Ibrahim studied the labor market and it shaped his future
One month was all it took for Ibrahim to find a job after graduating from Re:Coded’s bootcamp in November 2020. Learn how an economics scholar who never imagined himself coding, studied the job market, learned to code, and got employed as a web developer.
min read //
September 8, 2021
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Here is Ibrahim: a graduate of Re:Coded’s Front-End Web Development Bootcamp and someone who never thought he could be a developer. Now Ibrahim is celebrating three months working at Smartiks, a software development and consultancy provider based in Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, far from his home country of Syria.
Ibrahim had sent two applications to Re:Coded’s bootcamp and was rejected both times. However, the rejections couldn’t stamp out his determination.
"My application was so bad, but I said, ‘I will go through this bootcamp, they will accept me one day."
At this point, he already had a decent job. When Ibrahim moved to Turkey from Syria after graduating university, he used his Economics degree to find a job as a news producer. He worked on satellites and live transmissions from 6pm until midnight every night, but the repetitive nature of his job drove him to want a career that was more stimulating and challenging for him.
Yet when he searched for a career change, he ran into a slight problem.
In Türkiye, every single job offer for us as Syrians, it’s something regarding our Arabic language. They are hiring us just for our Arabic."
I want to be hired for my knowledge.
From pandemic to programming
During the pandemic, he expanded his career search and found his answer right in front of him - the very technology he was using would be what people would depend on for years to come.
He had heard about coding from his friend who had studied computer science and, sensing a challenge, decided to learn more about the job path. Through his labor market study, Ibrahim came to the conclusions that drew him to web development.
"People who are coding are getting the highest salaries. They can work from every single city all over the world. You are the one who is controlling yourself."
Ibrahim’s findings are right. The information and communications technology sector in Turkey is valued at $22 billion with an increase in job growth; in the United States, web developer jobs are projected to grow 8% by 2029 with the average of $73,000 a year; while globally, the population of developers has been growing at a rate of 20% to 19 million software developers at the beginning of 2019.
Armed with two rejections and motivated with the possibility of a more sustainable and self-sufficient career, Ibrahim prepared for his third application. He started studying HTML and CSS independently and joined Re:Coded events to prepare himself to apply.
His work paid off. His third application was his final one.
During the bootcamp, Ibrahim dedicated himself to learning inside and outside of the classroom. He created two projects by the end of the bootcamp: a project for the bootcamp and then a personal project, an informative website on e-commerce.
As he progressed through the bootcamp, he looked ahead to see what the labor market demanded of developers, searching for what languages he should learn and job opportunities by connecting with all the programmers he knew.
Projects make perfect
While his connections were helpful, the Re:Coded team also supported him through the weekly one-on-one mentorship and the Re:Coded Career Services such as career coaching, job search guidance, and employment partnerships.
Ibrahim took all the tips that he learned in Re:Coded and applied them to his LinkedIn profile and a job site specifically for Turkish job openings. In his job search, he focused on positions specific to front-end web development and the languages he studied.
The process for him was fast, not just in the job search, but in the interview process as well. He received interview invitations from four companies and found a perfect fit at Smartiks.
"I spoke about the languages I learned and I showed them my projects without them even asking."
Within three business days of his first interview, he was offered a position as a web developer, where he now works side-by-side with a web developer with five years of programming experience. Best of all - he knows he was hired for his technological language skills, not his Arabic.
If you can code, you are hired.
He says that the most important insight from the bootcamp was learning the way of coding.
"It’s not the exact language but how to write code."
Clients may want to use a different language than what was taught in the bootcamp, but by being flexible and using the approach to coding he learned at Re:Coded, as well as the advice of his colleague, he was able to switch to fulfill the clients’ needs easily.
"It was a life-changing opportunity."
Paying it forward
Ibrahim uses Re:Coded as the basis to his web development career and hopes one day to have his own e-commerce website. In the meantime, he is currently mentoring his group of friends to follow his Re:Coded path, since he actually has his friend to thank for his introduction to coding and Re:Coded.
He recalls when he first learned about Re:Coded:
"My friend sent me a link [to the bootcamp] and said: just apply. But I was thinking, ‘Oh my god, how can I do coding?!’ He had studied computer science for five years."
His friends now echo the same statement:
"They said, ‘How would we learn coding? Aren’t we too old now?’"
Obviously not and Ibrahim has already laid out his next step. To gain more web development experience and figure out which product that the market will demand when he is ready.
Check out Ibrahim’s portfolio on GitHub here. —
This project operates within the framework of the ‘PEP-Promotion of Economic Prospects’ program which is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with Re:Coded & Impact Hub Istanbul.
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