Abshar Rashid is the winning Solver for the Challenge Software Trading Models.
Greetings - I am Abshar Rashid, a professional computer software engineer, with a Bachelors degree from NED University, Pakistan.
Though I have only 2 years of practical experience in the field (I recently graduated in 2008), I have been fortunate enough to work on some very innovative and creative projects during my past jobs. Apart from software development, I have a keen interest in Management Sciences and thus am currently pursuing an MBA degree along with a daytime job.
I became very interested in software development at a very young age: I designed my first software program (A Quiz Application) when I was around 9. It began when my mother bought me a mid-school level toy computer that had a built in Q-Basic compiler. This toy was probably too old for me, but it attracted my curiosity. I remember I had learnt the Q-Basic language all by myself using the Toy Computer's manual. In fact, I was more interested in this “programming stuff” than all the other games/fun-activities this toy had to offer. I still have this toy with me today; alas it no longer works despite several attempts to fix it.
I joined InnoCentive only a few weeks before the submission date of my awarded Challenge. At first, I checked many Challenges that I found interesting and thought I could work on; but in the end I was only able to work on one because of some personal-life time constraints. My reason for working on this Challenge was its relevance to both of my favorite fields – Software Engineering and Management Sciences. I also anticipated getting a good learning and research experience, whether my solution was awarded or not. I believe, one way or another, knowledge always pays off. One might not succeed in a certain research challenge or a project at work, but the experience always transforms you into someone more skilled and knowledgeable. Initially, I was awed by the many scholarly profiles (PhDs or Masters) in the past winner’s list; I asked myself whether I should even attempt a solution, having such a comparatively humble experience and education. But then I just re-iterated to myself that this was a learning experience and winning was not everything. I guess it was this sincere commitment that made me come up with a solution that I was finally quite confident about, as I submitted it.
The research model that InnoCentive is using is highly commendable. It is advantageous to both the Seekers and Solvers - such that Seekers gain the advantage of 'outsourcing' their R&D issues to a collective talent from all around the world, while Solvers like me get a chance to work on highly practical and intricate R&D industrial issues. Also, I'd specially like to thank all the InnoCentive staff for being extremely supportive throughout. Not only was the evaluation process perfectly authentic; the awarding process was very straightforward and simple.
To me, innovation means to seek within. I never begin my research by searching or browsing through the internet for ideas and solutions. I do not remember having searched online for a single instance while working on this awarded Challenge. I always primarily try to come up with my own designs and my own methods, sometimes brainstorming for several straight hours. I would only search the net if my own brainstorming failed to yield the required results. InnoCentive provides the world with opportunities to polish and practice our creativity and knowledge. I’d recommend everyone to actively pursue the Challenges beyond their interests using InnoCentive as a Platform.