VoltSafe Blog Team – August 11, 2023
George Al-Haddad, Backend Engineer at VoltSafe, thought he was coming over for dinner with his childhood friend and VoltSafe CTO, Sanad Aridah, and his siblings. But this dinner was a little different. Sanad casually mentioned in conversation that VoltSafe was looking for a mobile app developer. What George wasn’t aware of, was that Sanad (aka The Circuit Whisperer) also happens to be an Engineer Whisperer and was hoping to plant a bug in George’s ear to pique his interest in the role. A few days later, George approached Sanad and said, “Let’s do this!”.
George still had to go through an interview process, of course, and he was given the company’s required take home projects, in addition to learning the React Native UI software framework, before submitting his test projects. The way he learned React Native was by taking a Coursera course and then building an app based on the game “Smoke or Fire”. Based on his results, he was then hired to be a frontend programmer. The frontend is what the customer sees, while the backend is the information that is retrieved and informs how the frontend reacts to that information. He was mentored by software engineer, Ashaya Sharma, and moved into a hybrid position that incorporates both front and backend development.
The backend system is what interests George the most, the security behind it in particular. It all started with his interest in gaming and how customers’ data was kept secure. He loved testing these systems by breaking them so he could learn what and how it could be improved to ensure that customer data is kept safe.
When it comes to the front end, his greatest pride and joy would be the circular slider and scheduling screen found on the VoltSafe Winter app. It was his first major project and had him solving some cool math problems. Making it user-friendly, but also smart, was worth the challenge of the task. He was aiming to give it the look and feel of an app from a Fortune 500 company. “I’m really into how different parts of a system talk to each other in backend engineering. It’s like making sure every instrument in a band plays right, so everything sounds good together. From the devices that talk to our backend servers that serve information to the frontend clients that our customers interact with. That’s the fun part – getting all these pieces to work in harmony.”
Blending ingredients together is also what fuels George’s passion for cooking. In fact, before discovering his interest in backend engineering, George envisioned himself running a kitchen as a chef. As far as passions go, cooking is an “old flame” for him now. But before diving into tech, he spent six years working in kitchens, pursuing a culinary path. He keeps that fire burning with his friend and colleague, Sanad, occasionally hanging out in the kitchen, rekindling the flame for discovering interesting and unique dishes, experimenting with flavors, bringing ingredients together and creating a finished dish. His favourite dish is mushroom butternut squash pasta. “It’s a simple dish, but you can really play around with the ingredients. It’s kind of how I see tech too – start with the basics, then add your own creative spin to it,” George remarked.
George also likes going for a spin on his 2006 Suzuki Katana. He finds it a means of escape and a way to free his mind and relax. He loves the simplicity of the mechanics behind the motorcycle and the raw power behind it, so when asked if he’s thought about creating some sort of software to enhance the experience of riding, his interest in security factors into his answer. “It would be an anti-crash system or some sort of technology that would centre around crash avoidance,” George commented. But for George, the best part about riding his motorcycle is the open road and freedom it gives him. It’s a world away from the complex domain of frontend and backend systems.
About VoltSafe Inc.
VoltSafe Inc. is changing the way people connect to power. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, the Canadian tech startup has reinvented the electrical plug by eliminating prongs, adding magnets and an “electrical fingerprint”. Using patented technology, VoltSafe has created the world’s safest, simplest, and smartest plug design since electricity came into homes more than 140 years ago. The company’s product pipeline includes magnetic plug replacement solutions for household, commercial, industrial, marine, electric and autonomous vehicles, emergency services, data centres and more.