We have interviewed Mohamed Khaled, a student who went from zero to hero in record time! Mohamed tells us how he started his journey in the Tech industry and developed it to land a front-end engineering position at Nerdsboard.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Mohamed Khaled, I’m 20 years old. I’m a front-end engineer at Nerdsboard and an undergraduate student at Alexandria University, majoring in geography.
Geography? What made you decide to pursue a different career path to the one you were taking with your major?
I’ve been interested in technology for a long time before I enrolled in university, but study anything relating to it just wasn’t possible at the time.
But then, a couple of years into my studies, I had a serious talk about my aspirations with my cousin, Belal, who is the CTO and co-founder of Nerdmentors as well as the CEO of Nerdsboard, which is a software development company. To be completely honest, it was his work that got me interested in technology in the first place, while I was still in middle school.
He had always encouraged me to learn how to code and after our talk, I decided that it’s time to learn — better late than never. I was encouraged by my talk with Belal, as it seemed my aspirations could be achievable after all. He started mentoring me himself, and once I’ve decided which aspect I wanted to specialize in, he introduced me to another mentor.
Did you have any prior knowledge of programming before working with your mentors?
Not really, I was self-taught through free online courses, mostly on the basics of web design, however, these courses didn’t get me anywhere near where I wanted to be.
Why did you consider finding a mentor instead of learning by yourself?
I didn’t think I was learning fast enough when studying by myself. I wanted to explore a faster and more efficient way to reach my goals and having someone experienced helping me in a 1–1 setting would have provided that.
How was your experience with Nerdmentors?
My second mentor was Osama Mekkawy, who works as a front-end engineer at Nerdsboard. He helped me build the landing page of Dicardy, an application that helps users save their details from different platforms in one place thus allowing them to share their information easier. He likewise helped me by introducing me to design principles and taught me how to use online resources effectively. Moreover, he helped me learn more about hosting and how to publish my work.
How did Osama mentor you exactly?
I knew that depending on the online tutorials would only get me so far, and the mentorship was exactly what I needed. Osama was always available to answer my questions, even the most basic ones. He guided me through the process with the questions he asked and taught me how to be able to look up certain information and solve different problems by relying on the power of online research. He gave me tasks and guided me through them by reviewing my source code on a frequent basis.
Can you tell me more about your mentorship with Osama?
Osama was keen on giving me tasks that replicated real-world applications. Completing these tasks was hard work for me, but I felt comfortable asking him anything related to my learning goals and never felt embarrassed. Osama taught me how to write better code and taught me how to use my knowledge in different areas.
From a personal perspective, he gave me a confidence boost when I was questioning myself. He was always available and easy to reach. I never had trouble with getting answers to my questions, as he would either be available or was organized enough to schedule times for discussions.
What are you doing now?
I continue to work at Nerdsboard. I’m constantly sharpening my skills and relying on my mentor for additional help. I’m now on the path of becoming a full-stack developer and continuing my journey. My end goal is to become a full-stack developer, and I’m confident I can achieve that with the right dedication and mentorship.
What advice would you give people considering hiring a mentor?
Just do it — it’s great to have that 1–1 interaction with an expert in the field that you want to enter. When you find the right mentor, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Having the right mentor by your side will help you achieve your goals faster. Other than the knowledge you will gain with your mentor, you will also feel your confidence rise, as well as get constant feedback on your progress.
You can also join Osama’s Frontend mentorship program by clicking HERE.