After a long break, we are back again with our Humans of NSUPS series. This time our story is about Ahmad Faiyaz.
Ahmad Faiyaz is an ex-contestant from North South University. Currently he is working at a startup in UK named Dataform. Perhaps Ahmad Faiyaz’s most notable achievement in his Programming Contest career was to qualify for the ACM ICPC World Finals of 2016 as a part of the legendary NSU BugLovers team.
Recently, we took an interview of Ahmad Faiyaz where he spoke to us about his Programming Contest career and also gave some valuable advice to the new generation of Problem Solvers. Here is the interview:
When did you finish your graduation?
I finished my graduation in 2014. Later, I got admitted for Masters at NSU, but never completed it.
Where are you currently working?
Currently I am working at an early stage startup named “Dataform” at the UK, where we are building a SAAS product for Data Pipeline and Modelling.
Some notable achievements in your Competitive Programming career?
My team is the first team from a private university which became a champion in a national level programming contest. Also my team was the first Runners-up in NCPC 2016, and second runners-up in ACM ICPC 2015 Dhaka Site Regional.
How did being involved with NSUPS (and Problem solving in general) help you in your career?
Actually I am one of the founding members of NSUPS. During my first year, I met Nova mam, who told us about this contest and problem solving stuff. Later this group was created, and I joined the first beginners class taken by Iqram Mahmud Fahim vai, hence my journey began.
Problem solving actually made a lot of positive impact in my career. Now a days, for any job interview you need to appear in a coding test. If you did problem solving or participated programming contest, you will feel comfortable in this kind of test. Also problem solving builds some instinct on your mind which will help you to write better, bug free code and also to learn new tech/tools easily. I have written a blog on my journey from Competitive Programmer to Software Engineer here: https://medium.com/@faiyaz26/from-competitive-programmer-to-software-engineer-5a23ea886089
A memorable experience from your Programming Contest Career that you would like to share?
It was at one of the contest from IUT, where I solved a problem at the last minute. The problem was not that hard, but coding was kinda tricky. So I took 1 hour to code it all, when I was about to submit I saw that I have only one minute left, and obviously there can be many bugs inside the code which I will not be able to resolve in time. So what I did was I submitted multiple times with multiple changes in the code. Alhamdulillah, the first one was correct and I got the verdict just few seconds of the end of the contest. That made my team 8th in the total ranking, which was my first time in top 10 of a national contest.
Any advice for the new generation of aspiring Problem Solvers?
There can be many ups and downs in a competitive programming career. Take it as a fun, do more practice. Even if you fail in competitive programming (like not getting top positions/not becoming high rated coder), I guarantee you that the things you learnt during competitive programming will help you in your future career.