Faculty of Applied Science & Technology
Degree: Computer Science Technology
Year of graduation: 2004
In today’s world of wireless communication, mobile computing is clearly the future of software development. And that trend brings on a new set of challenges for software developers, says Rashed Ahmad. “They will have to get used to the vast disparity in languages and platforms coming to market and stop thinking of programming in terms of a specific technology.” This means placing more emphasis on core computer science fundamentals to create a solid foundation upon which a developer can grow, he adds.
With digital technology advancing at a rapid rate, along with customer expectations, the software development business has become highly competitive. “The only way to stay on top is to stay passionate about it,” says Rashed, Team Lead - Research & Development at Web Impact Inc. “Then you will naturally be aware of current trends and experiment with the newest and coolest technology.”
Ideally, that passion should be ignited and maintained when you’re still at school before you get that first job, he says, “otherwise, it’s going to be a rough ride.”
One of the best ways to do that is outside the classroom, says Rashed, pointing to his co-op placement at Sheridan’s Internet Research Lab as a highlight of his time here and a catalyst for his burgeoning career. “The experience really kick-started my passion for computer science in more arts-related fields, and it certainly made it easier to apply for jobs when I graduated.”
During his co-op placement, Rashed was one of two students assisting principal researcher Bill Farkas, Coordinator of the Internet Communications Program, with a network sonification project. Sonification involves the use of non-speech audio to convey information. Its potential multi-disciplinary applications make it one of the most interesting areas in science, engineering, psychology and the arts. The innovative program gained worldwide attention from such sources as Yahoo, MSN, CBC Radio, CityTV and the National Post.
Since graduating, Rashed has worked in a variety of capacities, as a Web Developer, Programmer Analyst and Senior Software Developer, with stints at Digital Cement, Polar Mobile and the Weather Network. In 2009, he joined Web Impact as a Senior Software Developer.
Throughout this time, he has turned to his Sheridan training and connections more than once. “Fran Burke (Co-op Advisor) has been my go-to person for advice while attending Sheridan and many times, even after I graduated.”