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Updates from Iraq
This month our fellows finished their coding curriculum and started their client projects! During this phase Re:Coded will turn into a mini dev shop and fellows will work in teams of five to develop prototype Android applications for real clients. Each team will also be linked to a technical mentor and UX/UI supervisor from leading tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Atlassian, who will give them guidance on best practices as they work.
During this phase, fellows to get practice working in an agile environment, build up their portfolio with a real client project and come out of our bootcamp with the skills to work in a real dev team! One of our fellows, Sumayya Kamal, said "I am so excited to begin the client project. At first, I was really anxious about it, but then when I received the brief I realised how a real developer works and I know that I have something to share. I know I can be useful and can't wait to get started and learn new things." During the lead up to the project our fellows were lucky to receive remote workshops on UX/UI Design from Jane Austin and Byron Fernandes from Moo in London and Yifan Chen from AdhereTech in NYC on Agile Project Management!
Updates from Turkey
Our fellows in Turkey have been working hard studying and have already created their first three Android projects. One fellow, Khider Aldoudah, reflected on his experience in the bootcamp so far saying “this program is great! It has been a really good chance for us to develop our skills... I’m very happy that I was accepted!” Cedan Murat Zeynepli, another fellow said “this opportunity is my second chance!”
Our Android trainer, Emin Ayar, also created Re:Coded’s first Android application which translates English to Turkish and Arabic in real time! Emin said, “to make learning process more fluid, I decided to create an Android app that translates speech to both Arabic and English in real time. Speech to text and Google Translate API are the head technologies that I used to create this app”.
Fellows are also getting ready for their upcoming trip to Istanbul where they will visit Microsoft, Google, cool startups and co-working spaces! The trip will conclude with a 2 and half day hackathon focused on gender equality.
#ReCodedFellow : Shahed Alai Alghrsi
“My name is Shahed. I’m originally from Raqqa in Syria but I’m actually a mixture of different roots; my father is from Yemen and my mother is Turkish; however, I consider myself Syrian because I lived in Raqqa my whole life. I moved to Turkey in 2013 because of the civil war. I now study at Harran University and participate in Re:Coded’s bootcamp, which is a great program that really opens doors for people who have no clue about coding.
When I think about the amount of usage of technology on a daily basis and variety of applications we can use, it makes me think that these tools can actually create a real change in people’s lives. So it makes me excited about what I can do with this skill in the future. I want to develop an application that affects people’s lives. It could be a health application or an app for emergency situations or a business collaboration application. I want to make people connect with each other through these applications and remove the barriers between them!”
On November 25th, Murtadha Al-Tameemi, a Software Engineer at Facebook, visited our fellows in Erbil to deliver a workshop on “How to crush your coding interview!”. Murtadha was born and raised in Iraq before moving to the US when he was 15 as part of the Youth Exchange and Study scholarship program offered by the U.S. State Department. When Murtadha isn’t coding, he’s working on a startup idea or helping friends back in Iraq to develop the technology and startup ecosystem including giving our fellows some DOs and DON'Ts of technical interviews!
Zahra Shah, Re:Coded’s Program Manager spoke at the Techfugees Global Summit in Paris last month to showcase our coding bootcamp models in Iraq and Turkey. The Summit was held at the biggest startup campus in the world, Station F, and brought together thousands of tech savvy entrepreneurs, engineers and corporates that are stepping in to build solutions for and with refugees. “Seeing people from all over the world unite to find innovative solutions to the global refugee crisis shows how we can use all our knowledge and passion for good. It was great to discuss potential for collaboration with other like-minded individuals”, Zahra stated.
As an organization focused on creating future tech leaders in the Middle East, we are deeply committed to gender equality! As part of Re:Coded's commitment to closing the digital gender divide, we launched two events to coincide with the United Nation's 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
Iraq Women in Tech & Entrepreneurship Summit
Re:Coded, in partnership with FiveOne Labs, launched a Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship Summit in Erbil, Iraq! The Summit, supported by Zain Iraq, brought together inspiring female leaders and innovators across Iraq to explore opportunities for women in technology and entrepreneurship in the region through inspirational keynotes, panel discussions on technology and entrepreneurship, and skills and career development workshops. Female entrepreneurs addressed the digital gender gap, opportunities and challenges in the tech and startup sectors in Iraq and the importance of role models to inspire more women to enter the world of technology and entrepreneurship.
One of the speakers, Safa Salwan, a Cisco Champion and the founder of the Google Developers Group Baghdad, Google Women Techmakers, Arab Women in Computing, and World Merit Chapters in Iraq said, "If women believe in themselves and have enough faith and confidence, they can not only be good at what they do but excel." Thank you to all our attendees and panelists for coming out for an amazing summit! Check out event recap here.
Turkey Social Innovation Hackathon
Over the past weekend, Re:Coded, in partnership with UNDP and Microsoft, hosted a Social Innovation Hackathon in Istanbul, with the theme "Hacking the glass ceiling: Tech solutions for gender equality." The event was held at Impact Hub Istanbul and brought together over 100 developers, designers, social entrepreneurs and humanitarians to co-create technology-oriented solutions in Turkey.
There were tons of unique ideas from the weekend, with the winning idea being an enrypted mobile application that provides women with access to free and safe psyhcological support in the wake of experience sexual violence. The winning team was led by Reem and Muath, two Syrian refugees from Raqqa, and Hakan, who comes from Turkey.
December 11 - 17, 2017
Our Bootcamp Partner, Flatiron School is hosting their first annual Code Drive - a week-long coding marathon to benefit refugees. From December 11 - 17, they are challenging the public to complete as many lessons as possible in any of Flatiron School's online courses. For each lesson complete, they will contribute $1 towards a coding scholarship for refugees. Not only, but for each sign-up, they'll add another $1 towards scholarships, so sign up, and commit to code for a cause here: go.flatironschool.com/code-drive-2017