Gitflow Workflow, Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery

Working with teams can be quite challenging if there is no process in place to review and check code before it is merged, or more importantly to prevent ominous code from getting to production.

One important tool that can make collaboration with other developers hassle free, is a version control system. The most popular system at the time of writing this article, is Git.

Git is a system used for tracking changes in files and coordinating work on those files among multiple people; it is primarily used for source code management in development. It is free, open source and it handles everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.

Over the years, I’ve seen developers use different workflows for Git. They usually include Basic, Feature Branch only, Feature Branch & Merge requests, Gitflow and Forking workflow. You can read up on these concepts here. But in pursuit of streamlining and automating our workflow from development to production, whilst working with other developers on your project, I would recommend using Gitflow.

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DevOps automation & some tools we’ve come to love.

Over the past year, I have had the privilege of being invited to mentor startups from across the globe, mostly powered by Google. While working with these startups and their products on using technology to build for scale, there has been a consistent recurrent theme: No love for automation!

They have been missing out on how much easier life could potentially be if they had automated or known that they could. So, I have had to repeatedly give the same pep talk about DevOps automation and some tools that could help them along their journey…

Let’s just say this article is the paper version of those pep talks :).

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OpenApps

A few weeks back, Intel — the smart chip manufacturer and giant — visited the CCHub to interact with developers, entrepreneurs & tech enthusiasts in the space.

Somewhere during the conversation, a friend asked how Intel obtains research data concerning markets they intend to enter. The response was that they paid several research companies “millions of dollars” to come by it, and even though the data wasn’t as accurate as they’d love it to be, it was good enough to establish trends, which is useful enough for them.

We asked if they’d be willing to share that data with us, seeing as we don’t have “millions of dollars” to spare. Can you guess what they said? You guessed right! We were let down with a very subtle NO.

Of course, other tech companies (telcos & ISPs) who have access to this data are either not willing to share it or are not mining it.

A few days later Bosun calls me aside and clues me in on an idea he’d been turning around in his head for sometime now. It was a practical attempt at solving the problem I’ve just described – how the average digital entrepreneur can gain access to market data that helps them make informed business decisions. If the heavyweights wouldn’t share their data repos with us, why couldn’t we just build our own?

And that is exactly what we did. A small commando development team was formed —  CLiveUA, Udezekene,  Emotu BalogunBosun and Myself — and we got to work. Within days, we had a working prototype. Today, the project is live, operational, receiving and processing data. And we’re calling it OpenApps

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Trade Transpiracy Hack: TradeViz.info

And so I was approached by the CCHUB to enter the Trade Transpiracy hack [Nigeria]. The hack, which was a collaboration between CcHub, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and The Economist Intelligence Unit aims to provide Nigerian consumers with information on how trade-related costs and how trade barriers affect them.

The whole idea of the hack was to create visualisation tools that would help the public at large or interested parties translate the data [provided by the DFID] for easy understanding & possibly manipulation.

So we set out, put a team together,  “hacked” for 3 days straight and came out with one of the winning entries: TradeViz.info. We came in at 2nd place while our good friends over at Bloovue [Seyi Taylor & company] came in at 1st place.

It was a lovely experience seeing that we had the opportunity to work with the wonderful guys over at the DFID. Our hack team comprised of Jide Olusanya, Zubair Abubakar, Femi Taiwo, Olusola Ajayi & Myself.

More information about Tradehack:
http://cchubnigeria.com/tradehack/

Entries from the Tradehack series:
Nigeria: http://hacks.rewiredstate.org/events/dfiddc2012/centres/nigeria
South Africa: http://hacks.rewiredstate.org/events/dfiddc2012/centres/capetown
London: http://hacks.rewiredstate.org/events/dfiddc2012/centres/london

Google Sync

And so a friend of mine was battling with moving his contacts from his old phone to a new one, after watching him for a few ticks i realized he was oblivious to Google Sync. Thats right, Google Sync is a service that allows you syncronize your contact address book & calender appointments accross several mobile devices. i.e. Add a contact to your blackberry address book and it auto pops up on your nokia phone & gmail account.

Oh by the way, a Gmail account is required to access this service. Click to follow setup instructions for your device [Blackberry, Nokia, iPhone & iOS, Windows Mobile & Symbian]: Setup Google Sync, there also a 1min video for more info.