blast.

    Looking forward to another great week ahead!