. .






Information Technology 

Oct 23 - 29, 2000

Haroon Ahmed, soon after his graduation, has been employed by Microsoft. Keeping in view his tremendous skills, he has been hired as software design engineer in development and his salary package is even higher than the package usually offered to US citizens. He has joined web data team which develops internet explorer and is currently busy in developing next version of NT operating system. Haroon joined Government College Nazimabad after doing his matriculation from Zaifia Memorial High School. He has done B. S. Engineering from Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUE&T) and also got the Gold Medal. He did his M. S. Engineering, equivalent to M. Phil., from Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST). During his studies he was also working at Compsi (Pvt) Limited as Software Manager. He has won many medals/scholarships during study. These include: IEEE Research Medal/prizes for Urdu publishing system (1996), Softec'96, Softec'97, Softech'98, SSUE&T and A. Q. Khan competitions.

PAGE: How did you manage your time during study?

HAROON: I was addicted to reading books and hooked to my computer. My job with Compsi helped in actualizing my fantasies. While education provided the theoretical background, my involvement in various projects, individually and as team member, enabled me to use the knowledge in real-life business. Most of the projects which I completed were the pioneers in respective areas, aimed at improving the performance and quality of finished product. I would like to mention two of these, TEXIGNER and CARPETIZER. These software are used in textile and carpet industries. I got 1st prize for TEXIGNER at second SSUE&T competition and 1st prize at A. Q. Khan Software Competition during 1998. In 1999 I got 1st prize during second international competition held at International Islamic University, Islamabad for CARPETIZER.

PAGE: How did Microsoft find you?

HAROON: I was working at Compsi and also looking, like any other graduate, for a better job where I could put my knowledge and skills at test. I got the information that Microsoft was in search of people. Some one told me to send my CV to Microsoft by e-mail, which I did on priority basis. Soon I got a reply from Microsoft instructing me to be available at my given telephone number on a specific date and time for the preliminary interview. After this interview, I was asked to reach Dubai for second and final interview. The interview was spread over five hours and I was offered attractive terms and conditions for employment.

PAGE: Does your selection has any relevance with your study at SSUE&T?

HAROON: Certainly yes. SSUE&T has been involved with world information technology leaders which include CISCO and Lockheed Martin. Software are being developed for these companies at SSUE&T's Software Technology Incubator. Unless these companies have strong faith in the University, its faculty and students, getting such contracts would have been impossible.

PAGE: How did you develop the above mentioned software?

HAROON: Once I acquired the basic skills in developing software, I spent time with the specific industries and only then I was able to develop these software. I believe that without the knowledge of any specific industry one cannot develop a software. The ultimate aim of developing a software is to improve the efficiency, upgrade quality standards and optimize cost of production. Only those software are popular which help in achieving the objective. Therefore, the first objective is to develop software for the core industries. By improving the performance of core industries we can help the country in boosting its GDP, creating new employment opportunities and making the best use of skills available in the country. There is no dearth of talent in the country provided the industry is able to identify and employ the right people.

PAGE: Will you remain an asset for Pakistan?

HAROON: Wherever I go and whatever I do I will be identified as a Pakistani. If I am honoured, I will earn respect for Pakistan and Pakistanis. I also believe that my selection by Microsoft is the recognition of the potential and skills many other Pakistanis have. I am not only SSUE&T graduate who has been employed by Microsoft. My other colleague, Faisal Baqai, would also join Microsoft very shortly. It is also an honour for SSUE&T that two of its fresh graduates were employed by world's leading corporation in information technology.

PAGE: Your message to other students?

HAROON: There is no short cut to success. One has to work real hard to establish his/her credentials. Life is very difficult in Pakistan because often jobs are not given purely on merit. Saying this much, I still have very strong conviction that there is no substitute for merit.