It all started with a hot dog. No, really. Harry Karambizi‘s introduction into the world of programming started when he opened his hot dog food cart. Struggling to scale the business, Karambizi sought out a platform that could help him and other food carts owners. He couldn’t find the right fit, so instead, he built one himself. Cater Carts helps customers order catering through one simple platform and donate 15 percent of the purchase to a non-profit of their choice.
Following this first foray into tech, Karambizi enrolled in General Assembly’ Web Development Immersive program and the rest is history.
“I now know that I desire to grow a career in Back-End Web Development where I can learn to source and manipulate data to create dynamic tools to provide solutions to businesses and public organizations,” says Karambizi. “I hope to become a mentor myself in the industry, become a team leader, and contribute to different open source projects.”
Data science is next on his list to learn. This data ninja is ready to jump on board with a supportive team to visualize those hard-to-solve problems and find innovative solutions.
What program are you graduating from?
I graduated from General Assembly Atlanta’s full-time Web Development Immersive. As I did not have any background in computer science, advanced mathematics, or programming of any kind, I chose this this program because it moved us quickly from students with no knowledge or experience to professional full stack web developers in 12 weeks. The most important thing we learned is how to approach problems we are completely unfamiliar with by: breaking down the steps, researching solutions, and testing implementations.
Why the interest in the technology field?
My journey to become a Web Developer has built organically from my desire to solve problems. In June 2014, I quit my sales job and I started a social enterprise called Pop Dog Atlanta — a hot dog cart that raises money and awareness for local non-profits. However, as a sole proprietor, I found it very difficult to manage all business processes on my own. I made the decision to start programming because, when I was in search of data-driven solutions to increase my small business’ success, I realized the magnitude of what was possible with data.
The General Assembly Web Development Immersive has offered me a deeper understanding of the global and local tech ecosystem and how developers fit into the equation, languages and best practices in modern professional development, as well as a close network of peers in my industry.
What is your previous education?
I got my B.A. in Film and Video at Georgia State University (Go Panthers!) in 2012. I attended GSU to pursue Music Business Management as Atlanta was a growing hub for music. Once the Atlanta film industry grew, I switched my major to film in hopes of learning technical skills hands-on camera skills. What I learned in Film Theory offered me so much more. This set the foundation for how I would begin to interpret all communication: by deeply understanding the sender, receiver, and the message.
What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
When I operated my Hot dog cart, I led a partnership with myself and other struggling local food vendors to start an online platform called CaterCarts.org in which customers can order catering through one, simple platform serving multiple, unique menus in which 15% of the profits support non-profits selected by customers.
During my course I built several web applications for my portfolio, including:
- ”Workbox” — an app that allows job hunters the ability to keep track of all the networking contacts they made and display job postings that relate to the network of contacts.
- “Fifo” — an enterprise app for a festival concessions company that allows for simple, online product inventory tracking. This online system saves hundreds in paper and labor cost per event, per day.
What tech/tools are essential to you as a developer?
I used Sublime Text Editor all through my course. Now, because of PlatformIO IDE, I recently got Atom but it I feels like I am cheating. Postman works great for testing out APIs. MySQL Workbench is my newest tool to create databases outside of the command line. I am learning a lot from exploring repositories on GitHub. A solid repo will tell you how to work with new tools or languages. Spectacle allows for better window organization for video tutorial codealongs. Lastly, I can’t live without my time travel tools: Debugger in Chrome and the Pry ruby gem.
How do you stay informed & on-top of emerging trends?
I am proud to say that my classmates and I are all very close, so it helps to have many people to talk to who share your experience in the industry. I subscribe to certain developer Youtube channels. Medium.com and Quora.com have great news feeds. General Assembly events and Atlanta tech industry events on meetup.com always cover new information. I highly recommend getting regular updates from Hypepotamus.com, since they do a great job in being the city’s leading tech publication.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
I learn quickly. Although my experience is primarily in the MEAN Stack (MongoDB, Express, Node.js, and AngularJS), the most important thing I learned is how to read comments, documentation, Google search, watch videos, and implement practice to learn new languages and frameworks.
I tend to gain a better understanding of how data models can be structured to better represent real world objects and how to find the business value when creating projects. My choices for projects in this course have stemmed from business problems I wanted to solve in the past.
What’s next on your list to learn?
Data Science. I believe in the power that data holds, I just don’t begin to comprehend the scope of that power. I have been teaching myself Python in order to begin working with databases in my free time.
Are you interested in working for a startup, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
As I start my professional career, I made it a personal goal to seek an opportunity where I can be a part of a team whose purpose I am invested in and where I value what I will learn. I don’t think the size of the team is a huge deal for me. I am just looking for an environment that appreciates mentoring and open communication.