With no traffic in sight, I enjoyed this road to myself during a beautiful morning run.

Life has changed a lot in 2020 as we are experiencing the worst global pandemic in recent times.

In October, 2019 I quit my job to take a sabbatical year. I decided to move to a new city and live a more solitary life focusing on personal growth, learning new skills, and consuming as much knowledge as possible to prepare for the next chapter in my career. In order to stay focused, I had already decided to keep socializing to a minimum as I wanted to be as productive as possible and take advantage of the free time.

Due to…

Turning in my work badge and laptop on my last day at work

“I haven’t felt this confident about a big decision in a long time.”

That’s how I found myself explaining to a friend after I decided to quit my job and take a year off. I had spent 5 very successful years at Facebook working across various teams in different roles. …

Close your eyes and imagine meeting someone you really like.

Take your time and add as much detail to the image as you can: their facial expression, what they’re wearing, what they’re doing, where you’re meeting them, the time of the day, and so on. Let yourself smile as you enjoy being in this person’s presence. And then open your eyes.

You just stimulated the same areas of your brain that would have been stimulated had you actually met them in real life.

This phenomenon is very powerful. Olympic athletes make visualization a major part of their training.

I have…

This is my story of a rewarding weekend after a month of hard work and what Beer Bike — the biggest social event at Rice — was like attending and biking as an alum.

“Waseem works all the time!”

That’s something I hear quite often so it’s become white noise for me now.

But even I got worried about myself towards the end of February as a huge deadline loomed ahead of me. My teammates and I had been working tirelessly on allowing you to search for posts on Facebook for Android. …

How to Succeed at a CS Education

The efforts made by Code.org and many others for students to learn computer science seem to be working as there has been an “Explosion of Student Interest in Computer Science.” There is no doubt that we need more people with a computer science education as the demand for software engineers continues to vastly outpace the supply. But as you can read in these Reddit comments and based on my personal experience, computer science is very hard and attrition rates are often high. …

Our story of organizing a hackathon at Rice University

Hackathons are becoming incredibly popular all across the world. One of my fellow hackers from Princeton recently went as far as Abu Dabhi to attend NYU’s hackathon. Major League Hacking was formed last year to track and support the organization and participation of student-led hackathons. Two years ago, I organized HackRice — our first hackathon at Rice University with the help of the CS Club. We had about 50 participants at this hackathon with 12 demos and 2 professors as judges. The hackathon was quite successful and we got an overall positive feedback.

Instead of giving direct advice on how…

Waseem Ahmad

Ex-Facebook Engineer, Student Pilot, Traveller, Life-Long Learner

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