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Programmed to pass on the knowledge


DONNA SEALY

Programmed to pass on the knowledge

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IN A FEW YEARS after his new company is operating the way he envisions, businessman Evelyn Austin wants to get into gaming and education. He wants to teach others, especially children, what he knows about computer software.

“In Barbados, we need to teach people how to work in software. I want to teach people and I want to start a school where people can come and learn code,” he said.

Hermano Enterprises Inc. was started in 2000 but very soon he will be operating under the Dasaje Group Inc., offering a range of computer software and programme related services. They can also develop apps and bring your ideas to reality.

For the last seven years, he and his directors have been working on a project and on a patent and expect to take it to market soon.

Austin started selling and repairing computers but got into programming after he was hacked eight years ago.

“I had a machine here in 2009 and a guy from America sent me all of these transactions for me to do business for him because I had a website. After five weeks, the bank told me he was a fraud and that I was working with somebody in Africa. He was allowing me to do the credit card transactions, the disbursements, and then they found that after five weeks, my hard work was just gone in the wind. That annoyed my deeply,” he recalled.

“After that, I was very adamant to solve the problem. I am a Christian and I was driving one Saturday afternoon going to pick up my wife and the Spirit said: ‘Listen, this is what I want you to do’.

“The idea just came from there. I had never done software before, I went, learned it and I was able then to write code. Then I went into problem solving, especially transactions.

“I looked for the areas where if I had to become a hacker, I would learn how to be a hacker, do everything the same way or what they were accustomed doing in order to fix the problems. I saw all the problems that exist today and I looked for the areas to solve it,” he added.

The businessman said that he always liked computers and as a teen was intrigued by how they worked. That curiosity was always there but he never got involved until he opened his St James store.

“I decided to work with computers because I had a good idea about it. I am self-taught. There was a girl who went to the University of the West Indies that taught me the basics. She said she couldn’t spoon-feed me and said the Internet was there for that purpose. So I taught myself up to this present time.

“Some of it was easy. Code is the toughest. It is hard to write and there’s a lot to understand. I had some students come in to see what I was doing, but when they came they said they couldn’t understand what I was doing and were asking me how I got it done.

“I figured that if I brought them here and they’re asking me how I got it done, I had to be better.

“The last person I brought on was a girl who did a master’s [degree] in C++ language and when she came she said she couldn’t work in this and said: ‘We would like somebody to do this type of work for our business.”

Austin likes being his own boss, as owning a business is something he always wanted to do. Having done electronics and mechanical work, software programme comes naturally to him.

The programmer noted he was also assisted by a man he met on the Internet.

“The Spirit led me to a guy after I was doing it for five years. I was not getting forward because I couldn’t understand some of the things I was working with. One day, I heard ‘go on the Internet and search’. I did it for a little bit then I came up on a site where you paid and got to meet coders,” he said.

“It led me straight to who I wanted to meet. Those guys were really talented. They did four to five years in college and were really versed in code. The only edge I had was that while they could write code way better, they couldn’t engineer a project.

“I could solve problems, so they preferred me to do the testing. When they sent me the work, I found all the bugs,” he said. (GBM)

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