Choose Jobs That Help You Learn and Welcome the Chance to Lead with Aslam Khan

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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 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.

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Aslam Khan

Resources

Fold Left – Check out the website!

2 Top Career Tips

1) Don´t change jobs simply to earn more money. It is far better to do so to learn something new. Islam has always sought out people who can teach him something and it has greatly benefitted him to do so.
2) 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.

Show Notes

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.

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.

The Future

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.

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 is the best career advice you’ve ever 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 is the worst career advice you’ve ever received?

He was once persuaded to stay in a job he hated because it paid well.

If you had to begin your career again in today’s world, what would you do?

Aslam would work and study at the same time. He feels this approach would have helped him immensely.

What career objectives are you currently focusing on?

Aslam is currently working on becoming a better leader.

What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far?

Being self-aware and accepting critical feedback.

What do you do to 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 in your spare time away from technology?

Aslam reads widely and occasionally watches movies to switch off.

Contact The Guest

Contact Aslam Khan through the following social media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aslamkhn

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aslamkhn/

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