Software Developers Journey Podcast

#201 Wajahat Karim finally came to love Android


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Wajahat Karim 0:00
He said that Who told you that you need a telecom degree computer? Or who told you that you need a computer science degree for a computer? You don't need any car. You just have land. That's it. So I said, I bought this land. I said, no degree, nothing. You can go to Google, you can go to Microsoft, you can go to anywhere you want, with simple programming is That's it, don't have to worry about people. If you are studying in telecom, and if you don't get offered, okay, no problem. You just pass the telecom and move ahead and define your career. For he was the actual person who told me that how to think about life, how to think about the year and what to do about it, so and he really mentored me a lot.

Tim Bourguignon 0:54
Hello, and welcome to developer's journey to podcast, bringing you the making of stories of successful software developers to help you on your upcoming journey. I'm your host team building your own this episode 201, I receive what had Carrie, which I had his Pakistan's first Android GE that's Google Developer expert. He's obviously a very experienced Android developer, who co authored two Android reference books. He is a passionate open source author with many libraries, and contributor as well. And you might have read some of the countless articles he wrote on medium, or seen him at one of the many conferences he presented at would welcome to the afternoon.

Wajahat Karim 1:41
Hello, Tim, thank you for the invite. I appreciate it. I'm very excited to be at Def Jam.

Tim Bourguignon 1:47
But before we come to your story, I want to thank the terrific listeners who support the show every month, you are keeping the dev journey lights up. If you would like to join this fine crew, and help me spend more time on finding phenomenal guests, then editing audio tracks, please go to our website, Dev journey dot info, and click on the Support me on Patreon button. Even the smallest contributions are giant steps toward a sustainable dev journey. journey. Thank you. And now back to today's guests. This is definitely a pleasure to have you. And besides being the first Android G in Pakistan, you're the first Pakistani on this show. So I'm really thrilled to finally have someone from Pakistan here. So that's, that's really cool. So let's get going. As you know, the show exists to help the listeners understand what your story look like and imagine how to shape your own future. So as always, on the show, let's go back to your beginnings. Where would you place to start off your debt journey?

Wajahat Karim 2:52
Okay, wow, I must say that I'm a bit kind of overwhelm that, where should I start? So I think I should, you know, get into a bit of background and context to make things more clear on what kind of turns my journey took and what kind of decisions I had to make and what kind of philosophy to watch. So when I was about 14 years old, and it was ninth grade, and we were very poor, and just not much people in my family who are very educated literature. So my father was a factory laborer in clock factory, they call it. So my mother, she had we kind of, you know, a dream that my son should establish some top class university in Pakistan, the only problem was that we couldn't afford it. So we used to live in a very small village, or you could say a bit of progress if afterwards. So there was not much opportunity in that area. And there was not much educated people there in computer for a way 14. Computer for all the youth music and watching movies series. And we did not have any my friends didn't have an intro. It was kind of a far dream. I even did not know what a computer is. So in that city, there were two university one side on one hour from that city on each side, not so not to, you know as to what the only university we could afford. The problem was that there were only three seats to teach in runners to advance and other assets. It was some kind of merit based division based on what kind of domicile or what kind of charity you live in government at the time, so we had only three seats and that was it. So competition was shoe like, just from our city, there were like more than 1100 candidates every year, and only three of them got selected and went to university and restart them. But like they used to run roughshod over us to become a tailor, saloon daughter from opportunities. Friday, very tough signs of competition. And everyone's like, Oh, my son should go to university. And whoever got selected, they were like, Oh, they got popular. And whenever wherever they should go, they're getting congratulations. Now that from that eight, it was thought of dream, hired possible team, I could even imagine. So my mother was all the time, my son will go to university, my son, go to university, my son, and I like how to go to university. So I did not have that kind of confidence in myself, I was good at maths and drying, drying was the thing I would like for that. So to add my pocket money, and a bit of freedom to my child, and afford my little bit of education, like attaching a Rinaldo tent, I used to draw like characters, Mickey Mouse and those sorts of factors on big jars. And we used to sell those to Mont Montessori schools abandoned, they were like 50 rupees, each 50 rupees is like, hardly 50 cents, maybe 25 cents or something. So, yeah, that, you know, gave me a bit of, you know, irrationally pains and not for my tool. I did not want it or ask money from a parent, because I knew that not have money. So that's how my childhood parts and that's how my life, I did that. So life took a turn when a friend of mine got a hold of PC, and it was windows 98. When I first saw it, and he was like, Hey, we should plan it. So at first I was hesitant, you know, I will not integrate screens or the photo. So I'll say, Well, this is time where this is nothing. But then someone showed me that, hey, you could make a screen for clients in this, you know, with colors and all that. And you don't have to spend a ton of money on watercolors, this digital, this is free. So that kind of piqued my interest into the computers. And I started learning Microsoft Paint. And it was horrible, you know, anything you can imagine, literally hybrid. So then I got into the Adobe Photoshop thing. And I used to spend hours in my friend's home and they used to treat me like a son. And they used to feed me and learn and all that and my family and parents used to taunt me or call me that you are spending all day at home, you should return the you should focus on that. So that's what kind of approach computers became my shoot interests at that time. And I will play much into two and three years later, my big sister got a job in NGOs. So Gee, she got hold our computer, but the only problem but she wanted to focus on education, we have only one year for the entry test of these universities. And that were very critical work acquired last year and they are very critical for she wanted me to whole to get hold of it. Not competent, but are crazy about it. So everyone asked me that how did I learn computers so I so I learned computer hacking and cracking. So she used to go to the job. And she used to do not change computer password. And every morning after college I came home and I tried to crack the heck the password or window like the Argonaut 90 or Vista whatever, at that time. But the only problem was that I did not know how to do that. So what I used to do that I used to get like five rupees a day from my parents inside pocket one and there was a nearby internet cafe I used to go there it was 15 rupees per hour. So I used to save three days, five rupees and collect the tuna fish and go to their bring a notebook there and shut on it that how to take Windows XP password. And whatever article came up I just moved right to you know, everything is being written on journal, and then I came back and tried it. It failed. Then three days later to try again then freezes later. Again. That's how my computers and Google Search became popular. That's how I learned how to google how to learn how to interact with computers. And when I got access to my computer, I became very good at Photoshop animation, pick my interest while I became very good at flash. So I spent like, about 11 years on flash my first two jobs or three jobs were on Flash, I was a hardcore game developer, I created Facebook games, I created mobile, and Android games. Even my Android games were an Adobe AIR and create a purely narrow flash until fraction fair times like that. What heartbroken? Yeah. So. Okay, so back to the story. So now we are in the last year of university, and I am very much to the flash and I'm creating animating websites, and selling those to clients and collecting money and saving money, in the hope that I'll probably support my education after getting selected, but the point where that How am I supposed to get selected? My mother was like, No, my son will vote, everyone in the city knew that dad will go to university. But how to tightwad a bit of challenge, you know, so she used to pay a lot. She used to support me, she used to motivate me, she was really driving factor behind everything what I am today. So one day, my friend came up and they said, Hey, do you want to go to nurse University for nurses, Patterson's number one more expensive and more top universities, and Oregon College is 10 for National University of Science and Technology. So and it's in capital of Pakistan, which is like

Wajahat Karim 12:03
32 hours from my home, in trend. So they're like, hey, the Nest has open admissions. And we are thinking to apply for we want to go for that. So I said, Why should I do that? You know, I can't afford that. If I get selected. So they were like, No, it will be fine. It will be good. You will figure it out. So I can No, it's not that easy. Maybe I should ask my mother to I talked to my mother and said, Do you think I should go to my son? I don't know what Nesta were any other university? What kind of goods? I'm not educated? I don't know. But if you think that NASA is a good university for you, then it's a copilot. So I said, Do you know how much tuition fees they have beside hostels, and whatever expenses, they have just tuition fees, she said, Don't worry about financials, it's not your fault. It's our problem. So we shifted into our own home that was in construction for like 12 or 13 years. So we shifted at that time, it was like two months after getting kicked out. And I had my mother and father talk about a few days later that my mother was saying to my father that we should sell home. That would give us plenty of money to sponsor with our next show, I really did not like it because we really liked our home. We voted after so much struggle. And we were very patient throughout all these years of spending a lot of Dufftown in other home, so I did not want to sacrifice. So what I did that I decided not to apply for not. And then my friends who got my farm, so they actually applied on my behalf. The Senate anyway. Thanks to him, I really appreciate it in my life, you know, so Okay, so a few days later, I got a letter for the invitation to attend a test. That was on 31st, August 2008. It was the entry test, one of the biggest day for my life. So I decided to give tests anywhere and my mother used to say that son, you have only two seats, you know, through try to give as many tests as possible. It will give you a bit of practice. So I used to apply in every university I could get my hands on, and I used to give a lot of tests, you know, a lot of tests. Now I'm gonna get I knew that I couldn't afford any of those universities and it just it was kind of, you know, practice session. So I said okay, now he had applied it anyway, and I've got letter from it's just boot So I was getting prepared and I was late panting turn off time on flash and you know, web development and dealing with clients, I had very few, there was a college who wanted to make website and those kinds of clients. So yeah. So suddenly my mother got sick. And she was in a very serious situation about three or four weeks. And unfortunately, she died one day before, one day before my test. And that was literally how I couldn't imagine her, I was very young boy with like, 14 years old, full of life, never saw any dead body never attended any funeral. I was the only son in my family, so and I was the youngest in my family. So I used to be treated like a king in the house. So I was very privileged in that sort of environment. And then suddenly, you know, act fell down my feet. So I were at home at that time, and I call my big cheese like 11 years older than, so she was in another city doing our job. And you I called her and said, this has happened. It happened like, around lunchtime,

1pm or 1:30
pm. And my father was at Factory, I was all alone with my mother. So I called her and she was like, but as you know, I don't like these kind of jokes. Don't joke about it. So I said, No, I'm very serious, should come as fast as you are one hour on travel from our house. It took us time, and my other sister was in college for I managed to call her as well. And she did some similar reaction. And she was, again, one and a half hour travel from our town took you out on the way to, and I ran to the factory. It was like 10 minute walk from my house and my father and he brought him and he was just shocked, I couldn't imagine. So he went to another room, and he stayed there or did not to watch it. So now I am the only son and I was the youngest son, and suddenly I have become the eldest brother. Now, I'm supposed to do everything. No, I did not know for I call my uncles and my uncles and my cousins and all those. Everyone came in house and everyone started crying. And I also started crying part of it. And then my sisters came, they also started crying. And I asked for credit. My uncles, and my neighbors helped me in all those rituals on our finger, they helped me get great, they helped me with that announcement, and they helped me, you know, bark and everything. So no, I did not have time to cry. And when I saw my sister's cry, I just decided at one that was one moment would just change in a completely different way. And I just decided that I would not cry again. Because if I will cry, they will cry. So I decided that I would not try again. So I just kept staring at my mother, because I realized that this is the last time I was here. And there was no concepts or pictures, no tomorrow, nothing at that time. So with not having. So that was the only memory I had that I had to capture it for as long as I could remember. So hold the we expand on things, meeting people, and asking them to not to cry and whole environment, right, just recharge and hold. And I got three

about 930 or 10:30
pm at night. And then I decided to take a few minutes of rest. And then my father came and said he will have testimony. So I realized that I forgot about you, you know, I did not have memory from our test. Right? So you said do you go

Wajahat Karim 20:14
Sure, I talked for two minutes. And then I said, Yes. So everyone in the family were like, No, you should not go, you are not in the right condition, and you can't afford it anyway, so why bother? But I was hesitant on that I will, very insistent on that. And I said that I would not compromise. It was out of town about one hour travel. And my friends had rented a car. So they offered me to come along. Okay, so we left around 6am In the morning, and we had

a test at 8:30
am. So we just left early because of margin if something goes wrong on the road or something. So we did, and the test was about three hours. And I did not have any kind of motivation. I did not have any kind of encouragement that whether I should pass this test or not, just while the time passed. So in the road, on the road, my father called my friend, and I did not have cell phone, but he called my friend and he asked, how's that? So he looked at me, and what I was doing, I was enjoying music, after class, rhyming and singing and all that. So he told my father that I don't know what he's up to is sort of in your English, you know? I don't know he's happy or sad. I just don't understand. So he said, Okay, then friend asked me that. Are you okay? Why are you enjoying, so I say rest is best for death. So I am taking rest. So he said, Okay, so tested started, and everyone got busy into their papers. And I also got busy into my paper, just kind of went silent, you know, so much silence, not pindrop. So not was wondering that just kind of dead. So I just couldn't bear it. I had so much pent up energy in my chest, that I wanted to get it out. And now suddenly, I am completely silent environment. So I just couldn't bear it. So I returned my test paper in one and 13 one hour. And so I did the three hour test in one hour. Because I was not interested, whether it's right or wrong. And there were 48 questions of mathematics and the 38 questions of physics, and reservoir in chemistry in relation computers. So my friends used to study every subject, while I only focus on two subjects. So they used me they used to tell me that Why are you not taking English Seriously, why you are not taking computers? So I used to say that there are 86 questions of mathematics and physics. I'm good at goals. So if I clear all those Bucha My seat is ready. I don't have to worry about any of that. So why should I waste my time on chemistry English computer? I'm only focused No, this is called smarter, not harder. So there used to be okay. So I only took those questions because there are negative marking so I can't answer wrong question. I just left every intersection, no blank. No a no b nothing. So it was all blank. So I came I came back again. I get out of room. And I had like whoever shall wait, because my friends will get free and then we'll go together in the same car at home. Now I came in the lawn area in the school and I'm sitting all there and my neck two hours but all about you know, try. I cried. I shouted. Everything I took and later my friends Carter, and I cried more. I shout. I was yelling. I was angry. I don't know what kind of emotion network find out. pent up energy in my chest, which I wanted to get out. And being a big brother suddenly I just couldn't afford it in front of my family. So I just did it there anyway, teachers are working students are working, we are looking at sinking funds. So I did not bother, you know, I just spend my time, this is my time. And this was the only reason I went to the test. I wanted to get some, you know, unknown time, and I realized that a test, I wouldn't be able to get that, you know, otherwise family is not going to leave me anywhere, every time you have to be someone with because they were worried that whether I should do anything wrong or something. So this was my way. So then I came back home, like Big Brother and always smile. And it's been like 13 or 14 years, since my mother left. And I piston that kind of reaction in no time not to try I miss her a lot. Because she was very dear to me, she used to be a mentor to me, if you are not educated, but she you are the kind of person who used to have a lot of wisdom. I didn't understand at that point. But now when I reflect to have change, and how I realized that there are a lot of wisdom in both of us. So So about 22 days later, I got a call from an unknown number at our home telephone. And he says, Hey, I'm talking from the funeral, Stu. And I want to congratulate you that you have been selected. So what I've reflected back to you said you have an 84 marks out of 120 and you are in the second number in whole Pakistan. What second number? Yeah, and I want to invite you to university and I want to confirm that whether you can come or not. So I was like, Okay, what am I supposed to tell them now? So, it was just a time fasters you know, so I told them that sorry, sir, I cannot come. But your position holder, you are not coming? So I said No, sir. So they said, why? I said, Sir, I cannot afford it. So it's way I even don't know how much tuition fees you get. Because I just know that expensive, I can't afford it. My father salary is a total of a piece a month. So it's not that way heavy. So he said Sir, why did you apply it? Then? I said, just mother told me that I should give as many tests as possible. That was it. So they said okay, I'll call back later a few days later, they call me again. And that is it hair that we have decided that we want to give you a scholarship fully funded scholarship of 2.5 million rupees. So as common as a 2.5 million, that will cover your whole tuition fees, your whole hostel fees, your whole affair mix, and you will get 6000 rupees allowance every semester for books, and you will get a train ticket two sided train ticket every year to go and visit home. And whatever facility it hostel provides you that will be free of charge, you will not be charged with anything. And on top of that, we will give you a tea towel along per month by your personal pocket expenses. So I'm coming I just couldn't believe it. You know, the thing I have heard is that, you know, imagining power behind mother's prayer. And I was just witnessing. I just couldn't understand what happened. Now the person from a very rural area without any affordable is going to number one university in part without and I just couldn't believe it. So I just grabbed that opportunity and said okay. Now only problem was that there were students or there were students of very high caliber. Some top army brigade here can large airport pilots and those kind of people, they come to the university and Land Cruisers, and they're paying very expensive Apple laptops. And I even don't know how to talk in

Wajahat Karim 30:16
my own national language, I just don't know how to talk to me, because I am primarily a Sindhi person, I never needed to talk to everyone else. So it came with a lot of challenge, you know, to adopt to that kind of environment, I did not know how to dress, I did not know how to talk. And everyone worked like in teaching in English, my English was a week. And there was this very unfortunate kind of bias, you could say, difference between me and all other people. So it was very saddening heartening because the youth to differentiate me somehow without the youth to think that I don't belong here, because I am not son of some very rich personality. And I come from very poor background. But some teachers supported. And they just decided, they helped me a lot, I got selected into Telecom, you know, as to telecom engineering. So I did not like it. But that was the thing, which was very popular at that time, I did not know what I'm supposed to do with my university, I just went ahead with whatever the scope was Telecom was our number one at a time. Every company, we're building towers, and there were a lot of jobs, like, Okay, you should go and become a telecom engineer, said, Okay, here we go. So in my first two semesters, I got hold up computer programming in C++, and I knew about it, but I want to focus into flesh script. So I just never bothered to look into the C++. But our teacher always worked. So she taught me C++, and I was very good at it. And I really liked it. And I just decided that I am very good at animations. And now I'm learning, you know, programming. So what happens if I mix those two? So I combine those, and I started doing game development in C++, animations and coding, that were my general. But problem was that though two semesters with all the subjects I am offered, programming, that's it. Nothing else. All the other semesters were like, you have to learn emptiness, you have to learn, you know, micro web, you have learned set life and circuit analysis and whatnot. It was pure hardware subjects. And I just did not like, I was kind of depressed at that time. And in third trimester, I went to my university counselor, and told her that I just want to leave. So she said, Do what, you want to leave a full funded scholarship with very few people get off, because you don't like Telecom, desperately isn't you have. So I said, Yeah, I'm not happy. I don't know what I'm doing what I'm learning what I'm studying, I just don't know. So I like programming. And I like to remain there, I did not know that there was something called as computer science before. Otherwise, I would have told him that. I just don't know. So she said, Hey, you should at least stick to one semester and get a good GPA and get transferred to computer science. So that was my plan all along. So at least for that semester. And then very powerful, influential personality took down into my life with name was Shahid strzok. And he came from Microsoft USA. He worked like grantee 21 years in Microsoft USA. And she came to Pakistan for some personal time the region and he had to spend one year in Pakistan and he decided that he would become a visiting faculty in last one year. And that one year was my lifetime. He became my teacher and mentor and a friend he is currently working in AI to VM in Facebook, USA. So AI uncomfortable. So he said that Who told you that you need a telecom degree computer? Or who told you that you need a computer science degree computer? You don't need any? You just have to land that's it. For I said, I bought just land. That's it, no degree nothing. You can go to Google, you can go to Microsoft, you can go to anywhere you want, with simple programming is. That's it, don't have to worry about things. But if you are you studying in telecom, and if you don't get tougher, it's okay, no problem, just faster telecom and move ahead and define your career. For he was the actual person who told me that how to think about lives, how to think about the year, and what to do a lot of it so. And he really mentored me a lot. So what I did that I started learning subjects of my friends, my friends who were in computer science, who were in it, we used to live in the same hospital, I used to borrow their presentation, their assignments, or quizzes, and average them, I just ignore my education, that's probably why my GPA is very low, because I did not pass it will work in good because so I started learning it. And then I started helping people know, I became a teacher assistant. And students asked me a lot of question how I should do this, how I should do that. And then I were helping them a lot. And then I got sort of popular with word of mouth, no, everywhere, like, if you have any problem with computers, or with programming, she did it a guy in telecom department with them if you just contact them very friendly, very supportive, and you help. So I was learning C++. And then I'm getting a student who wants to learn Java, who want cheap love CSSR a HTML or PHP, whatever. So they came up and said, Hey, we have a problem in Java here. Can you help us? So I said, Okay, can we do this tomorrow in lunch, for the head, okay, we'll do it tomorrow. I'm spending all night learning Java, just to help them. So that's how I actually learned. That's literally everything I have. And this is one of the reasons that I am active in speaking and active and writing in TTU. Because I just love to help this with my whole defining point, from the very beginning of my university education career, that I just love to help. And this actually helped me a lot personal. It helped me with new skills with new knowledge, new education. That's how I have always been. So I became very popular. And you know, as to even teachers started asking about my help in their projects. And I became I was offered a TA of the year teachers teacher, not a year out every single year, or next few years. And I became one of three or four students, which was out of bound for students. And I worked on very interesting projects involving artificial intelligence, robotics, and laparoscopic and endoscopic surgeries to develop very good stuff in the university. But Android came in like fifth semester. So I was very good and cheapness and in Java, and Qt was the language we use to be in Nokia mobile at that time. So I was very good in Qt. And I used to do a lot of different QT. So somehow Android was very new in like 2009, or 10. And they sent a team packet down to educate some top level executive like architects and CTOs. It was very exclusive workshops offered by some people at Google, in Pakistan. And coincidentally, that workshop was held and not in capital of Pakistan. So very expensive. They were like 30,000 PCs per person. And if I were a pension, so you know, she decided that they will send three students free of fees, and IR one up. So this was my first impression to endroit. I didn't understand a thing in their whole workshop, because it was way ahead of my level ahead of my approach. I was sitting beside GTO and architects and those kinds of people who had like years of industry experience when I was just merely a student, our fourth semester, so that was very affordable. So I just decided that Android is a very bad thing for compression in large compression. So that kind of and after that workshop, a university organized a competition it was based on under one research paper, a teacher wrote about it. So they wanted to implement that research paper on different languages. So that's how they organized competition. And they just put a single point that we will give 20 plus points to those who try and write.

Wajahat Karim 40:18
And I'd like, Okay, this is interesting. So, I was I had this thinking that if you want to learn something, just participate in competition, when I wanted to learn Rubik's Cube, I participate in a cube competition. It was supposed to be solving in free minutes, and I just couldn't fall within three months. But I tried it, you know, so winning and losing was not a thing for me, I never cared about whether when already, so I just thought up competitions and ideas that, okay, if you want to learn something fast, just participate in competition, that will put a pressure on you, and that will push you to learn fast and to date are treated fighter, okay, I have to learn WebKit. And I have to learn how to integrate WebKit in Qt. So I decided that I will do that. And I will implement that whole paper. And so I wish I had like 16 or 17 days to the deadline of competition. And I wasted like seven eight days and then realize that WebKit is not possible to do. So I said, Okay, what's your time with? So I decided that I will push Java. So I picked up Java and a friend of mine suggested that if you are doing Java, why not use Android? Same language is nothing different in Atlanta, you will get 20 points extra. So why should Android? So I was like, nah. And I had a very bad, not the French? I don't understand. So he convinced me that you should actually consider Android. Right? Okay. But how am I supposed to learn Android, there are very less resources available on internet is very new. So Google team gave a book to my teacher called as Hello. And so I went to that teacher. And I said, Sir, I want to borrow your book. So he said, Do you know I don't give books? I said, Sir, I know, you know, code, that a person is a fool. Who give books to someone other. And you said, Okay, you are telling me full price. And no, sir. I'm telling myself, sir. Bigger fool is the person who returns that. So you're like, Okay, so I asked, I borrowed him that book, and I photocopied it, sorta piracy. And I started reading it. And I started, get hauled off cliffs. And all these weird to like, the ins and outs are very heavy, very difficult setup. And I had like Pentium four, which I bought, and like my saving up money, and it was very slow. Emulator was horrible. To that point, probably still is. Okay. So but it was more hopeful than today. So I managed to create a simple application in that implementing the functionality of Russia. And there were no phones in Pakistan at that time, and Android, and Blackberry number one, like fascinating phone at that point, everyone wanted to grab hands. And so I just tried to present it in the exhibition in a borrowed laptop from a friend. So and then winners or sound winners announced, and surprisingly, I got fast. So what you want them to win the competition. So they put my name. And they gave me 100,000 A piece of art. I just didn't know what am I supposed to do with those 100 rupees, what should I do with them? So I sent 50,000 rupees to my family. And I borrowed my first phone, imported it from a German friend, it was an Android. And I, that was the beginning of my Android neck three years or four years, I was very much into Flash, I was very much into game development. But Android was something which was always my friend from university said, You are the only person in home in whole class, who is exactly in the same field to do chores at that time. So I said, Okay, so that's how my entire journey began. And I realized that there are very few reasons also invite available. So I started a blog in WordPress. And I started writing about how to create phone dialer application, how to create, how to send an SMS, those tiny tutorials, and something about game development and everything was about sharing is caring more, share more, learn more you share Milan. So that's how my journey began. And then about like writing, like more than 100 articles, my blog got hacked. And I never saw the light of that blog. very heartbreaking. I still miss it, because I had a huge following at that time in probate court, and just lost it. So literally, I still don't know how, or why. But I just lost it. But the good thing was that when I was running my blog again, then a publisher called back to approach. And he said, Hey, you wrote a ton of articles on Android, would you bother to write a book for us? And I said, What a book? They said, Yeah, we are looking for 300 pages of books on Android development, we have some topics in our mind, would you be willing to write it? So I said, Okay. I don't know how to write a book. But okay, I'll try. So I wrote my first book, when I was doing my first job after university. And then I wrote my second book, after two years of that with the same publisher. And now I am writing my third book, this time, self publishing. And I want to try and see how it goes without any publisher. So bought books combined the sold like more than 1000 100,000 copies on the board. And they were very good. And they got me away with no authority. I am very good in and right. So funny thing is that my first book is about Android. And I wrote a book on Android when I was doing Java and flash. And then other books about unity. And I wrote that book when I were doing Java and Android. But one like that. So it's very funny thing. I just didn't know what I was doing. But I just knew that I had to support my family at that point. And I had to grab a job and land it as soon as possible. So first job was about a flash game. So it was such a Facebook game from flash in from Pakistan, where it was called and baby bird, it was about nurturing beds. So mothers will sign up and they will create babies and get them close get improved. And so when I joined, they had launched it about two weeks earlier. And next three months, we already cross section where month 3000 users. And it was crazy. We were crazy. And it was a very interesting experience, seeing something grow as fast as possible and getting a load. But then investors just backed out and company shut down. And I was back to the feet again.

Wajahat Karim 48:35
I like what am I supposed to do now. So I decided that I just go to Karachi. Karachi is about four hours from my home. And I had spent six years very far from my family. So I decided that I should be near to them. And I decided that I will come that you. So I came back to that. And the problem was that I did not know anyone. And Karachi was at that point and very high level with a trip tram. So if you are seeing after 7pm on the feet, there is a 90% chance that you will be marked. You will be robbed off your phone, your wallet and everything. So it's a horrible experience. And I came back, I came to Karachi at that point without knowing anyone, literally. And so I used to stay at a room with 1000 rupees a month. So at first I was very happy Oh 1000 rupees one month. Nothing. No, rent is very cheap. So I thought they were living there and then I realized that oh, I'm in the wrong place. So that place was for truck drivers who used to expand night. Just throw their was no electricity, there was no internet. Not it was pen one night. That's it. So I was like, Okay, this is how it works. So. So I spent about two months there and finding a job. And then I found a job in game development in Flash, and neck three years, I was very into very much into game development. But our writing book, and Android was something with our very passionate about by happy, I was very dark and heavy lawns and depths and everything. I had sisters, and we had a lot of financial troubles. And my father was getting more and more sick. And if you are getting cheated often Yeah, at that time, so it was very, you know, rough time of my life. Try very hard. So I just decided that I should stick to attend, and as much money as possible. So the problem was that I did not have a PC, I had a Pentium four PC, which had like, six years old. Now it took like 30 minutes to boot up. So how am I supposed to work on that fight started when freelancing. And so I used to spend whole day in office on off projects. And once everyone left it, I used to spend all night and after that to do freelancing. So I got a very good client who offered me a project of $2,000. But what were before him before, so I managed to complete it in time and I got $2,000, I bought a laptop, and I bought an Android phone, another one. And I sent some good serious money to my family. And that was the beginning it was very heavy laptop from Dell, but did the job. You're very good. And I used it like six years from that point. And I used to work like 17 hours or 16 hours a day job and freelancing. I was collecting as much money as possible. At that point, everything was about money, you know, I was in very horrible condition. So you know, I hear this a lot, that some big people always say that nothing about money, you know, you should focus on poverty, focus on hunger, you should focus on helping people and our loan big words and big thing they say, I realized that just for show business, it just outer layer, nothing like that. If you don't have money, if you don't have anything to eat, if you don't have a bed to sleep comfortably, then you won't be able to think about these things. You have to complete your basic necessities, then we'll be able to move beyond those. So I just didn't believe them. I call them fake gurus. You see a lot of bunch of people on YouTube these days, like you will become millionaire in two months or something. So I believe that nothing besides hard work hard work with everything getting no shortcut. Nothing. It's just all about hard work hard. At least my father used to say that we are poor people. The only thing we know is hard work. That's how I have always been working hard. And that's it. And seeing that how things turned out. And I just knew in university, I figured out that I should be in programming. Because I get this question a lot that from my students and events and talk of what language should I choose to learn what language should I choose to do? What framework should I go whether I should go and mobile or web or anything? I just say that. So in my whole sixth semester, I tried everything. I did game development, I did app development, I did Qt created in desktop applications on dotnet. I did SP dotnet I did hardware, you know I created autonomous car I created you know USB hardware key, the one you plug in the software will run otherwise it launched called dongle two and I created an automated an AI based open CV bear footfallcam Where two actual legal robot will play the football based on the input given to them to Java programming language. So I wrote research papers. I wrote two research paper both out got rejected. Come to that. So yeah, my teacher came up and he said, We sent a paper about three months ago, and I worked on that paper like here. So after three months he came up and said to me, Hey dad, I Good news that Edward paper has been rejected. I said, How Is there good news? So he said they have sent a ton of feedback, you know, I think to improve things to Canton Fair thing for that project. And so, so he said, No conferences do not do that they do not give feedback they just rejected. So this is good news. So I said, Why is it good news again, so, he said, We should improve it. And we should G submitted to NEC conference, you know, they have give tons of feedback. So I said, Sir, with all due respect, in working with hold year with you on research paper, I just realized that master's and PhD is not my team, I can make this not my thing, I will go to industry, that's clear now, so no more research. So, yeah, so that's how I decided that I shouldn't be in university. And so that's my advice has been always, you know, try everything, people spend a lot of time people waste a lot of time on figuring out, what should they do, instead of they should do, they should do and they will realize that whatever works for them, whichever, make them happy, whichever work them, they will keep them awake all night long. They realize, you know, there was a debate, speech and attend for from active jobs. And he said something similar, connecting the dots, or looking at behind the kind of thing that our students, that's what I'm here referring about that you should learn as much as possible. And then you will realize that a trajectory will be created for you automatically, you will never understand how it's happening, and why it's happening. But you will see that it's far better for you. So that's how my life has been all about probes. I spent a lot of time at that time and earning money, spending money. Nobody knew me in Karachi, I used to live with my friends. And that's what it no community, nothing for financing. And I managed to get myself married, get my church married, and it was a good life. And then suddenly, I decided that I will not do to launch an animal because I was tired. I wanted to live a bit, watch some TV show and live a bit of life and be happy, and go on trips, and traveling and all that. So I just decided that you answer a lot. And I finished second book at that time. And I decided that okay, let's think of something.

Tim Bourguignon 57:36
Wow, that is fantastic. That's such a moving story and an emotional story. This, thank you very much for sharing this, this, it's been absolutely fascinating. And seeing how you use first hated Android and now are completely engulfed in Android in your whole life. This is also an amazing story. And with a twist about your family and how all this was ingrained. And the the work of Shahida, I think was your mentor and this teacher that changed your life. Yeah, that's, that's amazing. Thank you very much for that, where would be the best place for listeners to, to contact you to continue this discussion with you? Or maybe start a discussion with you?

Wajahat Karim 58:17
Oh, yeah, so I have a website with my Name, which I had claimed.com. And I am pretty much active on Twitter, again, at with a heart cream. And on LinkedIn, I get a lot of messages and contacts on LinkedIn that apply to go if you want to get something from learn something from those who topic tough. And I have a newsletter on sub tech without cutting sub tech.com. That's actually I share my news about what I'm up to the date and what kind of articles I have written what kind of articles I'm reading, and both productive. Multiply to reach out to.

Tim Bourguignon 59:02
Awesome, and we'll add all the links to the show notes. So you don't have to search you can just scroll down and click on that. Anything timely on your plate that you want to any conferences you will be speaking at. Or any information about your third book. Do you have a timeline already?

Wajahat Karim 59:17
Yeah, so I am writing a book on remote work is called as remote wizards. And it's available on D remote business.com. It's in drafting phase at this time, and I am planning to publish in late August or early September this year.

Tim Bourguignon 59:36
Okay, awesome. So we'll add that to shows as well. We've had it's been a fantastic story. I cannot thank you enough. That was really cool. Thank you very much.

Wajahat Karim 59:47
Thank you and I'm sorry that it got it got up your whole time. For that draw. I had missed a lot of thing, but it's okay. I think that the most interesting thing was covered in the book

Tim Bourguignon 1:00
:01 It was fascinating.

Wajahat Karim 1:00
:04 That one actual background and then to becoming a developer, indeed, the thing you are looking for.

Tim Bourguignon 1:00
:13 And this has been another episode of developer's journey, and we'll see you next week. Bye bye. Thanks a lot for tuning in. I hope you have enjoyed this week's episode. If you liked the show, please share rate and review. It helps more listeners discover those stories. You can find the links to all the platforms to show appears on on our website, Dev journey dot info slash subscribe. Creating the show every week takes a lot of time, energy, and of course money. Will you please help me continue bringing out those inspiring stories every week by pledging a small monthly donation, you'll find our patreon link at Dev journey dot info slash donate. And finally don't hesitate to reach out and tell me how this week story is shaping your future. You can find me on Twitter at @timothep ti m o t h e p orca email info at Dev journey dot info talk to you soon