Codealike Interview: February Code Maestro Runner-Up

By Angelos Katrantzis

Developer Kenneth
min read time
This week’s interview subject is Kenneth Onwuaha, who came in second place for our Code Maestro Achievement in February! Kenneth is a skilled coder from Nigeria who has been programming for around 6 years and he is part of a team working on a start-up in the Fintech space in 2022. He is also currently studying for his master’s degree in AI technologies. We spoke about his background and his years of experience.

Q: Can you tell me about your background Pre-Torc?

A: I started coding as part of my undergraduate course while at University. On a professional level, I’ve been coding since 2018. Back in 2019, I was working purely with JavaScript, HTML, CSS, React and some of the newer frameworks. Then I tried out a few Coding Bootcamps. There was one I did, called Bincom. After that, I worked as a programmer at a software company in Abuja. Basically what they do is they source projects from clients and then work on those projects. Sometimes it could just be a legacy code base. Maybe they want to refactor and make some changes. This was in 2020-2021. I looked at all those tools, React, Nest, and the styling part as well. A lot of things, changing the interest of the users and the clients as well. We made changes when it came to user experience, and responsiveness became a top priority for most UI designs. So I needed to pick out frameworks like SaaS, and Telwind, then start components as well.

Q: How does Torc’s platform and community differ from other remote work opportunities you've experienced?

A: I'm generally more into front end. I’m always so particular about user experience and UI design, and how you're able to navigate to different sections of your screen. I think Codealike is especially quite user-friendly. For example, because of taking up my master's in AI, I needed to pick up Python. There is this concept in Python that says, simple is better than complex. Having a very simple UI that makes navigation very easy for your users, especially for first-time users, you will be able to keep them in that loop. They will always want to come back. The Codealike UI is so straigh-forward and to the point and as simple as it can be, which also improves the loading times.

Q: Can you share a specific feature of Codealike that significantly improved your productivity?

A: The time tracking process, because when it comes to working on projects, you always have timelines. Irrespective of how good you are, being able to keep to the timeline you agreed with your client goes a long way to determining whether you can work on other future projects for that particular client. So keeping track of the time I spent on different aspects of the project, it kind of gives me an insight into what takes a chunk of my time. So that way, if I'm designing my workflow or making something like a sprint, I know when to focus my energy, and that way I can improve my productivity.

Q: How has Codealike impacted your daily coding routine?

A: I think one of the features I enjoy using the most is the code tree. It shows you a folder structure of all your projects, and then within each of those folders, it shows you the time you spent on different aspects of those projects. It gives me a very simple interface where I can see all I have worked on recently and how much time I've been able to put into different aspects of a project. Coding, deploying, debugging and all that. I know that other platforms like GitHub offer you version controls, but then you have to switch context from your ID, maybe your VS Code, and then have to navigate to different reports on your GitHub to see your commit. But the code tree just gives you a summary of everything. You can just see what you need at a glance.

Q: How did tracking your coding activity with Codealike help you identify specific areas for improvement? 

A: Considering the new era we are in, the level we're operating at, data is like the new oil. Being able to have those pieces of data gives you more insights. You'll be able to identify areas where you need improvement. You also have to make decisions on what tools and frameworks to work with. So seeing different projects you've worked on with different approaches and different tools, comparing the time it took you to do certain things with those tools. You could use that as a yardstick for you to say, okay, considering the timeline I have for this project, working with this particular tool, I should be able to deliver. So it helps you in your planning when you're working on a project.

Q: Why would you recommend Codealike to other developers?

A: Well, the advantages are quite enormous. I can't even point out any disadvantage. Of course, firstly, it's free. I mean, we developers have so much love for Open Source. With the time tracking you have there, developers can see how the different projects they are working on are progressing, because most times we tend to work on different projects and to be able to manage all of them at the same time, not leaving one behind and spending too much time on another one, being able to strike that balance in how you manage your time, that could be a very big determining factor on the productivity of the developer.

Another one is being able to collaborate with others, you can share how your coding process has been going with others in your team. You and your team members can easily learn from the data and then make the right decisions on how to work on a project. 

Q: How do you plan to leverage the insights gained from Codealike for future projects? 

A: As I said earlier, I try to break my projects into sub-folders because I observed the way Codealike does the tracking for each folder you're working on. When you go to the code tree section, it's able to track everything that happens within that folder. So I devised a way of being able to break things into sub-folders as much as possible. So that way I have good insight into each aspect of that project, and how I'm progressing. Over time, I could have a loss of data which I could go back to whenever I needed to start a new project. I can see for example, if I am trying to integrate a global store management, using Zustand for this aspect of it, I can know how long it took me, and I can be aware of the different things I did. That way I could always design my timeline and know which particular type, using which particular set of tools. This is when I expect to deliver.

Kenneth achieved an impressive month of productivity and spoke a lot about Codealike’s impact on his work in February. He has found many uses for Codealike and has pushed its capabilities as far as anyone can. He’s a very busy guy, juggling his work and his studies. We had a great conversation, and he had a lot of interesting things to say.


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