Saeed's Journey in Backend Development to the .NET Global Stage
by Seven Peaks on Dec 6, 2023 4:12:01 PM
Saeed Esmaeelinejad was recently featured on stage at the 2023 .NET Global Conference, a milestone that he had set out to achieve and accomplished with flying colors. Watch his talk on Concurrent Hosted Services at the launch .NET 8 here.
My journey in the tech world has been a series of unexpected turns, growth moments, and global experiences that have shaped me as a backend developer. Commencing my software engineering career in Iran, I earned a degree in IT, transforming my initial curiosity into a hunger for knowledge and skill. Post-graduation, I delved into the banking sector, focusing on optimizing SQL server queries for large datasets. It was all about making sure the tech side of things runs smoothly, especially when it comes to dealing with a ton of data. Those years taught me how to be precise and efficient — skills that stayed with me indefinitely.
“The real adventure began when I joined Seven Peaks Software in Thailand, marking a new chapter in my professional and personal development.”
Life took an unexpected turn and a chance encounter on LinkedIn led me to Seven Peaks in Thailand, sparking a new chapter in my career. Throughout the recruitment process, I felt very confident; however, the last step, a very technical interview, turned out to be more difficult than I expected. I thought I was going to be rejected considering the level of difficulty and my performance. Three weeks later, I was offered to review the job offer as I had passed all the previous rounds.
With the offer in hand I started looking for more information about Thailand because I didn’t know much about it. Moving from Iran to Thailand was a major life change for me. Even during my prior time working for a German company, I sensed a significant difference in the way we worked. In Iran, we did everything together with no separate departments, QA, or scrum master. All tasks were handled by the same department, promoting close collaboration between frontend and backend teams. This openness helped us to detect issues beyond our specific roles, a reflection of the more collectivistic culture in Iran.
“Joining Seven Peaks exposed me to a diverse mix of nationalities, emphasizing the need for a unified company culture. Here, collaboration is key, and everyone pitches in regardless of their position. Communication lies at the heart of our company values.”
After working in this field for 8 years, being really detailed with your work is crucial in the backend department. When you write code, you have to think about many things. I'm good at doing multiple things at once; it's like juggling tasks in my mind. If someone tells me about a problem in an API, I have to look at it from multiple angles. It could be about the data, our backend code, or even the client sending the wrong information.
Another thing I'm good at is making things simple. When I start working on tasks, I try to make them easy for myself first. I break things down into small steps, solving little problems one by one. As a backend developer, I think this way of working is very important.
“In the world of development and programming, it's not just about the technical skills. It's also the soft skills, about learning how to handle tasks and talk to people – and that's a big focus for me.”
Looking back on my career, my first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) left a lasting positive impact on me. He was consistently available to offer advice and emphasized the significance of reading references before diving into the code itself. This lesson has stayed with me, and even today, before embarking on any task, I make it a habit to thoroughly review all the official documentation. His encouragement also encouraged me to delve deeper into the code. Following my time with that company, I transitioned to a video platform, where I diligently applied all the teachings I had learned before.
After joining Seven Peaks, another individual who significantly influenced me is Giorgio Desideri. I regard him as an exceptionally intelligent person. Observing his career trajectory, where he seamlessly shifted to mastering various coding languages, has been truly inspiring. Giorgio's wealth of knowledge in his role motivates me, and I actively seek opportunities on a daily basis to learn and grow from his expertise.
On the other hand, I have worked with some people who didn't really motivate or engage me. Once, I had a team leader who completely ignored my efforts, despite my proactive approach. It was demotivating because my hard work went unrecognized, and I felt like a machine rather than a valued team member. Despite the frustration, I handled it by prioritizing my responsibility over my pride. I believed in doing my best, whether or not it received recognition. Eventually, I decided to leave that company.
Surprisingly, a month later, the same person who had overlooked my contributions reached out, asking me to return due to significant issues arising after my departure. However, I had moved on, and the incident taught me a valuable lesson. Now, in my role managing others, I understand the importance of mutual learning. My job is a two-way street, whether it's about technical skills or interpersonal growth.
In the early days of my backend development career, I was shy and introverted, thinking I could succeed without engaging with others. However, after four years, I realized this approach wasn't effective. To thrive in larger work environments, active participation in the community, speaking up, and effective communication became essential. This shift not only facilitated networking, but also prompted me to share my professional insights on LinkedIn. Over the past year and a half, I've expanded my outreach by creating a YouTube channel. Looking ahead, my next step involves establishing a newsletter to further contribute to the community and share valuable experiences.
If I had stuck to my usual routine in the first four years of my job, I would have just daydreamed about speaking at big conferences. But then there was a big deal — I was just selected as a speaker to talk at the .NET Global Conference, a goal that I had set earlier at the start of this year. Being part of a helpful professional community, such as LinkedIn, really boosted me. Once, someone reacted very positively to my comment, making me feel like my thoughts were valuable. This pushed me to speak up more, thinking, "Why not?" So, my personal brand got a good boost. Now, recruiters reach out to me weekly, and I'm pretty sure it helped me to get chosen for the .NET conference.
“Consistency is key, and there's no quick way or shortcuts — you just have to keep at it.”
The tough part is starting, but once a project gets rolling, progress happens naturally with a strong and steady beginning. My confidence in my work experienced a major lift from my success on LinkedIn. The .NET conference, in my eyes, is the top-notch level event.
For a few years now, I’ve started writing down my goals. On the 1st of January I set something that I want to accomplish, something achievable instead of extensive long-term complicated planning. On January 1, 2022, I set a goal to leave Iran, and by November of that year, I successfully relocated to Thailand.
“Writing down my goals instills a sense of responsibility, motivating me to accomplish what I've envisioned.”
Many people wonder about what makes a good developer. I think It's crucial to love what you do, because you'll be spending long hours trying to understand and work on it. Doing it just for money won't take you far; there are no shortcuts in this field. Patience and hard work, especially in your early career, are essential. Reading documentation is a must — I wish I had started practicing that sooner. Shaping your work habits is challenging after following certain processes for years. Lastly, being part of a community is vital.
“Don't underestimate the importance of asking questions; it's not easy, but it's crucial for learning.”
In Thailand, where I currently work, cultural aspects may make people hesitant to ask questions. Being humble and ensuring others can see it is key for easier communication and learning. Looking forward, I picture myself at a big tech company like Microsoft or Amazon in the next four or five years. It's a tough goal — I'll need to study a lot and stay connected with my professional community. However, I'm committed to making it happen, wherever that may be. While things are good now, I'm aiming for even better. I believe in working cleverly, not just hard. Keep upgrading yourself; don't fall behind the times.
Watch Saeed’s .NET Conference presentation here:
Senior Software Engineer
An extremely valuable talent at each company he has worked at, Saeed now leads a team at SevenPeaks with over 8 years of experience as a backend developer. Saeed invests in learning new technologies and also sharing his knowledge, resulting in a growing professional community around him on LinkedIn. He was recently invited to the stage at the .NET Global Summit 2023 as a speaker on Concurrent Hosted Services in .NET8.