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Muslims in Tech: Life of a Software Engineer

By: | posted on: Jul 31, 2018

Date(s) - 07/31/2018
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

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$5-$10 USD
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MALA: Muslim American Leadership Alliance


Join MALA for the next installment of our “Muslims in Tech” discussion series! This evening, our panel of experts will focus on the life of a software engineer.

Software engineering is first and foremost about solving problems, and secondarily about writing code or understanding technologies. Becoming good at solving problems requires a lot of practice and experience.

A software engineer is a problem solver first, and a coder second. Computer languages, frameworks, and algorithms are tools that you can learn by studying. Solving problems, however, is complicated and hard to learn other than through long practice and applied mentorship.

The evening will feature software engineers from different backgrounds discussing their problem-solving strategies, their work environments, their teams, and the different types of software they develop. Our panelists will share details about their work life, what it takes to become a successful software engineer, and any other questions attendees may have about life as a software engineers.


AMAL AMASKANE is an Instructor at Future Founders. In this role, she leads high energy entrepreneurship activities for Future Founders Discover and Ignite students. Amal is a member of the Future Founders Residency and is currently developing her business, Match Langua, which creates unique community-based oral language, cultural, and networking experiences through the matching of native speakers with language learners. She moved to Chicago in 2016. Amal has her Master’s degree in International Studies & Research from the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle, a Bachelor of Arts from the University Paris Sorbonne, with a exchange year in the UK at the University of Warwick. Her Master’s dissertation explored the Transnationalism of High-Tech in US-Israel bilateral relations. She speaks four languages and has traveled to 14 countries.


SANAH KHAN, who has been leading teams and developing functional process using Lean and Agile methodologies for more than a decade. She is an entrepreneur/ founding partner in a growing software firm with nationwide clientele. She is a Kellogg-certified non-profit executive and founder of DEV IT FORWARD, a non-profit that provides software development to charities nationwide, as well as founder of Forward Humanity, a community outreach organization with more than 200 volunteers impacting Chicagoland each week. She also sits and actively participates on the board of the Downtown Islamic Center (DIC) where she is Chair of the Operations and Education committees. She is also Program Director for Muslim umbrella organization, CIOGC. Sanah is known to be a conscious-driven technology-trained team-player, team-builder, leader and agent-for-betterment who facilitates ‘what’s possible’ in the context of evolving organizational needs and strategies.

ALBERT PAK is a passionate software engineer, with an entrepreneurial spirit, focused on building high-performance JavaScript applications. He’s interested in newer technologies and frameworks such as EmberJS, ReactJS, NodeJS, and ES6/ES7. Albert loves helping people learn and build next generation web and/or mobile applications, and working hard at staying up to date on the latest trends and technologies to ensure each project utilizes the best tools and methodologies available.

AFRA AHMED has been heavily involved in leading several tech teams within a multitude of businesses over the past decade, here in Chicago. First, as a co-founder of Goldstar Learning, a startup here, we created software which utilized open source technologies, to better serve teachers by providing them accurate and fast reporting on their classrooms. Using the same software, administrators could oversee how their whole district is doing. After having worked there for almost a decade, he then helped rewrite a whole platform for Fooda, a food delivery company before settling into the financial tech space at OneMain Financial, where he has been for the past 4 years. Afra has always used technologies to support the creativity side of the internet, specifically for musical acts such as Ministry and Skinny Puppy. Afra currently serves on MALA’s Advisory council.


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