Sydney Rides Business Challenge

We at 4mation Technologies are a healthy bunch, in fact a large portion of us ride our bikes to work. With that in mind, it was an easy decision to enter ourselves in the Sydney Rides Business Challenge – an event lasting about 4 weeks, designed to get people in the business world riding their bikes to commute to work. We entered as a company of 50-199 staff, and my team within the company also entered as a department of 3-6 people.

As it turned out, we did pretty well! Here are some results that I captured near the very end of the competition;



And I’m very proud to say that our team (within the company) actually came 1st in the department rankings for Sydney. We got to attend the award ceremony at the Hilton with some nice appetizers and alcohol, and the Major gave us these;


All in all, I’m pretty happy with our performance.

PHP Conference 2015

I’ve just attended the PHP Australia conference on the 12th and 13th of March. This was my first ever actual full blown conference in anything, and I have to say, it was pretty amazing. Apart from the creators of PHP and MySQL (now working on MariaDB of course), there was an awesome list of speakers and lots of great food. This is probably a good time to give Seb kudos for managing to organise such a packed event.

I’ve been compiling notes for work (props to 4mation for paying for my ticket), and so far I have almost 4 pages, which is pretty cool. There are so many takeaways, it seems pointless to even try to get into them, however I will say that talking to Rasmus and Monty was by far the highlight of the two days. Lesser so, it was also interesting to discuss technologies in use with people from all around Australia, what their stack is, and how they go about development.

The Value of Learning

Today at work, at our Monday general meeting, I gave a brief speech about my take on our value of Learning… so why not also share it with the world?

I believe that no other industry other than ours is so fast paced in terms of the technology needed to accomplish our jobs. Something which might be relevant one year, will be shunned and largely disused the next. Every week there is a new acronym for a new developer tool, every month there is an update to a framework we use. Development paradigms are always changing.

In short, if we are to excell above our competitors, we must truly embrace all facets of the learning process. We quite simply don’t have the right to call ourselves professionals without fully exhausting all the avenues we have at our disposal to learn new things.

These will come in the form of online seminars, meetup groups and conferences, discussing projects with colleages, work outside of work, always helping people – on stack overflow, forums and IRC, hours and hours of reading online documentation at midnight, and a good old fashioned book or two.

The media and news programs always report that our profession has benefits and culture which is the envy of every worker on the planet. I for one believe we should work hard to earn this place of ours in the world.

Remote control your phone through ADB

This weekend I’ve dropped my phone once too many times, and the screen controller died. The man at the phone repair shop said the motherboard is broken, and nothing can be done, and there’s no way any data can be retrieved. The touchscreen is non responsive, hence there’s no way to unlock my phone, even if the screen is replaced.

Very very luckily, I still somehow had my phone’s ADB key stored on my computer, and a colleague of mine told me about a program which without me having to do anything on the phone at all, can use that key to remote control my phone from the computer, and emulate the touch screen. You can find more details about that here, but long story short, the existence of that program, and me having hooked up my phone to adb to play around with it once before totally saved me from losing 2 years of important personal data from my phone.

I’ve never been so relieved.