Tahir Shahzad

Product Manager | Web Developer | AI Enthusiast

The Tech Alchemist: A Decade of Transformation

After a couple of internships and overcoming numerous hardships, I officially started my professional journey on July 1, 2014. Over this decade, I’ve been all about pushing boundaries and reaching new heights, never settling for anything easy or monotonous.

Whenever a skill or role became too comfortable, I pushed my boundaries further. During this journey, there were skills I wanted to master but couldn’t due to other priorities. For instance, there was a time I aimed to excel in frontend frameworks like Angular, React.js, and Node.js, and another period when I wanted to dive into AWS, DevOps, and solution architecture. I’ve come to understand that it’s okay to achieve excellence in some areas while just scratching the surface of others.

To summarize:

I began my career as a web developer at Evamp & Saanga. My role involved transforming PSDs into cross-browser compatible, responsive, W3C-compliant static pages using custom HTML, CSS, and jQuery. I loved the work, but I always wanted to do more.

I then started my Masters at NUST and switched jobs simultaneously. Despite my hard work, I wasn’t settled and left the company in six months. Around the same time, I was called back to Evamp & Saanga for another role.

After my first three years in web development, I did some freelancing and online jobs temporarily. Alongside, I joined Quaid-i-Azam University as a visiting faculty member and conducted research for my Masters at NUST, specializing in computer vision and machine learning.

With my experience in web development and higher education in ML, I joined STech.ai as a Machine Learning Engineer. Being part of a startup, I had to wear multiple hats, which kept me engaged and advancing in my career. I also served as Team Lead Web, developing web portals for AI applications. Later, I became a Technical Project Manager, focusing on leadership skills, client management, and project management. After five years, I bid farewell to STech.ai.

As a freelancer, I joined Toptal as talent. At Toptal, I had the opportunity to work and collaborate with international clients, polish my leadership skills, and tackle complex projects.

I also started learning about product management, agile methodologies, and leadership. A year ago, I joined Now Software as a Product Owner. This role brought a new level of challenges, requiring stakeholder management and technical knowledge.

When I began my career, information was not easily accessible, and finding mentors was challenging. To facilitate the next generations, I contributed to community building. Notably, I helped establish the QAU CS Alumni Network, organizing talks, quarterly meetups, and annual events to bridge the gap between academia and industry. I also participated in WordPress meetups in Islamabad & Rawalpindi and WordCamps, a community of generous people who love to give back, share knowledge, and help others. Additionally, I was active in the Toptal Pakistan community, a group of skilled professionals working on amazing projects worldwide.