Zeeshan Mustafa 

Software Engineer

My colleagues at Emerald Labs usually begin their lunch hour with an overview of what everyone brought for lunch, but I like to start it with a quick match or two of Call of Duty to get my appetite really fired up. Don’t mistake this love for games as a surface-level indulgence, since it runs deeper than that.

In a way, my inclination toward gaming became a gateway for me into the field of software development. Even as a youngster, I had a great interest in sports mostly combat sports.

During my schooling, I used to do boxing. My interest in boxing was to die for so I asked my father if I wanted to build my career in boxing but to my dismay, he told me that in Pakistan there is no value in any sports except cricket so I should only focus on my studies. After completing my matriculation, I couldn’t let go of the idea of boxing so I decided to start bodybuilding. In muscle building, what you do, you see it, which everyone admires and we all have the ability to turn a self-portrait into a masterpiece.

Bodybuilding is surely an art that I can never give up on. In college, I joined a gym society and a lot of people asked me for tips for exercise. I began to realize that a well-developed body gives you confidence, and you see people bending their way, waiting to be on your side. My first and last competition in bodybuilding was when I was taking university admission. In university, people used to compare me with Salman Khan because of my body, and my friends used to call me Sallu Bhai. Throughout university, I competed in arm-wrestling and tug-of-war competitions.

In university, it was a tough time to choose my career because I couldn’t make muscle building my primary career hence, my second passion was playing video games which was the main reason to choose the software development field during my graduation, I started experimenting with game development because the process of creating one seemed as enjoyable as playing one. Game development seemed the way to go for me, and I even made a few from scratch in Unity, but at the time, there was a rift between Unity and Google, which became a roadblock for me on the way forward. The implications of this clash were not something I wanted to deal with in the future, so instead, I leaned towards software development, and after graduating, that became my thing.

At the time JavaScript was all the rage, and since I was proficient in the language, I took up the MERN stack for software development. Fresh out of the university gates, I became an intern in a software house, and after that, I started freelancing. Soon after I joined Emerald Labs when it was starting and I was amongst the first developers hired here. I had never expected to become one of the longest-presiding software developers here at Emerald Labs, but I hold this title with pride and conviction as well, and still, with my primary career I have never left my passion for bodybuilding.

"Some are born strong, and others are made strong."

Zeeshan Mustafa’s Life Mantra