This post is about me and how to become more than just a coder or a simple worker , how to discover your potentials , stretch yourself , how to use your time and mind to achieve more . I will , Also, talk a bit about my experience in hackathon and organisations .
My name is Achraf Ben Alaya I’m From Tunisia ❤, I’m 27 Years old ,I just Started my first Job after graduating last month . So, here I’m gonna be sharing a bit of my experience with you.
I’ve discovered my love for computer science about 9 years ago, when my teacher told us we are going to build our first computer program , which was a simple calculator using pascal, I remember i went back home ,and started typing on my computer trying to build something . Eventually i succeeded but , without doubt that i have experienced a lot of failed moment , so I went back playing my usual game “GTA san andreas” .I still have that old computer I had 9 years ago “which costed a lot at that time” here in my room. It’s unfunctional but I m keeping it as a souvenir .
It did took me years to learn too many things such as ; managing my stress and time , my anger issues and my actions, in order to become the person I’m now , I’m proud and I’m still learning .
7 years ago , I got a a bit lost , I started this online work with a friend . Sometimes i was making like 200$ per day . Some other times it was less . so I started missing classes and going less to the university or even worse I was sleeping in class , the problem here was , the work I was doing was not helping me building my future . I gained only a very small experience from it , and of course , I spent all that money on stuffs I didn’t need .. Later when I had to repass a year , I tried to make a change .A friend advised me to join AIESEC , so I did , and I joined our LC AIESEC THYNA , I was ambitious and passionate about making the world a better place so I found out that AIESEC is the best place for me. I needed to discover my leadership potentials, meet people and learn .which ,In fact I did ! I met a lot of people there, made new friendships , discovered new activities and found myself ! I was good at public speaking, presenting projects and managing them but I didn’t know that , till I discovered that through the activities , and I remember one time I had to speak in-front of 600 member ! that moment my heart was beating so fast. but I knew, it was at that point when I learned self-trust .
Later when I started learning engineering at my new university, I had to quit AIESEC because I had no time , but I left with a bag full of all the activities I learned , new friendships , self-trust and knowledge .
As I said , I was into programming , but I didn’t know what to learn or what to do , I was learning from this site this thing , from that site another thing ,watching videos from here and there without achieving a thing .
My first achievement I guess was , a program for managing cars in parking , using Windows forms ,SQL server and entity framework years ago with a help of a friend .Later I didn’t know what to do or even if I still want to do this anymore ! should I learn web development, building desktop apps or mobile applications ? Then I heard about a local hackathon about mobile development so I jumped into it with 2 elder programmer friends , with 0 knowledge about mobile dev.
That was my beginning, then I joined technologies club and co-founded Microsoft Technologie club at my old university with some of my friends and the club is rocking now , I’m still following their activities and I pay a visit when I can and I have been choosen to be a Microsoft Student partner which made me so happy and glad ❤
“Participate In every hackton you can”
As I was saying , I entered that hackton with 0 knowldge , we didn’t win of course , but we learned a lot ,and now I have a path to follow and ideas to share .
When I came back home , I couldn’t sleep , I opened my old laptop , did some search about stuffs I didn’t know about during the challenge and I didn’t sleep till I learned my weaknesses and put some goals .
I participated in some other hackthons , which I will write about in another post , but let me tell you this , after winning some experiences , I was able to win more than 5 hackthons and to get the first place in each one ,sometime I was alone ,other times with our team , Tera Team , it was composed of 5 members , sadok chiha , amine affes , yassine abdelsmad, ahmed ben amor and me..
We were rocking in each hackathon , we won in local and in national ones and there were articles about us , and we have been presented in one of our national TV,local radio and mgazines .
The larger the hackathon is the more you can learn , the harder the hackathon is , you work and achieve .
I encouraged a lot of my friends to participate but most of them were throwing excuses “I m busy “, “why should I ? “some others “ is there a certificate “ and others wouldn’t even hear me .
But by time, each one of them , realized how important this opportunity to try something new , to show what we were capable of , to get the chance to be creative and innovative to achieve more .
From participating in hackathon, and with the large experience I had , I started with my friends in my new university preparing for a hackathon and I can tell you , how proud I’m when I go back to see pictures and videos . Later , we decided to level it up , we managed all the clubs in our city to create a special event ,and we co-founded :”X-CODING “ which was the biggest coding event that have been realized back there and in all the country. Well you can check that out yourselves. However, I will share more details later , as it is my first post I want to keep it brief and General .
From participating in hackton and preparing for ones, I had the chance to learn a lot ;
from mobile developing to public speaking ,to managing projects , so I said why not sharing more through blogging. I was sharing alot on my facebook wall, that will make you think, learn and push yourselves , I also created my YouTube channel and published my first videos ,I have about 24 000 views and I created then my first blog.
That led me to create my play store account even though I was afraid of it, yet i published 3 mobile applications .
coding isn’t easy !
Last year I have helped more than 400 young coders , leanring mobile development , but the common question , of each one of them , was ,is coding easy ? can I learn that in 2 weeks ? can I make money fast ? I didn’t think about posting about this , till weeks ago , my friend Houssem Aydi asked me about this , he’s gonna start leanring computer science this year and I think it’s the main question of each new student in this field or any person who wants to learn and start coding .
One does not simply learn to code. Because coding isn’t easy. Coding is hard. Everyone knows that. Anyone who’s scoured a stack trace — or git detached their head — can tell you that.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of marketers out there trying to cash in on the notion that “coding is easy!” Or that it will be, if you use their product.
And if you want to know more , you can read this article by Quincy.larson
I Failed a lot , believe me , and tried to make things perfect till I learned ,there’s no such thing as perfect. Chasing ‘’Perfect’’ is the shortest road to not achieving it
Always Make time for you family, talk to your parents , brother , sister , try to hear them from time to time , even when you don’t have time , I know you may have been through a lot of sh**t but family comes first . I’m not saying this like I don’t have family issues , I have a lot but I try my best to make time for them , and believe me , you want to be there , especially when one of the family is very-sick .
Friends && Love
Through your life , you will meet a lot of people , you will call some of them friends, when they are not , you will ignore others when they are the real friend.
Stay a truthful person, be honest , help others and hear them when they’re in need , support and celebrate be careful of what you say , share positive vibes all the time , even when you can’t and stay away from the negative ones.
Love will make you either all up or all down , I have been in many relationships ,and I will let you know more about this subject In my book , but just know this : Trust must be owned and not given .
You are wrong if you think you can move on by forgetting, cause you can’t forget a thing , you have to just learn living with that , everyday ,you are going to remember , see flashbacks , get angry or ask your self questions , but you have to live with that , that’s why I always say this to my friends :
Anchor yourself to people you love , support them , help them , stay with them ,fight for && with them and if they ever decided to leave it’s their loss.
This year , I made an achievement , I completed reading my first book , “the subtle art of not giving a f***” and I was so happy doing that , my first book and a great achievement I did learn a lot from it .
Reading will take you everywhere and will make you smarter , now I’m reading the 100$ startup asp.net core and angular 5 by de sanctis and another book , since I’m writing my own book or lets say biography wich will be published in a year , my friend Donia is helped me by suggesting me books to read when I ask her help ,and I couldn’t be happier when I started reading the book she suggested : “Wonder”. I even know the next book I’m gonna read : Crushing-It by gary vaynerchuk , I listen a lot to his advices & videos and this guy rocks!
I can’t talk A lot about my job , my first job in a crm-agency , all I can say ,is Im happy there , I found a family and friends who are helping me , guiding me and supporting me there . It’s a team of 14–18 members , and now they are helping me to learn more about the company and how to get the work done . I have helped a lot at my first week and I couldn’t be less happier .
Again, maybe I will talk about this in another post .
Nothing comes easily
Now I have a full time job , then I head to my usual coffee , to write my own book . and later I read some new articles about technologies and stuff , trying to learn more about making products more than learning about new frameworks as I used to do , that doesn’t mean I don’t read articles about frameworks and libraries and my next article I’m gonna read “Is React library or a framework?” cause after I learned angular by my self in my internship it’s time to discover react.
try to practice sport ,work smarter, be kind with people , help them , but most of all , be good to your yourself and remember being cool,kind has nothing to do with age; it has to do with how solid your identity is.
In the End , Thank you Lou ,thank you for encouraging me to post this .
Ps : This post was published first in Medium