In this latest series of articles, we are publishing interviews of women who are working as a professional or a student in the technology sector. The objective is to highlight their work and contribution to the industry as well as to the community.
In these interviews, you will find women working in technology to solve real-world problems, to break stereotypes and to create the next big impact on the tech industry. This series of interviews shows that even with the lowest rate of women participation in the labor market in Pakistan, there are still lots of smart women who are creating and using technology to work wonders.
Today, we are featuring Asma Khalid. Read on to know more about her work and get inspired.
Tell us a little about yourself, your background, your education, and your work.
I am an Entrepreneur, ISV (Independent Software Vendor), Product Manager, Full Stack .Net Expert, Community Speaker & Contributor, and Aspiring YouTuber. Follow me @ http://www.asmak9.com/.
I have 7+ years of proficient hands-on working experience in Leading, Developing & Managing IT related projects/products as an IT industry professional. I hold a master’s degree in computer science from LUMS and a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences from the FAST-NU Lahore campus with a Deans’ List Honor Certificate.
For international accreditation of my work & expertise, I am 1st female from Pakistan to receive the Microsoft MVP award three times and 1st female from Pakistan to receive the C-sharp corner online developer community MVP award four times.
My core domain is Software Engineering/Product Management. I own a tech blog ASMAK9.COM where I share IT related solution. I also contribute my IT solutions to the online developer community C-SHARPCORNER.COM. I rank at 233 among 3+ million members having platinum membership with 4+ million reads of my articles at C-SHARPCORNER.COM. I also have proficient experience in leading cross-functional teams in a matrix organizational structure.
Apart from my professional expertise, I enjoy photography, playing video games, listening to quality music, watching movies (animated, adventurous), browsing the latest technology trends, and enjoy sharing my knowledge with the community.
What are your future plans/aspirations? What impact it will have on the community/society/your team/your project?
Alhamdulillah!! I have been very blessed throughout my tenure as an IT professional. Ever since I have become Microsoft MVP & C-Sharpcorner MVP, I have become more and more curious and cautious about the work that I share with my community. Product development has always been my key strength even at the start of my career, I knew that I enjoy products that are not only impactful for the general public but also something that I myself can use and enjoy. I own my tech blog ASMAK9.COM where I actively post many technology-centric solutions or products. My future plan is to scale up my tech blog into more diversity in terms of technology-centric information that I share. I am also aiming to become an online trainer at Udemy and scale up my YouTube channel with more fun tech-related content.
I have conducted many offline/online sessions/webinars individually and in collaboration and also engage in one-to-one conversations with individuals to provide my technical support in resolving their issues. I think that such engagements generate a sense of awareness and exploration of new dimensions, in helping target aspirants to choose the right career direction/opportunities. Keeping this vision in mind I hope that my work plays an important part in impacting/supporting individuals who choose the IT domain as a career choice.
Please brag about your career accomplishments, what are the things you are really proud of?
First and foremost I am grateful to Almighty Allah for bestowing so much blessing upon me, then I would like to thank and acknowledge the support of my parents and family for bearing with my decisions (no matter how lame they are) and finally, I would like to extend my gratitude towards my community supporters/followers who appreciates my work and give me the encouragements to do more. Find below a list of my topmost promising/recognizable achievements in both professional career and academics i.e.
- C-Sharpcorner Feature Community Leader 2019.
- C-Sharpcorner 2019 top 20 Author.
- Three times Pakistan’s 1st Female Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award 2017 – Present.
- Four times Pakistan’s 1st Female C-Sharp Corner Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award 2017 – Present.
- Technical Guest Speaker at Microsoft Data Science Road Show 2017.
- Certificate of Guest Technical Speaker by Microsoft Pakistan 2015.
- Shield of Honor for Hard Work Appreciation on police domain projects by Punjab Information Technology (PITB) 2015.
- Deans List Honor Certificate in Fall 2005 and Spring 2006 from FAST-NU.
- Certificate of Runner up by Divisional Public School for Girls Lahore as a Participant in Inter-House Volley Ball 2002 – 2003.
What has been your best education/career decision and why?
Choosing Software Engineering as a career choice has been the best thing happen to me. It has open a lot of opportunities for me like owning my own tech blog, having my YouTube channel, and doing a job at reputed institutions.
I am one of those individuals who after having a bachelor’s degree opted for a career domain instead of having higher education. I had never thought that I will ever be doing masters and it was never part of my goals while everyone around me including professionals and friends wants me to attain the master’s degree as soon as possible. After doing a job for about 1.3 years, I miss the tension-some challenging academic environment, so, I decided to do a master’s in computer science from LUMS in 2011-2013, and those are the most awesome two years of my life. I have learned a lot, explored many dimensions and domains, and Alhamdulillah! It is benefiting me now a lot.
What’re the best lessons you’ve learned?
Life teaches you lessons every single second. The best I have learned from my life is to have faith, be patient, and be grateful to Almighty Allah. Allah open opportunities for you in unimaginable ways, so, always be thankful to Allah for what you have and never lose hope.
Which woman inspires you and why?
My elder sister is my inspiration for obvious reasons. She is my partner in all the shenanigans that we do together. She is the strongest female person I know in my family. She is the support behind all my tough decisions, I can always rely on her even in the worst situation. She is a doctor.
Do you think Pakistan has changed as a society, in terms of accepting career-oriented women? What needs to change to help more women come forward?
I think Pakistan has come a long way in accrediting the efforts of working women in particular. But, as a society many more things need to be done especially for working women to come forward as a career-oriented individuals. Areas like workplace/education environment safety, secure transportations, and back to office programs need special attention and planning.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
I think lack of communication with like-minded women through online platforms, sharing one’s issue in anonymity, and awareness of the right opportunity & salary package, in particular, will be the biggest challenges for the women behind my generation.
If you could change one thing about the tech industry/business, what would it be?
Well there are two things, in particular, I would like to change in the industry for women i.e. 1) Creating more higher-level relevant designation positions and 2) Project opportunities/tasks to grow/enhance skills as a professional, not just the documentation type stuff even at the designation of a software developer.
How can WomenInTechPK help you and other women?
WomenInTechPK is doing great work in connecting professional goal-oriented women together and bringing many new ideas to the platform to train other women. I would recommend WomenInTechPK community to bring out more skill-building opportunities like webinars and also bring in the policy to promote individual content on the platform as well.
You can follow Asma Khalid using her profiles below, and please do not hesitate in hiring her for your next project.
E-Store Bytezaar: https://www.bytezaar.com/
Microsoft MVP Profile: https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/PublicProfile/5002613?fullName=Asma Khalid
C-Sharpcorner MVP Profile: http://www.c-sharpcorner.com/members/asma-khalid