Thank You

I have spent 4 years of my life at the University of Manchester and, in a few weeks,  this chapter will come to an end. This blog was started during my first year and I haven’t stopped writing since. I hope it was and will be a nice read for students, but I need to move on to the next chapter.

I truly think going to Uni was and still is the best decision I have ever taken. It seemed obvious, I never questioned it, but I had my doubts during the course of the last four years.

I still remember not even considering a BSc because “it was too short”. I really wanted to have an experience and I thought three years were not enough for me. My fourth year turned out to be the one where I have applied all the lessons learned and set a direction to where I am heading.

I came to Uni to experience life, meet people and play with computers. I think I have almost achieved what I was expecting from it. I say almost because I usually tend to have expectations that are not even human, so I never meet them (which is a good thing :D).

However what I learned the most is that experiences don’t count. It’s not a matter of how much you have experienced in your life, but it’s about how much you have learned from it. You can keep trying new things, change and get out from your comfort zone every single day of your life, but the only question you need to ask yourself is “am I learning?”.

If the answer is “No”, stop experiencing. There is no point. Focus on the things you like and be the best you can be. You will find your own definition of quality and who you are.

After four years, I still don’t know who I am, where I come from and why I am part of this adventure, which I like to call life, but I am aware of who I want to be. That’s why I am going to invest the next 12 months in what I think truly expresses what you have read and I have  shared with you.

When I left high school I felt accomplished and excited about the future. Now I feel ready and although I haven’t got a job and I am not looking for one, I sense that somehow things will turn right. It’s not a matter of hope, destiny or luck. It’s more about pushing and never stopping to believe in it.

I am moving to Berlin, with the hope to do my own thing and freelance for as long as I feel comfortable with this lifestyle. I think these are the years where I can really find out if I can do this or not. I will have different aims and interests later in life.

However, before doing that, I believe I need to thank a few people. Think about this as the credits at the end of a movie. It took me six months to write this and I wanted to publish it the day I thought about it. I have been editing because there were things I had to say, people I had to thank and others who had to be forgotten.

Some of you won’t be in this list, I am sorry. It might just be me forgetting about things, others won’t even expect this, but each one of these people have taught me something in their own way.

A big thank you to:

  • Marco Sesto, for being a friend, a honest and sincere one, in the last four years. Missoula is our home. I’ll never forget it.
  • Antonio Marino, for being a friend, housemate, co-founder, startup buddy. You are going to have plenty of time to hug me in Berlin.
  • Bilgin Oralerkaya, for our first year together (room 40 and 41), but most of all for always being there, no matter I was crying or happy.
  • Joshua Avenell, for being the big brother I never had. Thanks for listening. I have never seen an economist practice so well therapy (ahahah). You may want to reconsider your career. 😛
  • Lorenzo Linardi and Antonio Kaniadakis, for keeping in touch, even if we were miles away. In particular, thanks for introducing me to sushi.
  • Brian, for helping me during my third year and listening to my boring thoughts along plenty of others. I’ll never forget the Amatriciana we had on the 26th of April, it was a Sunday.
  • Sara Giorgi, for the long conversations about me (I was so selfish) and the £1 soups at the Learning Commons.
  • Spyros, for the coursework we went through in the last two years and our own meaning of “quality”.
  • Alessia, Valeria, Valentina, for the gossip and our aperitivos. A honourable mention to Federico, who joined us from time to time, I am waiting for the wedding. 😉
  • Tim Langley and the CANDDi team for everything. Eddie is much better than Picasso.
  • Alice, for the mug “People don’t buy what you sell, they buy why you do it”. I was a kid who was yet to find his own way through life.
  • Marloes Kuijper, for the binary code, which was the most beautiful thing anyone has ever done to me.
  • Rendik Zsofia, for bearing me and having too much patience, because “silence is not awkward”. I still remember that. I hope to see you soon in Budapest!
  • Natalie Hanson, for the immense conversations on WhatsApp. I am still laughing and eating Nutella. Nat-ella, the CV and Cream-Fields were pieces of art.
  • Andrea Sesto, for the illuminating lessons about life, relationships and girls.
  • Maria Iliopoulou, for being here when I needed it. I am sorry for not having been present when you actually needed my help. Our 5th of November was great, apart from the curry. I really hope this will make you smile. 🙂
  • Sarah Williams, for the Snaps, Rugby and the conversations we had. 😛
  • Big Andy, for rescuing me in the bathtub after I fainted in my first year and for being my housemate for 2 years.
  • Lara Ipek, for the brownies that were there whenever I was back. We are going to spread some nutella next time. 😉
  • Andrea, Adolfo, Matteo, Cristina and Chiara (who still doesn’t get me), for being in Rome every time I come back. 😀
  • Julie Meersseman, for indirectly giving me one of the best lessons in life so far. Thanks for telling me how the Bible contradicts the definition of God and introducing me to the concept of Karma.
  • Dalton Ellis, the best student accommodation in Manchester.
  • The Swimming Club, for the pain, only the pain. : ) I met Marco the first day of swimming! 😉
  • The Learning Commons and my favourite spot on the corner of the ground floor, for not running away.
  • Jez Lloyd, for going through thousands of words of blogging.
  • Gavin Brown, for being my third year project supervisor.
  • Great Preneurs and its team, for being my first true project that almost killed my grades. We did some interesting things and the conference was awesome. 🙂
  • The LGBT group (Kemal, Massimiliano, Giuseppe)  of the Five Star Movement and the party itself, for being my only chance to come back to Italy. Including all the friends I have made.
  • The Italian Society, for all the friendships that has helped me create. In particular, that 25th of November that I will never forget.
  • The Manchester Greater Police, for always being there when we needed it. I have never felt so protected and secure in 4 years.
  • The Computer Science department, for letting me blog and supporting all the crazy ideas I have had over the last four years.
  • The first house I have rented, after Dalton Ellis, for being the lowest point, in terms of accommodation, of my life. It was a good lesson and now I know I have to think twice before signing a contract.
  • Nutella, sushi and hummus for being the only things that made me smile when I actually needed it.
  • Clash of Clans, for lasting for 2 years. RIP.
  • Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, because quality is about emotions and feelings, the rest is just quantity.
  • My aunts, uncles and cousins, for being there, even though my WhatsApp presence wasn’t as some of them expected.
  • Nonna Orietta, Nonno Mario e Nonna Laura (my grandparents), for supporting me even though I wasn’t skiping so much.
  • Nonno Franco, for wishing me to graduate, even though he passed away while I was at Uni. I made it. “The best is yet to come”.
  • My Sister and Briciola, for being there when I needed it, and Luigi for the Camomilla (sushi is coming 😉 ) .
  • Mummy and Daddy, for supporting me throughout the end, even when things I was talking about didn’t make sense. Thanks for the graduation gift, for sponsoring my first three years at Uni and for being two friends. You deserve an entire love letter on its own, but let’s stick to these five lines. 🙂 🙂 🙂

I think I have finally found who I am and what I really want to be. It took me four years of University, but luckily I feel I am leaving this place with something I will never forget.

These have been 4 amazing years, but it would be hypocritical to define them as such, because there have been highs and lows. However I think they are amazing because they have given me plenty of stories, friends and lessons to learn from.

Being a nice person is difficult, especially when you are an emotional bomb and a bit arrogant (worst thing ever), but University has also given me the chance to practice. I want to apologise to those who have found these writings a bit over the line and the ones who have been hurt or insulted by me. We all do mistakes. Some of us have the ability to understand them and learn, while others keep repeating them. I will always try to be in the first category.

My last advice to you is about people. You will meet plenty here and they will all have different opinions and views about future, relationships, life and love. Try to always respect them and don’t force them to be someone they are not. Let them be who they are choosing to be whether they are right or wrong is up to them to decide.

Goodbye Manchester,

may these lessons be with you forever. 🙂

I was
I was going to take a picture and put it here, but I think it’s better to end where it all started. This was taken on the 16th of September 2012, before freshers’ week. You can clearly see my happy face. 😉

ps: A world tour, a 2 weeks interrail and 1 week in Cesmè (Turkey) are waiting  for me. My graduation is on the 21st of July, if someone wants to say “hello”, just drop me a message. : )

Mark Cuban And Rejection

I chose to go to University because I wanted to learn how to live. I am not saying Uni is the only place where you can learn life’s lessons, but it’s the place where everyone is doing the same thing at the same time.

You’ll find a variety of different individuals with things to say, do and share. That’s why I still think dropping out or not going to Uni is useless.

While I was having a rough period I read “The sport of businnes” by Mark Cuban which gave me a different perspective about rejection. Although Mark talks about business, this can be applied in anything you do.

A year later, now, I have ended up in a similar situation, probably even worse than the one I was in last year. What happened? Nothing.

Reading these two pages has made me realise once again who I am and what I want to be, which means my reaction hasn’t even been close to last year. I think this can be defined as a truly learning experience.

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Don’t waste your time trying to teach them how to live, waste your time by enjoying life. : )

At the end of the day, the prospect is missing everything by being blind and insecure about your product.

Speak to you soon,


Hacks 2016 – Julie

I am not a first time Hacker anymore. TechCrunch Disrupt was my first Hackathon and, after four years of Computer Science, I can say I should have done it before. Why? Learning. There are more things you’ll learn in a Hackathon than anywhere else. Although you build stuff that doesn’t work in a day, you end up touching and learning new technologies, which, in another moment, you can re-use for bigger projects.

Since TC Disrupt was a success. I decided to bet on another one! This time wasn’t for the prizes, but more for the experience. I have packed my bag with Antonio Marino, my flatmate and still a third year student at Uni, and we have decided to spend the weekend in Detroit. Yes, we signed up for MHacks, at the University of Michigan.

We flew out to Detroit on Friday morning and came back in Manchester on Monday at lunch. It was probably the craziest thing I have ever done, but this is what Computer Science is about. We don’t have any limits and the $500 reimbursement we received from the organisers was almost enough to cover all the expenses.

We built Julie, an AI that uses natural language processing to understand what the user wants and builds React Native apps on the spot (both for Android and iOS). Imagine talking to a bot and asking to place a NavigationBar, a Map, a Button or a label inside your app. You can also set the colors of the buttons, the text and customise other components.

We saw Julie as an interesting learning tool for people who want to start coding straight away but don’t have any clue. This tool shows you how a native application is built and also provides a drag and drop interface to let the user move around the components created.

This is the link to our submission to Julie. We built Julie using the following technologies:

  • React
  • React Native
  • Electron
  • Twilio
  • Linode
  • Firebase
  • Wit.Ai
  • Redux
  • Java

Julie itself is a React app that runs on Mac thanks to the Electron Framework. The coolest feature was that we could phone Julie through the Twilio API and ask her to place a red button with text “Hello” in our app.

We also used Wit.Ai to build a Natural Language Processing model that let Julie understand what we tell her. We had to train her with more than 25 sentences in order to improve her understanding of “add a button”, “place a button”, “insert a button”. These are all different sentences with the same aim.

I didn’t sleep for 52hrs and that was probably the only thing I found about myself, apart from the ability to write code during those hours. The jet lag wasn’t that great either cause as soon as we landed, we started coding. I really don’t remember my flight back to Manchester since I was sleeping, but I can pretty much say it was worth it and yes, we were in a different continent just for the weekend.

This is what a Hackathon does to you (top right corner). A big thank you to Marloes Kuijper for the support and being a saint; without her there wouldn’t be any Freelancing, Hackathons and Uni. 🙂

The Value Of Emotions

If you are taking User Experience (COMP33512), read this twice.

I was going through some old shared notes about COMP33512 last night. This was the case since one of my friends is currently taking the course. I accidentally found them on Google Drive and realised it was a shared doc with more than a dozen authors. Reading the first line made me want to write a blog post.

My first reaction was to ask access to the author and add an extra note, but I think writing down some thoughts about UX will help those who are currently taking this course. Since my friend has submitted his first assignment last night, I imagine you all have done the first piece of coursework and read ‘Understanding, Scoping and Defining User Experience: A Survey Approach’.

It’s a nice read and the shortest summary is “no one is right about UX, everyone has different opinions, trust your own guts”. I am mentioning this, because what I am about to write is the product of my guts (so don’t even trust me).

That first line on the notes said something that is really close to this:

this course should have been called “the worst user experience” ‘thanks’ to the GoPro recorded lectures in which nothing can be heard but background noise.

I felt a bit sad, disgusted and also frustrated, because whoever wrote that didn’t really get what UX is all about. This keeps happening whenever I talk to other people, even close friends of mine, who should see the difference straight away, but keep making the same mistake over and over again.

If you are slightly thinking that UX is about running A/B tests on millions of users in the Google’s way, well, you are wrong. If you are thinking UX measures the quality of a product or, as in this case, video/audio, you are still wrong.

I was angry because the first lines of some revision notes, shared by a dozens of students, were against the whole definition of UX.

The common mistake we all make is in thinking that:

UX->Quality-> HD Video

or a better click through rate performance (again Google’s way). Although you may think you are referring to Quality, that is still a Quantitative thought.

Using a better material for the cover of the iPhone6 is not Quality, but Quantity.

Why? Because Quality (and also UX) is about emotions, not materials. It doesn’t really matter if the cover is made up by Gold or Wood. The focus is on the User and the emotions that the product evokes in his/her inner state.

When we talk about emotions and inner state, we don’t talk about materials. We don’t talk about the Quality of Video (again this should be the Quantity). We don’t refer to the number of clicks or why a Gold cover is more “water-proof”.

If we want to talk about emotions, we need to talk about how emotions change according to different shapes, materials, and also video qualities. What I am trying to say is that even a HD video could not be the best solution, because this is not strictly correlated to happiness, enjoyment or satisfaction. It might be the case that a worse video quality is a better way to reach those inner states for the users you have.

Let’s try to formulate an example, just to make things clearer.

“We need to distribute a recorded video to 50 people who are between 70-80 years old. 80% of them are almost blind and 100% have hearing issues. The director spends 80% of the budget to improve the video quality and doesn’t focus on the audio.”

Result: no one cares about how good the video is, cause at the end of the day, they can’t watch it, but they can’t even hear it, cause the focus was elsewhere.

Am I justifying how GoPros record a lecture? No, of course. That’s not up to me to decide. What I want to point out is how wrong that comment was in terms of UX.

The focus of UX is not about how good the product is, but how good the emotions that the product evokes are. That’s why it’s called USER EXPERIENCE.

In conclusion, if you want to get a first, just study hard as you have always done and you’ll probably make the same mistake as whoever wrote that message.

If you want to understand what UX is about, read:

This is where you’ll find the incredible gap between memorising something (to get a first) and learning. People who truly learn stop caring about their grades (read zen and you’ll also understand this).

Remember, if you can’t open a door, it’s not because you are stupid, but because it was designed by someone who didn’t have a clue of what UX is all about.

ps: if you want to keep the conversation going, add me on Twitter (@edoardomoreni) or Linkedin. I also do some freelancing, so you can hire me.


Winning TechCrunch Disrupt London

I had never been to a Hackathon before last month. I have always missed out these events, but this time it sounded a good a idea to head to London for the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon with Antonio Marino to hack on something. 


I had no idea of what I wanted to build or how we could manage to get something done in less than 15 hours, but I knew something. I wanted to work with React Native. I have been using this framework for the last six months and after shipping an iOS and Android app for a Manchester based startup called CANDDi, I have realised how fast it can be.

We knew React Native could have given us the chance to build a Minimum Viable Product in a few hours, even without an extensive iOS knowledge.

After the first two hours of brainstorming, we chose to compete for the William Hill Sponsor Prize, which included a World VIP Tour to Las Vegas, Sidney and Madrid. The betting company was providing their API to review matches, retrieve data, use their platform and place bets.

By conceptually thinking about the Robinhood app, which lets you sell or buy stock when a price is met, and even Workflow, which enables users to set specific workflows of apps, we came up with IFBet.

IFBet is a React Native iOS application that lets the users place bets only when certain conditions are met. A condition could be:

“If it’s raining in Manchester, Rooney is playing and has scored in the previous game, bet £15 on the away team.”

The interface lets you build simple flows by dragging and dropping blocks of conditions and statements. Since the app uses a blocks structure and simple if->then conditions, the possibilities are endless.

After 15hrs we managed to get a prototype working and presented it on stage (watch the video) in front of 500 hackers. We had more or less a dozen teams competing for this sponsor prize, but our project was by far on another level. That’s why we now have a nice graduation summer trip around the world. 😉

Edoardo Moreni, Mark Larah, Bartłomiej Siemieniuk and Antonio Marino.



Hi, Do You Wanna Do A Startup?

I do get this a lot, probably too often.

I usually get, once a week, either a tweet, email, Whatsapp message or even a voicemail from someone who’s looking for a “technical co-founder” to do a startup with.

Yes, this is what I call “The Social Network” effect. People have watched that film too many times and now everyone has gone crazy for the “American dream”.

I am crazy too, but I do have a co-founder in whatever I want to do (sorry guys), so I am sorted for the next years.

Again, this is not an article for wanna be entrepreneurs, but part of my own thoughts and some of Paul Graham’s ones. If you don’t know who he is and you want to do a startup, you have a problem.

Let’s assume an imaginary world where I didn’t have a co-founder or any friend and I was looking for something. Why would I still say no?

  1. A co-founder is like a marriage, you need to spend 5 years of your life with the guy/girl, so why would I want to team up with someone I don’t know?
  2. If you don’t know to write a single line of code, why do I have to develop a product for you?
  3. Why don’t you get an intro from a friend of mine, instead of calling me?

Point No. 2 is crucial, especially because most of these messages come from business students, who obviously tell me they have focused their life’s goals into “digital marketing, strategy and business”, which is equal to “I know how to peel an apple and make sandwiches”.

No offense, but that’s true.

This is usually the case with tech ideas.

If you think you have a tech idea and you need a guy to build it, there is a high chance that your idea is completely wrong or doesn’t make sense, why?

You don’t know how to build it, so you have let your Steve Jobs’ mindset flow without even considering tradeoffs.

There was this time where a guy made me sign an NDA to later find out that he wanted to build the Internet all over again (literally, he wanted to make a clone for each website there was out there).

What lesson did I learn? Never sign a NDA. If you don’t have the guts to tell me what you want to do, why would I be interested?

Ideas change while you develop them, why?

You find better solutions, things to do or you see that your Steve Jobs’ idea is not doable.

Let’s assume that I say “yes, let’s do it!”.

The output would be me developing the thing for probably 6 months, then releasing it and iterating on the product, while getting feedback from the customers to get market product fit.

What would you do? Nothing. You would mostly sit and stare at me, while I play the orchestra.

You thought you could play the orchestra, didn’t you!?

That’s not going to happen, because you don’t know the product, you haven’t built it and you can’t understand what the users want because when I try to explain to you the lean startup model, you show me a business book.

Ideas != products.

If you don’t know what != means, again, close the business book and learn how to code.

“Steve Jobs DID IT!

I can shape the product, find customers, iterate, market, build a strategy, while you code it.”

Steve Jobs is one and he wasn’t even an exception. Yes, I am telling you that.

The exception was Steve Wozniak, the guy who invented the Apple 2.

You want to know the truth? I am not as smart as Steve Wozniak and Jobs, at least, knew how to connect a few wires, plus there is a big difference between doing a startup and running a 40k employees organisation.

In the latter case, you need to be a manager.

Guess what? You don’t need to get a degree, you can learn it.

In the past years, several different VC firms have set a trend where they invest in Founders/CEOs and train them to stay where they are supposed to be, in the CEO seat, even if they are Computer Scientists.

YC only invests in technical co-founders when it comes down to tech products. Having the bullshitter and the slave is pointless.

So why don’t we still get that times have changed?

University doesn’t talk about Startups. There are a few people who talk about “Entrepreneurship”, but they are wearing a suit most of the time, so they are not credible.

There are also a few groups that do “Entrepreneurial” events, but they are pointless, because it’s full of guys looking for the Computer Scientist to use.

The Computer Science department doesn’t talk about this. It’s an issue, which is also due to the demographic of students who study here. The majority of them opt for working in a bank.

Why? Money and the inability to understand that a startup could be 1000x rewarding, both financially and from a knowledge point of view, in any way.

How can we fix this?

Well, writing a blog post is a first attempt.

A second attempt would be to make people aware.

If you want to know how to write a CV, a cover letter, find or get a job, prepare an interview, be more “employable”, the University offers full support, but what if I want to be unemployed?

Where are my unemployment people? Are there any?

If we focus back on the business guys, I have got two pieces of advice.

  1. Don’t get a business degree, do something that makes you creative and gives you a domain expertise (and learn how to code). You don’t have to be a Computer Scientist, you just need to know how to build your own things.
  2. If you are already in a business program, learn how to code if you want to do tech stuff. Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, had a humanities background, he learned iPhone programming and sold his company for 1 billion dollars. It’s still doable. If you don’t want to learn, open an ice-cream parlour, you’ll have more success selling ice cream.

We come to the end of this blog post where I need to:

  1. Apologise to all the guys I have insulted. This usually happens when you put an egocentric guy, behind a screen, at 5AM, on a train to London.
  2. Thank all those who look for me. It’s always a pleasure to reply and also give you feedback on what you are doing. I always don’t know what I am talking about, but people still think I look smart, so if you want smart thoughts, get in touch.
  3. Apologise to the University, which is really not doing anything to fix this, but it’s also true this is not Stanford and we are not in Silicon Valley.
  4. Ask to all the Computer Scientists out there to look in the mirror and tell themselves they can do it without the guy who has read “The art of doing business”.

ps: I wrote this blog post while I was wearing a suit and heading to an interview with a bank. We all know that in the end, I will accept those nice £40k a year that are waiting for me! ehehehe

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ps1: “omitted, read the next blog post”

ps2: thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks for reading and not having punched me yet.

ps3: You can find me on Twitter at @edoardomoreni or Linkedin (I usually don’t accept many people, so if you want to talk, just stop or find me.)

My sweet spot is on the ground floor of the Learning Commons in the corner, but I haven’t been there in a while. I am spending my time in the Computer Science department because it’s my last year and I have stuff to do.

You could also poke me on Facebook, no one has already done that!

Please, please, please, my phone number is public, but don’t use it.

I can’t even remember my digits, so why would I think it’s important to listen to the first stranger who phones me?

Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks for reading.

You’ll keep seeing blog posts like this because it’s my last year, so I feel the need to share.



What University Means To Me

I received the following two tweets a few days ago and I replied brutally; but this got me thinking and gave me an idea of what the next blog post would be about.

This is how I replied:

I think I was a bit rude because probably he caught me in one of those moments where I was thinking about what I am going to do in September when even my fourth year of University is gone.

There are a lot of “students” that believe University is a way to find a nice job, with a high paid salary and a nice house. True.

I mean that is what society tells us, but they are all wrong.

The first University was founded in Italy (yai!) more than 900 years ago and I really don’t think they did that to let people find jobs.

Universities are places where the individual is faced against life’s problems for the first time and is able to look at them in a more mature way. Forget about what you did in high school, you were still a kid.

This is the place to grow as a person, understand things, analyse behaviours and gain as many life’s lessons as possible in order to apply them after Uni, in the real world. It’s not a joke and I am not even referring to textbooks and coursework, which, in my personal opinion, accounts for probably 10% of what Uni is really about.

Think about Uni as a gym, where you train yourself for the real world. Manchester is probably one of the best places in the UK because there are thousands of international students. This means that you stumble across different cultures, behaviours, opinions, lifestyles, every five minutes.

What did I learn in the last four years?

Yes, a bit of Java, C, Networks, Machine Learning and whatever you’ll find listed on my CV (yes, I do have one).

What I truly LEARNED is myself. I have started to realise how I react to certain situations, why I do the things I do, what I like, what I dislike, why people think in different ways and what really drives society. This is my learning and these are the lessons that University has given me and will keep giving me till July 2016.

I have built two startups, faced failure, organised several events, made friends, stopped being friends with some of them, cried, laughed, loved some, hated others, been depressed, but also super-happy.

I’ll probably forget if Java passes parameters by value or reference, but I’ll never forget these human lessons that University has given me.

To me, University is the place to learn who you are and what you want to become. Forget the textbooks. Forget the lectures (but attend them!). Forget the words “career” and “job”. You are not here for any of these, you are here for yourself.

I say these things while I still have a first (mummy is proud). I got a job this summer because I was doing the things I loved and while doing them I stumbled across different people who weren’t even part of Uni.

Did I get a job because my CV looked good to them? No, I got one because they saw the way I was doing the things I loved and that was enough. This also led to a graduate offer and a part-time job that is paying for every single expense in my fourth year (I am really well paid, yai! and I love to say it every time, I know, I know, I am egocentric).

Did I look for these things? No, I never looked for them. They just came and they will keep coming no matter what.

I spent my third year looking at the mirror and shaking. I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I wanted. I was really scared and when someone judged me, I went down, completely. I spent probably 6 months of my third year digging a hole. It wasn’t fun and I also didn’t understand why.

Was this part of a University’s course? No, this was life and I was starting to interact with it.

I skipped a lot of lectures and almost jeopardised my entire year, but on a Wednesday morning I decided to go and listen to what Simon Harper had to say (he teaches User Experience). He told us to read “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance“.  A book that probably hasn’t got anything to do with what you’ll have to write in your exam, but has everything to do with User Experience and most of all, LIFE.

I finished that book in a week. That completely changed me. Why? I started to realise the relationship between Quality and Quantity, which led me to wonder what Quality really meant for me and how I could look for it. I realised that my thoughts were part of a quantitative behaviour and that I had to find my real values, those that would have led me to find Quality.

Quality is what you are at Uni for and by that I mean all the reasons why you should join the University of Manchester, which I have listed above.

All the rest is Quantity, so when you ask me if an industrial placement is worth it? I can just reply that you are probably asking the wrong question. Ask yourself what Quality is for you and you’ll find the answer.

To me Quality is about spending the next years of my life trying to add some value and improve the life of the people who surround me; but most of all, I’d love to touch their feelings and make them smile.

To me Quality is organising the Italian Society’s event for 100 people, but having 300 people showing up.

To me Quality is the message I write on a birthday wishes card, not the material of the card (that’s quantity).

To me Quality is about spending more than two hours writing this, when I have 3 deadlines and I’ll probably be in the lab till midnight, when I could have left at 9PM, If I didn’t write this.

To me Quality is about working with a bunch of people on something that makes no sense, with the lowest pay ever, but that could affect the lives of millions of people.

To me Quality is walking on campus just to refresh my mind, observe other people and focus on what really is important to me.

To me Quality is better than Quantity.

I spent the best years of my life at Uni and my learning hasn’t finished yet, but what I am aware of is that I’ll be able to be a better person thanks to this experience.

Yes, I do have fans…

ps: don’t worry mummy, I am going to work on the lab now!

ps2: don’t forget to follow me!

My 4th Year!

I started this blog in my first year at the University of Manchester and now I am already heading towards second week of my 4th year!

I am in a Master of Engineering course, so my programme is four years long and has a BSC + Masters all included. The 4th year counts 50% toward the final grade of your degree, so it’s the most important one. It’s divided in 4 different periods and each period lasts 6 weeks.

During each period you are recommended to take not more than two course units in order to have enough, but not too much work. I have already selected my courses and for this first period I am doing: Cryptography and Data Engineering.


1) The first choice was led by one of the main trends in startups, which will definitely grow in the next years, Security (that’s why in Period 2 I am also doing Cybersecurity ;)).

2) The second one was obvious, everything is driven by data, so if you don’t know how to process it, you are pretty much doomed.

I still don’t have a clue of what the outcome (my next stop after Uni) will be, but I am pretty confident, because I know what interests me, people.

I do have an interview with Bloomberg for a Software Engineering position next week, so I’ll update you on that. I have also just applied to EF, a startup accelerator that takes people based on your curricula and makes them build something over a six months period.

I am pretty sure I’ll do a startup or work for one, because I think the next few years will be still part of my learning experience. Although startups are though, low budget and the salary isn’t great, the value is probably 30x bigger than any other tech giant or bank can offer.

ps: I am leaving you with some cryptic sentences, but the truth is I am working on another side project, again. Hopefully I won’t shut it down before I am bored.

ps1: I’ll write another update at the start of Period 2 with my course units choices and a few more updates about my project.

Speak to you soon!

Software Engineering Internship At CANDDi

I am already a month and half through the summer and a lot of things have happened since my last blog post. I have got a First this year, which means I am averaging a First Class Degree.

The fourth year is going to be worth 50%, so I just have to come back and confirm this trend, which is pretty good. I have already worked for CANDDi for 5 weeks (I am currently on holiday – they gave me 5 days for 3 months of work).

Working in a startup is extremely interesting for several different reasons:

  • Plans change quickly ( I am not doing what we planned to do).
  • Small teams are families.
  • I am in charge to deliver an iOS app and between me and the end-user there is no one.
  • I do wear shorts and t-shirts (yes, suits are forbidden).
  • I eat ice cream at work.
  • My learning curve is an exponential.

I am currently developing an iOS app in React Native, which will probably ship by the end of the month. This is great since I had never built an iOS app (I am an Android developer) and because I am using a leading edge technology such as React Native.

But startups are unpredictable, I was supposed to write two native apps at the beginning of the summer, then one in Phonegap and then we ended up realising React Native was the best choice. This decision was taken after developing several different prototypes.

Since they are unpredictable, I won’t finish my summer just with this project. Apart from documenting CANDDi’s API along the way, once the app is finished I’ll focus the rest of the summer redesigning CANDDi’s main UX/UI.

I’ll be back with another post when I begin my fourth year!

The Final Sprint IS OVER!

Yes, it’s over.

No, I haven’t finished University yet, but at least I can say I have actually put an end to my third year. I had my last exam (Web, Data and Services On The Web) on the 26th May. I am currently in Rome, eating, eating, eating and trying to figure out what I want to achieve in the next three months.

I’ll be back in Manchester on the 3rd of June, mainly because I am going to Pangaea, one of the biggest students festivals in UK, and partially because I’ll start my Summer Internship, as a Software Engineer, on the 8th of June at CANDDI.

I still haven’t blogged about my third year project, I know, and I apologise for that. This is something that will come up in the next weeks. At the moment, I have started reading again. In the past six days I finished:

  • How to win at the sport of Business by Mark Cuban
  • How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie

I recommend both, in particular the second one, which, in my case, showed me some pretty serious problems I could have solved in a much easier way.

I am currently reading “Hackers and Painters” by Paul Graham, who’s probably the most relevant figure in the modern startup scene in Silicon Valley or at least someone who knows what he’s talking about (at least when he talks startupish).

The next few steps for me are:

  • learning iOS to build CANDDI’s first iPhone App.
  • reading 10 books over the summer (or more).
  • finishing my super-secret app, which I hope to release in September on both iPhone and Android.
  • trying to find a few customers (yes, I can freelance, if interested drop me a message).
  • getting to know anyone in Manchester who’s doing startups.
  • trying to pretend to go to the gym.

I somehow managed to re-brand my Twitter account, which I hadn’t used in a while, so just follow me @edoardomoreni, if you think my blog posts are hilarious (I think they are).

Speak to you soon,