Ep. 012 — Humaira Khan on You're The Most Important Person in Your Life


Humaira Khan is a fashion design and founder of the famous Bangladeshi boutique - Anokhi. She is also a General Member of the Fashion Design Council of Bangladesh. In 2016, her work was featured on Vogue magazine as she collaborated with designers from other SAARC countries on the “Travelling Jacket” project. Read more about the jacket over at Vogue.in

In this episode we talk about:

  • how to thrive when your life circumstances change

  • how to become a better designer

  • finding the market for your product

  • how to look fashionable (but why Humaira Khan would suggest you don’t)

  • loving yourself

  • why you need to get out of toxic relationships

  • tools to help build successful relationships

  • morning routines Humaira Khan uses to win her days

  • and much more

This was a fascinating, wide-ranging conversations and I hope it helps you to do more and be more in your own life.

Ep. 011 — Tahmid Rafi on Finding Your Path


Tahmid Rafi is the founder, editor and publisher of Dimik Prokashoni, a publishing house with a focus on books on computer programming and related topics. He co-founded Dimik Computing with Tamim Shahriar Subeen as an organization to educate and teach people the skills needed to thrive in a 21st century, high-tech world. He graduated from BUET as a computer science major, after which he joined Mukto Software as a software engineer.

This episode is a bit different in that we don't talk much about publishing or software development. What we do talk about is more human problems of defining success, failed projects and the lessons Tahmid took more from them, the education system and its fatal flaw, becoming a good teacher, meditation — how to begin and its usefulness — and so much more. I had a great time recording this episode and I hope you have a great time listening to it.

Show Notes:
[Book] Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl
Our interview with Tamim Shahriar Subeen
Chrome Extension: Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator
[Book] Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
[Poem] Robert Frost - The Road Not Taken
[Book] So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
Salk Institute of Biological Sciences
Satchin Panda
Time Restricted Eating

Ep. 010 — Shamsuzzaman Arafat on Becoming Ironman, Running 1000km & Swimming the Bangla Channel

Minutes after finishing Ironman 2017

Minutes after finishing Ironman 2017

Shamsuzzaman Arafat is a profession triathlete, ultra distance runner and long distance swimmer. He is one of the first Bangladeshi to complete the Ironman triathlon – a race that involves a 3.86 km open water swim, followed by a 180 km cycling leg and finishes with a marathon distance 42.2 km run. All of this is to be completed by 17 hours. In 2017, in Ironman Malaysia Langkawi, Shamsuzzaman Arafat finished the race in 12 hours 43 minutes and placed 237th out of 885 participants. Before becoming an ironman, he raced from Teknaf to Tetulia, one end of Bangladesh to the other end, in a gruesome 1004 km race which he completed in 20 days. This amounted to him running 50 km on average every day. He has swam the Bangla channel, Teknaf to Saint Martin's Island, a 16 km route 4 times till date.

In this episode we talk about all things athleticism and why, even after all of his stunning achievements, Arafat doesn't consider himself a professional athlete. We talk about the mental side of endurance sports as well as the physical side. Mr. Ironman gives advice on pacing, conditioning, nutrition and much more. In the end, Arafat talks about his the one book he would give everyone and the habit that has had the most positive impact in his life in the last 5 years.

Show Notes:

Books: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
More about the Ironman: http://www.ironman.com/
Training plan: Will update shortly. To be notified please subscribe

Ep. 009 — Ehsan Hoque on Resilience, Asking Better Questions & Protecting Your Time


Note:  I kept babbling about episode 10 in the introduction only to realize this is episode 9! My mistake. Please mentally switch all utterance of episode 10 to episode 9 when you hear it. Sorry!
– Fardeem

Ehsan Hoque is an assistant professor of Computer Science and the Robin & Tim Wentworth Director of the Goergen Institute for Data Science at the University of Rochester. He leads the Rochester Human-Computer Interaction (ROC HCI) Group and received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013.

Over the years he has been the recipient of many accolades. Notably among them are the NSF Career Award in 2018, Google Faculty Research Award in 2014 and 2016 and Best Paper Award at the 2013 ACM Ubiquitous Computing Conference. 

MIT has placed him on their list of Top 35 Innovators under 35 and Science News mentioned him as 10 Scientists to Watch in 2017. 


Ehsan Hoque's

Answer to the billboard question

His research focus lies in a very interesting intersection between machines and human behavior. He studies human behavior through a computational lens to generate new insights and theories about human behavior that are "written nowhere, known by none, and understood by all.” A particular area of focus is developing emotionally aware virtual assistants that can improve our soft skills. 

His Ph.D. thesis yielded the first scientific evidence that it is possible for humans to improve their face-to-face interpersonal skills through a virtual assistant. The project was highlighted by MIT Museum as one of the most unconventional inventions at MIT. 

In this conversation we talk about Ehsan’s little-known hobby of acting, delving into academia, cultivating resilience, overcoming doubt, asking better questions, the paper writing process, parenting and protecting one’s time. 


Ep. 008 — Kamal Quadir on Human Capacity, Innovation, Disrupting Industries and Learning From Failure


Kamal Quadir is the CEO of bKash, Bangladesh’s largest mobile financial services company. An entrepreneur at heart, Kamal is best known for introducing e-commerce in Bangladesh by founding CellBazar, an online marketplace which was acquired by Telenor after it reached 4 million users. Kamal Quadir is also the First Mover Fellow of The Aspen Foundation, a TED fellow and the World Economic Forum recognized him as a Young Global Leader. He has received many awards including, Schwab Foundation's Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2015, the 2005 MIT Ideas Award and India's Manthan Award for “Best E-Content for Development”.

In this wide-ranging conversation, we talk about the extraordinary capacity every human being possesses, disrupting industries from e-commerce to personal finance, effectively marketing your product, security and outsourcing, team building and much, much more. 

Ep. 007 — Nazia Chowdhury on Med School, Cultivating Leadership, Mindfulness and Antibiotics Resistance


Nazia Chowdhury was one of the first medalists (obtaining a bronze medal in 2009) at the International Mathematical Olympiad as part of the Bangladesh Team. After her success in the abstract world of math, she went to MIT to pursue an undergraduate degree and ended up majoring in Biology with a minor in Mathematics. Certainly, a rare combination!

After her days at MIT came to an end, she decided to switch up the location and travel to Singapore to study at the Duke-NUS Medical School. She is currently in her 3rd year, one year before residency!

In this wide-ranging conversation we discuss the challenges of medical school and how to overcome them,  overcoming fear, cultivating leadership, time management, health, antibiotics resistant, BOOKS (and finding time to read them) and so much more. I really, really enjoyed the conversation and took away a lot and I hope you do too.

Ep. 006 — Ragib Hasan on Security, Money being Irrelevant, History and Playing the Guitar


Ragib Hasan is a computer scientist and associate professor at the Department of Computer Science at Alabama at Birmingham where he leads the SECuRE and Trustworthy Computing Lab (SECRETLab). He is an NSF Career Award recipient in 2014 for his research on trustworthy cloud computing and has previously worked as an NSF Computing Innovation Fellow and Assistant Research Scientist at the Dept. of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University. He received his PhD in computer science in 2009 form the University of Illinois.

If all of that wasn’t enough, he is the founder of Shikkhok.com — a free education platform and a recipient of the 2013 Google RISE Award. He has worked extensively in adding information about Bangladesh to the English Wikipedia and has also started the Bangla Wikipedia movement. 

In this wide-ranging conversation, we go all over the place and talk about the nitty gritty of security, how information is the currency of the future, picking research topics, digital forensic, lessons from history and what to do when feeling unfocused or overwhelmed. 

Ep. 005 – Kawshar Ahmed on Finance, Turning Failures to Success and Building a Business


Kawshar Ahmed is the CEO and founder of Joomshaper — a company that makes Joomla templates and extensions. Making his start from building small templates as part of his back in the day freelance gig, seeing Joomshaper now has a successful, multi-million dollar company is astounding. He, however, did not have a background in computer science but actually studied Textile engineering at Bangladesh University of Textiles. 

Kawshar Ahmed is a text book example of a man who went through all kinds of conditions and faced every situation with grit and courage. Most importantly, even when his external conditions changed, he himself did not change in his principles.

In this conversation with an absolute titan in his field, Kawshar Ahmed gives advice to smart students coming into the field, talks about finance and planning ahead, building a business, managing teams and being stress free.

Ep. 004 – Awalin Sopan on Security, Data Visualization, Women in STEM & Rabindranath


Awalin Sopan is a software engineer at FireEye, an enterprise cybersecurity company that provides products and services to protect against advanced cyber threats. FireEye’s clientele include Target, Sony and even Bangladesh Bank. Awalin Sopan did her undergrad in CSE from BUET and then moved to America to pursue a graduate program in Machine Learning and Data visualization from University of Maryland, College Park. During this time she did a summer internship at IBM and then joined MicroStrategy as a research scientist. After a year, she joined FireEye.

In this episode we talk about security, being safe on the internet, extracting useful information from a dataset, strategies when learning something new, women in STEM, mentorship and much more.

Show Notes

Ep. 003 – Tamim Shahriar Subeen on Leadership, Workplace Environment, The 80% Programmer & Effective Common Sense


Tamim Shahriar Subeen is the Engineering Manager at Grab, a ride-sharing company based in Singapore. He is the author of multiple best-selling books in Bangla, notably "Computer Programming" which is a Rokomari best-seller. He is the co-founder of Dimik Computing School along with Tahmid Rafi. While he was in the country, he was heavily invested as an academic coordinator for the National Mathematics Olympiad.

In this episode, we talk about having the vision to do better, leadership qualities, parenting, and obviously, being a good programmer and how to think through hard problems. In this conversation, Tamim gives us a glimpse of the work culture at Grab and living in Singapore in general.

Show Notes  

Ep. 002 – Tarik Adnan Moon on Problem Solving, Data Science, Mountaineering & Physical Fitness


Tarik Adnan Moon, born in Kushtia, is a senior data scientist at Edo — a startup based in San Francisco. A 4-time participant in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), he was one of the first people to get a medal in the Olympiad as part of the Bangladesh team. After finishing high school at Kushtia, he went to get his undergrad at Harvard where he studied mathematics with computer science.

We talk about a multitude of things from happiness, the ideal day, top three things he learned at Harvard, physical fitness and loads more!

Show Notes:

Time Jumps:
2:53  Why were you interested in competitive mathematics?
5:26  What impact did attending the IMO have on you?
10:32  How do you tackle hard problems in math and elsewhere?
13:36  What inspired you to do your undergrad in the US?
16:38  Going to a different country all by yourself leads to some feelings of loneliness. Did you experience it? How did you deal with it?
23:58  How do you remain resilient?
27:10  What are the top 3 things, apart from academics, that you learned at Harvard?
29:00  What 20% of data science do you have to learn in order to have 80% of the impact?
31:48  How did you get into mountain climbing?
35:28  Mountaineering necessities a certain level of physical fitness. How do you get to that point?
38:10  What does your reading habit look like? How do you manage reading within your busy schedule?
39:53  How do you develop mental toughness?
42:26  Do you have a personal philosophy or a standard by which you measure your day?
44:05  You recently did a fundraiser for the Rohingyas. What motivated that?
49:07  When fundraising there is always the question of distributing the money using an organization or by yourself. Which one do you think is the most effective?
51:00  Did you learn anything profound while living in two of the largest cities in the world — New York and Sans Francisco
53:05  HOW DO WE ETHICALLY USE TECHNOLOGY??? Contains some spoilers from the book Origin by Dan Brown
59:00  RAPIDFIRE Qs!

Ep. 001 – Jhankar Mahbub on Productivity, Sustaining Motivation & Running a Marathon


Jhankar Mahbub is the senior web developer at the Neilson Company, Chicago. Organiser of the Chicago Javascript meetup group and author of two books – হাবলুদের জন্য প্রোগ্রামিং and বলদ টু বস. A prolific writer and even better programmer, Jhankar Mahbub joined us after a one month tour in Bangladesh and we have some incredible discussion on productivity, sustaining motivation, reducing the friction needed to do something, and how to stay fit while doing all of this.

Show Notes: