Waseem Riyaz

Lead SharePoint Engineer

Years with MIL: 8

1. What were you doing before joining MIL?

I started my career as a system analyst performing software and hardware installations, as well as network and PC troubleshooting. I was also exposed to software development using Java and related technologies. After developing an interest in software development, I came to the U.S. to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Science. After completing my studies, I worked as a software developer and developed SOAP-based web services using Java, designed databases, and performed PL/SQL development.

2. Why did you decide to join MIL?

I was looking for additional opportunities to grow in the software development field and came across a PL/SQL developer opportunity with MIL. I’d always wanted to work for the federal government in downtown Washington, DC, as it’s an exciting place to live and work. I was impressed with MIL’s emphasis on work ethic and culture, so I accepted an offer to support the International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

3. What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on modernizing legacy applications using some of the latest technologies like Microsoft Power Platform (PowerApps, Power BI, and Microsoft Flow), SharePoint, and Azure. I also manage a concurrent app project to document routing in SharePoint and oversee other projects that will become the foundational pieces for future application development.

4. What is important about your work?

Working for a federal client, I facilitate and support users with tools and process automation that enable them to make trade decisions and interagency collaboration in a more efficient manner. For example, I have automated the process for clearing multimillion dollar contracts that involved four agencies – DoD, ITA, BIS, and the State Department. Prior to this automation, the clearances took longer because of an outdated process using emails.

5. What are the best aspects about your current job?

ITA management wants to use SharePoint to the fullest capacity. Their rigorous requirements keep us motivated and help us grow individually and as a team. Also, working with a skilled team who is always ready to go the extra mile in delivering projects is a great part of my job.

6. Why do you enjoy working at MIL?

MIL is like a family and they support both your personal and professional development. They recognize talent and promote from within. MIL also provides a lot of training opportunities to help you grow and succeed in your career.

7. What is the most challenging project you’ve worked on at MIL?

I have worked on several projects at MIL and I would say to-date the most challenging one was where I inherited an unfinished, ‘spaghetti code’ project that was left behind by another vendor company. I had to learn the application, figure out the code written by someone else, and finish it to meet the original deadline.

8. What is the best piece of career advice you can offer someone in your field who is either applying to or beginning a career at MIL?

SharePoint is a popular technology and MIL has several projects and opportunities. Be careful never to get too comfortable with your role and always be open to learn and grow. MIL supports continuous learning through programs like MILTON where you can find training available on almost all of the latest technologies.

9. If applicable, please share a memorable/significant experience that has occurred during your time with MIL.

During several “all hands” meetings, my team and I received kudos by ITA’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) for projects we delivered as they provided significant return on investment for the agency.