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Start your freelancing career - A step by step guide!

Image source: Google 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 Febru
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The best books I read in 2020!

Image source:  2020 has so far been the year of chaos, grief, and anxiety. I lost a few dear ones to this terrible virus and spent a lot of time trying to feel less overwhelmed. I started this year intending to read 30 books as I went back to working as a full-time employee after six years. But it turned out that the more shit I feel, the more I fall back to my kindle.  So I read over 70 books, and the year hasn’t ended yet. I am making this list today as I posted one last year on the same day , and I want to make it a tradition.  This year has been a year of fiction, to be precise, the year of fantasy fiction. Below is my list in no particular order. I wanted to add all books from N. K Jemisin’s broken earth trilogy, and the same goes for S. A Chakraborty’s Deavabad trilogy, but I didn’t because once you pick up the first book, you will go through the whole trilogy as quickly as humanly possible.  So here it goes!

Understanding Freemium - Tips from the Trenches!

Image source: Google I have been repeatedly asked for advice from product teams on how to make Freemium work for their products and because I am a person who likes to talk less and write more. Here I am with some tips from the trenches of product development. So let’s start!  What is Freemium?  Freemium is a strategy in which a business acquires new user by hooking them in a with a free offering and later upselling them premium features and converting them into paying customers. This strategy can work on both a one-time fee or a periodic subscription fee and it widely popular with today’s internet-based products. The term “Freemium” is a merger or two terms, free and premium, and was coined in 2006 but the practice is as old as 1980’s where businesses would lure in customers by giving them a basic set of services for free and then charge for the premium or value-added services. How does it work?  Let’s assume you have a software p

The Best Books I Read in 2019

Image source: Google 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 Kolbert The Likeability Trap: How to Break Free and Succeed As You Are by Alicia Menendez Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Pérez Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard We Should All Be Fem

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

The digital platform envisions to fill gender gaps in the creative economic landscape, empowering women and girls in ICTs and digital technologies. January 22 nd , 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 F ebruary 10 th , 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

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

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

SABAQ - An Ed-Tech Initiative of Immense Potential!

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 develo

#WomenInTechPK – March’18 Meetup Roundup!

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 di