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Meet Kaiju: Muhammad Bilal, Senior Software Engineer Q&A

Kaiju is not just a tech company. It’s a small family of smart people working together to solve problems, which is a wonderful environment to be a part of. There’s an open culture of communication and a shared sense of ownership, which makes solving problems fun.

For the past few months, we’ve been profiling people who work across a spectrum of specialities at Kaiju Capital Management. This month, we catch up with senior software engineer Muhammad Bilal, a self-described “technology agnostic.”

Muhammad joined Kaiju in February, a decade after earning a B.S. in Information Technology from the University of Punjab in Pakistan. In the interim, he has trotted the globe, designing and building software systems for a variety of organizations, eventually landing in Berlin, Germany, where he resides today.

Muhammad also volunteers as an information technology mentor. He coaches young people, many of them refugees, in the same skill sets that are the backbone of his career. He does this for the next generation “so that they can pursue a career in technology and become a valuable asset for society.”

We asked Muhammad about his experiences, interests, and technology agnosticism.

Q. Where were you born and what was your family life like?

A. I was born in the small city of Sargodha in Pakistan, and later moved to Lahore, the second-largest city in the country. My father is a self-made businessman. He owned a chain of bakeries, which grew quite popular. My siblings and I were impressed by how hard my father worked, and we admired how he grew a small business into a successful, famous one.

My parents gave me a lot of freedom to set my own career goals. They always encouraged me to strive for financial independence as soon as I became an adult, which is not necessarily in keeping with Pakistani traditions. So, I financed my own university education through scholarships and money I earned from tutoring.

Q. You've described yourself as "technology agnostic.” What does that mean?

A. It’s said that technology evolves every 18 months, but that time span is actually getting shorter. From the very beginning of my career, I sought to become a solution-oriented engineer, rather than an expert at specific technology that would one day become obsolete.

Many of the companies I worked for had the same mindset, so they challenged me with new projects that used different combinations of frameworks, programming languages, and tools. This helped me to avoid relying on the same methodology for every project. I was able to look at a problem and seek a solution, unencumbered by attachment to a particular technology.

Q. How would you describe what you do to someone outside the technology field?

A. I would say that I work for a company that uses technology to manage funds efficiently and optimize trading. At Kaiju, we use live data from the stock market to feed our AI (artificial intelligence) engine, which helps our traders make sound decisions. My job is to make sure this live data is processed in near real-time and delivered to our AI engine effectively.

Q. How did you get interested in technology as a career? Was it part of a long strategy or was it just kind of a happy accident?

A. To be honest, I was always very interested in computers when I was a kid. I used to play games on them. I found I was naturally inclined towards tech; I gravitated towards it and knew I wanted to pursue a career in the field.

Q. How did you end up working for Kaiju Capital Management?

A. I worked for several years at companies in different industries, but the area that really grabbed me was the financial sector. I was interested in companies like Kaiju that integrate AI and data science to make services safer, faster, and more efficient.

I decided that I would also look for a company with a great work culture, and a friend told me that Kaiju might be what I was looking for. As it turned out, it was exactly what I was looking for.

Q. How is Kaiju different from other companies?

A. Kaiju is all about its people and values. The company offers a respectful and flexible working environment that is focused on results, rather than on a particular process. In that sense, I would describe Kaiju itself as technologically “agnostic”. My superiors have allowed me the freedom to find and fine-tune whatever process will get the best results.

Kaiju is not just a tech company. It’s a small family of smart people working together to solve problems, which is a wonderful environment to be a part of. There’s an open culture of communication and a shared sense of ownership, which makes solving problems fun.

Q. What do you see in Kaiju’s future?

A. Kaiju has a bright future ahead. I’ve seen our technology infrastructure evolve. I’ve watched our processes and systems become faster and more precise. Our commitment to technological advancement should make our portfolio grow and attract more investors.

Photo by Ricky Flores

Daniel Bukszpan's reporting and commentary on finance, technology, and politics has been published in Fortune, The Daily Beast, CNBC.com, and other outlets. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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