One of my first code reviews was when I had a student job in the web development office at Bellevue College. I’d cobbled together a mess of PHP code as a WordPress “plugin” with horrendous variable names like $sillyMe, no exaggeration.

Over the years I’ve learned a lot about software design and don’t make sillyMe-stakes anymore. In fact, after having my code reviewed dozens of times over the years I became known to give thorough code reviews by knowing what to look for.

This is my attempt to codify the instinctive and intuitive approach I take to code reviews. These…

Sometimes our best ideas come as flashes of insight, rather than theories we develop over time. I suppose that has something to do with the power of the subconscious mind.

For those who don’t know me, I’ve been on an intense personal development journey over the past decade. It all started the day after I graduated from high school when I broke down crying on my bedroom floor. Reality had finally caught up to me. I’m not going to college. (Read more about that here.) …

Spotifaves team photo: Shakeel, Jasmine, Mekedes

One of the unnoticed groups being affected by the economic slowdown this summer has been college students and recent graduates. With so many companies scaling back, many internship programs have been cut entirely. Thousands, if not millions of students around the US have been left empty-handed after already having an internship offer for the summer.

Codeday comes to the rescue

For those of you who don’t know about Codeday, they are a non-profit organization committed to helping students learn about technology. Their flagship event, Codeday, is an in-person coding frenzy to work on a project with other students for 24 hours. At the end of…

Talk about making good mistakes, I used to make this instead of actually making a nice header image in Photoshop

Over the December holiday break I spent a lot of time reading a mix of books. Some of those were design books and easy to find ways to apply what I’ve learned. For other personal or professional books, there isn’t necessarily a straightforward way to apply that knowledge. So I’ve decided to write a post about every personal or professional development book I read this year. Teaching is the best way to learn right?!

To start the year off, I read The Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Daniel Pink. On the surface, this looks like just another comic book, which…

Virgil Abloh x Harvard Design School

To anyone that knows me, it’s no secret that I’m a fan of Kanye West. I had no idea who Virgil Abloh was until I heard this line from I Am a God:

Virgil, Pyrex, Don C snapback

Over the years I heard Kanye name drop Virgil every once in a while but didn’t pay much attention to it. One day I was scrolling through YouTube and saw Virgil had done a guest lecture at Harvard. I had no idea what it was all about when I clicked on it, but this one video really changed something inside of me…

To preface this post, I need to introduce the most beautiful song/music video combo I’ve experienced all year. The first few times I heard this song, I thought about future bae and how I’d aim to love with my whole heart. While I was humming the song to myself this evening, I thought up a new perspective that really excited me.

Please listen to the song A Different Way by DJ Snake & Lauv.

To me, the red balloon in the video represents the little boy’s love — a love that he’s proud to share with the world.

This evening, I imaged singing the words to my childhood self.


When your group discussion ends up on YouTube… you might as well write a blog post about it!

Earlier this month I made the drive up to beautiful British Columbia to attend Node.js Interactive. After nearly two days of awesome technical sessions, there was one final slot remaining before the closing keynotes. I saw a new session show up on the schedule titled “Maintainer Burden Group Therapy” and knew I had to go immediately!

“Maintainer Burden Group Therapy” — October 5, 2017

Before we get into what I shared on stage, let’s take a journey through what got me interested me in this session to begin with…

When I joined Splunk as an intern back in the summer…

Kanye’s energy in it’s purest form (Credit Getty Images)

I was recently reflecting on my sources of inspiration over the past few years. They’re always changing, but one man has been on that list as long as I can remember: Kanye West. If you’re not a fan, I urge you to read on as you might be surprised by what I came up with.

My favorite Kanye quote by far:

“I already graduated, and you can live through anything if Magic made it!”

I cannot describe the euphoria I felt hearing him rap those words live at Key Arena last year, the same building I graduated from Seattle University!!!

He’s referencing Magic Johnson living with…

The following is a children’s short story I wrote in my 11th grade creative writing class in 2008. I recently shared it with a few friends and they loved it, which inspired me to share it with you. I’ve replaced the original clip art with animated gifs.

After reflecting on this metaphors of the story a bit, I realize my subconscious mind was trying to convey my existential crisis at the time. In a way, re-reading it now gave me a sense of peace. Enjoy!

Once upon a time, there was a penguin named Pablo. Pablo was a very naughty…

Giving my first talk in the community theater, it was packed! — Credit: Shane Daniels

Disclaimer: all images and thoughts in this post are my own (unless otherwise noted), and do not reflect the views or opinions of Splunk, Inc. Visit Splunk Blogs for official content. If you appear in a photo I used here and want it removed, please let me know.

For those who don’t know me, my name is Shakeel and I’m a software engineer at Splunk’s Seattle office. I’ve been working at Splunk for over three years, the first two as an intern. Splunk .conf is our annual user’s conference, and this year we hosted over 5,000 customers and partners!


Shakeel Mohamed

Founder of ntrsct designs, a design firm specializing in brand strategy and brand identity

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