Monthly Archives: May 2019

How I used UBER almost 2 years for free

Between 2015 and 2017 I have referred hundreds of people to Uber, I made 42,110 LE worth of referral credit, that amount covered hundreds of my trips during that time period.

I remember it was April 2015 when I was sitting with 2 of my best friends in a restaurant talking about Uber, and how it had helped a lot in the transportation sector in Egypt.

By that time, I only used Uber for few times. Then we started talking about their referral system, which was 70 LE per referral at that time. which was enough to do a complete trip from New Cairo, or October to downtown at that time.

One of my friends mentioned his colleague at work who made few thousands of credit and now rides Uber for free everyday, I asked him why you don’t make the same. I don’t see it is hard to do and you use Uber a lot. He replied “It is not me”.

Going home that day, I couldn’t take the idea off my mind. Given my car was stolen a few months back and moving around Cairo was hectic for me. I decided to act. and I formed a simple plan, and all I needed is:

1- A sexy referral code
2- A catchy picture of Uber being used in Egypt
3- An Arabic description of the service covering all concerns raised at that time like safety and payment, etc

I went to my uber account and customized my code to be “GetUberRide4Free”, got a picture of an Egyptian celebrity getting into an uber, and found a good copy of service description online.

Armed with the perfect post, Now it was time to look for the medium I can post it in, I picked 2 mediums:

1- Whatsapp family group.
2- Facebook.

Whatsapp did great for me, people in those groups won’t bother to go and make their own referral code. they will just forward your message to their other groups as it is. I was also answering all their concerns and questions about the service, and in family gathering I would show them how to use the service. I was like one of Uber’s first line customer support 🙂

Facebook was another story, because the post was gaining momentum with lots of shares, and with my continuous responses to people questions, some Facebook pages with hundreds of followers have copied it as it is without changing the referral code, and the awesome thing is they started answering members questions about the service, convincing more people to join, and luckily it was my referral code.

See how many comments and shares this post had? It was pure viral

After that for months, my mobile would flash every few minutes, with en email like this

My uber credit exceeded my bank account credit sometimes too 😉

I made 42,110 LE worth of Uber credit, My phone was like Alaadin lamb, I could move from one place to another.

This was my experience with UBER referral program. It was definitely worth the try.

AWS Summit London 2019

Yesterday I had the chance to attend AWS summit London with some of my colleagues at Zava.

We have become more of an aws shop recently, after moving the majority of our infrastructure to the cloud.

Besides attending the sessions, and touring around to check the booths, and enjoy the freebies AWS gives for the certified engineers. I have also shot for the ML workshop as I did back in December in the AWS builders day 2018

The first session was titled “IOT and Alexa in connected homes
The interesting part for me in it was how you can use Alexa to interact with your users to extract specific information that you can use in your workflow, like order placement, or online help.
They also showcased a study about how Lancaster university implemented a voice-enabled service for the students in 120 days with awesome features.
Some slides documenting their journey can be found here

The second session was titled “Build data driven high performance internet-scale applications with aws databases
It was database architecture strategies and best practices for building high-performance and internet-scale applications using Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Timestream, and Amazon ElastiCache.
They also showcased how the Guardian moved away from MongoDB after more than one production downtime, to RDS PostgresSQL

One of the slides that helps with your DB architecture decisions

The third session I attended was “Modern application architecture
That one was purely a marketing session showing more AWS tools, and motivations to use them in your architecture. they also showcased how they implemented many tools with Sage, specifically the CI/CD process.

After the sessions, I attended the “Using AI/ML to Personalize your Recommendations” workshop for about 2 hours, which wasn’t enough to train all the models and create all the solutions campaigns.
I got to use the AWS personalize which is still in preview, and I see how much manual work it saved when I did similar examples back in December.
You can find the full workshop guide here
But you can’t implement it until the service becomes generally available.
At night I checked the status for the training/campaigns creation and was happy that it worked without unexpected issues.
You can see a demo of the app we built here

All the AWS summit 2019 slides are available at this link