Reflections on 2021

With the first month of 2022 ending, I thought it would make sense to reflect on what I’ve picked up in 2021 and my goals for 2022. With the last of the COVID-19 restrictions are being removed in England, I am cautiously optimistic about what the future has in store.

Flutter / App Development

In June, I decided to start learning how to create Android/iOS applications, fueled by a personal want to utilise the Health metrics from my iPhone. That was an unexpected venture for me, especially after finding out how easily PWA’s work.

I sized up two frameworks, React Native & Flutter. I decided to go with Flutter, mainly because I didn’t know the underlying programming language Dart, and I’m always keen to learn something new.

Coming from a PHP/Python/JS background Dart was initially confusing. I found myself comparing it most to ReactJS. Null-safety isn’t something I’ve worked with previously, but it wasn’t too difficult to figure out.

Flutter itself is a lot of fun. There is something very satisfying about changing a line of code and seeing it update an emulated device’s application. I’ll likely do a blog post just on my development setup for Flutter, but in case I don’t:

  • Vojtech Pavlovsky has a great article on setting up the architecture for Bottom Navigation in Flutter here, he also has an updated version here which utilises auto_route & flutter_bloc. I found this a great starting point for creating apps with bottom navigation & a simple state.
  • Flutter Platform Widgets is something else I’ve been utilising. This handy library allows you to create an application that will use either Cupertino (iOS) or Material (Android) styling depending on what type of device loads it.


Nothing in this post should be considered financial advice. For full disclosure, I currently hold BTC, ETH, MATIC, FTM & KLIMA.

This year has certainly been interesting for cryptocurrencies. I’ve held off on mentioning cryptocurrencies at all on here, as there does seem to be a rather heated debate between “has technical value” and “another pyramid scheme” within the tech community. It is easy to look at NFT’s and think “this is a joke”, but I think the blockchain has much more potential than selling people links to images for absurd amounts of money.

I’m not going to discuss ETH or BTC, as I’m just holding those as something that may provide a return on investment over the next few years. I am interested to see how ETH switching to proof-of-stake affects its gas costs. However, I’m not particularly optimistic that it’s going reduce gas costs enough that ETH becomes reasonable to frequently trade/transfer over.

MATIC & FTM are much more interesting to me, and their networks seem to be where most of the more interesting Defi projects live. There also seems to be more developers working on creating apps on these networks.


The Polygon Network (MATIC) aims to scale existing cryptocurrencies by providing faster staking, without sacrificing decentralization. Polygon is trying to interconnect the “layer 2” ecosystem on Ethereum. You can see some of the apps on Polygon here.


The Fantom Foundation (FTM) is built on DAG technology, allowing faster transactions and lower fees. Fantom is a general-purpose “Layer 1” solution. Fantom doesn’t have a nice list of apps on it like Polygon does, but two I use are: Spirit Swap & Spooky Swap


Of those two networks projects, Klima (on Polygon) is one project that caught my eye this year, as it aims to drive carbon action, become a carbon-based reserve currency & facilitate the climate markets.

Their documentation lays out how they aim to achieve this much better than I can explain here, and this medium article has a great breakdown of it.

I want to get more involved in contributing to Klima DAO over 2022, as I believe climate change is the ultimate issue we face, and Klima (to me) looks to be one of the most promising projects to make positive change in that regard.


With my goal to get more involved in contributing to Klima 2022, I’ve been learning Solidity. I found Crypto Zombies the best place to start, it’s a great resource to easily learn all about smart contracts and how development on the blockchain actually works. Ethernaut seems to be the next logical place to go, learning how to find issues with smart contracts.

Posted on January 31, 2022

Programmer Personality: 2020

While converting over my previous post of my Programmer Personality, I decided to do it again and see whats changed, as expected it has.

Your programmer personality type is:


You’re a Planner..

You may be slow, but you’ll usually find the best solution. If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

You like coding at a High level.

The world is made up of objects and components, you should create your programs in the same way.

You work best in a Team.

A good group is better than the sum of it’s parts. The only thing better than a genius programmer is a cohesive group of genius programmers.

You are a liBeral programmer.

Programming is a complex task and you should use white space and comments as freely as possible to help simplify the task. We’re not writing on paper anymore so we can take up as much room as we need.

Find out what kind of programmer you are here !

Posted on August 09, 2020

First month at Kobas

Image of Kobas team meeting

So I’ve been working for roughly a month at Kobas now, I think things have been going very well and I wanted to highlight what I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks.

For anyone that does not know what Kobas does, it is a hospitality management solution covering; stock control, rotas, HR, EPoS, customer loyalty and much more. It’s actually a very useful piece of software for clients, allowing them to gather lots of data from all areas of their business and providing a cloud interface that outputs that data in fancy reports. After seeing it in action I find it very surprising that not all businesses use this as it can really help you to increase your profits and avoid wasting money unnecessarily.

Anyway, on to what I’ve been doing, I’ve been mainly working on the EPoS (Electronic Point of Sale) side of things, which in layman’s terms are the Kobas tills.

To side-track just a little I think the Kobas tills are so nice to look at and use, here is an example screen from one:

Image of a Kobas EpoS

When you take that in comparison to a result from searching EPoS on Google Images (and what most places use):

Image of a generic EPoS

Bit of a difference there right. So unfortunately now I have been burdened with the curse of noticing every single EPoS system every place I go and thinking to myself, “how do they use this?“.

Anyway back to what I’m doing, basically I’ve been working on adding the functionality to accept deposits and other payment types to the EPoS. The EPoS accepted cash, card and voucher when I arrived, which was all you would really need basically.

But now with Christmas getting closer venues are going to be taking deposits for bookings and we wanted to be able to handle that within the EPoS itself.

Also with the rise of services like ‘Just Eat’ etc, venues are trying to figure out how to process payments from those services, as it’s not really a cash payment as you don’t have the money in your till and it’s not really a card payments as you haven’t put it through your card machine.

So with that in mind we also decided to create “Other payment types” which allow businesses to just tell us what other payments they want to accept and we are able to quickly add that functionality to the till and have it display in all relevant reports.

Our product manager Daisy Lang has wrote about it in much more detail over here.

Adding the ability to accept deposits and other payment types went well but I did encounter a few difficulties while doing it, for a starter constantly worrying about breaking the tax calculations (and having forgot how UK tax works).

Luckily I found a very edge case unit test wrote by Neil Mukerji (our CTO) and after converting it over to use the new version of the payment objects I was delighted to see it was still passing as expected.

Naturally I then decided to write a bunch more unit & functional tests, I’ve been on the Codeception train lately, after getting introduced to it at the end of my role at UBC and I’m determined to get it set up properly in Kobas so that moving forward refactoring and changing code is much easier (and less stressful). I’m hoping to get all our tests into Codeception shortly and add them into to the Jenkins build for automatic testing on deployment.

Also shockingly (due to not having it in my other roles) there is a whole QA team at Kobas, which has been a total life-saver for me. Actually having someone QA features you’ve added is unbelievably helpful as when you’ve been working on something for so long it’s easy to miss things.

Anyway that’s all I have to talk about for now, I know what I’m doing in the coming months but I’m not going to mention that here, but stay tuned, interesting stuff is coming!

Posted on July 03, 2016

Goodbye Vancouver, Hello London


So I have left beautiful British Columbia and I’m back in Europe, in London of all places. I’ve gone full circle it seems!

I’m not going to bother going into the details of why I left Vancouver, but in short, you can’t extend a “two year working holiday” visa. Which totally sucks as after two years I had really set myself up over there.


So after many many goodbyes and cramming in as much touristy things as possible in the last couple of weeks I set sail back to London. Getting the cheapest possible flight which had two stopovers; Toronto (11 hours), Saint Johns (2 hours).

Eleven hours did not seem so bad to me when I was looking at the ticket however after my flight from Vancouver -> Toronto staying in the airport for anything over an hour did not seem appealing. So I got the train from the airport into the city. Unfortunately I hadn’t gotten any sleep during my flight at all so I was pretty exhausted and not so much in the mood to really explore Toronto. I spent about three hours just wandering about picking different places to sit down and rest, eventually giving up and going back to the airport to try sleep (no luck with that).


Saint Johns was uneventful, pretty much just had enough time to go and grab a cigarette outside and then re-do security before my flight. The flight from Saint Johns -> London seemed to take forever, again I got no sleep. I think I’m going to start drugging myself before long-haul flights in future, although I think that might make the stop-overs a bit more difficult 😛

But anyway, now I’m in London. Exchanging my money from CAD to GBP was very depressing, outside of that though re-exploring London has been a lot of fun!

I’ve got a double room in a flat for now, getting my own place initially just seemed like a terrible idea money wise. It’s nothing special, but it will do for now.


This week is going to be the CV and interview game, I have a couple of interviews lined up already and I’m going to apply to a bunch more jobs. I’m really not looking forward to going through the technical interview process all over again, it’s exhausting and very demoralizing at times. But it just unfortunately has to be done.

So if anyone reading this is in London and hiring do reach out to me, I can’t imagine it will take too long to find a job here however as there are many opportunities.

So that’s the personal update for now, there will likely be some more technical posts incoming in the near future.

Posted on May 26, 2016

We're Back / Moving Forward

were-back-baby.jpg So I’ve truly neglected here, my original space on the internet.. It’s been almost two years since my last post, which was really just a code snippet.

So moving forward I’m going to be blogging about completely different topics that I haven’t blogged about before. .

For my current subscribers (it’s hard to believe I still have subscribers) you may want to unsubscribe and decide if this is something you want to subscribe to moving forward.

So whats happened?

Well, a lot has happened since I’ve last posted on here. It’s even kind of hard to timeline the last two years myself. I started my own web development company in Kilkenny (, I did that for around a year and a half.. Learned a lot of valuable lessons throughout doing that. Got myself the funds needed to get to Canada (barely), now I’m living in Vancouver and working at Motbot .

I love my new job, I don’t think I would go back to owning my own company anytime soon. Landing a job after landing in Vancouver was a breath of relief and I really lucked out ending up with a company that are doing some amazing stuff. My co-workers are really experienced in their respective fields and I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t learn something new. It’s so refreshing after the stress of working on my own for so long and nearly losing my love for programming. I think that’s partly why I stopped posting on here, when I finished working the last thing I wanted to do is use the computer any further.

I can’t see myself returning to Ireland if I can work out staying here. Canada is an amazing country and Vancouver is just such a beautiful city.. So much is better here, its hard to even put into words, I’ll try over a series of articles! 😛

What are my future plans?

  • Create a game using Unity
    • Anyone who knows me knows I’ve always wanted to create a game, that’s what originally got me into programming. I’ve tipped my toes into a few games along my way, but I’ve never actually created my own game and had complete creative control. That’s the next plan. I’m going to create a 2D game over the coming months and document my progress here along the way.
  • Learn C#
    • Kind of ties into “Create a game using Unity” since C# will be the language I use most.. I never did get around to learning Python, hopefully that doesn’t happen here, though its more unlikely since I’ll actually have a use for it.
  • Improve as a poker player
    • Yes we’ve gotten very into poker in the last year playing mainly online tournaments, I won’t really get into this much here as there will be more content on it later.
  • Live Healthier
    • I’m probably the picture of unhealthy living at the minute, I’ve been trying to make small changes to change this and hopefully all these small changes will turn into massive changes. Like quitting smoking, we’ve just been putting off doing that forever!!

So that’s all I have for now, I hope this clarifies what way content will be headed in future!

Posted on October 22, 2014