1. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Elias Haileselassie Tsigie. I am an application developer working for Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa. I develop enterprise applications with Microsoft .NET and IBM Lotus Domino platforms. I love learning and doing some gymnastics with different computer languages and new technologies.
2. How the idea of the Ethiopian Calendar came to you?
The idea comes from a problem. In Ethiopia the principal calendar used is called Ethiopian Calendar which is different from the Gregorian calendar. Keeping track of our own date
was difficult and using mobiles/cell phones for managing reminders in Ethiopian date was not possible. Besides, the problem was twofold for Ethiopians living abroad who were using Gregorian calendar but still need to track the Ethiopian date back home. They had to keep track of date in two different calendars. This was the problem that gave rise to creating the App for mobiles which is the best device to keep track of calendars.
3. Why you decided to implement this idea specifically on Windows Phone?
I have always wanted to learn mobile App development. And I also had a problem to solve. The next step was to list and pick the mobile platforms which were on the rise and which I can utilize my previous skills. Windows Phone was on top of the list.
4. What resources on Microsoft or community side you found most helpful while working on the app?
I have found a couple of very helpful resources. To name a few: Tools and samples from Windows Phone dev Center, Articles from Windows Phone developer blog and the Windows Phone Toolkit from Windows Phone developer platform team. They were all priceless.
5. Could you please take us on a quick tour to understand your application better?
The Ethiopian Calendar App is basically similar to the default windows phone calendar App. It is used to track date and holidays in Ethiopian calendar. The App starts with a home screen that has three basic items on a Pivot. Namely the Month view, Day view and List view. The Month view shows dates in a grid for the current or navigated month in Ethiopian Calendar. In this View, the App highlights the date with a Public Holidays in Red Color. The Day view shows List of public information related to the current or navigated date including holiday(s) in that date, religious information and internationally recognized dates. The List View shows the list of public holidays or optionally fasting days on the current or navigated year. From all the above views, users can navigate to previous, current, next or random date by using navigation controls and can also create reminders from any date. The App also has separate views to manage reminders and to do date conversions between Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars.
6. What are your interests behind technology?
All my favorite technologies are from Microsoft! ASP.NET, MVC, WCF, Silverlight and Windows Phone development! I love working and continue to work with Microsoft technologies.
7. Any plans for news apps or projects in general?
My plan is to continue learning and developing Windows Phone Apps. I will look for problems that can be solved with a phone App and will develop it for the Windows Phone.
8. What would you advise to Developers in the region who also would like to become #MEAHero?
My advice is: start developing for the Windows Phone! It is easy and has a lot of opportunities for App developers. You don’t have to wait until you finish a book about developing with it! If you are already familiar with .NET, just dive in to creating new Apps! You will learn a lot through the development process or using code samples from Microsoft. You don’t have to find a grand problem to solve! You just look around in yourself or your village. You will see lots of it that can fit to a Windows Phone App!
9. Where the community can catch up with you online or offline?
Here is my contact information
Elias Haileselassie Tsigie
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/ehaileselassie
Office Tel: +251 11 544 32 67
Mobile: +251 91 325 15 17
P.O.Box 182 code 1251
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
App Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/etcal
App link: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/ethiopian-calendar/ca6be261-3d25-45ae-9469-e850c6c31091