WIMTACH Student Profile: Asad Mahmood

In 2018, after many years of working in Construction, Asad Mahmood decided to take a big leap and enroll in the Software Engineering Technology program at Centennial College.

“I liked the idea of being able to build everything from scratch and on your own,” he said.

Shortly after enrolling at Centennial College, he applied for a Student Researcher position at WIMTACH to gain better insight into Software Development and to prepare for a professional career.  He assisted the WIMTACH research team with a web application project collaboration with Xello Inc. His involvement with this project gave him exposure to extensive knowledge and training under the stewardship of veteran developers.

“I always have room for improvement and working with Xello has actually taught me that there’s so much more to learn,” he said. “It never ends here and by the time I’m in the industry with 20 years [of experience] there’s a guy with 60 years of experience.”

Asad is very passionate about Software Development. While working at WIMTACH, he’s found that there are some crossovers between construction work and Software Engineering and he noted that both have best practices for success.

“Software Engineering is synonymous to construction,” he said. “You’re actually building stuff up from the ground up depending on what part of the application or what part of the development that you’re jumping into.”

WIMTACH has enabled him to develop a variety of projects from initial concepts to final development. As a result, he’s had a chance to see the entire life cycle of web application projects.

“I’ve loved working at WIMTACH. It’s been great,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot.”

Asad has assisted the WIMTACH research team with many projects over the years including The Next Music Generation project where he successfully assisted the team as a Full-Stack Developer. He was also involved in the development of a WIMTACH project for Bloom Care as a Front-End Developer. As well, he worked among a team of developers for a project collaboration with an EMR company.

With each project, he was introduced to a new concept and process that he had never known before. Some of the skills he’s acquired include the ability to build mobile-responsive web applications using Angular, Unit Testing skills, a greater understanding of Agile Methodologies, as well as an understanding of API Integration and web performance optimization.

 “I can’t thank everyone at the WIMTACH office enough. They have been phenomenal. They have helped me gain so much information,” he said. “It’s insane how much I’ve learned. I never thought I would be able to learn this much.”

Reflecting on his role as a Student Researcher, Asad explained that WIMTACH was his first practical introduction to some of the theories and applications that was introduced to him in class.

“I realized that the stuff they teach in school is the stuff that I learned within the first semester of my co-op,” he said. “This is my last semester in school and they’re teaching me things that I learned over a year or two years ago.”

Working amongst a team of people who are driven by learning and growth has also helped him to challenge himself.

“They’ve also helped me to push myself to implement various practices within applications,” he said.

Asad also enjoyed the collaborative work environment at WIMTACH and he has been able to develop long lasting friendships with members of the Student Research team.

“Let’s say you are having trouble with implementing certain aspects of an application, you’ll get some feedback from friends,” he said. “Not only do we try to tackle things together, we make jokes, we laugh, and we have great times together.”

Now a recent graduate from Centennial College and an alumnus of WIMTACH, Asad is ready to jump into the workforce. He recently accepted a job offer to become a Front-End Engineer at Xello Inc. Since his experience at WIMTACH has been so positive, he encourages other students to create a GitHub account and to create a practice website before joining WIMTACH.

“Work as much as you possibly can and push your changes to your GitHub repositories. It ensures that people are able to view your activity because employers want to see if you are actually coding,” he said. “You might as well try and put in as much work as you possibly can now, to be able to get an edge on everybody else that isn’t.”

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