Sixteen years and some months ago he sat through his orientation class at American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB) in pursuit of becoming an engineer. He had never done any technical system design, let alone written a line of code. Before that as a teenager he had, however, already single-handedly established and run a substantial tech business from scratch. He gave up on that to pursue his dream of becoming an Engineer. In a ‘shortcut’ and ‘overnight success’ hungry world, it seemed like a pretty stupid thing to do. To make things worse, there was no shortage of negativity around studying at a private university, not least from the people closest to him and his family.
But the more negativity life threw at him, the more positives he paved over it. Even in his darkest hours, which he had many; he never stopped looking for silver linings. He reached a point where he could go no lower, nor did he have anything more to lose – he had lost it all. That coupled with all the negativity, only made him stronger. Succeeding on whatever little opportunities he could create through programming contests, was no longer a luxury for him like that of people who constantly wrote him off.
He relentlessly refused to accept failure, and now here He is to tell — ‘it’s possible!’
His name is Zaheed Sabur. He is the first Bangladeshi to be appointed as a Principal Engineer/Director at Google.
‘Context is equally important in life. From where I started, then a least developed country, with nothing but desire to work hard, having never cheated or harmed a soul, having never taken a dime from my parents since my 2nd semester at AIUB (maintained full scholarship throughout), having never benefited from any family connections or taken any shortcuts in life – putting all that into context, it’s beyond my wildest imagination where I’ve reached in my mid-30s. The destination I’ve reached is certainly very special but it’s the journey that led me here is what I’m most proud of, and grateful for’, he wrote on Facebook.
‘All the special people in my life, and most of all, the Almighty, thank you from the bottom of my heart — I couldn’t have done it without all your blessings,’ Sabur added.