Meet Samir - Theologian turns into Software Engineer

23rd June 2022

Samir Alumni Web Development Java

Samir talks about his career as a software engineer and how he keeps motivating himself and others.

From social sciences to software engineering - the motivation is crucial!

For a coffee with... Samir! We had a chat with the joyful Samir, who started his career as a software engineer in an IT consultancy after the bootcamp. After studying education and comparative theology, Samir wanted to reinvent himself - and tells us here how his new career in IT came about and how he inspires others to open up to new opportunities as a motivational blogger on the side.

Why did you come to new fish?
To really answer this question, I would have to go back about 7 years. After finishing my Bachelor's degree in Education in 2015, I moved to Hamburg in September of the same year for a Master's degree in "Complementary Theology". My idea at the time was that I wanted to work in the field as a research assistant after my Master's and go into teaching. When I then graduated in 2018 with a very good average, I tried for two years to get a job as a research assistant, unfortunately as it should turn out without much success. 
I had various jobs during this time, mostly in public relations, as a press officer or in project work. At some point I had to ask myself the question, how long should this go on? So, after several discussions with my employment agency, I decided to pursue a new career in the IT industry. Through my own research, I then found an advertisement for new fish in my social media channels. And that's how I immediately got into conversation with you. I had found two other bootcamps before that and looked at their application processes. neue fische convinced me right away because you immediately got into coding and got to know platforms like freecodecamp that way.

What was your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was in week 3, when I started doubting myself and questioning my motivations. But at that moment I thought about my future and what this training could open for me in terms of new doors. I kept going and didn't give up until the end.

What did you like most about the bootcamp?
First of all, it was the atmosphere. Three great coaches and a really insanely open group that supported each other when problems arose. 

How was your start at work?
Starting my new job as a software engineer was a very relaxed one. The first two weeks were for networking. This gave me the opportunity to meet some of my colleagues. I was also incredibly lucky to have a trip to Valencia in week 3, which included two days of domain seminars and a three-day visit to one of the biggest IT trade shows in Europe, KubeCon. In the meantime, I was introduced to an internal project with one of my colleagues who started with me to program an OSSLR (Open Source License Reporter). A good introduction to what to expect in external projects.

So all in all, a very successful introduction to the job.

What was your highlight moment in or after the bootcamp?
I think everyone who has attended the bootcamps can say with certainty that the biggest highlights in the bootcamp and also afterwards are those little moments of success in which a program you wrote actually works. Even after I started my job, I still experience these small successes when you are faced with a problem and have been able to solve it. Often these solutions suddenly come to mind. I remember how in the second bootcamp (Java Development) I had a flash of inspiration in the night for a problem in the code that I couldn't solve before. The next morning I tried this approach and then was incredibly happy that it worked. It's a reassuring feeling.

How was it working with the other students?
At the Web Development Bootcamp, of course, it was a new situation at first. There was a very diverse mix of people, some had already had previous experience with programming and others, like me, started completely from "0". But by having students in your course who already had some experience, it was even nicer that they gave the inexperienced ones a helping hand. The most important thing the coaches told us in this context was not to compare ourselves with others, but to focus on ourselves and our own learning path. In the end, this led to our own success of the bootcamp and to a consolidation of the team spirit within the group. 
It was the same in the Java bootcamp. If the group dynamic is right and everyone helps and supports each other, then you can manage the bootcamp together.

How did it come about that you still decided to attend a second bootcamp?
In this context, I had a good job recruiter who knew exactly what qualifications were in demand in the IT market right now. But it's also thanks to the applicant team at my current employer that I was able to take advantage of this opportunity. Normally, I would have been able to start as early as March, but since I had the option of deciding to take the back-end course and then start, the decision was pretty easy. So I took the chance and completed the Java course at the end of April.

You blog about motivation: what is your own motivation? And why do you think motivation is the most important thing?
My motivation stems from my belief that some situations in our lives have a purpose, which is why they happen. When a door closes on you, you know that somewhere there is a door meant for you that is open and that you can enter. I've had many doors shut on me, but I've walked through the one door that stayed open. Sounds almost like a quote from Matrix in which the character Morpheus shows the protagonist Neo the oracle's apartment door and says:

"I said I can only show you the door. You have to go through it all by yourself."
I believe each of us who makes a far-reaching decision in our lives is chosen to walk that path. Therefore, it was my way to leave theology, which I studied in depth until then, and take a different path. It only requires the courage and the necessary motivation. Courage to take the step, and motivation to follow the path to the end until you reach your goal. To do this, however, you have to be clear about your motives, why you are taking this path.

But it is also the people who support us to go this way that contribute a big part. In my case, it was my family, my wife and my son who pushed me even harder.

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