Could you please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Muhammad Burhan Noman and I am a student of Third year Computer and information Systems Department in NED University Karachi.
Technology just fascinates me! From a very tender age I have been into computers and technology. I am good at designing (people say that). I started the designing when I was in the 7th grade and from then I have been into designing and creativity stuff. After coming to CIS-NED I found computer programming very interesting, I start practicing it and in a very short time I got succeed in strengthening basic programming concepts and structures.
In parallel, I also tried to focus on some hardware side. I participated in NERC’12 and several Hardware Exhibition competitions and molded some great and interesting Artificially Intelligent robots.
In the end of my 4th Semester I got exposed to Mobile Application development by Nokia Winter internship program and got succeed in Publishing an Application named as Scientific Toolkit (STK) on Nokia Asha platform. After that I worked on the development of Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps using cross platform languages and frameworks.
I try to get familiar with each layer and phase of development whether it is hardware phase, designing phase or development phase, may be therefore People like to call me a Full Stack Developer.
How the idea of the Scientific Toolkit came to you?
Scientific Toolkit was first developed during my on campus internship of Nokia for Asha Phones. After that I rebuilt it using PhoneGap and JQuery mobile. The idea behind the Scientific Toolkit was to develop an application that can help and facilitate students, engineers and every day users of Scientific Calculator, Unit converter and Periodic Table for free. Every day we get into a situation where we need some basic and complex unit conversions or calculations to be performed. Specifically students, who needs to know about the mass, volume or other properties of elements when dealing with chemistry stuff. Scientific Toolkit reflects the idea to facilitate these every day needs.
Why you decided to implement this idea specifically on Windows Phone?
First, I found Windows Phone quite amazing. Great support, outclass User interface, rapidly growing community and heap of opportunities for the students and developers.
Second, of course for participating in PhoneGap Windows Phone challenge. I never worked on PhoneGap before participating in this competition as I always try to experience something new and progressive. I took this as a challenge and start learning and practicing PhoneGap for Windows Phone. Within a month, I succeed in porting Scientific Toolkit to Windows Phone with enhanced UI and functional improvements.
What resources on Microsoft or community side you found most helpful while working on the app? Could you please take us on a quick tour to understand your application better?
I personally found channel9 and msdn blogs quite helpful for setting up the environment and push start to port applications to Windows Phone.
Scientific Toolkit is a package application having Scientific Calculator with more than 50 functions, Unit Converter with more than 80 unit conversions and a Periodic Table with complete details of each element. It’s a must have package consisting of handy applications for everyday use of Scientist, Engineer and Students.
On Friday 19th July, Portland, Oregon, Microsoft announced Top 20 apps developed on PhoneGap for Windows Phone 8 submitted under “Microsoft PhoneGap Windows Phone Challenge” and “Scientific Toolkit” was among the top 20 Applications selected worldwide and is one of the First Prize Winners of the PhoneGap WP challenge, maintaining 6th position of Pakistan in the contest.
What are your interests behind technology?
I like computer gaming, music and studying, particularly about Marine life and human phycology. I spend hours on reading about marine species and maintaining my saltwater reef tank weekly. I am ambitious, I wanted to be a pilot though but now, I want to do something big and amazing in the field of technology. I love Scuba diving, although I have never experienced it not because of the fear of being drowned but I never got the time for that. May be I can get some time for that after my graduation (I would have said the same, three years back when I was in intermediate, aaah! Busy life man!).
Any plans for news apps or projects in general?
Another app of mine, Fishepedia, is in queue now days. It’s kind of pocket encyclopedia of fishes consist of information about fishes and other aquatic species. The idea is to facilitate the Fish and aquarium keepers around the world. It will help fish hobbyists in finding fish’s identification, compatibility, water parameters and the care level it demands.
I now intend to go for some game development using cross platform languages and frameworks. Beside these, I am working as a front end developer on few projects.
What would you advise to Developers in the region who also would like to become Pakistan Hero?
I strongly advice you guys to take part in such challenges. Win or Lose that doesn’t matter but at least you should try. Focus on the needs of the people, what are their requirements, what is available and what isn’t on the store. You must focus on the User interface of the application; it’s the most important thing that will grab your user. Whatever you do, do it like it’s the best thing you are ever going to develop. Give your best shot and never lose your hope because you never know what’s coming for you.
Please, try to publish your work. Nobody cares, if you have developed tons of apps but haven’t published yet. Build your portfolio; show your work to people. Welcome their reviews, comments and suggestions. If you don’t show yourself, you will never get the appreciation, you will never know what people think about your product and you won’t get a chance to make your product better and different from others.
We all got some weak areas, nobody is perfect right? But don’t get lost, that doesn’t even matter if you focus on your strong areas. Make use of them and try to come up with something new and innovative.
Where the community can catch up with you online or offline?
You can always ask for any help, it would be my pleasure to help you. Furthermore, I would love to discuss new technologies and learn something new from you.
Feel free to contact me at,