Although this is not exactly an interview, but this are excerpts from an in event I participated in where on Stage was a great programming personality of my country.
"You have to believe what the words are saying and the words are as important as the melody.
Unless you believe the song and have lived it,
there’s little sense in performing it." - Bob Dylan
We shake hands. Hasin is wearing a loose-fitting green tea-shirt that ends at his waist and black jeans. The long winding hair and the Che-Guevara appearance is startling. How did you rise above the shyness? - I asked! - “Photography” came the answer. Wait! there was more - A 2004 tech conference where he was pushed on to the stage in-front of a thriving audience anticipating with expectation. Rewinding back to a heart-warming and inspiring episode that just took place a short while ago - The Baul of Programming as they call him was on the stage once again sharing his life story and experience in-front of a curious attendance. There was I frantically noting down the fifty three stones that Hasin’s feet touched upon in this great Journey Towards Excellence!
My writing may be boring but trust me the points he mentions are not!
So if you are an aspiring Tech enthusiast starting to make your own journey,
just bear with me through the 53 steps :
#1 Watching struggle and courage Hasin’s Mother was paralyzed from a very young age and Hasin has watched her courage over the years to stick to her goals and her belief. He grew up watching the struggle that aspires people to perform greater deeds. Amazingly apart from Maths, his mother taught him all other subjects till class 8.
#2 Support at home He has the support at home to do whatever his free-wheeling spirit aspires for. Without the support of the life partner whom he met in his early university years, he thinks it would have been quite impossible to reach where he is at now.
#3 Rashidul Hasan Sohel Hasin was quick to point out the man who handpicked him to set up for interview for his first job.
The Early Years (Golden 90’s)
#3 Rajshahi Hasin Hyder was a very shy spirit in his early years as he was hidden with care from a stormy outside world as the only Son :). Finally, he got his freedom when he was in Rajshahi (A major town in Bangladesh) during the time of his SSC. There he really learnt the meaning of Freedom.
#4 Rajshahi BIT He joined RUET (then Rajshahi BIT) after passing HSC which opened a whole new world to him. He let on a bit of info with a chuckle - charukola and arts always fascinated him, but long hair at that age and a jute bag on the shoulder wasn’t something he could dare to accommodate at that time.
#6 Computer Lab - Khulna He talks about this lab in Khulna where went to get some coaching and that’s when his eagerness towards computers started. DOOM2 Anybody?
#7 Fox-Pro He quickly mentions he only knew about Fox-Pro during his early years and it was something that increased his interest towards Software a little bit more.
#8 Functional calculator - the early Excel A gift from a Brother in Law which could get as close as today’s MS - Excel got his logical brain and ideas in mind up and running and working fulltime.
#9 QBasic Programming and Fox Pro Book The calculator really helped as he requested his father for books on QBasic and Fox-Pro - the only relatively known languages at that time.
#10 RUET again - CSC program starts After joining Rajshahi BIT as a civil engineer, his chance came; the chane to meet with the holy grail of Software Development- the concept of computer science. CSC program started in RUET immediately from the next batch of his enrolling.
#11 Visual Basic He did not mention the time but I would assume he came in touch with VB during the early 2000’s and he must have fallen in love with it instantly - I know, because I still am in love with it! More fuel and fire to passion you might conclude.
Dawn of the millennium
#12 Tough Challenges to Overcome - I think the era of that time, without much access to internet and materials must have shaped Hasin and made him the tough nut he is right at this time. He had to overcome insurmountable odds to over come the challenges to learn the languages by heart and solving the problems.
Journey begins - but not as an Engineer (2001-2002)
#13 Phonetic Bangla Keyboard 2001 - 2nd Year The time when people of his age were busy wooing girls with their programming skills and silly cats and dogs software, he was into something constructive and started writing a phonetic Bangla keyboard with Visual Basic. He says due to session jam he was only in second year during 2001.
#14 3.68 cgpa dropping to 2.64 and backlogs He maintains he failed 4 times in Steel and Construction material subjects and his early CGPA of 3.68 rocketed towards the ground while he was hogged with backlogs. All these simple due to one reason - Passion; Passion towards creativity and construction through Computer Programming. #15 2.64 cgpa determines the future(!) of the civil engineer He was wise to make the correct decision, Civil Engineering was not for him.
#16 VBA macro programming He indeed managed to solve the Bangla Typing with phonetics problem in MS-WORD with VBA. Many People haven’t heard of VBA, just take my word for granted, it was an awesome achievement during that time (and even now).
#17 Daffodil The software was so good, Daffodil the IT Giant, at that time bought it for 3 lacs. For a man, who spent only 1700 per month, this came as a major inspirational event.
Career Path - The Turn (2003)
#18 2003- The concept of drop out Nope, he did not have the luxury of Bill Gates to drop out. During the October of 2003, he did manage to finish his Bachelor’s Degree. There again, his early experience of tenacity and struggle helped him to finish it off. But the career path has now turned towards where his passion was - not Engineering but Computer Science. Note: I use the term Engineering to denote all fields of Engineering that does not include Software Development; because for me Software Development is more of an art that engineering
#22 job ? During November, 2003, Sohel Bhai whose named he mentioned at the very initial stage of his talk, aided into arranging an interview for a Job.
#23 Interview with dad by side It must have felt a very cold morning in November that the man who is now a leader of men and women, had to take his Dad with him to the interview. This is the point where I felt I was not going home without the answer - how an introvert full of shyness turned it around?
#24 The Changing face of Programming By that time, web programming was slowly coming to the fore, and it started with ASP, which he did not like. There there was PERL but then again he could not fine any free hosting for PERL. So the struggle continues in a changing world - but yet, it just made him that determined, that more gritty and that more tenacious.
#25 The Superstars of the TIME (2003-2004) Yes, time and time, they gave us the inferiority complex, the superstars of that time - The Dreaded JSP programmers! Hasin had felt their edge too ! Thank goodness the night mare is over. We have NodeJS now, don’t we?
#26 The Revelation called PHP Hasin did not like ASP, nor JSP. He felt where his passion rested upon albeit not known to him at the time I presume - a simple yet powerful language called PHP. I can’t help but think it must have been an instant Love Affair. #27 PHP Forum in Yahoo There you go, when passion burns at the heart, you want to fulfill the promise, and so he did. He opened a group in Yahoo which would address PHP related issues and provide solution to a new and emerging group of PHP programmers.
#28 The Tutor Slowly but surely the finding of solutions to problems posted in the forum turns him into a PHP Whiz. The humility that accompanies the great man puts it with a more milder touch as I quote his own words “when you have to teach , you realize your shortcomings!” And so you have to learn more and more day by day.
#29 Books and more Books At this point he emphasizes on the importance of books. Starting PHP Experts group in Yahoo taught him the importance of books in learning. #30 VDO Tutorials !?? The question comes, what about VDO tutorials? He acknowledges its importance, but for him it is books, books and more books. Why? Because with an open book he can see clearly what’s lying ahead and he can easily find what he is looking for in the book. Video Tutorials are time consuming and really makes it hard to find what exactly you are looking for because you have to go almost full length of it.
#31 Certification !!?? (2006 ) Upon reflection, Hasin realized he only has a degree in the Civil Engineering field, but nothing on the line he is passionate about. So he though about getting a certification and the one that came to mind related to PHP was Zend Certification.
#32 Zend certified exam not found?? To his amazement, nobody heard of it in this country when he went searching for a center to get the certification. But I guess you won’t be surprised to know he managed to sit for the certification exam and pass.
#33 Switch to somewhere.in (2006) From his initial first job (remember the interview with dad by side?), he switched to somewhere.in . There he had to do some R&D about Content Management Software.
#34 Start Writing Book (2006) When most of us were either swimming in a volatile early born Software Market, having the water almost up to our neck, one man rises his head above from the rest of us and decides to start writing a book - one of the most noble professions in the world. OK, I may have made it sound a little too dramatic, but authors make me emotional! I only spotted him in a lightning talks event during the mid 2000’s unaware of his struggles, excitements and the then achievements including writing a book. I knew this man was destined for greatness from the way he stood out. In the presentation he was moving one slide after another only through hand gestures How he implemented it at that time when there was no good image recognition or gesture detection Software is a secret - and it’s for me to know and you to find out :)
#35 Pack publishing publishes Wordpress Complete It’s a publishing house in Birmingham which published his book and I think he named it WordPress Complete. Writing a book I believe can create immortals among mortals. The amount of pain need to be endured to produce a book can only felt by the ones who write them. My head and hand both are writing simply to write this article.
#36 study ZCE book on Dhaka medical It’s the time when his first child would be born and he was studying ZCE for the certification while attending his wife in Dhaka Medical. Taking challenge and not giving up during pressured times had always been his moto and there he was - a successfully passed Zend Certified Programmer.
#newsflash - Pageflakes got sold for 5.6 million (rumored) and Omar became the legend that he is. It also teaches us one thing - if you are haughty and too full of yourself and think you know better than rest, then you will never identify or reside with true greatness. The reflection of greatness shines through the humility it reflects on the glass outwardly.
#38 2008 - Tripert Labs This is a company which was bought by playdom bought by Disney and most likely Hasin got his first taste of working as a head hunter in this company.
#39 2009 - Left Tripert Labs for EA We all heard of EA Sports and this is where Hasin came in touch with World Class people and programmers which opened his eyes to what is achievable by our community and where we are really at. The great thing about Hasin is he is not content with working with great programmers (as so often our case, where we like to boast I worked with this world class programmer and in that world class Software). Hasin envisions to raise a nation of such programmers.
#39 i2we - Social Apps Soon he was into making Social Apps, mostly facebook apps for i2we but this is not where he would stop, because it is a heart that is willing to give it’s very best to pursue its own destiny
#40 Leevio (2010) At that point of time, he may have been tired of working for clients, and started a concern of his own called Leevio. They made fb apps through Graph APIs and tried to access the global market. Again the Free-Spirit coming to the fore. #41 cpanel offer The guy who made the cpanel, Aaron by name offered a deal. Hasin did not clearly say (or I missed) what actually went on and what happened and what did not happen with the offer. We have had so many stones turned to come across this far, I guess we can leave one alone.
#42 Vocas His rival company got sold to Vocas for 18 million and this is where Hasin focuses on what not to do as a Start up looking for Angel investors. Don’t be busy with making the product only; you have to prepare the right documentations and presentations and most likely a foreign partner (preferably white skinned) to make the whole process work. Lot of nitty gritties and paper work to take care of and you can’t choose to be ignorant about those.
Quickly Pressing on to the Forward Button and move to the Present (2016)
#43 P1 Hasin briefly mentions Tasaweer labs where he got a good job offer and then rolled on the years to move on to P1 where he has put together a sizable group that ensures quality Software are developed here without any direct involvement of Foreign Interference. I hope his leadership skill would be fully utilized there and I really wish for the sake of the industry that he would set an example for the rest of the future leaders of IT on how to handle a team, lead a team, seek out the best interest of the team and make a case for them to Non-IT corporate people who is at the top of the hierarchy and more often than not take advantage of a passionate group of people. #44 Try out new things Hasin reaches out to the young people asking to find out where their passion lies. During his speech, whenever he got time he talked about looking at things from a different perspective. That’s where the topic photography came. #44 Photography - A different Perspective When programmers get together they talk about few things a) Girls b) Girls around them c) Codes d) Bugs e) Errors And this can get extremely boring, CBECBE (Code Bug Error .... [repeat]) Hence Hasin sought out a new interest Photography. That is the period when he came in touch with new group of people that included lawyers, musicians, painters and people from other areas.
A common trait of great men (or soon to be great for that matter) dictates - they form/build communities around them and very soon Hasin was indulged in doing just that. As you can now relate from the start of the story, it helped him remove any iota of shyness that remained. So lesson to programmers - spread out, stay out, stay involved.
Hasin is adamant that a hobby of different interest can help you see things from different points of views and perspectives. Hasins perspective
Hasin receives a lot of questions like “Hasin Bhai, I have just passed CSC Degree, What Should I do Now?” Take a look at
Hasin’s wonderful insight
#45 “What should I do now?” and “I want to do this and How should I do this?” are two altogether completely different questions. You know best what you should do. How to do then becomes the right question. #46 Before asking, first contemplate “Are you asking the right questions” !!? #47 If you are not sure then look up in website “How to ask the right questions” because you can bet your bottom dollar that this is the Question to look up in your Search.
#48 Too many young people are satisfied with the good simply unaware of the fact that “Good is the bitter enemy of the Best”
#49 Don’t search out for money, Search out your passion because Money is the Bi-Product of your Passion.
#50 Whatever line of work you want to get involved into, see other people’s work on this line and get Inspired!
#51 Positivity and Sharing can only help you grow and feel better. Share with the world even if it is a trivial solution to a problem you have come up with. This can help you get inspired and it will help you focus and balance.
#52 Release Early, Release Often !
#53 Do not seek accreditation and undue raptors for what you want to do, rather seek admiration for what you have done! Keep an idea in the head and only share with the rest of the world, when the idea-child is born.
"You have to believe what the words are saying and the words are as important as the melody. Unless you believe the song and have lived it, there’s little sense in performing it." - Hasin the free-wheeling Programming Baul not only has sung his song and recite his poetry aloud to the rest of the world but has lived the words all through his journey towards being the Excellence of Executioner and at the same time .. Striving for the Excellence of Soul !
Points of Interest
The most valuable thing to take away from his pointers are
1) Find your Passion
2) Share your work to the rest of the world to get inspired
3) Get inspired and share more of it
Article Uploaded - 8th May, 2015