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Interview with Mashood Rastgar

An Interview with Mashhood Rastgar, CTO, Sastaticket.pk

A combo of an entrepreneur, a developer and a mentor, a person who has a lot of experience in the technical world, Mashhood Rastgar has joined us for the interview today.

Currently, he is leading the engineering team as the Cheif Technical Officer at Sastaticket.pk and Cheif Innovation Officer at Voxlabs. Moreover, he is also a Google Developer Expert in Pakistan for Web and Angular. He was the founder of Recurship, which was a startup consultancy helping companies build products in the western hemisphere. His professional degree lies in Computer Science.

Recently, he has also started a podcast ‘Karachi Wala Developer’. In the podcasts, he has covered many hot topics such as ‘Java Vs Python’, ‘Design Sishtems’, and ‘Angular Vs React’. His podcasts are really helpful for the people in the tech field.

Let’s start talking with him!

Nonfig – Hi Mashhood. How are you? It’s a privilege to have you on board with Nonfig. Could you briefly tell us how you started your career and achieved your current stage in your career?  What motivated you to become such an exceptional developer, entrepreneur, and public speaker?

MR – I started my career in the university, being at UCL I joined their startup department which connected me with several small businesses. Before this, I was working non-commercially building websites and apps for friends and family.

Getting here is mainly about the practice and moving up the stages. I have explored many different technologies and have built up experience which allows me to get the projects I am working on now. You don’t need to be a full stack developer in order to be successful, you can solely focus on frontend or backend as well.

Programming is a passion, so anything from dev to community work revolves around that.

Nonfig – You were working as Lead Engineer at Effin Amazing; what motivated you to start Recurship? How was your entrepreneurial journey? And what made you enjoy it?

MR – I wanted to do my own thing, so I started Recurship to see how far I could go. It was an interesting experience where I built a team and landed many projects, but in the end, the focus on my side was mainly non-technical which made it boring for me. So I switched to my current role.

Nonfig – What were the challenges you faced during the transition towards Sastaticket.pk? What’s the coolest part of being the CTO?  

Answer: The biggest challenge was changing the thinking process from Consultancy to Product. We have managed to do this well so far. From a CTO perspective, it’s managing this large project and constantly looking to improve things and experience for our local customers. This really helps me justify the work I do.

Nonfig – As we have seen, the travel industry has taken a massive hit during this pandemic, what steps were taken, or which features were introduced by Sastaticket.pk to ease this situation?

MR – We have focused on becoming as lean as possible and focus on our customers’ core issues. Besides that, we have full swing focus on delivering and improving our product

Nonfig – You are the one who played & still playing the role of a mentor to so many people. But who was, or is, your mentor or your inspiration that you look up to? 

Answer: I have had some technical clients who have mentored me in the past. I look up to the best in the industry our thought leaders like Martin Fowler and Kevlin Henney.

Nonfig – To lighten up the conversation a bit, which was the best place for food, while you travel for conferences & speaking sessions? We might want to visit there someday 🙂

Answer: I have spent the most time in London, and know many halal and vegetarian there. So I really enjoy eating there.

Nonfig – You are a GDE, CTO at Sastaticket.pk, and now CIO at voxlabs, you are also a mentor for multiple projects, what’s the secret recipe behind your constant productivity?

MR – Time management is something one needs to train yourself into. I would recommend reading up on it so you can figure out how to work through and maximize your time on a daily basis.

Nonfig – As a CTO and developer, what do you think about the configuration platform like Nonfig that creates ease for a non-tech person with more control and independence for routine configurations?

MR – Yes Nonfig is definitely an interesting platform that can easily give control over the real stakeholders. This is especially useful if you have a large complex product with tons of configurations and those need changing regularly.

Nonfig – As you have recently started a podcast by the name, Karachi Wala Developer, what was the motivation behind this step? Can you share a few podcasters for the developers reading this interview? 

MR – Motivation is always the same, sharing what I’m learning. It’s just another medium and I personally have been listening to many podcasts myself including Software Engineering Daily, Ted Radio Hour, and Hidden Brain to name a few.

Nonfig – Your advice means a lot to the developer and budding software engineers. What valuable advice do you have for them for development and career growth?

Answer: If you are within your comfort zone every day, then you are not pushing yourself hard enough. Learning something new always has some friction. Also depends on your workplace, but normally in every workspace, you can find enough challenges to last a lifetime. It’s about having the right attitude and working towards that.

That brings the end of our interview. Thank You for your time Mashhood Rastgar, Nonfig wishes you all the best in your future endeavors.

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