Speaker Spotlight: Uzair Aslam – Founder of Pakistan’s R Meetup

We had a conversation with Uzair Aslam following his virtual appearance at a recent R meetup. Read the blog below to learn more about his journey, career, and the inspiration behind founding the R group in Pakistan.

Can you share a bit about your background?

I am a Data Engineer and Data Scientist working in the industry for last 4 years. My expertise are in ETL Data Pipelines, Data Warehousing, Data Analysis and R Shiny Dashboards. I work with different clients in Supply Chain, Marketing and Non Profit Organisations.

Did you come up through a “traditional” techie route or has your career taken twists and turns along the way?

My path is a “traditional” techie route since from college I have been involved in assignments that required Programming, Data Science and Statistical Data Analysis.

Reflecting on your career, is there a specific moment that stands out as pivotal or defining?

The pivotal moment that changed my trajectory was taking Intro to AI Course by Andre Ng on Coursera. It was the time when I was completing my Bachelors in Economics and Mathematics. The course acted as pivotal part and led me to apply my mathematical skills in Data Science, Algorithm Design, Machine Learning and Deep Learning.

What piece of advice would you give your younger self as you embarked on your professional journey?

Learn to be a good listener and show empathy towards your colleagues and coworkers. From my experience in founding a startup, I advise cultivating a resilient mindset. This resilience will help you navigate numerous failures, ultimately leading to success.

Looking ahead, what’s your big prediction for the tech landscape in 2024?

With the rapid advancements in generative AI in 2024, I predict a significant rise in applications and startups focusing on AI, green energy, and sustainability. This trio will become a prime area for both investors and entrepreneurs.

Considering your involvement in Silicon Brighton and community-building, what does the concept of ‘community’ mean to you personally? How important is it in the tech industry?

I founded the first R User Group in Pakistan, the Karachi R User Group. The concept of community is very close to my heart, especially in the tech industry. A group with mutual interests has a better chance to succeed and share knowledge compared to an individual working alone.

How do you balance staying updated with the latest industry trends while ensuring continuous personal and professional growth? Any specific resources or practices you find particularly valuable?

Working as a startup means I have to be on my toes all the time with work and client expectations. I have blocked out weekly hours on Continuous Professional Development as I believe that the technology is changing rapidly and we have to evolve with the change. There are no specific resources I rely on.

As someone who has contributed significantly to the community, how do you see mentorship playing a role in the development of the next generation of tech professionals?

I think actively asking for feedback and being able to have open, honest conversations with a mentor is invaluable. A good mentor can put you five years ahead and bad mentor can pull you ten years down. I strongly believe in good mentorship and this is one of the reason I started Karachi R User Group where young tech professionals can come in and learn from their peers.

Is there any additional wisdom, experience, or anecdotes you’d like to share with our audience?

“Know that life is a test, some days will be for you and some days will be against you”
“Lead such a life, that, when you die, the people may mourn you and while you are alive they long for your company”
“Through patience, great things are accomplished”

Above quotes are from Hazrat Ali (R.A)

Anything else you would like to promote to our community?

Join the Karachi R User Group, a growing community for R Users, Data Analysts and Scientists.

Finally, I would like to promote my organisation Stat Devs. We offer Complete Data Consulting (From Data Engineering to BI Shiny Dashboards), Data Science Solutions to small and medium-sized organisations in the UK.