Tech Newbie to an Award Winning Engineer in less than 12 months.

A little about myself…

I transitioned into the technology industry from a non-technical background 12 months ago. I am now a Globant Rising Star in Tech U.K. winner, a Junior Software Engineer / Blockchain Developer, an Engineering mentor, a Co-Founder of a EdTech platform and in the process of launching my own Blockchain Startup from 7th February 2022.

I love learning and focusing on self-development through reading, meditating, prayer, seeking knowledge, attending the gym daily and so much more. I really believe “you are who you are in this world, you’re either somebody or nobody.” It is so important for me to build and inspire others to leave their comfort zone and achieve what ever they set their mind too.

My journey into tech so far as a self taught engineer…

I actually come from a sales and fundraising background, I don’t have a degree; In fact I dropped out of law school during the second year of university funnily enough. During the pandemic, I decided to change careers because I wanted to be part of the future and also make a huge impact in the world. I could see that technology was ever evolving and it would allow me to grow to lengths I never thought was possible.

I remember making LinkedIn and started messaging anyone who had ‘software engineer’ or ‘blockchain engineer’ as their job title, due to the fact I was obsessed with blockchain technology at the time and I really wanted to get into it. After 100s of messages, I met some amazing people who directed me in the right direction and provided me with some great resources.

This lead to a lot of self learning and bootcamps, In 12 months I completed a few Udemy courses on Python programming, Web Development and Ethereum Development. I completed the Sky Software Engineering Academy May 2021, CodeFirstGirls Software Engineering Nanodegree January 2022 and Consensys Blockchain Development Academy recently. I landed my first Software Engineering role at a leading bank in the U.K. and I have been accepted onto an accelerator program starting 7th of February which will aid to the launch of my own Tech Startup.

What I am trying to say is anything is possible. I set a goal to become an award winning engineer by the end of 2021 and a women of inspiration in technology and become part of the 0.1% of the world who code, and I did that in less than 12 months.

No degree. No handout. Just a foster kid who believed in herself. I just decided to use my mind and have faith in God and myself.

Obstacles I faced…

It was never easy transitioning into technology. It was definitely lonely at the start, I was my biggest fan and that is okay. There was many moments where I wanted to give up when I was self teaching, but I remembered the bigger picture. I decided to keep networking and join communities such as Black Valley, Code First Girls, Black Girls in Tech, Coding Black Females and Xuntos. I finally felt I was part of a family and I was able to get mentors through Black Girls In Tech and Black Valley which accelerated my growth in tech ridicously.

Through adversity, depression, racism, awful tech interview days, I always kept going. I believe there is confidence, humility and beauty when you talk about your dark battles, It is nothing to be ashamed of. I built my mind set to never give up, I have such an advocates personality, I believe in change and making a difference and I knew my journey in technology would help inspire hundreds of other women out their who are trying to make the same transition. Never give up!

What motivates me and how I built a resilient mind set?

In 2019 I had a revelation in life where I realised I wanted to build a legacy, I looked up to inspirational people such as Maya Angelou, Naval Ravikant, Elon Musk, Beyonce, Martin Luther King and so many others. This made me seek knowledge, I started reading self development books like… The 7 habits of highly effective people, Relentless, Quran, How to lose your mind and re-create one, I became obsessed with self elevation Ted Talks and Podcasts. My goal in life became improving myself mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally then lastly, financially.

Thanks to this, I started building a resilient mind set. Like Tim Grover says ‘A cleaner walks in with confidence and leaves with results’ therefor, when I walked into the technology industry, I could not allow myself to fail. I had to keep creating results and I kept remembering that “Discipline + Focus + Action = Success.”

Everyday I choose to be somebody, helping 1 person can lead to helping 10, and helping 10 can lead to helping 100’s of amazing people. And that is what I live for. I truly found my purpose in life which is to inspire, elevate, educate and make an impact in the world. I believe in encouraging and inspiring everyone that all their dreams are possible; your background, colour, gender and religion should never stop you from achieving your dreams.

I can now focus on giving back, hence why I started the EdTech platform and I participate in volunteering as a coding instructor during ym free time and I also have mentored two incoming software engineers over the last few months.

Tips for beginners & communities to join:

To all beginners who are thinking about transitioning into tech and don’t know where to start then I suggest:

  1. RESEARCH. The importance of research I can’t stress enough, what is it about tech that fascinates you? Are you looking for a coding role or non-coding role? Are you into design or not? Ask yourself these questions. There is so much roles in tech from Robotics, A.I, Software Engineering, Blockchain engineering, UX / UI Design, AR / VR, Product Management and so much more!
  2. Mentorship — seek a mentor, whether it’s via LinkedIn or a program such as Black Valley or Black Girls in tech mentorship program, keep looking till you find a mentor in the role you aspire to go into. It’s amazing to learn from others, and it will help you accelerate your tech journey.
  3. Join a community — heres some of my favourites: Code First Girls, Black Valley, Tech Newbies, Black Girls In Tech, Coding Black Females, Web 3 Ladies and Xuntos.
  4. Organsitation — learn to master breaking down big goals into small daily goals. I persoanlly use Trello board and Notion to help me plan out my tech goals, self development goals and aspirations in life. Example:

5. Problem Solve — learn to problem solve through LeetCode, CodeWars, Algo Expert, FreeCodeCamp on Youtube, Aptitude tests, Arithemtic tests. Increasing your logical, problem solving and analytical mind really helps during your tech career, especially if you choose to become a programmer.

6. Network, Network and Network! — ask as many people as possible for help, it really does help you fast track your career and learn from other people’s journeys.

7. Believe in yourself! Nothing worth having will come easy, so sit back and enjoy the ride and see obstacles as a good thing, see failure as a great thing. Always look for solutions. You will get to the end goal!

Resources that helped me learn how to code…

  1. Udemy Courses
  2. Youtube — Harvard CS50, Tech With Tim and M.I.T lectures
  3. FreeCodeCamp
  4. CodeAcademy
  5. Code First Girls Nanodegree
  6. Consensys Blockchain Academy
  7. Sky Women In Tech Software Engineering Academy

Self Development tips…

My favourite Ted Talk is by Caitlyn Roux. It was called “Self Love, Be Intentional.” The key takeaway for me in that moment was two questions:

  1. Do I add value to myself?
  2. Do the relationships in my life add value to me?

Use these two questions and implement them as part of your daily routine. This way, you can focus on your daily goals and keep on track whether you are adding the right value to yourself to help you achieve your dreams.

Listen to podcasts, read self development books, practice affirmations and self love, watch Ted Talks, network with people that inspire you. You can only allow yourself to grow once you leave that comfort zone.

I hope reading my story has given you inspiration to achieve your dreams, and even better, get into tech! Can’t wait to see more women, people from underrepresented backgrounds get into tech and succeed! We got this.

I wish. you all the best with your journey x

Read more about me and my journey here:

Social media links:

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Software Engineer | Blockchain Engineer | Startup founder

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Asiasharif

Asiasharif

Software Engineer | Blockchain Engineer | Startup founder

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