Being busy with a couple of important things, both personally and professionally, this blog did not see any new post published this month. So before this month ends, I decided to quickly summarize the major things that happened in March.


For the past 6 months, I’d been working intermittently on a pretty cool application at my workplace, finally shipped in the first week of March. The app, built on Flask and Backbone, allows users to pay for their installments via an easy and intuitive user interface. Being the sole developer on this project, I had complete freedom with the application architecture, the technology stack and even the user interface.

What made this project most exciting was the sheer impact this app would have on the business and its customers. As a person who derives joy from witnessing people use something you’ve built, seeing the flyers posted all around Kuwait with a screenshot of the app was extremely rewarding.

On the technical side, integrating with a legacy payment gateway and report generation posed minor challenges. Making the application mobile-first was a bit of a hard work, but Udacity’s crash course on responsive design greatly helped me in understanding Flexbox. In conclusion, I’m quite satisfied with how good the app looks on all devices.

Google Summer of Code

This summer, I’d be (hopefully) staying busy by working on project in Google Summer of Code. The project - called SurveyMan as defined by its Github page is

a programming language and runtime system for designing, debugging, and deploying surveys on the web.

SurveyMan is a research project by the Programming languages group, called PLASMA, at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The project that I applied for, will deal with building a rich web application in React that allows users, especially non-programmers to build a survey easily without compromising on the expressiveness of the underlying DSL.

PLASMA did a great job in making the projects more accessible to students by having clearly laid out starter tasks to make the students familiar with the runtime system.

For the ones interested, the proposal that I submitted can be viewed here. Although the results are not out yet, I’ll be spending the entire next month in making progress with the project. Why? Because React is just so much fun!

Grad School

After a rather arduous application process, I finally got admitted to (and accepted) Columbia’s Master in Computer Science program for fall 2015 where I’ll be specializing in Machine Learning. I’m really excited to get back to school and learn Computer Science amongst like-minded students and renowned faculty in the heart of New York City!

For the next few months, I’ll primarily be writing about React and my progress with the SurveyMan project. Lets see what the future holds!