About

Omar-Skillsmater.jpgI am the Chief Architect of Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) Platform in BT, living in London, UK. As the name suggests, I get to do the cool stuffs at BT. You can see the latest and greatest Microsoft technologies at work in our platform. Performance and Scalability challenges are one of my 5 a day.

BT is the largest telco in the UK and one of the largest in the Europe. Revenue: £21.390 billion (2009), Employees 128,100 (at 31 March 2010).

I was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I hold a B.Sc in Computer Science and doing my M.Sc in Software Engineering at Oxford.

My programming life started at 10 when I won the Best Competitor award in the first Nationwide Programming Contest. My first startup, when I was 15, and was quite successful. We built 4 multimedia titles and sold in a CD. There was a fun app for pre-school kids to learn alphabets, rhymes, puzzles; one app for teenagers to learn Chemistry with animations, 3D illustrations and a sci-fi style user interface and one app for learning Astronomy with hundreds of videos and clips from Nasa, and one for Tourism in Bangladesh with interactive maps, nearly 400 popular attractions’ photo and description. I built an HTML rendering engine that could render styled text, inline image and video – using Visual Basic 5. If you know VB 5, you would recognize that as a noble-prize candidate effort.

Then at 16, I joined an offshore dev shop that delivers Financial Analysis and Document underwriting software for financial institutes in USA. Our customers are Bank of America, US Federal Reserve Bank, CitiBank, WAMU, HSBC – you name it. I worked there for 8 years, working in 5 projects at different leadership roles. You would be surprised to learn what level of sophisticated software are running in large banks in USA that are from a third world country like Bangladesh. I also worked for a team at HP Research Center where I have built a decision support tool for large customers to choose the right server hardware and network equipment based on availability, price and performance criteria. The goal was to capture the knowledge of senior infrastructure consultants into an intelligent app so that HP could offer a self-service solution to customers.

Some time in between, I did my second startup, a collaborative authoring platform for book publishers and authors, which was a total disaster. The USA counterpart took the code and left without giving me any money from the acquisition, taking advantage of the fact that I was below 18. My one year of hard work went to drain. I have learnt never to trust people from Las Vegas, duh!

Then I went to University to do my B.Sc. On my first semester, I proposed the University Administration a fully online automation system to do registration, student-teacher collaboration, take quizzes, publish marks, allow students to upload assignments to teachers; thus creating a complete online ecosystem (only to satisfy my hidden agenda to spend more time at IT department  than attending classes). Administration provided me everything money could buy and I have built the complete system over 3 years (skipping most of the CS lectures and quizzes, of course).

Then I graduated, co-founded my third startup called Pageflakes with my German friend and serial entrepreneur Christoph Janz. Former Head of My Yahoo! – Dan Cohen, joined our team as the CEO. We raised 1M Euro seed funding from leading VC Benchmark Capital, and subsequent $4M funding from them and eventually got acquired by Liveuniverse, which is founded by MySpace founder. It was an “ok” exit, certainly not fulfilled my shortcut way to becoming a millionaire, but a glamorous exit indeed. In the meantime, I have published my first book “Building Web 2.0 Portal” from O’Reilly in the USA (and now worldwide translated in some major languages).

Building Web 2.0 Portal - My Book

After Pageflakes, I have partnered with another startup called Congral, in Bellingham, USA, where we have built the first ever online Health Record Bank, with fully bi-directional sync of data with Microsoft HealthVault. You might be aware that USA, despite being the one of the most advanced countries, has little support for patients to get their health record out of hospitals, labs, clinics and access it online and have full control over their health records (as of 2011). We made it happen at Congral, for the first time, in several hospitals in Washington State, with State’s grant and Microsoft’s support. At the comfort of home, patients can now see what doctors prescribed, see their lab results, record their blood pressure/glucose etc and all of these are automatically available to anyone in the hospital who needs to see. No need to fill-up forms at the counter or carry your log books with you any more. No need to tell 911 responders, while you are having an heart attack, what allergies you have. Enter the Digital Health Care era. Moreover, we have built the first ever workflow assisted Patient pre-admission and post-discharge care transitioning system, powered by complex .NET workflows. Instead of a human being, a sophisticated system now keeps track of your post-surgery actions, reminds you to take medications, manages your hospital visit schedule, keeps an eye on your blood glucose and alerts nurses/doctors when something goes off the chart. Your iPhone/iPad becomes your personal nurse.

Finally, I got an offer from BT to join as the Chief Architect of SaaS Platform. We are a high tech platform at BT, where we deliver online experience for customers and Smart Clients for Sales and Service Agents, we build and operate the Service Delivery Platform, Usage monitoring for Broadband, TV and CDN and the Wifi Lead to Cash Experience – BT Openzone, BTFON. We have built several rich Web 2.0 applications, millions of users hitting our portals, terabyte data processed and tallied every week – all the performance and scalability challenges you can take on.

I am lucky to be married to Saki (no, she’s not a Japanese), whom I call Mother Teresa 2010, as she has the insurmountable amount of love and care for humanity to let me work for the greater good and makes the necessary personal sacrifices.

Here’s my LinkedIn profile.

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32 Comments

  1. we are very proud of you. You are among the very few people who has brighten image of our country in the international arena.well done sir.

  2. I sure there are already lots of comment regarding your fantstic work…but i still want to say that I really3 love your apps especially the dropthings

  3. Omar,

    Well done! I am really inspired by your brilliant achievements, talent and dedication to human cause. Its not much seen these days and I wish I could do something similar. I recently came across your blog when someone mentioned in a meeting at work.

    Wish you all the best and may allah bless you with happiness, success and ability to continue your brilliant efforts now and forever.

    Regards,
    Monis Khan

  4. Hi Omar
    I just found your entry about UFrame and I think it’s what I need.
    I have a little project with a master page with a menu and the typical content place holder. From that menu I load aspx pages in the content place holder, but this, every time I click another menu, it reloads the whole master page and the corresponding page.
    I use a lot of jquery in this content pages with jquery dialog. In this case, the dialog centers ok on the screen and disable ok all client screen.
    I changed that content by an iFrame to avoid the whole page reload, but now the dialog centers on the content area and disable only this part too.
    I read your documentation about the UFrame, and there you say that with this, the new page is added to the parent page. Does this work with ASP.NET master pages? or I should change the master page to an aspx page with UFrame?
    I hope this be clear enough and I hope you could help me.

    Thank you in advance.

    Carlos

    • Uframe is a pure javascript implementation, so it does not really know how the server is laid out. So, master page or aspx does not matter.

  5. Thank you Omar for your answer.
    One last question: can I use load methos to chande the source of the UFrame? Is this the correct way to do this?

    Again, thank you in advance.

    Carlos

  6. I would like to get some custom solutions built on top of droptiles to suit our need. I am almost ready to buy license or pay for charity if I get some custom requirements met. Will you please be able to work with me on this? It may take only couple of hours of your time or provide someone offshore that I can work with.

    Outstanding work as always.

  7. Shoot me an email with rates and details. I have almost convinced my boss that droptiles is the way to go and way to future (mobile etc). Superb work.

  8. We have migrated our visual studio 2002 applicaiton to visual studio 2012. After sending new application dll everuthing work fine, but when an existing ascx file is resent the web site become unresponsive and there is anything in the event log. The server has windows 2003 small business server with iis 6 installed. There is only an eventlog which says “ISAPI ‘d:windowsmicrosoft.netframeworkv4.0.30319aspnet_isapi.dll’ reported itself as unhealthy for the following reason: ‘Deadlock detected’. We can not find any reason. Please suggest anything…

  9. Hi Omar,

    I am Pratik Amin, an Author Relationship Executive at Packt Publishing. We have recently come up with a title Windows Server 8 Handbook and we are now searching for prospective author to develop the book.

    This book will be a practical handbook explaining how to work with Windows 8 server with all new features. A realistic guide to planning, design, prototyping, implementation, migration, administration, and support.

    I was flattered reading through your website and wondered whether you might be interested in this project?

    Thanks for considering this proposal.

    Do let me know your views.

    Regards,

  10. Hi Omar vai , Take my salam, Really we are proud that you are Bangladeshi, May Allah bless you and bring more success to your life.
    I am really inspired by your brilliant achievements, It help me to be good programmer. Best of luck.
    Thank you.
    Md Ashraful Islam.
    Dhaka

  11. Dear Brother,

    This is Shafiq, your countryman from Dhaka. ” I’ll be software eng./web developer” it was my childhood dream but now for bread and butter I am working as Merchandiser in a Buying House.

    But still my dreams are always bite me, hammer me, ” What r u doing, wake up, do what you like”
    But a deep darkness I see when I try to awake up.

    Would you kind enough to show me a way like a pathfinder?

    Awaiting for your kind and positive reply.

    Thanks
    Shafiq

  12. First i see you on Prothom alo. then i see your details. WOW ! AWESOME :) ..

    Your Creativity grow my Brain.. give strength & Power on my working life. I just sent you a skype request. please accept me :)

    Thanks.

    A little Boy

  13. i came to know you from prothom-alo first then explored your personal site. really happy and proud that you are representing our flag. moreover your achievement will inspire a lot of us. one simple request , i know you will be busy there though try to right about software Q/A and software architecture in bangla .

  14. Omar,

    I would like to open an opportunity to discuss commercially incorporating your “droptiles.js” toolset and capabilities into US based federal and government-based solutions. If possible, I’d appreciate you time to schedule opening a dialog to determine a way ahead to purchase (besides paypal) and establish a hardened solution that may be necessary for use within this environment.

    Thanks,

    Adren Kerr sends

  15. Dear Omar

    Excellent job on the Droptiles software. I work for PADI and we are interested in licensing it for use on our social networking site, ScubaEarth.com. Please let me know your contact information so we can discuss this opportunity.

    Thank you,

    Jay

  16. Dear Omar,

    We are an orphan charity in Iraq and we have looking to revamp our website http://www.iraqiorphanfoundation.org and we found your framework dropthings and would like to use it. We have been trained on asp.net mvc and we would like to know whether there is an mvc version of your dropthings platform available?

    We thank you in advance.

    Haider

    • Hi Haider, I am afraid I do not have an MVC version yet. But if you are talking about droptiles, then it uses almost nothing from server side. It is 98% client side Javascript based. So, you can easily convert the aspx version to MVC version.

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