In part 3 of our series "Ten Questions - Filipino Developer Edition", I was able to talk to Melvin Dave Vivas, founder of PinoyJUG, developer, technopreneur and part-time fashion photojounalist(Heheh! I bet he wants me to include this on his intro :P).
Ten Questions with Melvin Dave Vivas
1.) What's your real name and where are you from?
It's Melvin Dave Pelaez Vivas. I live in Las Pinas now but I used to live near my workplace. I think I lived in almost all the cities in the Metro. Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City...
2.) Who do you work for? Give me a 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to buy their product or service?
Right now I'm connected with Ideyatech, Inc. You can visit our website at http://www.ideyatech.com. We eat Java for breakfast. We have projects from the US, UK and of course the Philippines. We also do SMS and mobile services development which I currently spearhead. Why get our services? Because we can definitely do the job. =)
3.) What brought you to your current employer?
I joined Ideyatech to help out my friend Allan Tan. He started Ideyatech with a vision of making the Filipino developer globally competitive. I believed this vision and went back from Singapore after working there for 2 1/2 years. I just came in last month and during the first few weeks I felt I made he right decision. I joined Ideyatech not only as an employee but an industrial partner as well putting in my 8 years experience in the IT industry. I'll be working with Ideyatech to sell my invention, the SMS appliance and do other mobile services as well. Watch out for that.
4.) What is it like to build your dream software and be able to market it?
I did most of the SMS software during my extra time when I was starting. Initially it was headache because I didn't have any hardware interfacing background. As a consequence, it took me ages do deliver the product. I spent a few years to get to this stage. The market is not as lucrative compared to a few years back but I believe we can still have some piece of the pie. SMS software is no rocket science. I believe anybody can implement it. However, you should know where to sell.
5.) Can you still remember your call to fame? What was it?
I didn't know I was famous. Am I? Haha!
I think it was PinoyJUG. I founded this mailing list to scratch the itch of every Java developer which was continuous learning. We started as an online mailing list and eventually became an official organization registered with the SEC. No, we're not called the Justice League. Hehe. The official organization name is Association of Filipino Java Developers, PinoyJUG, Inc. I also got to write in PC World and that biggie-sized techie mag.
Hmmm... Aren't you talking about my Fashion photography work? Haha! (http://www.melvindave.com/portfolio)
6.) Speaking of Fashion Photography, how did you get into that hobby?
I started as a photography enthusiast 4 years ago if I'm not mistaken. Actually, I started doing photojournalism work and even volunteered for Gawad Kalinga and they made us official photographers for a few events. I even had exhibits in Manila with the help of photographer friends. Going back to your question... When I stayed in Singapore, there was nothing interesting to photograph if your expertise is photojournalism so I shifted to model and fashion photography. That was more interesting to photograph. But now I'm back in Manila, I'll rekindle my love for photojournaism. Model photography became boring after some time. Haha. Don't kick me for that. :D
7.) I know a lot of IT developers want to go out of the Philippines and work in Singapore, what's your advice to them?
Oh that's easy. This could even apply to those going to other countries. My advice is just be proud of your country and prove to the world that we can compete. Also, stop thinking and acting like a slave because you're in a different country. We deserve to be there that's why. They need us. For those going to Singapore, be prepared for higher cost of living and different work cultures. Good luck!
8.) Describe a typical Melvin day?
I'm a late sleeper so I wake up a little late. My typical day starts at 8:00-9:30AM. It depends what time I wake up. I don't eat breakfast so when I wake up I take a bath then leave for work. When I arrive in the office, I normally check my emails and sometimes read news. Right now, we do project stand-up meetings at around 11AM just to update everybody what's going on.
I eat lunch at about 12:00-1:230PM. After that, I start to code. I do some project management stuff as well. My typical working day ends at about 8PM. I eat dinner at home then surf the net for work or non-work related stuff or maybe research on some new technology. I sleep at about 1AM at an average.
9.) What's you advice to new geeks? What do you think they need to do to be better in this field?
I have to borrow this quote from my idol "Steve Jobs". "Stay Hungry! Stay Foolish!"
Don't stop learning. The only time you should stop learning is when you're dead. haha. Another advice is never burn bridges. The IT world is small so be careful.Keep yourself updated with new technologies every now and then.
10.) Last question, what's your message to the person who used to sit beside you in your last job?
Thanks for not accepting Ideyatech's offer. Hehe!
Get to know Melvin more by visiting this websites:
Hummingbird SMS: https://hummingbird.dev.java.net/
DevPinoy blog: http://devpinoy.org/blogs/javazealot/
06-26-2008 11:41 AM