Bushra Shahid on Relocating From Pakistan to Dubai
Where are you originally from?
I’m from Islamabad, Pakistan.
Where do you live now?
I’m currently living in Dubai, UAE.
How did you find the relocation process?
I went through a few different emotional stages when I relocated. At first, it was exciting to move to a new place, meet new people, and be a part of a diverse culture. A bit overwhelming to start from scratch but the excitement was more dominant. After that, there was a period of panic when I realised cultural diversity also meant having less in common with other people which makes one feel a bit lonely. That was brief though, because I made a lot of new friends who were different from me in terms of cultural thinking but we had several similarities. I also found out that the best thing about people living in Dubai is that they expect differences and are more accommodating and welcoming of them. Overall, it has been a great experience.
Why did you want to move to Dubai and what do you do there?
I wanted to explore opportunities outside of Pakistan because i felt that the IT industry in Pakistan is still growing and I wanted to experience a more mature professional environment. I chose Dubai because its close to home. I work as an iOS Engineer at an online classifieds company called ‘Dubizzle’.
What does your role at Dubizzle involve?
Dubizzle launched a mobile based fashion only marketplace last year called Shedd. I’ve been part of the Shedd team since I joined dubizzle. As an iOS engineer, my role at Shedd involves coding for the iOS app, reviewing peers’ code, participate in product development planning, etc. At dubizzle, we believe in transparency so everyone in the team is included in all aspects of the app. So, my role also involves learning what others in the team are doing and how it impacts the product.
What is the greatest thing about working at Dubizzle?
People. They are brilliant but also fun and friendly. Everyone is extremely helpful, encouraging, and open-minded about work. The overall environment of the office is full of positive energy and I believe its the people who bring that with them.
What does your typical work day schedule look like?
Within each team we start our days with a 5 min catchup session in which we share what we accomplished the day before and what we plan to do on that day. Then the coding begins. We occasionally have meetings to plan and review work. Mostly my day involves coding though.
What brought you to this area of work?
Unemployment and love for programming. After I graduated, I spent a year and a half looking for a job. During that time I saw an ad for a short course on iOS development and decided to do it. I’ve always loved programming but I loved developing for the mobile devices even more.
What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
My greatest achievement is proving to everyone I’ve worked with that women can be excellent developers.
Who is your professional role model?
Steve Jobs. I love his relentless attitude towards accepting and delivering nothing but the best. He is not here anymore but the inspiration is still there.
How do you balance your personal and professional life?
When I first started working, I made myself a promise that work is never coming home with me and that is what I’ve made an effort to do.
What app could you not live without?
What’s your favourite thing about living in Dubai?
You can get anything delivered to your doorstep including groceries and laundry :O
Where’s the after work hang out?
Mostly home or some restaurant with friends or colleagues.
If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Dubai, what would it be?
If you need anything once you are here, just go to www.dubizzle.com 😉