Written by Lukas à Porta:
Rana is an easy-going, 35 year-old Syrian refugee who is looking to put her developer skills to work around Geneva. She is fluent in Arabic, speaks C# and SQL well, has a good level of English, and is currently focusing on learning French through a fast-track program.
Education-wise, Rana earned a degree in office management in 2002 from the University of Aleppo, followed by a degree in economics with a focus on information technology in 2007.
After getting her degrees, Rana’s typical day looked like this: each and every morning of the work week, throughout seven years and until 2014, she worked as an executive assistant for an agricultural foundation linked to the government. During that time, she gained more and more responsibility and was eventually put in charge of the accounting, the salary payroll, and the handling of sensitive data.
During the afternoon – in Syria, a normal working day would finish at 14h00 without a lunch break – she would either teach computer systems, accounting, or management at the university of Aleppo, or uncover the arcane office productivity within the globally recognized International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) program at a private school.
During the evening, you would probably find Rana busy studying to eventually earn a certificate in Arabic instruction, deepening her knowledge of C#, or tinkering with the the-please-do-not-cite-me-Office-suite or SQL. At that time, Rana’s main complaint must have been that there weren’t more than 24 hours in one day. Thinking in parallel, rather than sequentially, is the new paradigm in computing – and looking at Rana’s ethic of hard work, she fully embraces it.
As the situation started to deteriorate in Syria, she volunteered for the Red Crescent, assessing the needs of families, doing logistics, and teaching Arabic to children who had been forced to stop their formal schooling. She dedicated herself to others while witnessing Aleppo, her own city, on the brink of complete destruction. So yes, she will be okay handling stressful situations.
In sum, Rana is a non-stop learner, but also a longstanding teacher. In the information technology field, she is part of a special group of individuals, a rare species not often seen but highly regarded: a technical wizard with a golden heart, combining strong social and technical skills.
Thanks for considering her for a job, perhaps in a junior position as a developer, although she would accept an internship offer. And please, give her the integrated development environment Visual Studio as her new cozy home.