— PHP Mauritius UG (@phpmauritiusug) April 1, 2016
When I tweeted about “we are heading your way, let’s get to know you”, we have since started getting in touch with a few of you in #Mauritius. For our very first start of this Interview series about [People in or from Mauritius that are making a change, passionate about PHP or part and parcel of the IT Crowd], we interview Mozammil Khodabacchas!
Let’s Do This!
Interview With Mozammil Khodabacchas
>> Hey there, it’s a great pleasure for us (the founders of #phpMauritius) to get to know yet another PHPers/IT person from Mauritius. So tell us a bit yourself
The pleasure is all mine. My name is Mozammil Khodabacchas and I am currently the Vice President of Research & Development for Oryx Cloud, Inc. Oryx Cloud is an American Startup but its headquarters is in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates which makes us closer to emerging markets.
Our Research and Development Center is based in Bangalore, India. I have a small team of 12 software engineers, architects, and infrastructure specialists working on a new platform, but our team is expanding very quickly.
So as part of my job, I keep shuttling between Abu Dhabi and Bangalore every month. It is quite exciting to work on developing a vision and strategy for an emerging and yet, lucrative market and also work with some of the brightest PHP developers in the largest technology hub outside the western hemisphere.
>> You were initially working for yourself in Mauritius until you got an opportunity overseas. Tell us how you started your career, how you got spotted by world-wide companies.
My first job was with Cahri Studio Ltd which is a web agency based in Reunion Island. However, they have their offices in Mauritius. Working with Cahri, exposed me a lot to the Web Development world although my love for this field started long before I even joined the University of Mauritius.
Eventually, I went on to start my own company, Paperboat with a good friend of mine to try and win some clients. It was hard and due to some personal reasons, I had to drop out. However, It’s great to know that it is still in the hands of two very capable developers.
I came to Abu Dhabi for the first time in March 2015 for vacation and I loved the city so much. I always thought I would have liked to stay and work here. I applied for a job and 6 months later, I was eventually hired to lead the company’s development efforts.
>> How does it feel to work overseas as compared to locally? What are most important aspects that you find nice and which Mauritian companies could improve or vice-versa.
I love working for my current company but it’s not something to be generalized. I cannot say that all companies abroad are better than Mauritian companies or vice-versa. I am just lucky to be working for Oryx Cloud. The thing that I love the most with the current company is the flexibility and the travel opportunities. We don’t really ask employees to be at the office at 8.30 in the morning on a Monday, for example. It’s all about accountability and whether, at the end of the day, they have been able to do what was previously discussed.
>> When did you first start using PHP ?
I must have been 15 by then. The first time I started using PHP was when I made a forum that eventually became very popular. The software that it was based on was PHPBB and I had to learn PHP to be able to customize the platform to my liking.
>> Do you use it at home only or at work or both? If both, how different is your usage of PHP from those two worlds.
I am so caught up with work right now that I don’t have enough free time to work on a side project. As such all my time is dedicated 100% to Oryx Cloud.
>> What is your passion & hobbies
I love reading. I read everything and everywhere and I try to, as far as possible, read around 15 books a year. Luckily, I manage to do it amongst my crazy schedule.
I also like to play Football and video games.
>> Is there any pet project you are working on and would like to share with us?
Not at the moment, unfortunately. I have dabbled into a few side projects in the past but I don’t have a lot of free time right now to work on a side-project.
>> One IT or PHP person in Mauritius that you appreciate
It is you guys now J
>> One PHP person world-wide that you appreciate
There are so many but, I would say Taylor Otwell (For Laravel), Jeffrey Way (For his awesome tutorials), Jack McDade ( For Statmic, Laravel and at the same time a pretty awesome Designer).
>> What does your LAMP stack look like?
I am currently using Vagrant for my local environment and as such I use this box by
Scotch: https://box.scotch.io. So basically, Ubuntu 14.04, Apache 2.4, MySQL and PHP 5.6
>> The tools you use?
I will break it down into hardware and software tools.
Hardware: I am currently using a high-end Macbook Pro Retina 15-inch with a 27” external monitor.
Software: I use a lot of tools to facilitate my workflow but, on top my head, for development purposes I would say: Vagrant, Git, GulpJS, Visual Studio Code.
For communication, we are currently using Slack and Skype for our meetings. For tasks management, we are currently using Trello.
>> What is your perception on the IT / PHP crowd in Mauritius – what you find is good or not good..etc
Unfortunately, when I was still in Mauritius, I didn’t know many PHP developers and there was not much being done in the local scene to promote the same. However, I do know that we had and still have a lot of talented PHP developers in Mauritius. Hopefully, this is the start of something awesome.
>> What is your opinion on usergroup & communities
I love it. I believe it is great to meet like-minded people and also for the networking opportunities.
>> What is your reaction in knowing that now there’s an initiative with #phpMauritius for PHPers in Mauritius
I am excited. We needed one in Mauritius and I am glad you guys are taking the initiative.
>> One thing you hate about Mauritius or Mauritian Companies
I can’t say for every Mauritian companies but I would have liked to see a better working environment in the sense that they should, ideally, allow their employees to work remotely. An employee is the most productive when he is in an environment he is comfortable with and can work undisturbed for a long amount of time. This is not usually possible at the workplace.
>> Your Opinion on PHP companies in Mauritius?
There’s a lot of talented PHP developers in Mauritius and naturally, they are doing some pretty good work.
Voila, that’s it guys!
I Hope you like it! If you want to be our next interviewee or you want to suggest someone, comment below or email us!
Keep Your Passion Alive, Embrace the #elePHPant / #PHPc journey 🙂 Cheers #PhpMauritius