At any company, the culture is the most important thing, and Kaiju’s culture is very diverse. Also, management really listens to employees and encourages us to do whatever is best for ourselves and the company.
Senior DevOps Engineer Rizwan Khalid never met a computer he didn’t want to take apart or a mouse he didn’t want to crack open. His curiosity led him to disassemble entire systems – bolt by bolt – in his childhood bedroom. He wanted to know what made technology tick and he wasn’t waiting around for someone else to show him.
Rizwan’s curiosity takes the lead in his DevOps job at Kaiju. He continuously pursues a greater understanding of emerging technology and ways to pass on his knowledge. He’s not looking for credit or glory, he says. The job itself is the glory.
Q. Please tell us your origin story.
A. I'm from Lahore, Pakistan. From the start, my parents gave me total freedom to do whatever I wanted to do with my life. They encouraged me to pursue what I was passionate about, and they supported me at each and every step.
Still, much was required of me. We didn’t have a lot of money and I had to work full-time jobs while pursuing my master’s in information technology at Superior University in Lahore. It wasn’t easy, but it made me a stand-up person.
Q. How would you explain your job to someone with no experience in your field?
A. I would tell them that I provide a platform for software engineers who need a place to build applications in the shape of code. Once they write the code, we manage its delivery, execution, performance, and security.
Q. How did you get interested in technology?
A. Ever since I was a child, I was passionate about technology, especially computers. I wanted to explore what was inside the central processing unit, the monitor, the mouse, and the keyboard. You can trust me on this: I destroyed my computer many times. The decision to pursue a career in information technology and computer science was an easy one.
Q. What kind of jobs did you hold in the past, and what led you to Kaiju?
A. I wanted to work for new companies, so I pursued startups such as Naseeb Online Services, a recruitment platform where I started my journey. After that I joined a Dubai-based startup called MunchON and, funnily enough, it was there I met Hassan Ajaz, Lead Front-end Developer at Kaiju.
One night, Hassan shared a job posting with me and asked: "Do you fit these requirements? Have you worked with these tools?" I said to him: "Man, I’ve spent my whole life with these tools!"
I was interviewed and brought on board in a very short period of time. I hadn't worked with stock trading or artificial intelligence; it was a chance to do something new and expand my knowledge base. This was the major impetus for me to start working at Kaiju.
Q. Describe the best day you've ever had as a DevOps engineer.
A. A few years back, a friend and fellow IT professional was unemployed, so I decided to do something for him. I spent two to three hours after work training him in DevOps. One day, he called to say that he got a job, and he actually got a higher salary than me! But I was happy for him and proud of what I had done.
Q. What’s unique about Kaiju as a workplace?
A. At any company, the culture is the most important thing, and Kaiju’s culture is very diverse. Also, management really listens to employees and encourages us to do whatever is best for ourselves and the company.
I think that in the future, Kaiju will experience rapid progress due to its leadership and vision. Kaiju invests in its professionals and encourages all of us to explore creative and innovative solutions. The whole team is amazing. Everybody is giving their best.
Q. Finally, what's your favourite movie, and why?
A. My favourite is a Bollywood coming-of-age movie called 3 Idiots. It taught me that if you’re a capable, competent person, success will pursue you.
Photo by Ricky Flores
Daniel Bukszpan's reporting and commentary on finance, technology, and politics has been published in Fortune, The Daily Beast, CNBC.com, and other outlets. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.