Success story

Breaking down barriers to transform a career

Wherever Sarah looked, there seemed to be barriers. From Yemen to Saudi Arabia, then to Turkey, finding the right career path would never be easy. But when Sarah joined a Re:Coded bootcamp, she found that there were a few barriers she could start to break.

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min read //

January 13, 2023

Derya Güçdemir

Program Officer

Breaking down barriers to transform a career
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“As the first woman in my family in the tech industry, there was no support around me." Sarah started, "No one to give me advice or tell me how work life can be as a developer. So, everything was new for me, and I was really anxious."

Sarah's experience is not unusual. With only a few role models to look to, it's not always clear where to begin with a tech career.

Sarah, however, faced additional barriers when she moved to Turkey in 2021. As a Yemeni, she struggled with Turkish and finding her first job proved harder than she thought, even equipped with an IT degree from Saudi Arabia.

But Sarah is not someone who gives up quickly.

“I sat down and told myself: 'Sarah, everything will be hard from now on. The world will not be a better place. So, even if you are in a tough situation, you need to push yourself on new things and see what you can do and where it takes you.'”

In 2022, Sarah's efforts paid off, and she joined Re:Coded's Backend Bootcamp.

Embracing community

I think the bootcamp is all about the community!

Her peers and the open learning environment they created together are the first things that Sarah remembers when thinking about the bootcamp.

It's also the bootcamp component she learned the most from and helped her develop crucial skills for the current job market.

“In the bootcamp, you are not coming to class just to learn technical skills." Sarah explains, "What you develop is more than technical skills. You build relationships and teamwork through continuous peer activities and projects."

Not everyone is comfortable in the first few classes, Sarah admits, "Even if you are shy in the first month, you start feeling comfortable sharing your ideas, criticize constructively, and build friendships. These are really important skills to have as an employee.”

Confidence and skills

As the first woman in her family to explore a career in tech, Sarah never had the confidence that she needed to enter the job market with momentum. The Backend Bootcamp changed that.

"The curriculum is an advantage. When we finished the bootcamp, I started searching for jobs. When I checked the Linkedin job posting, I saw that the technologies required by employers are the same technologies we had. So, I think it is an awesome advantage that we learned the relevant skills!”

Additionally, tapping into the mentorship program attached to the bootcamp gave Sarah a confidence boost lasting beyond her graduation last August.

“The mentorship sessions have been valuable for me. I am still talking with both of my mentors even after graduation. I have had weekly or bi-weekly meetings with them, and we discussed what I learned in the past two weeks. Actually, this is why I am learning data structures right now because they advised me to do so.”

It's a "good start"

Post-graduation, Sarah knows exactly which skills she wants to develop in order to land her first coding job. She's broken down barriers, found the support she needs, and has opened a whole new career path for herself.

How much you will benefit from this experience depends on how much effort and hard work you are willing to put in.

Sarah advises, thinking of how determined she was to change.

"This is key to success during and after the bootcamp. The bootcamp is a good start, then you should continuously learn to keep up with an ever-changing field."

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Authors biography

Derya Güçdemir

Program Officer

Derya is one of Re:Coded's Program Officers.

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