Episode 242 – Choose Jobs That Help You Learn and Welcome the Chance to Lead with Aslam Khan
Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Aslam Khan. Aslam has more than 20 years of experience in software design and architecture, leveraging his background in Electronic Engineering.
He is a regular speaker at local and international conferences on software development and agile methodologies as well as the author of Grokking Functional Programming.
He says that he is convinced that software development is hard, very hard.
In this episode, Phil and Aslam Khan discuss how to better understand the problems you are trying to solve for your clients so that you produce better solutions and designs. As well as why everyone needs to be prepared to take the lead sometimes. They also discuss how the IT industry is evolving into a more diverse and accessible one.
(3.24) TOP CAREER TIP
Don´t change jobs simply to earn more money. It is far better to do so to learn something new. Aslam has always sought out people who can teach him something and it has greatly benefitted him to do so.
(5.07) WORST CAREER MOMENT
Not long after apartheid had ended, Aslam found himself leading a team of about 40 people from different ethnic, tribal and socio-economic backgrounds. The old wounds were still raw, and the team quickly divided. It got so bad that people were accusing each other of being racist, sexist and white supremacies. Aslam was young and overwhelmed by the situation.
Sadly, the project failed. But he learned many lessons and started to speak publicly about what he learned from the experience. First in Europe, later in South Africa.
(9.24) CAREER HIGHLIGHT
For Aslam, the highlight of his career was realising that he is good at explaining complex concepts to other software developers. It took him a long time to understand that he had that talent. When he did, it led to his being able to help a lot of other developers.
(11.54) THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T
The industry relies on people innovating. It is OK to get it wrong sometimes. You are bound to when pushing the boundaries. Information Technology is an incredibly accommodating career path and will continue to be so, in the future.
(15.15) THE REVEAL
What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – All of Aslam´s family were doctors and pharmacists. He didn´t want to get involved in the medical industry, so he chose IT instead.
What’s the best career advice you received? – The compiler does not care if you are macho or not. In the podcast, Aslam explains why this curious piece of advice proved so helpful to him.
What’s the worst career advice you received? – He was once persuaded to stay in a job he hated because it paid well.
What would you do if you started your career now? – Aslam would work and study at the same time. He feels this approach would have helped him immensely.
What are your current career objectives? – Aslam is currently working on becoming a better leader.
What’s your number one non-technical skill? – Being self-aware and accepting critical feedback.
How do you keep your own career energized? – Aslam seeks out problems that challenge him and finds people to help him to solve them.
What do you do away from technology? – Aslam reads widely and occasionally watches movies to switch off.
(20.45) FINAL CAREER TIP
At some point, you will be asked to lead others. Don´t resist it, step up instead. When you know more or have a certain skill people will turn to you. We all have something unique to offer, so at some point, everyone ends up taking the lead.
(4.22) – Aslam– “Don’t change jobs for money change jobs to learn.”
(11.31) – Aslam– “Becoming a public speaker is an inexpensive way to connect with others, share ideas and get feedback.”
(16.29) – Aslam– “What really matters is how you share your code with other people.”
(21.50) – Aslam– “You’re not going to like it, but you will end up being a leader, so lean into it.”
ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS
Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.
CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS
Contact Phil on the following Social Media platforms:
Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer
ABOUT THE GUEST – ASLAM KHAN
Aslam Khan has more than 20 years of experience in software design and architecture, leveraging his background in Electronic Engineering.
He is a regular speaker at local and international conferences on software development & agile methodologies as well as the author of Grokking Functional Programming.
Aslam says that he is convinced that software development is hard, very hard.
CONTACT THE GUEST – ASLAM KHAN
Contact Aslam Khan on the following Social Media platforms: