I came to Israel as a refugee and now I’m a Full Stack Developer

“Great experience”

My name is Tesfalem Haile and I’m originally from Eritrea. I recently graduated from Developers Institute’s bootcamp and started an internship at Salesbytech as a Front and Back End Developer.

When I first arrived in Israel several years ago, I was optimistic about continuing my education (I studied Marine Biology), and hopeful about receiving my rights as a refugee. Unfortunately, these did not happen.

I didn’t know any Hebrew, but I learned by talking to friends and co-workers at the hotel where I worked, and later at my job as Medical Interpreter and Cultural Mediator at Physicians for Human Rights Israel.

It wasn’t easy to get access to colleges and universities as a refugee. However when I realized they weren’t the only way to get an education, I decided to look into the coding world and join a bootcamp. This is how I got to where I am today.

I never thought I would be a developer, but I became interested in it because in today’s world everything is dependent on technology. The vast majority of professional fields have been affected by computers in some way, shape or form. 

Once I started looking into it, I realized that I really liked coding. When I started studying, I found coding exciting and wanted to get better at it so I could help others.

I have an immense love for coding because being able to code is like having a superpower. You can literally create anything from scratch. It’s crazy how a few lines of code can make a machine do anything we want. Coding is interesting, fun, creative and a clever problem-solving tool. I love the ability to translate an idea into a prototype!

Commitment and Consistency

My favorite language is Python because it’s an awesome high-level programming language which can be used in AI programming, machine design, web programming, animation programming and also in game development. Python has become one of the fastest growing programming languages because it’s so practical. It’s easy to learn and has already earned an important space in computer science.

I learned to code by attending Developers Institute’s part time Python bootcamp, and then I decided to take the JavaScript bootcamp as well. I worked hard and practiced a lot. If you want to be a good developer, you need to have commitment and consistency. It’s not necessarily a matter of how much time you put in, but what you do with that time.

After I felt that I gained some skills, I wanted to give back to my community. So together with my friend Awet who I met at Developers Institute and some other friends from our community, we decided to set up a weekly study group for the refugee community and founded African Web Developers. I volunteered as the Chairman and as a community representative. Due to the Corona crisis, we’ve had to pause our activities for now.

I wanted to thank Developers Institute’s talented teachers and their administrative staff, as well as the rest of the DI community for their outstanding support during this journey. I would also like to say how much I value the support and help of ARDC (African Refugee Development Center) and Physicians for Human Rights Israel through this process.

I think everyone should learn to code, even if you do not want to be a programmer, because it will absolutely improve your creativity and problem-solving skills. Learning to code is the new form of literacy. So much of the things we interact with have been touched by code. The more you can learn to code, the more interaction and impact you can have with the world around you.

Review on Switchup :

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