Meet İsmet Özalp – One of October’s Most Interesting Developers

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Ismet Ozalp

Meet one of October’s Most Interesting Developers, İsmet Özalp from Istanbul!  İsmet is a great supporter and user of Jelastic (since 2012) and last year he presented a session at DevFest and he is doing it again this year.  If you would like to meet him, visit DevFest Istanbul on December 6, 2014.

İsmet Özalp is a software developer, scholar and an entrepreneur. He launched his first startup at the age of 16 with his friends where they provided shared hosting. When he was 19, he realized that he was spending too much time at work and could not focus on his studies.  So he left his company to study computer science and engineering in college. After graduation, he worked as a software developer for less than a year, and he decided to attend graduate school to continue his studies in computer science. In 2007 he relocated to New York where he did his masters degree at New York University. Upon graduation, he moved back to his hometown Istanbul, where he attended Sabanci University and he is still pursuing a PhD degree in computer science and engineering. He worked as a research assistant for 3 years, and spent a lot of time on a European Union project called Ubipol. In 2013 he launched Hive Informatics and Software Inc. with his 2 friends where they are still working on web and mobile technologies. Today, İsmet spends most of his free time doing research on privacy preserving data publishing for his PhD thesis.

Tell us about yourself.

I am 30 years old and I was born in Istanbul. From the moment my big brother brought our first PC home 21 years ago, I knew I was going to do something related with computers when I grew up. Well that actually happened. I bought a book about c++ when I was 14, which was my first step towards entering the software development world. From the age of 14 until today I kept my passion for programming languages always fresh. I decided to study computer science and engineering in college and I am still a strong disciple of computer science. I like helping students and other developers, and I think I learn even more than them during an encounter of a new problem.

What’s your current occupation?

Right now I am a co-founder of Hive which is a software house specialized in web and mobile application development and I simultaneously pursue a PhD @ Sabanci University where I continue my research on privacy preserving data mining and publishing.

Do you think you are interesting? If yes, why?

Well I don’t think I am a very interesting person but I like what I do every day, which makes my job fun and I believe when I am having fun I cheer people up around me, so that we all have fun together.

You are Co-founder of Hive. What is Hive?

Hive was founded in 2013 and specializes in web and mobile technologies. It has four co-founders me, Mehmet Onder, Ozgur Aydinli and an investor. Our first project was called Navatom, which is an ERP web application for the merchant shipping industry. It is an ongoing project. Navatom is an important attempt to set a standard for business processes of the merchant shipping industry. At Hive, we like using new technologies and platforms to keep us fresh and we try to expand our company with our experiences.

Can you tell us more about the EU FP7 founded project UbiPOL?

UbiPOL is an open source European Union project. The goal of the project is to allow citizens to be involved in the policy making process. It also helps policy makers by executing opinion mining on people’s comments and reviews, so that policy makers can understand the public view on a topic.

Preferred coding language?

Java.

Why?

Java has a great community, most of the tools I use are open source and there is a large variety of frameworks and platforms for Java out there. Although I like Java a lot (with Java 8, I like it even more) as it has many advantages and it’s suitable for many different types of projects, I still think that developers should choose their platform according their project needs.

Any other groups or opensource projects that you are part of?

We have a small project on Github, it is a GWT extension for Morphia. Morphia is a Java ORM for MongoDB.

Who do you think is the most interesting developer in the world (excluding yourself) and why?

I have to say James Gosling and Joshua Bloch. James is the father of my favorite programming language Java. And Joshua is the author of the books where I simply learnt what to do and what not to do with Java :) so I can clearly say that they are very influential people who shaped how we do things in our everyday work.

Can you tell us what you like about Jelastic or share any apps or projects created with Jelastic?

We have been using Jelastic since 2012. Personally I like Jelastic’s out of the box mentality. I don’t have to spend time on creating production and test environments. I can create my environments in a few minutes. Also, I don’t have to spend valuable time when my user base grows, thanks to Jelastic’s automatic horizontal and vertical scaling mechanism.
Currently our Navatom project is hosted by a Jelastic service provider (dogado), unfortunately there is no public preview right now. But soon, our product web page will be online.

How can Jelastic improve? Any new features you would like to see?

First of all Jelastic is moving forward faster than I anticipated. Most of the features that I requested have already been implemented. I would like congratulate the Jelastic Team for their success. There are a few things I would like to see on Jelastic platform, an S3 like storage system and ability to transfer Jelastic environments between Jelastic service providers.

Amy:  Re transferring environments, this is planned in our next release.  Users will be able to export their environments from one hosting provider and import environments to the another, or they will be able to move them from one account to the other.

And just for fun… Choose one of the following:

Telepathic or psychokinetic?

I will go for telepathic because reading other people’s minds and communicating beyond words would be fantastic.

Go left where nothing is right or go right where nothing is left?

Go right where nothing is left.

Finish this sentence:

Software developers are….

…typists who have great problem solving skills with an analytical way of thinking.

Thanks İsmet!

Stayed tuned for the final October winner announcement, next week.

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