Friday, November 03, 2017

From IT Worker to Tech Entrepenuer

Startup accelerators and hackathons have become prominent over the past decade in Jamaica geared towards youth with the goal of promoting technology entrepreneurship in the country.

Governments, NGOs and other institutions have consistently increased their investment over the last decade in these ecosystems looking for the next Uber, AirBnB and DropBox. The Govt. of Jamaica has the Startup Jamaica Accelerator whose goal it is to provide budding software entrepreneurs with the resources, mentorship and funding to see them succeed but with some degree of success.  The results of these initiatives have been speculative, with few companies gaining real traction and momentum to be considered serious businesses.  Contrast the relative success seen in other jurisdictions like the United States Northeast (Boston, New York) and the West coast (San Francisco) with their incubators and accelerators booming with success stories. A fallacy that seemingly exists is that the next set of tech entrepreneurs will be younger than 30 and their knowledge superior to that of their older counterparts. This clearly goes against the reality that in the US according to the Harvard Business Review article, How Old Are Silicon Valley’s Top Founders? Here’s the Data (April 03, 2014), 51%  of the top founders of technical companies are 30 year olds and older. If we overlay these statistics in Jamaica the numbers are clearly much less.

In conclusion, the opportunities abound for Information Technology professionals who have honed their craft to accede themselves of the resources made available like incubators, the Junior Stock Exchange and other channels to create abundant opportunities for wealth and to do what they love so much, that is, solve problems.

Delton Phillips

Director of Strategy & Innovation, Particular Presence Technologies


How Old Are Silicon Valley’s Top Founders? Here’s the Data (April 03, 2014)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Windows 10 Typing Issue after Upgrade

Windows 10 - Interrupted Typing

After upgrading to Windows 10 I realized that a had a very difficult time typing without it been interrupted. I searched all over the web and couldn't find anything that worked and I received many recommendation. Eventually I did the following and had my problem solved.\

Firstly, I checked TaskManager (Control + ALT + DELETE, show Task Manager) and realized that Windows Error Reporting would keep coming up as an application that ran and then disappeared, this told me something was crashing and the OS was handling it.

Secondly, after getting that insight, I went to the Event Log and checked... lo and behold there was something crashing constantly, every 5 seconds or so. (See photo below)

I then started to exam the logs and realized that an ASUS application for my ZenFone2 was crashing my WIndows 10. Searched around and found an article that instructed how to reinstall the drivers but I was so glad I just disabled. Here's the link anyway

Since I've disabled everything is functioning well again, hope someone was helped by this.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Twitter suspends ReplayLastGoal Twitter account - New Delivery Channel for Premium Content???

For those of us stuck behind corporate firewalls or just swamped with too much work to take in the full 60+ matches of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, there was respite for us all,

Through this site, once a goal was scored one was able to see the replay and get right back to work without fighting through popups & malware infested sites. We were also saved from the inaccurate reports from the security guard in the lunch room who stated how awesome the goals were (Messi is not Brazilian bro)!

FIFA has been really aggressive on broadcast rights throughout and to be honest it took a while for it to be taken down, would love the inside story of how this happened.

All in all, the concept was pretty ingenious and could be an avenue for companies like Twitter to sell premium feeds over the internet. As a cricket fan, I would love every time there's a six, four or a wicket to be able to view it almost real time as I track the game on or every awesome rally or ace @ Wimbledon. Food for thought, I'll see if xdamman may be interested in this venture. InstaVine?

Just got the feed from Storify on this

ReplayLastGoal Github Site

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Security shouldn't be a byword

Woke up this morning to this
Dear Amazon EC2 Customer,

The OpenSSL project has recently announced a security vulnerability in OpenSSL affecting versions 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 (CVE-2014-0160). Customers that are running Linux and are using SSL could be affected by this issue and should upgrade to a fixed version as soon as possible.
For more information about this vulnerability, please visit
* AWS Security Bulletin page:
* OpenSSL’s official advisory:
* The Heartbleed Bug:

Thank you,

AWS Security

Amazon Web Services, Inc. is a subsidiary of, Inc. is a registered trademark of, Inc. This message was produced and distributed by Amazon Web Services Inc., 410 Terry Ave. North, Seattle, WA 98109-5210

That was the message in my inbox this morning, this following being notified by a friend in the Open Source space of this issue. One thing this tells me is that MOST of us don't know what is going on with security of our resources and how vulnerable we are to loss and compromise of data.  I'm an IT professional and it's pretty tough for me to wrap my head around some things.

I remember in my earlier days of development how uncomfortable I felt using Google's Client Login to achieve what we now take for granted today by using protocols such as OAuth2 to access an end users' resources. All that being said, for 98% of the world using technologies they don't understand the potential risks and harm associated with the technology itself. 

One thing is for sure, the public needs to become more actively involved in shaping regulations and standards that govern their online usage, there are various ways this can be done but one way is to find organizations that spend their time and effort researching these things such as ... wow, I really don't know of any groups... this reinforces my point... 


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lecturers should use YouTube as a teaching aid

Lecturers should use YouTube as a teaching aid

In recent times on line delivery of lessons has become a very popular medium for persons interested in obtaining further qualifications or knowledge – lecturers post notes and resources in a folder where students review, post questions and submit assignments. Throughout my experience, I’ve found the experience to be a really convenient way for knowledge dissemination as there’s no requirement to attend a physical building at a fixed time and there is the ability to really carry on with your life whilst achieving your goals. quoted a report from a company called Marketdata Enterprises Inc which reported that on line education accounted for 30% of all post-secondary education enrolments with an expectation that it will grow to 37% by 2015. Now with all that being said do you feel that the current approach to online education is sufficient to deliver some technical content? In a typical ‘brick-and-mortar’ class you could go to a tutorial, the library or study groups; for online not so much online.

Have no fear, YouTube is here!  In my opinion the perfect support structure is YouTube, for my most difficult courses as there are well qualified lecturers who provide a different approach to teaching the same topic and probably geared towards your learning style. Universities such as MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Yale and Columbia have been using YouTube for a while now, the site provides free cultural & educational media on the web and has created a list of “10 University Collections on YouTube” which showcases some of the institutions I mentioned above and their YouTube channels, check this link out 

For me, I’ve found lectures or presentations that explained clearly to me concepts that I couldn't understand on my own or from reading 60 pages each week for each course. I would recommend that all lecturers provide suitable content via YouTube videos and have them as apart of their teaching arsenal as these videos will explain the concepts and provide students with the opportunity to comment thus giving feedback or asking questions in the context of the lecture.  YouTube proved to be very useful during a CISCO Routing & Protocols through a YouTube channel called VambarInc. This made reading the content so much more pleasurable; just sorry I never thought about this in Psychology class, what was Freud saying anyway, Phallic Mallic!... Ok I got it now… hmmm… just checked YouTube, very enlightening. 

 I’d love to hear what some of you think, do you think intermittent lectures are enough to be successful or do we need teacher directed content on YouTube to ensure our success? +1 Youtube!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Why your software startup should be from the Caribbean

This is my opinion.

The software development landscape worldwide is segmented (into the following regions): 

  • Brazil, Russia, India 
  • China (BRIC) 
  • Australia
  • Pacific nations
  • Latin America
  • Caribbean 
Each of these groups has specific attributes about them that put them uniquely in each space. BRIC nations are involved in high tech aerospace, research and equipment manufacturing. For example Brazil is one of the major players in the industry in the executive jet manufacturing industry with a company called Embraer. Many universities (2,600+) and a need to solve their own problems internally has helped Brazil to grow, in some cases they receive technical specifications from companies in North America & Europe to develop advanced systems to advance those economies and as a spinoff, they have benefited from these investments. 

Australia and Pacific nations are involved in mainly advancing their economies because of their size so they have enough to self-sustain. Latin America is similar to some extent to Australia & Pacific nation as there is a reliance on North America & Europe to provide opportunities for innovation. Caribbean is mainly for tourism but nothing else, it is an untapped resource. 

Key factors in successful outsourcing operations: 

  1.  Technical Ability & Aptitude – Can they do what’s required now and do they have the ability to learn
  2. Cultural Alignment – Do they understand your company’s values and are able to adapt sufficiently
  3. Infrastructure – Sound technology (high speed internet and reliable) good roads, banks and security.
  4. Language - Are they able to communicate effectively with your clients and/or your team? 
  5. Time zone – Can the teams collaborate in real-time with your team (to resolve issues or plan)? 
  6. Travel Time – How difficult is it for your team to get to the team delivering the solution if the need arose?
  7. Cost – How much does it cost for an ideal developer to deliver the solutions?
  8. Human Resources – Are there enough trained or trainable graduates passing out of tertiary level institutions to support the growth of the industry?

Below is a matrix showcasing the strengths and weaknesses of the regions, with 5 being most ideal & 1 being least.

North America & the Caribbean developer need

  1. Culturally aligned with their locale – understand and able to add value, for example, advancing conversations with clients beyond just the here and now but where do you need to be.
  2. Knowledgeable & capable of applying  contemporary software development processes (such as Agile) – in order to help clients to understand & prioritize their needs
  3. Good communicators & possess collaborative skills – the ability to communicate with their internal teams, stakeholders and work together to effectively solve problems
  4. In access of broadband internet & ICT – robust infrastructure to ensure communication and connectivity to remote resources are not hindered by technology failures or interruptions
  5. Low costing & high value - what is the price/leverage equilibrium of these resources, can you move these resources to higher skilled work easily or will they forever be technical support specialists or programmers?
  6. Technologically rich in their skillset – understanding and executing utilizing various technology
  7. Able  to deliver on time and high quality – a culture of delivery excellence 
  8. Travel time - is it possible to get into the country easily? Will your staff be willing to get there in 1-4 hours or 10-20 hours. A critical factor for your highly technical managers, no one enjoys being away from their family for weeks at time but with the ability to quickly travel to your location and be back in a day is awesome.

Overall there are some real opportunities available in the Caribbean. Here are a few companies that have done it:

  • RealDecoy made that move a few years ago in Jamaica and by all accounts it was a successful move.
  • Medullan Inc also has software resources in Trinidad for a few years
There are also other companies that are utilizing software developers here albeit covertly.

Delton Phillips is the Director of Strategy & Innovation of Particular Presence, a technology company which specializes in starting up software teams and team management for businesses. You can reach him at delton[at]

Friday, August 30, 2013

Writing Clean Code

Currently doing some work at a client site and had to stop to admire my code, here are some things that struck me about it:
  • Well structured and organized
  • Meaningful variable names
  • The code is like reading a story book - seriously
  • Utilization of DRY principles
One thing about clean code is being able to look at the code, even if you have zero context into the language spec, and being able to understand everything that's going on. 

I would always get a request from developers I manage to work on "more complex code" and every time I painstakingly had to explain that 'complex' code is truly just a composition of smaller components, where things get 'complex' as they like to allude to is when components aren't truly designed (and implemented) correctly. 

Here's a book I recommend if you want to know how to write Clean Code. Learning every pattern in the world is good but having clean well structured code is better. This book is a must have on every developer desk. Check out my blog post about Investing in Yourself (IIY)