Hassan is a backend and app developer on the Computan team.  He’s built custom applications, API libraries, SaaS products, and HubSpot integrations from scratch for the team.  All in all, he loves to make something out of nothing.  In this installment of Behind The Coding Hassan talks about 3 people from his passion, profession, and personal life he’d like to meet up with, his unforgettable first day as a developer, and why he was traumatized by Windows Media Player.   

Hi Hassan, How are you?

Hi Sajeel.  I am good thanks.  Ready to know about the last 3 things I Googled?

 Yes for sure! What do you got? 

Well, I Google a lot for different things at work.  The last 3 things I Googled are: 

1 - Best cooking oil 

Why the Best Cooking Oil? Are you planning on cooking something? 

No no, just needed to buy some from the store.  I wasn’t told a brand so I thought I’d Google what the best one was and see if I could find it.  

Ok! What else? 

Last night I Googled what would be the consequences if I somehow Unserialize PHP   

Did Google have an answer for that? 

Yes of course it did! 

Hahaha! Of course, it did.  What else? 

Often there are a lot of things we developers Google repeatedly. 

What do you mean by that? 

You know, sometimes we forget something, then Google it again for a reminder. So I searched for how to create a cookie in JS and create it in PHP as well 😊. 

Something you’ve obviously done before! 

Yeah but you know, just do it to jog the memory a little bit. 

I understand completely! I need Google Maps directions to my favorite ice cream store all the time.  It looks like you spend time Googling on work stuff.  Do you ever Google for fun? 

Not really come to think of it.  I usually just hit the URL I want to go to directly when I’m on the web for fun.  I do YouTube a lot though! 

Don’t we all? When was the last time you worked after hours to solve a hard problem? 

Probably on the Sendies project (custom web and mobile app job).  The project involves auto-fetching shipping rates using the FedEx API.  Troubleshooting that kept after hours a lot.  

Yeah for sure.  That was a problem to remember.  

It reminded me of my first day as an engineer actually. 

Tell me about your first day as an engineer? 

Well, on my first day in my first job as a software engineer I was asked to solve a problem on a production site.  They didn’t have a local copy of the code and asked me to switch something on the live build of the project. 

This story hasn’t started well… 

Nope.  Didn’t go well, didn’t have a local copy, and was knee-deep in trying to solve the problem.  First day of my life as a developer. 

It sounds like you remember it quite well! 

Yes, I do! It was a rough one. 

Who are 3 people you’d like to have dinner with and why? 

I have thought a lot about this question.  I would have dinner with 3 people from different walks of life.   One from my personal life, one from my passion, and one from my professional life. 

Good idea! Who are they? 

From my personal life, I’d like to have my friend Muhammad Rahat – He was a friend of mine at University, went to study in the States and I haven’t seen him in a while. 
 
From my passion, I’d like to have dinner with Shahid Afridi. He’s a great cricketer, inspired me to play cricket, and is good at bowling and batting.  Which I also try to be! 

From my professional life, I’d like to have dinner with Sherz Pervaiz.  He was a teacher of mine in my final year.     

That’s a good crew! What did you learn from Sherz? 

He didn’t teach me front-end or backend development.  The biggest thing is he taught me how to think.  How to understand a problem and how to solve it.   

Do you mean like the Software Development Lifecycle? 

Yes exactly.  From requirements gathering on through to deployment. 

When was the last time you cried tears of laughter? 

There is a Pakistani Politician (Bilawal Zardari) who doesn’t speak Urdu (the national language of Pakistan).  I usually cry tears of laughter when he says the wrong word at the wrong time.  Like he meant to say ‘Legs are shivering in parliament’ but he said ‘Segs are livering in parliament’ …it’s hard to explain it in English but it was a slip of tongue. 

Hahahaha…a slip of tongue from a politician! Happens all the time. 

Yes, it certainly does. 

Where were you when you first saw a laptop/desktop? 

I believe I was in Grade 8.  A friend of mine had a  computer shop and Internet café.  In 2008 I used a computer for the first time.   

What did you do about it? 

I clicked around everywhere and saw a video file.  I hit F4 and the video player maximized to full screen and I didn’t know how to get out.  It was Windows XP. 

Hopefully, you didn’t get into too much trouble! 

No no.  They were friends so it was ok.  

What is something your teammates don’t know about you? 

They don’t know much about me.  I memorized the Quran in Grade 8. 

Really? I didn’t know that! Wow, that is impressive. 

Yeah, I completed it when I was 12-13.  Most people don’t know that I have that skill.  Since I do mostly backend development they don’t know I can handle front-end development too. 

An all-rounder in the cricket arena and the coding arena 

Yes!