Febin James, the CTO of Boutline is a curious person. He is from Bangalore, India and loves to read, write and code. His passion for developing apps started at an early age of 15. His mantra for successfully balancing things is by writing only stuff that matters. He is also inclined towards teaching others, and is the author of the book, “Cloud Is a Piece of Cake.” Our platform also focuses on teaching, and that’s what prompted us to interview Febin John James. Our LiveEdu.tv crowdfunding campaign aims to make it easy for learners by asking them what they want to learn using project suggestions. So, without any delay, let’s get started with the interview.
Real Name: Febin John James
Alter ego: Febin
Power/Abilities: Building Web/Mobile/Cloud Apps from Scratch, Cloud Architect, Writing (Top Technology writer on Medium)
Profession: CTO , Boutline
1. Febin, it’s great to have you here. Could you tell us about yourself?
I started programming when I was 15. The whole concept of making something by writing a few lines inspired me to become a programmer. I presently work as the CTO of Boutline. We are in the process of developing an app for Football Fans in India.
2. What motivated you to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at T.John College?
Computer Science was the topic I wanted to pursue. T John college encouraged students to pursue things outside of academics. During my tenure at T John, I was selected to be a Microsoft Student Partner. I used to give programming sessions to my seniors and teachers. Later, my startup was incubated by Microsoft Ventures. T John college gave me full support in pursuing my career.
3. Could you tell us more about Boutline and the work you do there? What sort of work do you do in Python?
Our app curates news for Indian Football Fans. My contributions are mainly towards the backend development. I use flask framework to write APIs that would interact with the android app, to fetch data personalized to the user. I also write code to scrape the internet for news which is relevant to Indian Football in almost real time.
4. You are also an author, how do you balance this with your work as a programmer?
The reason I write is that I love to teach. I learn a topic a lot better when I teach it to someone. My posts on medium or even the pages in my book are short; this allows me to balance my writing with my work.
5. Tell us a bit about your book ‘Cloud Is A Piece of Cake’.
Most of the students in my country only know cloud in theory. I wanted to change this. I wrote the book to help them learn cloud computing because it will make them job ready. The book teaches the basics of Unix commands to scale a cloud app on AWS. It explains with an example of a python-flask news reader app.
6. Do you plan on writing more books in the future?
Of course, I am experimenting writing with different topics on medium. I get excited about a lot of subjects and juggle between which one to focus on. In a few days, my short book on blue whale game will be released. My upcoming book is on Artificial Intelligence.
7. What about other career plans? Will Boutline be your only startup? How far do you think you can take it?
I am experimenting with a lot of things. Teaching is one thing which is close to my heart. I am experimenting with technologies that can make learning easier. Hopefully, I will have something to show soon.
8. Given the growth and importance of programming as an industry, where do you see it going? How much of a role will crowdfunding play in it?
Programming has penetrated into almost every industry. Learning to code is still a barrier for many people. We will be able to program without coding in the coming years (Voxelurn is a good start). Programmers need to do more than just writing code. They will need to learn to program efficiently.
Crowdfunding has helped people take beautiful ideas to market. I think every programmer must attempt to take at least one of his ideas to market through crowdfunding. In the future, we might have ICO(Initial Coin Offering) replace IPO. If you can win the hearts of the people, then you won’t struggle to take ideas to production.
9. What is your advice to intermediates on LiveEdu.tv who are interested in improving their programming skills?
Write more code. Build things. You will need a lot of experience to write code that is hundreds of lines and executes faster. Think about the daily apps you use. Can you make them better?
10. Last but not least, is there anything else you would like to mention regarding the Indian programming industry to conclude this interview?
In India, there are immense opportunities for skilled programmers. We need people who can take leadership on building systems that can work at scale. Though India produces a mass number of engineers every year, individuals who come with these skills are rare.