Interview with Haseeb Jan | Code for Pakistan

Interview with Haseeb Jan

Interview with Haseeb Jan

Q: Briefly introduce yourself. 

A: I am an Electrical Engineer by qualification. I love learning new things, finding insights, and understanding others’ thought processes, which lead me to Artificial Intelligence and Data Analysis. I am a result-oriented person who believes in finding solutions quickly rather than following the standard procedure (if it is slow).


Q: How has your education prepared you for this job?

A: When I was younger, I usually sat for hours in front of the TV watching science-related shows. In school, I loved maths and physics, which led me to engineering. During my bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, my final year project was in telecommunications, but my love for mathematics and curiosity to explore new technologies led me to pursue Artificial Intelligence.


Q: Share with us your work experience?

A: My interest was in telecommunications, but due to some bad practical experience and my technical-oriented nature, I switched my career.  After my graduation, I started exploring other fields, which included Web and App development. Still, I chose Artificial Intelligence in general because, during my graduation, I had a mini project in computer vision and worked on my friend’s final year project, which is now a successful startup under the name of Zama Starga

After that project, I started exploring the field further and preferred taking up small projects. Within two months, one of my friends contacted me to create a company named “Deep Neural Labs,” which we ran successfully for more than a year. Our projects consist of Doctor X (an X-Ray image classification website built on Flask and TensorFlow), Iris tracking software (using Flutter and TensorFlow), and heartbeats classifier, etc. Soon after, I left to start freelancing.


Q: How and when did you start freelancing? How much has it helped you grow in your professional career?

A: I was lucky here because I learned almost everything through freelancing. My favorite copy paste message was, “It can be done within 2 weeks,” or, “At most, it will take a month.” My strategy was to learn the technology/concept in the first half and implement it in the second half but focus on learning the relevant things to avoid time wastage.


Q: How do you think your previous managers/coworkers would describe working with you?

A: My senior colleagues always taught me that I could do anything that I have committed to. I am sure they remember me in the right words.


Q: What personal or professional accomplishments are you most proud of?

A: I don’t have many achievements as I was always an average student, but with experience, I have learned that I can survive anywhere using my skill set. Besides this, what I recognize as my achievements are my two published research papers. The third one is under the process of publication.


Q: What is something you’d be happy doing every single day for the rest of your career?

A: I love two things in pursuing my career: first is making things work, and secondly, teaching my skills to others in such a way that they start earning from it somehow. I love teaching and mentoring. So probably, I prefer that at the start of my career (where I am now), I will follow the path of learning and deploying new skills like Data Analysis and Artificial Intelligence. After achieving some milestones, I will try to switch to teaching and mentoring, which I would love to do for the rest of my life.


Q: How did you come to know about the KP Government Innovation Fellowship Program?

A: To be honest, I had some projects in the MVP stage, and I was looking for a platform to go for a startup with them. During that search, I found out about this Program. I studied it and realized that first, I need to work with these people, learn from them, and then look forward to what to do next.


Q: On what project did you work on? How did it help you in building your professional capacity?

A: I was working as a data analyst and support engineer on the Integrated Performance Management System (IPMS) with the PMRU team. It wasn’t always easy to work with the government. However, I learned to be patient, and this experience helped me enhance my skills as an engineer. 


Q: In a few words, describe what skills and knowledge you bring to a team.

A: I am good at data analysis.  I have studied the concept of data analysis and artificial intelligence in the web and app environment. I can also be a mentor in the future to teach web developers how to implement automation in their projects.


Q: How many of these skills did you learn from the internet on your own? 

A: Almost all technical skills, I learned online mostly from YouTube, including Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning using TensorFlow2; mobile app development using Flutter, and Web development using Flask. Only Flutter has its language named DART (relevant to C++); the rest have a common language, Python, which is similar to MATLAB, so it was easy to learn and use for learning and deploying.


Q: What role do the Fellows/mentors play in shaping you?

A: I learned a lot of career-oriented and professional skills from them, mostly non-technical skills, which are crucial for collaboration.


Q: What are the three technical skills or traits you wish you had?

A: I would love to have a full understanding of web development and app development, and I would like to have proficiency in the Artificial Intelligence domain, mostly in predictive models and computer vision.


Q: What personal or professional mistakes have you learned the most from?

A: First of all, is to keep both personal and professional life apart. Secondly, take responsibility for what you are doing and accept your failure as you accept success. Lastly, don’t provide anything for free.


Q: If Haseeb Jan had not been a data analyst, what would he be doing right now?

A: I would have been a physicist or a psychologist. I remembered that I spent two days deciding which field to opt for. And finally, I selected Electrical Engineering, but since I had an interest in physics and psychology, I ultimately chose Artificial Intelligence and Data Analysis.


Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: Since I enjoy learning, I use different platforms to know, such as YouTube. I also enjoy reading various books related to science, history, and fiction. Besides that, I enjoy playing games (computer and outdoors) with my friends.


Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have and why?

A: I would want:

    1. An endless supply of drinking water with food
    2. An ebook reader having unlimited charge or being charged with solar panels, and 
    3. A laboratory with every type of experimental apparatus.  


Q: Would you like to say something to our readers?

A: As a data analyst for the first time in the Fellowship Program, it was challenging for us as well as for the management team to navigate ways forward. However, I think this experience will lay the foundation for an excellent opportunity for data scientists to be a part of the Program in future cycles.

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