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Eskias Yilma's link shortener, m-ini.me helps shorten URLs making every character count!
M-ini.me is running with over 695 links shortened, users across 26+ countries and over 5,000 page visitors. For Eskias, the motivation is to inspire other junior software engineers to just start!
Eskias Yilma's story is a testament to the power of following your passion and taking a bold leap of faith to pursue a new career path.
From a young age, he had a fascination for gaming especially how they are made and operated. This sparked his interest in the field of Software Engineering. Despite studying construction technology and management in university, he knew his true passion lay in building things from scratch in a constantly evolving field.
Joining the ALX Software Engineering Program
Eskias began his journey towards Software Engineering long before he joined the ALX program last year.
He had already undertaken various efforts to grow his skills in the field, including teaching himself digital marketing in 2016 which brought him closer to the field. In 2018, he began learning Python programming using available online resources such as: free code camp. However, he found he lacked a reliable structure and community to support his learning.
He also gained experience in Software Engineering by working with qefira.com, a leading online classifieds platform in Ethiopia. Eskias is also the co-founder of Hahuzon.com and searchethio.com which is a classifieds aggregator website with more than 40,000 Ethiopian directories and companies.
In 2022, Eskias found himself drawn to ALX due to the strong community offered. He saw the opportunity to connect and collaborate with other learners through an easy to navigate, user friendly, structured and engaging platform. Upon completing the rigorous application process, he joined the program!
As a bonus, he also discovered the program has a team of incredibly knowledgeable, supportive, team of technical mentors willing to answer questions and provide feedback on participants' work which helped refine and clean his knowledge.
ALX Software Engineering experience
As a member of Cohort 10, Eskias is within his second sprint of the program which means he is now undertaking projects based on Python–his favorite programming language. While he found the C programming language more challenging, it gave him a more in depth understanding of how python works as he had the opportunity to learn how memory works and learn how different structures work.
Of all the skills he has acquired in his 5 short months here at ALX, the most important to him is GRIT. To him, the challenge presented by the ALX program not only builds you but sets you up for what comes after the program.
Whether it's a career in freelance, entrepreneurship or full time employment, he is of the opinion that, “those challenges have already built you up in a way that you will be ready to face any real world challenge out there regarding any software engineering development skills.” and if you can handle it here, you can definitely handle anything that would be thrown your way.
Putting his skills to the test: Building M-ini.me
“Build your grit. Grit is everything. I used to be a perfectionist but not anymore. Deploy whatever you have in mind, just do it. Work on it and just place it and let the public see where you are.”
Eskias’ words of advice to budding entrepreneurs
Luckily for Eskias, entrepreneurship comes almost naturally to him. Before joining the ALX program, he had started building out M-ini.me, a URL link shortener. He identified a gap in the URL shortening market as the majority of the resources available were paid or had a limit per month.
With this experience, he was challenged to create his own platform to track his own data which guaranteed user privacy and security and thus Mini.me was born.
M-ini.me is a free url link shortening service which is completely free to use offering additional benefits such as user tracking device and timestamps.
However, when faced with unexpected problems, he put the project on hold. Two months into the program, he soon found that he was even more motivated to finish the project and put the skills he had already learned to the ultimate test by completing the project had started with M-ini.me.
Today, M-ini.me is up and running with over 695 links shortened, users across 26+ countries and over 5,000 page visitors. For Eskias, the motivation is to show other software engineers in the program that they too can create and manage their own software in hopes of inspiring the next generation of software engineers.
“I wanted to show people that they can manage their own data, they can make their own platforms and not be dependable on proprietary software on cost intensive platforms out there. You can manage your own time, you can manage your own links, you can manage your own futures. You can add, disable, update, anything that you want, on your own accord. You can do this. If I can do this, anyone can do this.”
In the next coming weeks, M-ini me will have additional QR code generator features which will allow users to shorten their URL links into a QR code.
Eskias not only developed a platform that meets a need in the market but also serves as a reminder that with the right mindset and support, anyone can achieve their goals and make a meaningful impact.
Lastly, you know we had to ask Eskias the famous question we ask all our featured participants:
Team Vim or Emacs?
“Team Emacs, but I really definitely enjoy Neovim!”
Eskias also made an additional disclaimer that he definitely uses inactive VI key bindings so we’re not sure if that makes him more of a team vim or emacs. We will leave the decision to you!
Be sure to join this twitter link on Tuesday 16th May 2023 at 4:00 PM (GMT) | 5:00 PM (WAT) | 7:00 PM (EAT) where we discuss a lot more with Eskias. You can also leave any questions you have on this link.
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