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: