When pursuing a career in IT, an engineer would dream of working for tech giants like Google, Amazon, or Apple.
What if we told you that there was a guy who had worked for each of these global leaders?
Yep, his name is Shiblee Imtiaz Hasan (shiblee.me).
If his name sounds familiar to you, that is because we have already written about this brilliant, award-winning creative technologist and engineer.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Shiblee and asking him about his career progress and plans. He also shared a few invaluable career advancement tips for future engineers and designers (including how he landed the job at Google).
An Engineer That Combines Art, Design, And Technology
Ever since high school, Shiblee Hasan has been living and breathing programming. His example proves that persistence and the unquenchable thirst for knowledge always pay off.
After graduating from the BRAC University, Shiblee pursued a Master’s Degree in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Michigan. Today, he works at Google, where he explores the future of VR and user interfaces.
We asked Shiblee to tell us a bit about himself. We were curious to learn what drives and inspires him. What attracted him to the innovative VR prototyping area.
The answer is simple. This field lets him push the boundaries of innovation by combining things he is passionate about – art, design, and programming.
“I am Shiblee, a designer, engineer, and innovator. I’ve been designing concept prototypes for AR, VR, mobile, and various other cutting-edge software/hardware experiences for the past decade.
My background in engineering and Human-Computer Interaction allowed me to be at the intersection of art, design, and technology, which was the inspiration behind the career path I’ve chosen and the kinds of projects I’ve worked on.”
Career Advice For New Designers And Engineers
We asked Shiblee Hasan why one should pursue a career in software/hardware concept development and prototyping. What aspects of his career is he most proud of?
“Since I work with product concepts at the early stages, I get a chance to collaborate with engineering, design, and business leaders. Being able to set the direction of a whole new category of products is very rewarding.”
The Tool Is Only as Good as Its User
When asked to share a piece of advice with anyone starting out in this field, Shiblee emphasized the importance of having the right tools. According to him, it is essential to understand how each of these tools works and when to use it.
“Anyone who’s working on new future product concept development and prototyping needs to have a variety of tools in their toolbox. For example, what prototyping platform to use (mobile vs web vs Unity vs custom hardware). Knowing what tools to use for various fidelities of experiences will set you up for success.”
Take your Hobby and Make It a Thriving Career
Sometimes, the innovative entrepreneurial mindset is not enough to succeed in the competitive tech industry. It is your passion, interests, and enthusiasm that make a difference.
Shiblee Hasan is a perfect example of a techie seeking artistic freedom in his creative pursuits.
“I was lucky to be able to make all three of my hobbies part of my career. I use my miniature model making skill in prototyping physical products; use my photography and video skills in making concept videos; and use my website building skills (which I started when I was 13 years old) in software and interactive web application development.”
We concluded that Shiblee is a genuine multipotentialite with diverse hobbies and an immense creative aptitude. Therefore, we could not help asking what he would do differently if he could press restart on his career and start out again.
“I consider myself an aviation nerd – I’ve built a lot of award-winning model planes (shiblee.me/models). I’ve spent a decent amount of time in my teenage years trying to find opportunities to study aerospace engineering. I think I would have chosen that career if I had the opportunity to study aeronautics-related subjects.”
Understanding The Power Of A Personal Website
According to research studies, 66% of employers google their candidates. The process usually includes checking out their LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram profiles.
While social networks can boost your visibility in the digital landscape, they lack branding capabilities. While you can add some design to them, you still use the predefined patterns that restrict your creativity.
So, is there a more effective way to get noticed by employers and be taken seriously? We asked Shiblee Hasan that and he answered without hesitation – building and optimizing a personal website.
When he was entering the tech industry as a freelancer, a website was the opportunity to stand out.
“I started my tech career in high school when I was building interactive flash websites as a freelancer. There was fierce competition in the online freelancing market at that time. So, it was extremely important for me to have a personal website to host a portfolio of my past work.”
Shiblee has harnessed the full potential of a personal website. He resorted to the tried and tested formula, using a personal name as a domain name. When potential clients or employers google his name, his website is the first thing they see in search engines. Clever, right?
Transforming a Website an Interactive Digital Portfolio
Next, we asked Shiblee about the influence of a personal website on his online presence. He stated that it has had a direct impact on his discoverability as a job candidate or freelancer.
While his peers focused on writing CVs, Hasan designed an interactive, hyper-personalized website to show off his web development skills. Combining sophisticated UI/UX design with the easily-navigable website architecture, he turned his website into an interactive online portfolio.
For Shiblee, that was the opportunity to take control of his digital footprint and inject his personality into every website segment. Most importantly, he managed to show off his outstanding programming and design skills.
“I used the website as part of my design presentation, since a lot of things that I was working on at Amazon were confidential and the custom-built website had a fair amount of complexity,” Shiblee emphasizes.
How a Strong Digital Brand Helped Hasan Land a Job at Google
Shiblee further revealed how a personal website had put him right in front of IT conglomerates. He did not apply for the last two companies he worked for – Amazon and Google. The recruiters found him via LinkedIn and his portfolio website.
Here is what he has to say about that:
“I started building the current version of my website right before interviewing for Google. In fact, my website probably played a big role in getting attention from various teams at Google and eventually getting an invitation to interview with some of those teams.”
The Importance of Keeping a Website Up-to-Date
Developing a personal website that stands out is a big step. We asked Shiblee Hasan, as an engineer and a UI/UX design expert, to share his website development tips with us.
He explained that regular website maintenance and updates are the most neglected yet very important aspects of a personal website:
“Maintenance and keeping the site up-to-date is a big part of having a website. Some cutting-edge technology today may become obsolete in 3-5 years (e.g. Flash). In order to stay relevant, we need to update the look, functionality along with the content of the website.”
Why Shiblee Chose .ME As His Digital Home
We were eager to know what inspired this engineer to choose .ME in the first place.
Honest as always, Shiblee confessed that .ME was not his first choice back then, but he has never regretted taking it. He emphasized that .ME has become an inseparable part of his online brand and identity. That is why he has been using it as his primary domain for over a decade:
“I’ve owned my .ME domain name for over a decade and it has become part of my personal brand. At that time, it felt like .ME was about to become the most suitable extension for personal and social sites, and it did. Over the years I have purchased more TLDs with my name but I redirect them to my .ME domain, as I am using it as my main domain.”
Finally, he reminded us of numerous companies using the .ME domain, including Facebook and PayPal.
Continuous Innovation Is Paramount
Before wrapping up the interview, we asked Shiblee Hasan about his career plans. He emphasized the growing impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning in his career field. He uncovered his plans to learn more about these technologies and implement them to improve his efficiency.
“AI and ML are slowly changing the world, making us more efficient. My personal goal is to take a deeper dive at machine intelligence and understand how it can change my workflow,” Shiblee claims.
To Sum Up
The example of Shiblee Hasan teaches us that there is no uniform career strategy one could implement. Our career paths depend on multiple factors, including our interests, skills, and devotion.
Most importantly, Shiblee has been building his career gradually and strategically. By establishing an authentic digital brand, he put himself in front of the most prominent tech industry players.
Above all, this engineer managed to merge his techie skills with creativity and art.
Keep rocking, Shiblee! Thank you for choosing .ME to be your digital home.