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Meet The Speaker: Asim Hussain

Updated: Feb 13, 2019

As part of our preparations for YGLF 2019 Code Camp we're excited to share with you another interview, in the series of interviews, with this year's amazing speakers. Hear their stories and their professional insights. This time we're with Asim Hussain (@jawache)



Q: Tell us a bit about yourself

So... I always wanted to be a developer. My dad bought a computer when I was 11, and I've been coding for... shit... 30 years now! Professionally I started in the European Space Agency in 2001 doing C++ believe it or not. Then moved into finance at Morgan Stanley then JP Morgan. But wasn't for me, I left in 2011 and went back to the web. Firstly doing Django development as a contractor for Google and then, later on, moving to JavaScript and then AngularJS. Was lucky enough to get in early on the AngularJS train created some successful courses and eventually wrote a book which propelled me into speaking.

In 2017 I joined Microsoft in their brand new Developer Relations team as a Cloud Developer Advocate. Actually... I just got a promotion... I'm now the "Head of European Regional Developer Advocacy at Microsoft" :)


In 2018 I got into AI+JS, I launched aijs.rocks a curated collection of AI-powered JavaScript apps and created the AIJavaScript London meetup group (we just reached 1000 members!) and I'm now also part of the W3C Community Group discussing ways to bring AI+ML to the browser in the form of native APIs.


Q: Who is your favourite tech thought leader and why?

This isn't the first time I've been asked this question. Last time was in a live video interview, and I was awkwardly silent for 30 seconds before I gave some vague total B.S. answer. I seem to find it hard to pick one, every time I think of someone I think of someone else who said something just as profound to me!


If we go broader and remove the "tech" and just "thought leader" I have a clear answer for you, super clear. Brene Brown (@BreneBrown). I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that her books have saved my life, I gift them many times a year for people I meet. She's a scientist who studies shame and vulnerability. If there are two words I'd associate with putting yourself out there, on stage, in blog posts, in open source is the shame (of not being good enough) and vulnerability (to attack from others) her books helped me thrive in this space.


Q: What advice would you give yourself at the outset of your career?

- OMG. Write. A. Blog. Post. Every. Month. It's like saving money, after ten years you're blog is worth more than your house.

- Always... always... choose the option of increasing your personal brand over making more money.


But more importantly...

- Chill the fuck out, stop looking for people to hate.

- Start meditating now.

- Start a gratitude journal.

- Take a long look at psychedelics, do your own research, don't believe the hype.


Q: What will you teach us at YGLF Code Camp 2019?

I'm going to talk about AI and JavaScript! 2018 introduced a few tools and services which made doing AI in JavaScript much much more accessible. I'll teach you all about them by going on a fun tour through a bunch of AI-powered JavaScript applications. You'll learn how you can build something similar yourself, tools, techniques etc... We'll cover a variety of different AI/ML methods you'll get an excellent overview of the field.


Thank you, Asim!

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