Welcome to our newest Couchbase Community Champion, André Vellori who is originally from Italy, but is now living in Dublin, Ireland.

Andre Vellori

Tell us about yourself and what you do in your daily role?
I work as a Technical Lead for Fleetmatics (recently acquired by Verizon) on their Work product.

About the product: The Work mobile app (along with the Web Admin interface) aims to provide a work tool for fieldworkers to help them do their job better. Knowing the plan for the day, where to go, the optimal path, ability to take notes, pictures, collect customer signatures and invoices (plus tons of other features) helps create a paperless environment in your phone/tablet to get your work done better. Not only when you are online, but especially when you are offline.

The main duties of my role are to:

  • Ensure that the best technologies and software designs are used in our project.
  • Help my team to learn and deliver solutions faster.
  • This involves knowing not only where you want to be in terms of technology and workflow, but more importantly, how to get there. I like working with people, it’s the favorite part of my job. I always learn new things and can see how different personalities/backgrounds approach the same problem.

Being data driven, using data to decide strategies, and knowing technology is crucial to me. We are standing on the shoulders of giants and it’s important we learn to use what we have, and develop it to get to the next step.

My job used to be a lot easier: I could pop into any meetup or conference around me to learn something new to add to my projects. As I progressed in my career I faced new challenges, some of them with no common answer, and that’s where you need to learn how to anticipate better and keep asking yourself, “what’s ahead?”

Fail faster, scale faster, deliver faster is essential if you want to develop faster, and be ready to scale when business grows.

Where are you based and what do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m Italian and I moved to Dublin at the beginning of 2015. I love photography, you can see some frames here so I tend to travel whenever I can, and when I can’t I just go out to find new perspectives in places I already know. I have a guitar and I’m planning to buy a cheap Ukulele, but I don’t play on a regular basis so I need practice. I also work on some technology in my spare time and do some freelance work mostly with Raspberry Pi and Arduino, as well as on mobile.

What made you choose Couchbase?
Couchbase has unique features which makes it perfect for us as a team, but also for the company, and here are some of the reasons:

  • Couchbase Mobile is a full-featured DB which can be integrated regardless of the Sync Gateway implementation (and that’s important, so our projects can migrate to that independently of the server side).
  • It’s lightweight.
  • It can encapsulate CoreData (for iOS), if needed.
  • The API are very easy to learn

I’m always impressed by how quickly you can get stuff done with Couchbase.

What have you accomplished using Couchbase?
I think Couchbase implementation in our product is the first step towards full Sync Gateway implementation: this would simplify our development and let us focus on user features while the “data” part basically takes care of itself, and all sync/offline headaches are mostly sorted.

What one feature of Couchbase do you use and what should people know about it?
I would prefer to say two:

  • Couchbase is document oriented, so you can plug it into your project with little to no impact – no data modeling and no model migrations. From there, you’ll keep using your data model classes as you typically would.
  • It integrates perfectly with your OS frameworks of choice: it’s easy to use in iOS, integrates well with tables (actually it’s amazing how much work they put into this), and its implementation is also available for other systems. So, if you have Sync Gateway, you can extend your backend services quite easily with no impact on your main infrastructure. This means it scales, it’s reliable, and it grows with your needs.
  • If you could have three wishes for Couchbase what would they be?
    More local interest groups, and I’m looking forward to helping Dublin get up to speed.
  • More “swifty” API for iOS (but I checked the latest dev version and I think you are already getting there).
  • A migration guide: how to plug Couchbase into an existing product gradually, and what’s the best way to do it (because this is what I’m doing, so I’ll probably write some documentation about this myself).

What is your favorite book or author, and why?
I can’t pick one, so here are a few for your inspiration. I love all of them and my life would be different without even one of them.

Leisure: The one I’m currently reading, “Cloudspotter’s Guide” by Gavin Pinney. Clouds are an underestimated part of our culture and life. The Clouds Appreciation Society helps you understand this even more and you’ll never look at the sky like you did before.

A more professional/personal development related book: “The Greats on Leadership” by Jocelyn Davis.

When I’m tired or want to relax, I enjoy Seamus Heaney poems. I read both old and new ones, sometimes with the audiobook playing because of the incredible music these poems make.

Last, I’ll never forget the wisdom in books like, “The Gateless Gate” by Mumon (a collection of Zen Koan).

Special mentions for two books:

“Lean UX” by Jeff Gothell is an incredible book to change perspective on classical software development.

“The Life Changing Magic of not Giving a F**k,” by Sarah Knight. I didn’t read the full book because I was already up to speed on a few things, but I believe that learning to focus on important details is critical in order to be successful in what you do. The ability to listen, to delegate, and to decide to do some things yourself will make a difference. This book is more on the “personal” side, and not much for career, but it’s of great use to see that the issue is there and that people are working on it.

Posted by Laura Czajkowski, Developer Community Manager, Couchbase

Laura Czajkowski is the Snr. Developer Community Manager at Couchbase overseeing the community, our incentive programs, Experts and Champions group, meetups, and defining our presence at developer events. She’s also responsible for our monthly developer newsletter and engaging with our community in various forms. Laura has been active in Open Source communities since 2000 and has been involved in various activities, including leading and organising conferences on software testing, documentation, and advocacy. Laura is an Open Source advocate and regular conference speaker who is passionate about getting people – everyone from primary school students to technology professionals – involved in Open Source communities both on IRC and in face-to-face discussions, she is easily found online at @czajkowski on twitter and on freenode.

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