BBVA API Market
The co-founder of Karumi offers us his dual vision as developer and entrepreneur, covering the key aspects of both areas. Jorge Barroso has told us how they execute projects in Karumi and has given us some very useful advice for developers.
1. “A developer is…” How would you finish the phrase?
A combination of many different qualities. He is an engineer who resolves problems, an artisan who gives shape to an idea through a source code, a social being who has to relate to his environment… He is many things. What we have to leave outside the equation is that he is no longer that character with horn-rimmed glasses and a checked shirt who never leaves his room.
2. Could you tell us three features you think today’s successful startups dedicated to development like Karumi tend to have in common?
The main one is hard work. You can’t achieve anything without persevering in work and trying to do things well. The next is the relationship with the existing ecosystem, because the best way of learning is through collaboration. We all have to support and help each other. An afternoon discussion with a fellow developer may be much more enriching than a whole week of work.
Finally, there is luck. For a product or idea to work the opportunity has to coincide with the technology. Sometimes you arrive a little late; at other times you may arrive early, or some small detail may result in your marvelous idea not being accepted by the market.
3. What do you mean when you say that at Karumi you feel proud of the software you develop?
We believe in software that is well made, that works and that is honest. Although it may be hard to believe, many companies that are engaged in development do not put the same care into how the code is made and this impacts the product. If you build a house in a week, it is highly likely to collapse or things may go wrong. The same applies to software.
At Karumi we develop quality software, and that is why we feel proud. We put the necessary care into the products and we tell our clients about it. We prefer to reject a project rather than construct a house badly in a week.
4. If you could share your secret of success with us, what would it be?
Work with the best. The team at Karumi is made up of the best developers I know. Every day they teach me something new, and that is what makes me want to come to work every day.
5. Can you sum up in one phrase the most important lesson or milestone in your adventure as a developer/entrepreneur?
As a developer, what I have learned since I began is that every night before going to bed you have to ask yourself: What have I learned today? The world of development is a continuous learning process. We have to discover something new every day.
As an entrepreneur, not to be afraid. To have a company means to be always at the edge of a precipice; not to know what will happen tomorrow or within a month. You have to be prepared to fail, to adjust and to adapt.
6. Who in particular has inspired you and why?
I’m interested in a lot of people. I love to read biographies and interviews with people who are respected in their field. I believe that you can learn a great deal from the experience of others. One of the best books I’ve read is on the life of Charles Chaplin. He experienced many failures before becoming famous; and he reinvented himself all through his life. One of the things that strike me most is that he says that all his success is due to his failures, that he drew good lessons from all of them. I believe we talk too much about successes and too little about failures. Usually we learn much more from the latter than from the former.
7. What is the main benefit of open source?
Learning. One of the most marvelous things about human beings is that we begin with the accumulated knowledge of our forefathers. The Internet has led to the immediate and global flow of information, and open source democratizes access to knowledge.
Being able to construct software collaboratively on the foundation of global growth is the path toward constructing better technology and taking giant strides forward in quality and quantity.
8. What do APIs represent for a company today?
Technically, an API is a series of actions that a software can carry out. We design APIs that are online or that are inside many applications as open source. At the end of the day, when we offer an application or a library, we also have to offer a series of actions that may be carried out with it. The success or failure of a product sometimes depends on the correct design of an API.
Making software is an increasingly complex and large-scale process. We are no longer a group of four people making a product, but teams of dozens and even thousands of people. APIs help whole groups of products to talk to each other. You have to put a great deal of care and dedication into ensuring that these APIs are well defined and specified.
9. What do you think is the biggest success that you can achieve as a developer?
To be happy with your work every day and be proud of what you do.
10. And a tip you were never given and would like to pass on to a young developer?
Do things with care: remember that what you program today someone will have to maintain tomorrow; and try to learn something new every day.
No one said that this would be easy, but that’s the beautiful thing about development, isn’t it?
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