Posts

Start your freelancing career - A step by step guide!

Image
Technology is responsible for a lot of changes in our lives and the most important change of all is how we make money for sustaining ourselves and our families. With the increase in internet penetration and cheaper hardware costs, access to freelancing opportunities has become easier and we have seen a rise in people opting to work from home and providing products/services for a wider audience. For latest stats on freelancing, see here and here.
I run a community for women who are connected to the tech industry and quite often we find our members asking questions about starting a freelancing career. We have already done a couple of webinars on this topic, but I thought it would be a good idea to create a blog-post that can help people in setting things up for starting their journey as a freelancer and a solopreneur.
Before moving to the step by step guide, I want to give you some context to this blog-post, I started my freelancing career in February 2007 and left it in December 2009 af…

The Best Books I Read in 2019

Image
Reading is my safe space and nothing can replace the feeling of flow when you are lost in an insightful book. Usually, I have a reading goal of 50 books a year but this year, I decided to take it slow and commit to reading 30 books only. My focus was on nonfunction and the idea was to pick as many different topics as possible but it turns out, feminism was the topic I read the most about and it helped me with quite a bit of answers and a whole lot of new questions about gender inequality and the way our world works.  So here is my unordered list of the best books I read in 2019.  The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth KolbertThe Likeability Trap: How to Break Free and Succeed As You Are by Alicia MenendezInvisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-PérezWinners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand GiridharadasWomen & Power: A Manifesto by Mary BeardWe Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieBiased: Uncove…

#Ananke nominated for the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society Prize (WSIS) 2019

Image
The digital platform envisions to fill gender gaps in the creative economic landscape, empowering women and girls in ICTs and digital technologies. January 22nd, Dubai (UAE): Ananke – a Dubai-based, digital, multi-faceted, platform empowering women through awareness, advocacy and education, announces that it has been nominated for the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) awards 2019 to be held in April in Geneva Switzerland. Ananke has entered the phase of online voting where voting will continue till February 10th, 2019. It is open to public so everyone can vote. 
The World Summit on the Information Society, popularly referred to as WSIS, is an initiative ensuring that that the “Internet can become an important global resource, a resource critical to both the developed world as a business and social tool and the developing world as a passport to equitable participation, as well as economic, social and educational development.” The summit was initially held in two …

"Agile Transformation with Remote Teams" - My keynote from #AgileTD

Image
Main Statement:

Working with remote teams is a challenge in itself but when it comes to helping these teams embrace agile, it opens up a Pandora box of differences and fragmented communication. This talk is about my experience of helping remote teams with agile transformation and how we (as a team) learned to optimize our ways to take leverage of these difference and to ensure smooth collaboration and open communication.
Key Takeaways: Remote teams have different dynamics than on-site teams and these dynamics can be leveraged to create a culture of trust and shared vision.Coaching people virtually requires shared values and language, one to one informal discussions, leveraging technology for better communication and the ability to empathize.Understanding pain points can become a challenge when you are not physically with the team, finding a work around to this road block can save time and clear out misconceptions.Abstract:

Agile Transformation becomes trickier when working with remote te…

SABAQ - An Ed-Tech Initiative of Immense Potential!

Image
Last month, I got an opportunity to meet the talented team behind SABAQ, which is an EdTech company with focus on both in-school and out-of-school children nationwide. SABAQ works on creating and distributing high quality digital content that can help in improving student engagement and learning within and outside the classroom. I was invited by Rabab Jafar (Communications Specialist - SABAQ) to meet with Sarah Peng (Program Specialist – SABAQ) and Kumail Ali Shareef (Art Director – SABAQ) at their office where they briefed me about their projects and the creative process involved in creating and digitizing content for pre-primary and primary education.

SABAQ started two years ago and their goal was to create digital content for out-of-school children and since then, they have done multiple projects to help local communities and schools by providing them digital content which includes, animated videos, exercises, flip books and educational games. This content is developed by a team of …

#WomenInTechPK – March’18 Meetup Roundup!

Image
Lack of inclusion and diversity has become a sore spot for tech industry worldwide and Pakistan is no different. Every year, we see plenty of women graduating with engineering and technology degrees but only a small number of them decide to join the workforce and even a smaller number reaches for middle and senior level positions. This creates an imbalance in the workforce and a negative impact on the economy. The research points to the actual issues that force women to leave the workforce, be it lack of family support or workplace sexism and harassment, women don’t find enough allies on either side and tend to leave their careers.
Our community #WomenInTechPK does frequent meetups to understand the causes and issues local women face when it comes to education and career opportunities and starts a conversation which encourages women to come out of their shell and talk about issues that hurt and haunt them. Since its inception, the community has been a place of meaningful discourse and …

5 Outstanding WordPress Plugins Developed in South Asia!

Image
WordPress is one of the most popular and user-friendly Content Management Systems which has taken the web design and development industry by storm. We know from data that 29.6% of all websites are developed using WordPress and the number reaches over 60% when we talk about CMS based websites. It is free, easy to setup and has countless themes and plugins available that has made the whole process doable for people even without basic programming skills. From setting up blogs, to company websites and to ecommerce stores, WordPress has given power to its users and has made them hooked because of its active community and accessible support.
If you are new to WordPress, see these guides for WordPress installation and Plugin installation.

We see a similar trend of using WordPress Framework in South Asian Countries and due to the high demand of various features, plugin development has become a high growth career option. WP Users prefer to attain various capabilities for their website by buying …

#EnchanteSilver - E-Store Launch!

Image
If you have been following me on social media for a while, you must have noticed by now that I prefer to support and buy from small businesses, especially the ones led by women. These small businesses are the backbone of any economy and to support them is to play your part in building a booming economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Pakistan is now known as one of the most promising emerging economies in the world with a thriving ecosystem and an abundance of talent. In this era of opportunities, we are also seeing a surge in women owned businesses, especially in major cities, like Karachi and Lahore.

Enchante is one of those businesses that have grown with a steady pace over the past four years and has built an excellent reputation along the way. The CEO of the company, Sukaina Abbas, is a talented jewelry designer with a sharp business acumen, she started this company with a vision of making authentic and handcrafted silver jewelry for today’s modern woman but now does some custom pi…

#WomenInTechPK – Blockchain Meetup Roundup!

Image
Blockchain is one of most buzzing terms you can hear in the tech industry these days and people are showing interest in getting to know the underlying technology and its applications. We have been seeing a lot of questions about it in our community so we decided to do a session on 20th January, 2018 and invited Anam Hijab as a speaker, she works with Nordic Blockchain Association and came all the way from Denmark.

The talk was about the fundamentals of blackchain and its applications and Anam kept her focus on three main applications, Cryptocurrency, Digital Identity and Smart Contracts. She spoke about the ways in which cryptocurrency can help empower women by making them a part of the international trade. It can help give access to the women who are in areas where banking hasn’t reached or the process is really complicated, it is also way faster than the conventional banking procedures and is exceptionally secure. If you want to know more about cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin, h…

5 Must-have Plugins for Creating an Effective Sales Funnel!

Image
Solopreneurs are self-directed and highly motivated individuals who are quick and precise with getting things done. For running a sustainable business, solopreneurs need to create an effective sales funnel to make sure that they keep getting good leads and are able to convert them into paying clients.
The first step of creating a sales funnel is to have an online presence. It doesn’t matter what you do (baking, designing, writing, consulting, teaching, etc.), your prospects should be able to find you online and connect with you. Social media is an excellent way to do that but having a well thought out website is a better way of introducing yourself and your work to your potential customers.
Creating a responsive and dynamic website isn’t rocket science. You can do that using WordPress, which is one of the most popular and effective open-source CMS framework. You can buy or use an appropriate free theme and most of the work requires almost no programming skills. But having a website is …