Hackathon 2021 + tips for graduate developers
Guest post by Abdulrahman Jama, Senior Software Engineer
👋🏾 Salaam, we are Somalis in Tech and welcome to our monthly newsletter. Each month we’ll bring you the latest from the community, tech news, community Q&A and we might drop a mah-mah (proverb) that’ll get you thinking.
We hope the new month is treating you all well! October is set to be a busy month in the tech world with lots of events coming up (Don’t worry we’ve rounded up some exciting ones for you). Plus, we’ve got some big updates and announcements for you in this month’s newsletter.
Somalis in Tech’s Virtual Hackathon: Climate Change
October 22nd - Short Intro Session
October 29 - 31st - Hackathon
Ku soo dhawaada (welcome). We’d like to invite you to join us for our second annual Somalis in Tech Hackathon. We’ve seen all the tweets and messages, and it’s officially time to put the date in your calendar folks. The Hackathon will be an opportunity to put your skills and expertise to work in a fun, inclusive and collaborative environment.
This year's hackathon will focus on developing tech solutions to support the fight against Climate Change. Join us as we bridge the world of tech and sustainability to solve a pressing real world issue.
Our Hackathon aims to:
Connect the community 🤝
Develop innovative solutions 💡
Make a difference 🌍
Bring your creativity and ingenuity to what will be an exciting weekend! No contribution is too small. If you’d like to know more visit our hackathon page.
For applications click the link below.👇🏾
Become a mentor
Our aim at Somalis in Tech is to empower, connect and represent our community. Since we launched our Slack community earlier this year, we’ve been blown away by the sheer amount of knowledge and talent within our community. As we’ve heard from so many of you, there is also a real desire to impart this wisdom.
We’re excited to announce that we will be piloting a mentorship programme . When one of us succeeds, we all win! Help us on our journey to uplift each other and push for more Somali representation in the tech industry.
To start with, we’d like prospective mentors to fill out this application. Our community relies upon us exchanging knowledge and mutual support. Please do take the time to fill out the form - it only takes 5 minutes! If you would like more information on mentoring, and why you should do it, here are 5 reasons.
Q: Tips for graduate developers in roles who feel like imposters? How should we upskill to ensure we don’t stay stagnant?
In last month's newsletter, we announced our new Community Q&A. If you missed it - you can send us a subject specific question, and we’ll find you a community expert who can answer it. (Kind of like an SiT Agony Aunt.🤔). When we got this question, it wasn’t difficult to identify who would be best placed to answer it.
Abdulrahman is a Senior Software Engineer at a fintech company having previously founded a startup. After one conversation with him, you’ll know he’s got an insatiable curiosity and is all about lifelong learning.
Below Abdulrahman shares his thoughts on imposter syndrome, understanding your codebase, asking for help and upskilling as a developer.
Tips for developers and how to ensure you don’t stay stagnant
By Abdulrahman Jama
I don't think the feeling of being an imposter ever goes away. But what will probably happen is that you start coming around to the idea that no one expects you to have all the answers. It's not an exam. You're just expected to produce good work. And these are four broad areas to work on if you want to produce quality work, in my honest opinion.
Improving skills in the tech stack your company uses
So, if your tech stack is React with some GraphQL, and a node backend, I'd suggest going on a website like frontendmaster.com and just building projects in your spare time with React and GraphQL. You'll have an opportunity in your day to day to integrate some of your learning, sometimes even bringing in code snippets from a project you worked on over the weekend.
Understanding the codebase better.
I find it helpful to put debuggers all over the codebase, and just step through the journey. Which endpoints are being called, what functions do they call, what does the response object look like. Are there any interesting headers? How does the system figure out who the user is? When you start a new job, you'll always think you're terrible at the job, but the truth is, you could be technically strong, and just not have the knowledge of the codebase. Your colleague who has been at the company for a year seems smarter than you because they know the codebase.
Asking for help. And I don't mean the day before the sprint ends.
Reach out to your seniors and say hey, do you mind if I spend 15 mins chatting to you about how I would implement this feature. Most seniors will be more than happy to jump on a call. This is when the small intangible wisdoms are shared. Is there a specific type of debugger, or workflow thing that they use, how do they find bugs, what are some of the big picture things they're thinking about, why would they go for one approach over the other.
See what other developer communities are excited about.
Try and give them a go. If you work with Django, try your hand at .Net Core for a weekend, see how they do things. If you do React, see why people choose Vue. Build the same app using different tools, and keep in mind how different communities prioritise different things. I think the ability to broadly understand what other eco-systems do allows you to develop faster. I've seen seniors hired in companies that don't even use their primary language. This is because they've proven that they can learn new frameworks, and understand some of the big picture stuff.
Last month Somalis in Tech explored the tech ecosystem across Somali territories for our Tech Back Home webinar. It was a great opportunity to get an understanding of the trends, challenges and opportunities back home. We covered a range of topics: starting a crepe business, the importance of digital literacy, and even crypto.
Somali Women in Tech (SWiT) is a chapter within the SiT community. The Slack channel hosts regular exclusive events and workshops for women. Last month SWiT held a Tech Vision Board making workshop. We would like to give a big thank you to Sara Kalinleh for leading the workshop.
Desperate for more SiT? 🤔 Don’t worry you can catch up on all our past events over here.
Cloud and DevOps - October 3rd
Title: It’s A Troposphere Out There
This talk will go through how to look at working with and interacting with AWS connected systems from a security standpoint. The talk will cover educational resources to get started on, and walk through some challenges and exercises you will come across from a security mind set when working in cloud environments. For more visit the meetup page.
Geoff Heymann - Senior Security Engineer at HashiCorp with extensive experience with Cloud Security
🕐 8 - 9pm BST | 10 - 11pm EAT
Let’s get Xuntos - 14th and 15th October
Title: Virtual Conference and Careers Fair
Somalis in Tech has partnered with Xuntos for their upcoming event. Let’s get Xuntos is a two-day virtual conference and careers fair that will be a chance to develop your technical skills to help you land your next tech job! The event will be hosted on Gather Town, a virtual world where you can join workshops, visit employers' booths, and sit in on keynote sessions and lightning talks.
🕐 10:00 - 17:00 BST | 12:00 - 19:00 EAT
Featured job opportunities
Our friends over at Muslamic Makers have partnered with the Aziz Foundation to offer Tech Scholarships for British Muslims seeking to kick start their career in tech. They are offering 2 fully funded Makers Scholarships and 4 scholarships to Love Circular. It’s a great opportunity, so be sure to apply!
Generation: AWS restart (UK based)
Hashi Corp: Various intern roles (US based)
Seccl: Software engineer (UK based)
Netflix: Graduate Software engineer (US based)
For more opportunities check out the #05_jobs-and-opportunities Slack channel so if you haven’t already, join us on Slack.
Content shared by the community
Watch: Nolosha Geeljiraha (Day in the life of a camel herder) shared by Mahad
Read: Being the Directly Responsible Individual of your Career shared by Ali Ibrahim
Learn: Open Location Code shared by Said Aden
DAACADI MA HUNGOWDO.
Honesty is not treated with empty hands (i.e. it is always rewarded).
Somalis in Tech 👋🏾