Join LinkedIn Learning Developer Instructor for an in-depth discussion in this video Mohammad Azam, part of Career Clinic: Developer Insights.
- So when I graduated in 2005, the biggest issue that I had, not technically, but it was my status, of course. I was international student, and I was looking for some sponsor that can sponsor me a H1B which is a worker visa. And I didn't have a car in Houston. Basically it's a sin not to have a car in Houston because now you're looking at a three-hour commute from one place to the other. And I would do that commute. I would go in a bus three, three and a half hour, reach the place, reach the employer.
They will interview me. Technically everything pass. And then they ask me the question that I know I'm going to fail, "What's your visa status?" And I'd say, "Well, I need a sponsorship." "Oh well. Well there's the door. Bye." I went to a lot of interviews and pretty much got rejected on that particular same reason. Luckily now, I don't have to deal with that anymore. I am a U.S. citizen, so opportunities are endless now. I know that there will be some company, because when I was in school in University of Houston, I was an undergrad student.
And the same was over there. I had to get a job inside University of Houston that can get me in-state fees which in-state basically means that you don't pay international fees. You pay half of the international fees. And finding that kind of a job for undergraduate is basically winning a lottery. I basically walked the whole university. Someone would actually ask me, "Do you know where the Veteran Office is?" And I'd say, "Yeah, it's on University Center, 2nd floor." "How do you know that? I mean how do you know "where the Veterans Office is?" Well I went there for a job.
"Oh, do you know where the architecture--" Yeah, I know everything because I went to each building. I walked there for a job. I think some people are smart, and some people are hardworking. I'm the latter. I'm extremely hardworking, and I knew it from a very long time ago, when I was actually in high school, that I am way more hardworking than I'm smart. I think in the long run, what I have seen, is hard work wins over smart. If you are smart and you work three or four hours, but if you are hardworking working eight to 10 hours, in the long run, hardworking is going to beat everything.
And there are no shortcuts. And that's what I did. I just worked hard, hard. I kept on getting rejected but I knew that there was a job out there that will give me what I actually want and I found one. My favorite project is vegetable gardening app called Vegetable Tree. And the reason that I started working on that, in 2008 we moved to our new house in Houston, and the backyard was fabulous. There was vegetables, there were flowers everywhere. And to be honest, I had no interest in doing gardening at all, but looking at the backyard I was like, "I need to maintain this backyard or else it will go bad." So I started maintaining it and then I found the need for okay, what vegetables I can grow right now? How do I grow tomato? How do I grow potato and turnips and all that stuff? So instead of looking at the book, I said this information has to be on the go, because I'm in the backyard.
So I created the app called Vegetable Tree, and it was super hit. Got even featured by the app store in 2013, and I received a lot of email from happy customers which eventually became beta testers for the app. And one thing that I really learned from vegetable gardening, Vegetable Tree app, is about the business of the app store, so marketing the app, using Twitter advertisements, using Facebook advertisements, and how to promote it. So apart from learning the development which was like a medium-size, large app, I also learn a lot about the business side of it.
So there are many action that the developers right now can take to support other developers, and it all start with sharing the knowledge. So whatever you are learning, make sure to share it in the form of article, videos, at conferences. I've seen a lot of great developers but they are not Google-able. Like if I go and search their name, it comes up with nothing. And if it comes up nothing on Google, it really means you don't really exist in real world, right? So sharing knowledge is really, really the highlight of spreading or supporting other developers and I think anyone can start supporting developers.
It doesn't have to be an advanced or intermediate developer. If you are even a beginner developer just starting with iOS on day one, just think about it. There are millions of people, millions of developers that are on day zero. So you can definitely provide help to them.