Developer Profile: Hiba Khaden | Principal Infrastructure Engineer

Get to know Hiba Khaden, and find out how a family heartbreak paved the way to a career in the cloud.
Discover Technology Staff
February 22, 2023
Hero image

Developing, automating, and architecting the AWS Cloud Platform at Discover

Hiba Khaden enables application teams and other infrastructure teams at Discover® to stand up their applications in the cloud. Her responsibilities include setting up the traffic routing and network architecture in Amazon Web Services and creating observability for that. Hiba is versed in a wide variety of tools and technologies, including AWS, Jenkins, Hashicorp Terraform, Hashicorp Vault, DataDog, and more. Hiba and her team create microservices (or "mini-bots") that automate tasks and remove the need for manual implementation. In addition to actual coding, Hiba creates identity architectures, security standards, code standards, and other resources to support cloud teams.

One of the most rewarding parts of Hiba's job is when application teams build and scale solutions on top of the products she builds—without questions or confusion. With an understandng that a project is never truly done and can always be improved, Hiba welcomes continuous feedback from application teams so that her team can make improvements that make the product better and application teams happier.

"As you see the whole plant bloom, the plant being the application or platform, it really does just make you feel good," says Hiba.

The leadership, culture, support for diverse teams, and remote work keep Hiba motivated. Being a mother with extra demands gives Hiba a reality check on life and reminds her about what’s important.

"I find that the acceptance and understanding of one another's humanity is what makes the culture at Discover unique and beautiful."

Get to know more about Hiba

Can you tell us your tech origin story?

I actually did not want to join tech. I am Pakistani, and my mom filled my head with the idea of becoming a doctor. So, I went into undergrad as a bio major, and I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences. As soon as I started looking into the medical field, I kind of lost my passion to move forward with it because it was something that my mom wanted me to fulfill and not something I wanted internally.

For the longest time, my dad had a software security company that he stood up on his own and I would help him out whenever I could. I created documentation for his products, and I got exposed to his world a little bit. As soon as he saw that I was no longer interested in pursuing the medical field, he instantly asked me to join him. Essentially, he convinced me to go into data and analytics and become a data scientist. I was like 'oh a scientist, a data scientist, that sounds cool, let's do that!' He said cloud is a really cool thing right now so I'm going pursue the cloud and AWS, and you study data science.

Soon after that he passed away, unfortunately. I feel like he was taken too early. He was an inspiration to me, and he really created a path for me. When he passed away, I was extremely lost. I found all his cloud books he was studying and said, "You know what, this is what I'm going to do. I am going to study the books that he left here because I want to know what he was trying to do." I did that, and, lo and behold, I got hired at Discover as a cloud engineer soon after.

What are yourfavorite hobbies?

I like to spend quality time outside of the house with my family, from as simple as walking to the playground to exploring different eateries in Chicagoland.

What is the best thing you've ever eaten?

Dahi puri! It's amazing! Google it!

Name your favorite movie:

Avengers: Endgame

What's your preferred streaming platform

Netflix, but Disney+ is a pretty close second since it has Avengers: Endgame.

© 2023 Discover Financial Services. Opinions are those of the individual author. Unless noted otherwise in this post, Discover is not affiliated with, nor endorsed by, any of the companies mentioned. All trademarks and other intellectual property used or displayed are property of their respective owners