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April 12, 2022

E001 Sabbir Ahmed: Professional Automation Developer

How automation can save you time so that you can have more free days.

Sabbir Ahmed is a professional automation developer who ran the automation department of a 7 figures software development company as a head engineer. Sabbir built over 200 automations, 100+ apps connected using no-code/low-code platforms.
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Abdulaziz M Alhamdan  0:07  
Once upon a time, there were millions of businesses struggling. Every day they wasted time, effort and money on repetitive tasks that added no value. One day, the better automation podcasts by process CEO came to show them the way. Because of this, these businesses save time, reduce costs, innovate and make much better decisions. Because of that, these businesses grow, prosper and use human creativity to change this world. Hello, my name is Aziz, and I'm your host that better automation podcast by process CO, where I interview the world's top experts and share their best ideas on how to improve automation in your business, processes, and life. My guest today is Sadler Ahmed, and I'm very honored to have him here. Sobre is a professional automation developer, who ran the automation department of seven figure software development company as a head engineer software built over 200 automations 100 Plus apps connected using no code and low code platforms. He is from Sylhet, a small city in Bangladesh known for its beauty Sabbir, how are you today?

Sabbir Ahmed  1:37  
l doing great. It's an honor to be as well to be in here, this podcast with you as is. And we are going to discuss so much thinking about automation, so much thing about integration and business workflow. Today, I believe it's going to help a lot of people, a lot of business owners, especially to reduce the human input in their workload. So I guess we're ready to go.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan  2:05  
I'm ready. And I noticed your excitement. And I love the energy. And I believe everything you said. So what is your story? I mean, how did you get into automation in the first place.

Unknown Speaker  2:19  
So I started off as a as a like a web developer when I was here, when I was in high school, I started, I used to do basic level of like HTML, CSS build up very playable websites. But my real interest in this particular department in the automation and integration especially came into when I like starting offering my services to my customers for like, initially, it was just tweaks in the WordPress tweaks in there, like CRM and stuff like that. But as soon as I started learning about that, you can do much more than just trolling less writing scripts, then I started offering services on how to reduce the workload from like, writing a lot of codes to like minimal amount of goods. And it can execute more than, like you can do by like, professional developers, you can do it yourself. Then, based on that I started offering my services to my customers, and especially with automation, and integration.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan  3:27  
Did you work on any kind of project that theme super interesting to you, or that you're proud of or something that the return on automation was wonderful or faving, that those human hours that are wasted on repetitive tasks or creating more of a predictable, reliable way to do the work? Like anything? You can share any such stories?

Unknown Speaker  3:53  
Yes, yes, I do. And it was a recent one. In the last, I think two months ago, I started to work with a client of mine. And the best thing about the project was there. It was involving, like bunches of like status, monster free force from different places, from his ecommerce store from his CRM data. All of these he what he is to do is his to manually get those data from different places, groups them together in a Google Sheets, spreadsheet. And then what do you do you create charts, different types of charts. It was like labor intensive work, it is very hard for him to just get those things into a spreadsheet. It took him like seven days a week to get those data into the spreadsheet. So when I when he reached out to me, I started offering him I started showing him how how he can do this using leveraging the API that those platforms provide. And he can use those API's to get those data without having to buy manually. go into those places get to stay there manually copying and pasting Ctrl C Ctrl V without doing this stuff, he could just write, you just write him a scenario, I can just build an automation for him that will just generate, get this data and put it to whatever the places he wants. As soon as he just got this like idea that you can do those who stopped. He just was amazed like, whatever. What was I doing with all of my life height, there's several, probably three to four years of what he was doing is data injury expert, it could be done. Probably this is probably a few weeks of automation, if you were in the power was like, really man's for him. Yeah, this is the work that I'm very proud of.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan  5:45  
I like that. And it's true, because time and human life is the most precious thing we have, and wasted on something that we don't even need to do at all. I remember, you know, Peter Drucker spoke about this, that the worst thing is doing efficiently things that shouldn't be done at all. So do you though I'm you mentioned the time he was spending all the manual labor? Is it? Is that like the biggest frustration that clients come to you with? Or is it that they're trying to save costs? or doing something else? Like what are the biggest automation needs, and reasons for those automation needs that you come across with businesses today?

Unknown Speaker  6:31  
Yeah, so it is not only because of their manual works in bulk right now, there are various reasons people need automation in there, like whatever the business they are running. First of all, the main category of businesses that I would say that our interest in automation are someone that during, like ecommerce, receiving money through online, doing stuff with like, payment provider, and as well as people who are using CRM, which I believe is most of the businesses do, and those people are interested in using automation, because the automation can just not only just reduce the manual work, but also streamline like, for example, I do recall, I have a client, where usually what you do is when he created a task in any particular place, he wanted this task to be replicated in other places. So it streamlines all of those tasks and records in a Google sheet. So that he can take a glance into all of his tasks and recordings from one particular sheet without having to just go through a bunch of other places. So basically, is it comes down to what we do reduces the time required for doing any sort of work. But also it also streamlines the projects and streamlines the work you have. And most of all, you get to have two weekend days that you can like, however you love to enjoy, you can you can get to have those weekends. Because if you if you use automation properly in your department, otherwise you'll be working from like 595, seven days a week. Hand this is how most of my clients like share their experience with using automation and after using automation.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan  8:28  
So if I understood you correctly, if they don't use automation, even their weekend will be spent working but because they use tools, whether the ones you use or processes or anything like that, they can automate so that they can have peace of mind on the weekend. And know that even when they're not at home, things are happening automatically. And actually, it's wonderful. I think Warren Buffett was speaking about this, that and Bill Gates as well that when you can be making money when you sleep. That's like when you become a real business person, not someone with a glorified job. And so it's basically automation allows you to not need because one of the things people you need to train and find the best people and to find the best people, competitors or others will offer them a lot more money probably than a small business owner can or even if you get them at some point they will want to start their own business. But the automations and AI or software or SAS it's there forever waiting to work for you without ever quitting or taking a day off or calling in fake or deciding to leave and start its own business. What are your thoughts about this?

Unknown Speaker  9:47  
Yeah, so about like, getting those platforms connected. When you have integration between platforms straw, they're applied for their SAS platform, it is actually called iPass which is, which means like integration platform as a service. There are Zapier that you could make, you could process your and bunch of other lights there are right now, like many platforms like CRMs have native integration with platforms like Slack, your Gmail, any sort of email providers you have. So using those integration is not only just helpful for your business, but it's just reduces so much cost. Like for example, you have, I tweeted this a few days earlier, that you have, when you get an employee for the manual work, you have to pay probably somewhere between two to 4000 for that expert per month, but what a worker make and Zapier is charging you just less than $30 a month, and he gets so much stuff out of it. It just like insane, insane amount of Well, first of all, people just don't understand what like basic setup of Zapier, they just want to, they have just one reason, for example, and to take invoices from my ecommerce to QuickBooks, I'm going to just do that to Zapier, Orange dramat, are made that and whatever the platform they chose, but you just don't know that you could send an email, as soon as someone purchases your product WooCommerce, you could upsell your product, you could just pay the all of those logic within those platforms. And building those logics, I can just insane, like, like grow your business, grow your ecommerce to getting more sales. So this is how you can like, utilize platforms like this to on your advantage.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan  11:45  
Thank you. And I believe automation is very important at which stages, maybe business owners should begin to consider automation or needed or see immediate impact and ROI? Or is it something you say even before you start your business, begin your automation plan? Right with your business plan? Or what are your thoughts about this?

Unknown Speaker  12:10  
Yeah, so when you start a new business, you're gonna need to use some platforms, I believe some people start with must do with Google workspace that includes negotiate Google Doc. And if you want to do like some sort of online payment, eventing, stuff like that, you're gonna need payment provider, like PayPal, or stripe, and you obviously need a website, and then whatever the website you have, and then more than that, you're gonna have a CRM to know your clients through your contacts, leads, email marketing, stuff like that. So it's not, it just does not happen before you start a business. When you start, go and start a new business, then you start to utilize those apps to learn about those apps. And then you start implementing those in your business processes. Then it so the automation comes after you have implemented those apps in your business. And then you can just brainstorm that if I had this information here. I want to distribute your hair, then if I want to know all of those reports, me, I want to follow up my clients, I want to, like send out like probably discount codes. And you can all do that from automation. So this process comes after you have done like implementing those apps in your business processes.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan  13:35  
I really see the value. It's really, really valuable. Let's say someone hired you to be to do a project for them to automate parts of their business or their whole business. How does that work? I mean, what's the first step? What do you need to understand about their business? What are the first things we usually try to automate? And how does it go?

Unknown Speaker  13:59  
Yeah, so most people, like have a basic idea of what what automation means. Like, for example, they want to create invoices for their workers on probably, Shopify, they have like teachable account, they do online coaching and stuff like that. So they do have an basic idea of what they want to do, like what what information should go via. And based on that I start like, I have a template, which I usually provide to a client that just contains a step by step processes of how the automation will look like. And I just run it through him through a call or probably message like if he can confirm or she can confirm if the requirements are correct. Then we go ahead and start building the automation. I usually suggest that people to do with the I provide the pros and cons of different automation platform we have like Zapier person to SEO and make, and so based on those, like pros and cons user, or my clients get to choose which one to use for their prop business process. So this is how I just don't start any project.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan  15:14  
Thank you. And you're well aware of the state of automation tools and the marketplace. What do you see is their strength? Not specifically like anyone, but what is missing that sometimes you're doing your work and you're like, Oh, I wish this existed, I wish these tools did this or that or automatically handled, or whatever part that is a little bit frustrating currently.

Unknown Speaker  15:40  
Yeah, as for the marketplace right now. And overall, the industry of automation is obviously going to expand very rapidly, just like aI did, just like with the machine learning stuff that we're doing right now. So automation is going to expand. And it's currently expanding as well. But what we are not seeing is that people are not aware of the automation properly, we have not like you don't see automation and integration as a mainstream mainstream trends on like, say, like social media, or by high profile, like celebrities we have. And as well as like billionaires are not talking about this, like a like very broad subject, but AI, things like machine learning. And like web three, for instance, a recent one, you agree is those are gaining more traction. But as for like, something that is consumer level, something that is ready for all the businesses out there, AI actually is not. I don't need a right now, because I don't have a large data set to use for my business. And I believe most of the businesses are like the same. So we're not getting profit proper, I think it's not just me, it's just the entire industry is not getting a like a spotlight from the media or from higher authority right now. So there is what it is missing from the industry right now.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan  17:14  
Thank you. That's absolutely wonderful. And what is your personal passion for automation? I mean, in your own life? Do you appreciate more? How it makes your life better by saving you time? By reducing your frustration? Do you use it yourself? What How could people not just businesses just benefit in their day to day life, from adding more automation into their existence? Because we live in modern time with almost miraculous tools that can do so many things, whether like you said process here or any of the others, even people for their own virtual lives? How do you think they can benefit from more automation?

Unknown Speaker  18:02  
Yeah, about that, like, for myself, I'm like currently using it extensively as much as I can, in like, involving my social media, my like email marketing tools, all of those platforms, I'm connecting each other so that I get like more reach out more attention throughout social media, stuff like that. So I can do this, because I knew how to utilize automation and know good platforms properly. One of the best example I can give you is, right now I am I offering services through different platforms, I'm sorry, offering services on Fiverr, or Upwork, or, and turn off other marketplaces. But I need a single place to just keep track of all the projects that have been posted on those platforms, I can just go and refresh the webpage every single time, probably five minutes with five minute interval, because there's going to be a job posted. And I'll miss it out. Because since I could not find the time, or I don't know about the what I did is I connected the API and those platforms via an RSS feed. And what it can do is you can create those like aggregators, RSS Feed API, and all other features like email notification. And then you can run those scripts to automation every five minutes and it's going to refresh those pages and look for if there is a new projects waiting to be like peered and I get those notification instantly within five minutes when my phone and it rings when there's an Hi below project and that I that needs attention of mine. So this is what helps me get more project compared to like other people. I know there are designers there are the developers I know. But I have good friends with you them and freelancers, and I knew but they just don't have those I like capabilities, they don't know about those processes. But I knew, and that's why I'm utilizing it.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan  20:07  
Thank you so much. And I'm happy. You mentioned all the places where you're offering your services. But if someone is listening right now, and they would like to get in touch with you to use your services to improve their lives to, like you said, when you have such a dashboard that gives you an overview of all the different things. Well, a lot of business people will find that useful to help them make better decisions by having like a dashboard that lets them know, everything going on in their business, their financial situation, how many leads, how many sales, all those things so that they're a better business person, or saving times? Or reducing costs by needing less employees, but focusing on the more creative, more competent ones and not needing repetitive tasks? Done? Well, what's the best place specifically for people to contact you? And I'll make sure I write it in the description as well.

Unknown Speaker  21:05  
Yeah, okay. People can find me through Upwork. And if you search my name, itchy chama, and they can find me on fiber. But I'd suggest to do Twitter. So that we can just contact directly without having to go through a middleman, like a protein fiber. But he like, is to say I am like a bi level. Like all the places you can name, high level a lot of places. So yeah, so you can just write down, the app works, for instance, on the description,

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan  21:42  
thank you so much. And I love Twitter. So I'll make sure to include to include that. And this podcast really is made by one of the kindest and best people I know, at process yo and processes, the modern low code, no code platform for advanced automation and creating an enterprise grade back end for your software. It's really, really powerful. You can even use it to create a back end and integrate with anything else you're using. And any person listening can request free access to have a free account and try process So I'll include those links in the description as well. Thank you, sir. Again, it's my privilege. My honor, I can see and feel you spent a lot of time thinking through the benefits, the use cases, everything that's interesting about automation, and that you will live and breathe this and I hope for your prosperity and a lot of success. And everything you do.

Unknown Speaker  22:48  
Thank you is us well. It was a lovely moment for me to like, talk to you about the things that I like the things that I like very interested to talk about. I don't necessarily get the people like they're the market, as I said, is not actually as broad. There are very few experts, and very few people who understand the market and so thank you. Yes, well for having me here.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan  23:14  
Very true. And I'll try to get them as many of them on this podcast as possible. Goodbye, and thank you again.