What is your current professional role and how did you get here?

Currently, I am a full time instructor at The Iron Yard where I teach Full Stack Web Development. I also thought 3 semesters of iOS development prior of teaching Full Stack Web Development. Before joining The Iron Yard I worked as a lead mobile developer for Blinds.com, The Home Depot company. I was part of the team responsible for integrating custom blinds experience for The Home Depot website. Before that I worked as a .NET and iOS consultant for several large companies including Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Transocean, CenterPoint, Dell, AIG, Valic etc.

What was the first app you worked on and what did it do?

My first app was an educational game for kids called “ABC POP”. I developed the app in 7 days using Objective-C and Cocos2D framework without having any prior Mac or iOS experience. The graphics and voice was done by my wife. The purpose of the app was to teach kids about letters by asking them to pop the letter as indicated by the teacher’s voice.

What went well? What could have gone better?

The app was downloaded couple of hundred times and gave me confidence to make more apps. Later on I developed a gardening app called “Vegetable Tree – Gardening Guide” which was featured by Apple on the App Store. After creating ABC POP I realized that I am not interested in making games since I don’t play video games in real life. That led me to invest more time in business apps.

At App Camp, we emphasize that it’s important to have interests outside of tech and to take breaks from looking at screens. What are some of your interests outside of tech? What do you do when you need to take a break from work?

The only thing I love more that app development is playing cricket. I play cricket every Sunday with some of my friends. Apart from that I swim, jog and create Udemy courses. I am have two hyper crazy kids so, my time is very limited.

What do you recommend to those who want to support more diversity in tech?

Discrimination, whether it is based on color, gender, race, religion can have negative impacts on our community. Diversity in tech community is still in early phases and organizations are realizing that the lack of diversity is impacting their workforce, products and the overall vision of the future. Large companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft has started to realize the importance of diversity and are taking small steps to address this issue.

I don’t believe we will ever solve the problem of diversity but I think these small steps will pay their return in future years.

How can technology be a force for good?

Technology can solve a lot of problems but it can also isolate us from the rest of the world. We must be careful in balancing the consumption and usage of technology in our real life. I believe if we use technology correctly then the biggest benefit we get is we save time. Time is one of the only things in the world that we cannot buy back. Services like Amazon Prime, Uber, Lyft saves consumers a ton of time and hence become an integral part of our life.

You can find Azam on Twitter, Udemy, and Medium.

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