Category Archives: Personal

SUPA polo 2012

My passion for Polo

I’ve had passion for horses since when I was very young (about 5 years), I come from a town called Hadejia (in Jigawa, Nigeria) which is popular for the peoples’ culture and passion for horse keeping. Even though I never lived in the village, I often visited during holidays and festive seasons, and my main activity while I was there was horse riding. Then, I’ve always been the fearful one and opted for easy going horses to ride.
I became interested in the sport through my uncle who played in Kano. I got inspired by him when I watch him play and I always get a taste of riding the ponies which was ever fun. Since then I have developed a keen interest in polo and my passion grew when I was given polo pony for a present. The horse was called Lugard, I had him for 7 years and those were the best years of my childhood. I learnt a lot about horse keeping, and riding. I had memorable moments with Lugard that I will always remember. Sadly, I came back home one saturday morning from a school lesson to find out he was gone. My dad had gotten rid of Lugard because he was getting old.
I started playing Polo in secondary school, I had a short spell playing stick and ball before I had to abandon it because it was a form of distraction to my academics at that time. I later picked up while studying for my masters degree at the University of Birmingham in 2010, joining the school Polo club which offered affordable Polo lessons and tournaments at university level. I had weekly lessons at Rugby Polo Club with very good instructors Glen and Philip Baker. Soon I played for my university at the largest polo tournament in the UK (SUPA Nationals) in June 2011 and February 2012. Since then, I’ve found polo to be my hobby and a thing I look forward to be doing for a very long time.

Typing Master

The “Typing Master” game

Typing Master is a typing game I designed with intent to improve on typing speed. I normally find it boring using a typing lesson software because it just looks too serious.  Learning to type is extremely boring and stressful, and people prefer to chat on IMs to improve their typing skills.

I chose the “Boko Haram” scenery to add more fun to the game. The whole hype and situtation of the Boko Haram in Nigeria makes people really excited about it. It’s all about having fun while typing and nothing more.

People have asked me several questions like “how did you do it?”, “how long?”… well I smile about it all the time. It took me half a day at work to develop it! I was bored and had time to spare. I had an idea of designing a game already  and I had checked my Twitter timeline and all I could see was updates about Boko Haram, then I thought why shouldn’t I do something that people could play, have a laugh about and get some value out of it.

For those that have asked about technologies I used, here is a list and you can do it too!

  • JQuery/Javascript
  • HTML5
  • CSS
  • Fireworks/Photoshop

Here is a link to play  : Typing Master and make you you share with your pals 🙂

Anyway that’s about it



happy-new-year 2012

Welcome 2012

Happy New Year! Its 2012 and I’m back on my keyboard again trying to do what I’m not good at (writing). I have a lot of ideas and good stuff running on my mind which I want to share but I find it really exhausting. It is one of my new year resolution to engage in active blogging, I have found it difficult before but now it seems more necessary and important to boost my career.

This year is going to be a more challenging one, I’m now in the job market and no more a student. This is where wise decisions are important and critical, it is not a matter of course work and exam anymore. I see it more about what you have to contribute back to the society. I’m grateful for where I  find myself right now, it was never an easy ride and I have always looked forward to this point of my life. All I have to do is sit back, relax, and do what I do best to the best of ability and the sky will only be starting point.

Wish you all a wonderful year ahead. Cheers


My first Java program

Class sleeping in style

Am sure i looked like this in my first Java class!

My first encounter with programming wasn’t a good one. My first lesson for my computer science course was systematic programming. I didn’t know what it meant then so i was looking forward to it. I walked in to the computer lab all excited, got my machine up and running waiting for class to start. Little have i known about what i was about to encounter. The lecturer walked in and first instruction was to open NOTE PAD, well it sounded familiar to me but i was wondering why do we need it because it was just basic with no special functions. Next instruction came up to open Command Prompt and  setup JVM class path, wow! it sounded like the lecturer was speaking Alien language because i never knew what command prompt was used for and what the hell is JVM and class path? . At this point i was barely on track,  but managed to cope with the help of my Chinese classmates. I wondered why we had to do all those stuff and i was asking “are we not supposed to be making applications?”. What i could remember next was looking at the lecturer typing some characters and words with some bracket and telling us to run our program. At this point i have had enough, i opened facebook and updated my status to “What the hell is this java?”.

For a few lessons later, all i did in the class was browse facebook. I wasn’t interested in the agenda of the class. Then came an announcement “First lab test next week!” I was in deep trouble and failure wasn’t in my dictionary, That meant i had to learn. Thank God for one week Chinese new year break, i used this opportunity to learn my first java program. Thanks to Ahmed El-Yakub (Babi) and Mohammed Bello(Primes) for helping me during that period to understand my first java program.

Class Hello{

  • public static void main (String args[]){
    String s=”Abdulsalam”;
    System.out.print(“My name is :”+s);


This was the first ever java code i wrote that ran successfully. When i look at it today, it gives me a big smile on my face because little had i known at that time what this little piece of code would make me today. At the end of my course, i had gone through a process and become a Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP). Today, i have done quite a lot with java with my largest piece of java code being about 19,000 lines of code.

Monopoly game code statistics

Sun Tech day

Me and James Gosling "Father of Java"

Another wonderful experience to share is when I met James Gosling, the man regarded as the father of Java. I went for a Sun technology Conference in Kuala Lumpur Convention Center (KLCC) in march 2007, there and then was a man standing who caught attention of everyone. I dint know him then, one of my mates whispered “I think I’ve seen his picture before, he’s James Gosling”. We all rushed to get his autographs and say hello, he was kind to us and exchanged a few words. At same event i watched the awesome things which Java could do, I saw the “Mission impossible” screen done right in front of me. There and then i became so interested in Java and  it became my passion in programming.

The moral is that one should be open to events in life as they unfold. Do not sit back and imagine what is going to happen, try to have a go at it and make an effort towards it. You never know could become of it, Mark Zuckerberg never new what Facebook was going to be when he started it. Know you passion and keep believing it it!

Thanks,  Salamtura.


My Who Hub Q & A

Hello guys! here is my Q & A session on I want to share my experience with everyone, you might find answers to questions you wanted to ask me. Hope you find it interesting and have fun reading! Thanks
INTERVIEW (Web address for this interview:

How did you begin programming and at what age?

I began coding in my first year at university, by the age of 20, although i have a previous knowledge of writing scripts in Access which i learnt in high school.

What languages do you code, and in what platforms?

I love coding in JAVA! That’s my main passion. I’ve met James Gosling in 2007 at a Java tech session in Kuala Lumpur which till today is my main inspiration to get go with Java. I also code VB/C# on ASP.NET platform, php, Visual Prolog, Java Servlets/JSP, frameworks like Hibernate, Spring, Acegi, Wicket, SWIFT and more.

What machine configuration and operating system do you use?

Hard question to answer, My main machine is a quad-core AMD Athlon II 3.2ghz with 6GB RAM, 2 x 500GB hard drive and 2 X 24″ LCD monitors, windows 7 OS and Ubuntu Linux partition as well. I also run Ubuntu Linux on a laptop.

Please list web addresses where we can see some of your work
What motivates you to undertake a new project?

To create a simple solution to a problem that seems complex

What part of project development is most gratifying to you?

Gathering user requirements and coding

From the outside, it seems a rational job, but is creativity necessary for programming?

Affirmative! you have to be creative while programming. An open and creative mind is necessary when trying to solve a problem, one has to be able to adapt to situations as they unfold

What conditions do you need to concentrate when programming?

I need to be alone with Cool music, red bull, and a fast internet connection.

After working for long periods of time, have you ever felt as though you were in a bubble?

Not really. When i feel tired i take some fresh air, play with rubiks cube, play with a punch bag, or take some time off.

When you check out code you wrote time ago, what’s the main difference with respect to code that you write nowadays?

With programming you gain experience daily as you progress. I code better now than i used to when i started, my past code seems rowdy and insecure, i often laugh at myself. Now i code with fewer lines, better logic and approach, good documentation.

Do you still buy programming books, or do you learn everything from online sources?

Well i do when i need references to specific aspects because they are better source of reference. But i really prefer a developer community and support forums.

Do you think programming should be taught at the basic education level?

Yes i do. We are in a technology age which most things depend on it, it’s necessary for one to have at least a basic idea about it.

What has been your experience in marketing your software?

Very difficult. End users normally takes software development for granted. They want to perform tasks with the minimum number of clicks and simple GUI for interaction.

What do you learn from software users?

User feedback makes your software better. Gives you an idea on how to improve your software.

What would be your solution against piracy?

Open Source!

Would you consider yourself rigorous in the organization of the coding that you write and on commenting it?

I try as much to be organized

How do you calculate the budget for a software project?

Value of final product, time spent, resource used… these are some of the matrix i use but sometimes its differs.

What are your favourite games and on what platform do you play them?

I don’t have time to play games anymore, but i enjoy playing pro evo/fifa on PS3

How often do you clean dirt-buildup on your keyboard?

Not often to be honest. When i found out i pressed a key and it didn’t work well!

How do you feel when friends or family ask for your help in solving domestic computer problems?

I try as much as i could to help then. It makes me feel like a geek but actually am not!

As machines for development, what opinion do Macs deserve?

Macs are great! but they lack variety of tools which you could find on Windows

How do you protect your computer from viruses?

Internet Security, firewall, proxy, self caution…

In social settings, do people become interested when you tell them you are a software developer?

Yes people thinks it’s cool, they look at me as if am from space!

Do you work alone or in a team? Which do you prefer?

Well i mostly work alone, but i don’t mind working in a team because its save you time and you share better ideas

Are you one of the first to update to new software when it comes out, or do you normally wait until more stable versions appear?

I do both! i think is better when you wait for a stable version! its saves you much trouble

What is your main reason for not meeting project deadlines?

Change in requirements!

In your opinion, which company helps software developers the most?


How many breaks per day do you normally take?

I take my time off when i get tired… sometimes none.

At this point in your career, what would be the project of your dreams?

To own Google!

What is your next project?

Developing a Third-Party Payment platform

Which websites or forums for programmers do you frequently visit?
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a programmer?

Learn programming only if you have passion for it.


Abdulsalam Umar

Salamtura – “The Inception”

Abdulsalam Umar

BSc Computer Science (First Class)

At long last my blog is live, i have procrastinated for 3yrs on setting up a blog. I am not a very good writer I guess but I have a lot to share. Well before I start posting my boring stuff, let me give little bio about myself.

I come from the Northern part of Nigeria. I attended Mary Travis nursery and primary school for primary education, and Zamani College Kaduna for my secondary school. After secondary school, I studied Business Administration at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria for a year before i transferred to INTI International University Malaysia, a franchise university to Coventry University UK, to study Computer Science in 2007. After my first degree, I went on for the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) for one year in 2009 which i worked for Chams Plc for one year. Currently, i am pursuing my masters degree in Msc Internet Software Systems at the University of Birmingham in the UK.

I have a belief that success in life is not about making good choices but also having the belief and passion for choices that you make. For me, I started grooming my career in Business Administration which I thought was a good choice for me. It would have been a disaster if I had kept myself in that line. My first degree was  in Computer Science , which I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science with a First Class Honours. I was good with computers since my young age and I have met a vast computer world which I fell in love with. The passion I have for computing has been the key factor for the excellence in my academics. I happen to be very good practically and technically especially with the major programming languages. I am a Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP), a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Oracle Certified SQL Expert, and well more to come ;).

A career in computing has been my dream ever since I came into meaningful contact with this latest tool that science has put into man’s hands. Having found computing to be my hobby and passion, I am looking forward to having a successful and influential career in the Information Technology world and also intend to make effort to improve the current backward situation of the IT industry of my home country.

At my leisure times, I play polo! Yes I love horses. They put a smile on my face and I can ride on them all day. I am a football fan (Red Devil :p), I like keeping myself current with the major football leagues in Europe. I love hanging out with friends going for movies, eating out, playing pool, and playing video games (I woop asses in soccer games so beware). When am not doing any of these, I will definitely be in front of my computer(Work Station) doing what I do best (code).

Well I hope I have planted an idea in your brain of who am I and what to expect from me! 🙂