Celestine Omin Talks Gbedu.FM, BlackBerry, Nigerian Tech Hubs, and Developer Lifestyle

It started out as a regular Facebook chat, and before we knew it, we were discussing all sort of things. Celestin Omin is a young developer based in Calabar, and perhaps you’d remember he was mentioned when we did the story on the Chrome App for Gbedu.FM.

Well I decided to document the chat and share, as somethings could be useful to brands, government and most importantly, developers.

Story Behind The Gbedu.FM Chrome App

It was interesting to know that things that fly are things built on a need-basis. The best inventions have been the ones that met a need, and made life easier and faster. Even though Celestine blames his creation on ‘a Friday night brain wave’, he went on to say “I love @GbeduFM, I was kinda tired typing the URL, so I decided to build me an app”.  You can read the full story here.

We Need More Tech Hubs In Nigeria

I have always wanted to take a vacation to visit Calabar, so as to experience some quiet outside ‘choking’ Lagos. Celestine was there to reaffirm that decision. He told me not to worry about traffic, and all was quiet and calm over there in Calabar. However, he was quick to say there were no tech hubs over there in calabar.  “Sadly next to nothing happens here”, were his words. I also remember a friend Tolu Agbaje make the same complaint about Abuja. According to her, Lagos seem to be the only happening place as regards technology – referring to the Co-Creation Hub, and annual g|Nigeria event.

BlackBerry: Not Just Getting It Right Yet

After adding Celestine on Facebook and Skype, and following him on Twitter, I went ahead to ask him for his BlackBerry PIN, only to be slapped with – “I am Anti-RIM. #TeamAndroid.” Although this is not new with developers, his reasons were quite atypical. Celestine admits not to be a RIM developer just yet but wasn’t looking at the BlackBerry Africa issue in terms of developing for the platform. He said lots of work still had to be done, and maybe 0s 10 will be a winner – jury is  still out on that one.

I just wasn’t cut out for the whole madness. Bulk of the people using it missed it essence. Who wouldn’t love Nigeria,  Remember we talking about 150M ppl here. Imagine if RIM had 30% of the market.

Even as a user, he thinks BlackBerry sucks, as there are not so much options in terms of apps.

I first look at UI before considering functionality. RIM has to understand that to the user, UI is the product. I drooled over Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich the first day I saw it,  I felt like touching heaven when I got the update

The Ideal Developer’s Lifestyle

This was not the last part of the conversation, but bits and pieces. I was able to pick up somethings Celestine shared about being a developer, and I think it’s worth reading and living by them all:

Work as if you know next to nothing. Better stay low and study than brag. Follow trends. Build things you need. Consistency is key. Know what works best for you. Be ready to do the dirty job. Have a sensitive bull-shit radar. Challenge your views Be open to new things.

Looking forwards to having Celestine Omin on oTeK-TV in the nearest feature, but until then check out Developer Channel, and feel free to follow him on Twitter – @cyberomin or Facebook.


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