Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: Hello! I am Asad Aftab from the best guava producing city of Pakistan – Kohat. I am a Computer Systems Engineer from UET Peshawar. Presently, I am pursuing an MS Degree in Electrical Engineering from NUST, Islamabad. My favorite stream of subjects has been Wireless Communication, Computer Networks, Blockchain & Data Science. Previously I was working as a Blockchain and Data Science Researcher. I was assigned to work closely with the KP Health Department as a Data Analyst for the IPMS Data Collection Dashboard. In leisure time I love to cook and watch capacity building programs on YouTube. Lastly, I’d like to share my own success theory, “If you want to achieve your goals in life, just give your 100%, and work with strong determination without thinking of your disabilities or weaknesses”.
Q: Tell us about your qualification?
A: I completed my graduation in Computer Systems Engineering back in 2017 from UET Peshawar. Currently, I am a researcher at VISNET Lab at NUST SEECS, pursuing my master’s in Electrical Engineering.
Q: What made you switch from Computer Engineering to Electrical Engineering for an MS degree?
A: My interest in Communication (Wireless & Computer Networks).
Q: Tell us about your work experience?
A: I have worked in different industries, including Telecom, Automation, and Research sectors. I have had a great experience in every industry. However, what I like the most and feel close to is working in research and development.
Q: Why did you leave your last job?
A: Due to Covid-19 my access to the laboratory was restricted and so I decided to come back to Peshawar.
Q: How did you come to know about the Government Innovation Fellowship program?
A: I came to know about this program when I was coming back to Pakistan. I saw this advertisement, so I decided to apply and try my luck. Since 2017, I have been following Code for Pakistan because I have heard a lot about this organization from my seniors. Therefore, an image always existed in my mind that it would be a great experience to become a part of Code for Pakistan as a Fellow.
Q: Briefly describe what skills and knowledge you brought to the Fellowship?
A: I know how different organizations work and how to put in my efforts to make any project a success. Since I am research-oriented, my work is always meant to have some research backing it. I think my communication skills also provide me with an edge to perform well during my Fellowship.
Q: Tell us something about the project your team worked on?
A: I was working as a data analyst on the Integrated Performance Management System (IPMS), where COVID-19 patients testing and reports were updated. At the start, we were assisting the KP Health Department in reporting and identifying issues that different district teams were facing while interacting with the IPMS dashboard. We also made a mockup for data entry on a single page as per the higher-level authorities’ instructions.
Moreover, we assisted them in preparing a detailed survey on tourism in Abbottabad that has been affected by this pandemic. It also pointed out which tourism spots are high-risk areas where SOPs should be made tougher than the others while reviving the tourism industry.
We also created a detailed report on devising a new mechanism for COVID-19 test tracking by QR code. We helped gather all the technical and non-technical requirements and their solution to make it easier to implement a new system and help resolve the backlog.
Q: How did the Fellowship Program help you to grow both personally and professionally?
A: The Fellowship Program helped me improve various skills including effectively working with government, presentation skills, and soft skills such as patience.
Q: How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?
A: Success is a materialistic thing. It changes with the growth of your mind and the more exposure you get. My success is not something stuck to a single thing. When I was a child, my success was defined as being an Army soldier. When I grew up, I found that success is to get into professional fields like Engineering and Medical. When I went to Engineering University, I found things were more vast than what I always thought of, and I was not familiar with it.
Nowadays, success is to get to a place where I can help humanity. Like Elon Musk, who has done whatever he promised the world and for sure, his destination is far beyond this.
Q: What project would you consider your most significant career accomplishment to date?
A: I am still waiting for the project, which may help me a lot in my career.
Q: What have you always wanted to do in life? Did you ever accomplish it?
A: As already mentioned, I never had a fixed goal, so I do not think I have achieved anything. However, sooner-or-later, I will accomplish a set goal in life.
Q: What are your biggest strengths?
A: My biggest strength is my calm behavior. I never lose hope, no matter what. With each new day, I try to increase my struggle and hope for the best to come.
Q: If Asad Aftab had not been a computer engineer, what would he be doing right now?
A: I don’t think that any other field would have suited me.
Q: What are the activities you enjoy most in your personal life?
A: I love to cook and wander around, sometimes aimlessly. Moreover, sometimes I try to recall my childhood memories to be thankful to ALLAH where I am right now.
Q: Would you like to say something to our readers?
A: Well, I would like to recommend that those who want to polish their skills in a challenging environment and want to work for the development of the government sector to facilitate citizens, should join this Fellowship Program. This is a family where you will learn and will teach, as, “Knowledge is the only treasure that increases on sharing.”