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Aftab Ahmed
Aftab Ahmed

Aftab Ahmed

QA Lead

Inmobi Technologies

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Books recommended
Whatever field you are in, find out the best text book that is available and study it. There is no other better way of getting your basics right than reading its text book. It may sound boring but thats the way to go about it. If you are learning a programming language then you have to learn it the practical way, if you want to learn coding , you have to code, there is not other way or a shortcut.
My important career decision
I consciously made a decision to keep working in different domains. This was made possible by TCS where I got a chance to work with various clients who used to work in different technologies. This way you will always work with different tools, scripting languages, and most importantly different set of people, which goes a long way in helping you in people management.
Company and job profile
I have been in as varied fields as tech support, leading a team for automation testing in Storage domain (NAS protocol), automated testing of SAP, to leading a QA team for Rich Media advertisements. Currently with Inmobi Technologies for the past 10 months. Before joining Inmobi, I was with TCS for 6.5 years, and 2 years with Dell before that where I used to support various Dell products such as desktops, laptops, wireless routers and Dell PDAs .
Being different
Being an engineer its very easy to become a frog in the well. Doing only those things which are expected of you; without looking at the big picture. You need to look at the big picture (the whole business) and what role do you play in it, whats your contribution towards it. Only then you will be able to appreciate your work, and be able to guide your team in achieving the goal of the whole organization.
My role model
I don't have a single role model but different self made people like Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg etc.. All these guys started out even when they hadn't finished their formal college education. They showed to the world that its not necessary to have a formal education to start business even in niche technological fields but to look at the big picture, to know what consumers are lacking and to give them products like Facebook and iPod even before the consumer himself knew that he needed them. Products which as Mr.Jobs put it "make a dent in the universe".
Goals and Ambitions
The ultimate goal is to become an entrepreneur and I would like to achieve that not in the next 5 years but in the next couple of years.
Making job easier
What helps is an environment in which is there is no micro-management, where an employee is assigned ownership. Providing of tools and guidance, an environment where questioning is encouraged and where there is a 360 degree feedback mechanism.
Current Trends
It is really difficult to predict future game changers. I mean who had predicted in 2004 that FB will play a part in Arab spring but the really interesting space is the Mobile and tablet space. Today we have the same computing power in our palms which was considered to be high-end on desktops a decade back. The way mobile have created separate industries like mobile advertising, app development industry. I will keep following the mobile industry with a keen eye. Another industry I will be keen to bet is on Cloud computing, all we have to do is look at Google apps and we know the potential of cloud computing and I believe we have just scratched the surface.
Family Background
I come from a family of Engineers, my father is a civil engineer, my brother is an Architech (not a software architect) and I have done engineering in Computer Science.
Views about 'Tech product Introduction is weak among Indians'
If we follow this problem it will lead us to our education system, which is more theoretical rather than practical/Project based. We are taught a lot of theory in the college and a lot of emphasis is given on examinations rather on learning the subject in terms of practical applications. Another issue is we Indians are good at following what we are asked to do. We are good in executing things when a plan is put in front of us rather that innovating something ourselves. I have seen people in IT services industry where even if a person has a solution asks the client "Is it okay if we do things this way" instead of saying "I believe this is the solution for this problem". This is because this is the way these guys are trained right from their entry level days.

Our education system has to change especially the way technical courses are taught and a innovation and a spirit of asking questions has be inculcated into young students.
Challenges faced in job
The really challenging thing for me is how to groom new talent and keep them interested in their jobs. I have always led teams that were fresh out of college and my aim has always been to take them to the next level, show their role in the big picture and help them achieve what they want to achieve.
My advice
What to do:
Learn, learn and learn some more.
Always try to find better ways of doing something. If something is being done in some way for long doesn't mean its the best way of doing it.
Own whatever is assigned to you.

What NOT to do:
Don't work for appraisal's sake. Try to do your best and the good appraisals will follow.
Do not look for excuses.
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