Madiha originally comes from Pakistan. She came to live in the UK about 15 years ago.
After years of juggling with various jobs to make ends meet, and not feeling content of the shift her career and life took, she decided to turn her life around, and this is how she found Code your future.
Not only was CodeYourFuture life-changing for her, but it also gave her the skills she needed to find a job she loves and an opportunity to build her confidence back up again.
A story of empowerment
“When my children were born”, she started, “I had to stop working to look after them. For years, I was a stay at home mom. I went off the working industry. And I loved it but something was missing.
Back in 2007, I used to have a coding job.
As the children grew older we started having some financial instability and difficulties at home. So, to help make ends meet, I had to take a job. I quickly found myself juggling with many different jobs that I didn’t even like just to make some money for my family. And with those jobs, I was not happy. I didn’t feel fulfilled. But I had to.
When my children grew old enough, and because I was tired of working jobs I didn’t like to have just enough to live on I decided to go back to coding.
But what I found out really quickly was that the coding industry was not the same as when I left. Things had changed, technology was also much more advanced. Things that used to make sense for me would not anymore. I knew that unless I had some sort of training I would not make it back. This is when I decided to look for online coding courses.
While I was looking for coding courses online, I came across one of CYF ads.
What spoke to me is that the add was saying that they were helping refugees and disadvantaged people, people who struggled and who didn’t have it easy with their dreams of becoming developers. And it resonated with me, so I sent an application.
I was at a really challenging time in my life, and finding Code your future was just what I needed.”
Madiha joined the program in December 2017. She graduated the year after, in August 2018.
“Code Your Future was an opportunity to change my life. I own a lot to them.
During my years off work, I lost most of my confidence: with the constant struggle of working too many jobs I didn’t like to pay the bills.
I was wearing so many hats, working so many jobs. I came to the point where I was wondering when was everything going to stop. A job that you do not like and have to do every day is just dragging. CYF made it better, I was given the opportunity to take control again.
I just wanted to change my life, being on survival mode for a long time is really hard, I just had enough of that. My previous experience in coding back in 2007 was a long long time ago. Then the children for a long time were my main focus.
I knew I wanted to go back because of my previous experience. I was always interested in coding.With CYF I was learning so much and achieving things. I discovered and acquired many more skills that I had back in 2007.
I was so well supported during the entire learning process. And it is thanks to all the amazing teams, from my mentors to the teachers to the other students, that I could make it. I was a bit scared at first and CYF was the best environment to learn. My mentors made sure I was getting the skills but also confidence. They also helped me in terms of learning how to take care of myself, how to deal with stress and pressure as part of the process of getting new skills, which I never really did before. So I am very thankful for all of that.
My family was also really supportive. During my time in the program, often when I was studying at home, my kids would come to me with curiosity, asking me questions. They also understood that, as their mom, I would have less time for them from now on. But they enjoyed seeing me learn. And I enjoy seeing them so happy to see me learning new skills “
Madiha is now working as a software engineer for an IT company. She started her new job in October last year
“In my new job, I also had a lot of support. They all knew and recognized that I am a junior, and everyone sees that I am eager to learn.
My project manager understood my urge to learn more. In the beginning, I was so eager that he sometimes had to slow me down, telling me and reminding me that I needed to learn steps by steps. I already had a good learning environment, so I was extremely grateful to also have a good one to re-start my career.
Now, even when I work long days, every time I come back home I am never tired but full of energy, and it is such a nice feeling. Contentment.
Some of the students at CYF come from a really vulnerable background. They had to flee their countries from persecution, conflicts, and so on. For most, life was like a constant emotional rollercoaster. But thanks to Code Your Future, they could also turn their lives around. It’s such a nice feeling to know that there is help out there.
CYF was a boost of confidence for many of us.
During my time at CYF, where I now volunteer, one of the most important things I learned is that, there will be times when life will bring you down, but you just need to go back up.”