Success story

From traditional calligraphy to digital design: discovering UX/UI

Civil war, changing countries and starting a family had all put Sundus' promising career on hold before she finally rediscovered herself and her love for design in a UX/UI design bootcamp at Re:Coded.

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min read //

May 6, 2022

Derya Güçdemir

Program Officer

From traditional calligraphy to digital design: discovering UX/UI
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Before moving to Istanbul in 2014, Sundus had already completed her MBA, and was working as a marketing lecturer at Aleppo University in Syria as well as teaching Turkish language courses to beginners. She had hopes of studying for her PhD but all that came crashing down with the war in Syria.

This prompted her to move to Turkey and start a family and her professional career came to a halt. After not working for seven years, Sundus was looking for an opportunity to redefine her career path and start a new journey. That's when she came across Re:Coded.

“I feel like I’ve rediscovered myself, the old Sundus is back. It’s like something inside me was out of service and now it’s come back to life.”

Although Sundus was not working, she was still a full-time mother but she always found the time to teach herself new skills. However, learning by herself left her feeling like she needed something more.

“I always make an effort to set yearly goals for myself and am constantly committed to learning, but I felt like there was something missing. I missed engaging with others, having somebody guide me in the right path, and learning in a professional way”.

Embarking on a new journey

When she heard about Re:Coded’s UX/UI Design Bootcamp through a friend, she was hesitant at first. She didn’t know much about UX/UI design but decided to apply anyway. Completing the design challenge in our application process was a turning point for her.

“After diving deeper into the methodology behind UX/UI design and completing the assignment, I realised that I really enjoyed it. The process was not only fun but also deeply interesting”.

Despite her enthusiasm for the bootcamp, there were times at the beginning where she felt that she didn’t know enough.

“One of the most difficult things I had to face was feeling out of place. I felt others were more experienced than I was since I haven’t worked in a long time and there were times that my peers would discuss things I didn’t know much about. However, I quickly learnt that I was in a safe environment where everybody respected one another. I realised that everybody is special and we all bring unique insights to the table. I really love that our trainers remind us to not compare ourselves to each other, but to ourselves and the personal growth we go through from the beginning to the end of the bootcamp.”

Sundus went on to explain that it was important for her to be part of a learning experience that wasn’t only focused on improving technical skills but also soft skills; such as giving and receiving constructive feedback.

“It was really hard for me to accept feedback before joining the bootcamp, now I understand that it’s necessary to improve our work and ourselves so it’s really important to me.”

Noticing the change

With only a small circle of family and friends, Sundus says having to work with a diverse group of people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures, has positively impacted her personality and confidence. She appreciates that the bootcamp is structured in a way that balances learning and fun enabling her to make deeper relationships with her peers.

“Even my family has noticed a change in me. When you work with others you start to discover and learn new things about yourself. It’s a powerful thing being surrounded by lots of different people who are motivated by the same goal.”

Sundus hopes to start part-time employment as a UX/UI designer upon graduating from the bootcamp. Having always had a passion for painting and Arabic calligraphy, the bootcamp has also given her the confidence to start a business selling her designs.

“When I started sharing my designs on Instagram and realized people were impressed with my work, I knew that I had the potential to do something great. I now have the confidence to start something really serious, my mindset is stronger than before and I can say this is one of my dreams for the future.”

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Authors biography

Derya Güçdemir

Program Officer

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

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