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Chris Samiullah

I was number 10 of 24 pitches. It was Friday night, and I was at Microsoft Research in Beijing. I was a little bit nervous, but I had done the necessary preparation: I’d practiced my 2 minute pitch 4-5 times in front of the mirror before I went to sleep everyday for the past week. I’d videoed it too. I was ready not to rise to the level of my expectations, but fall to the level of my training. I applied to Beijing Tech Hive after talking with the [...]

I read this, and I liked it a lot. I hope you do too. Don’t forget to forgive like the little boy:  Listen, son; I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are things I was thi [...]

Welcome back to my series for noobs. Previously in this series (not that it is following any particular logical order): Part 1 Part 2 Heroku – what is it? Heroku is a cloud-based service which allows you to deploy your website/app without having to worry about hosting things (servers, databases) yourself. It’s great for prototyping your apps, seeing what they look like and how they behave outside of a local server, and for seducing catwalk models [...]

Over the past month I’ve completed the Pimsleur Mandarin 3 audio course. This is the 3rdpart of a 4 part series. The section I will talk about (part three) totaled 30 lessons, with each lesson clocking in at 30 minutes. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a Pimsleur course for ages. Two things held me back: First I didn’t have a mobile device on which to play them (I don’t own an mp3 player because I’m kind of a minimalist, and until recen [...]

If you haven’t heard of, then you should change that about yourself. No, it’s not a dating site. The premise is simple: someone has an interest, they setup a group on around that interest, people join it, then you arrange in-person meetups. It’s free to join, and has global reach. Meetup formats vary massively, from informal drinks, to sit-down presentations. When I lived in London, I attended a couple of meetups on differen [...]

I’ve been living in Beijing for six months. I can now effortlessly read the newspaper, incessantly crack witty jokes in Mandarin that make Chinese girls do their girly giggle, and often speak at conferences. Just kidding. Such feats are a long way off. On balance, I’m happy with my progress. Sitting in the lunchroom with my Chinese colleagues I can understand about 30-40% of their rapid-fire Beijing accent, a big improvement. I’m fairly comfortab [...]

So last week I registered a Limited Company in the UK and it turned out to be really easy. I had always assumed it would be more complex…with no real factual basis for this assumption other than a vague suspicion that it would probably involve an accountant, and would therefore be expensive and time-consuming. I was wrong. Here’s what I did: Note: I am not an accountant or lawyer! Please do not interpret the following as anything other than my ow [...]

I recently found myself negotiating new job terms. I’m fascinated by different negotiation processes, and so I’m going to break down how things went: What worked well for me during the negotiation: Mentioning a (relatively) high salary I had received in a previous job. This was powerful as I had taken a pay-cut to start this job (in order to learn new things). Describing that my priority still remained to grow and develop, but that my salary need [...]

In his essay ‘How to get startup Ideas’, Paul Graham talks about “living in the future”. When you look at successful startups in hindsight, the idea seems so obvious. Skype: Of course people want to have free video calls over the internet; Airbnb: Of course people want a network of cheap accommodation across the globe; Hailo: Of course people want to be able to easily order a taxi. But a few years ago these things didn’t exist. Someone had to re [...]

Quick Background to this series:Just over a year ago I started to get into web development because I wanted skills to help me start a business. I discovered that web development and programming in general was incredibly interesting, demanded creativity and was potentially staggering in scope and complexity. I’ve been hooked since. During my journey I’ve been frustrated countless times by tutorials which are just annoyingly difficult to follow – f [...]