A life-changing opportunity with Youwe University

Ahmad Al-Mosto

As we check in at Youwe University again, our first intake of bootcamp students has powered past the halfway point. We’ve learned about the aims of the program and taken a closer look at the path to PHP development. Now let’s explore one student’s journey as he starts life again in a new country.

A life in turbulent transformation

Destiny can be what we create for ourselves, moving forward every day and pushing towards a better future. And some say that tough situations can build strong people. But sometimes we just need to take whatever life throws at us and try to stay afloat. Even when that means leaving everything behind and starting life again in a new country.

For Ahmad Al-Mosto, life-changing events came in very quick succession. A practising lawyer in Syria, in 2015, Ahmad had to flee the country, and after an arduous journey, he relocated to the Netherlands. Here, even though he was accepted to the University of Groningen, he decided not to pursue another university law degree, as he wanted to advance his practical skills and gain knowledge that he could utilize anywhere in the world.

An escape from adversity

His first job in the Netherlands was in retail. “It didn’t take me long to understand that I just didn’t enjoy what I was doing,” says Ahmad. “I knew I had to look for something else, find a new door to open. One that would take me into a world that suits my personality and interests. That’s when I discovered that my cousin was teaching himself how to program. On his suggestion, I started tinkering with HTML CSS, and that was it. Programming captured my imagination almost immediately.”

That initial spark of excitement led Ahmad to Youwe University, with a little help and direction from his employment mentor.

A new sense of belonging

“As soon as I stepped through the doors of Youwe University, it just felt right to be there. It felt comfortable, though I was also nervous. And the experience of meeting developers and new friends was really valuable.

“I expected to be coding from day one, but I was surprised that we started by studying Scrum before touching any kind of code. And, looking back, that made a lot of sense. Scrum is a framework that helps teams work together, like a rugby team training for a big game. It emphasizes communication and collaboration, and helps you to understand the system. It’s a great way to launch into a career in programming, helping lay the foundations for a developer’s job.”

The art, science and philosophy of coding

Four months into the seven-month bootcamp and Ahmad is well on the way to achieving his next goal of becoming a junior developer in an international digital agency. He’s enjoying the journey, yet still feels there’s a lot to learn. Not just in terms of the art and science of coding, but also from an almost philosophical standpoint.

“I love coding, which came as quite a surprise,” says Ahmad. “It’s something I’ve never considered before. And I’m still trying to grow my confidence. For me, I can only be confident when I know a subject inside and out. I have to understand the framework and I need to have all the answers. That’s what attracted me to law. It’s the same with programming.

“But there’s so much to learn and, with coding, you can never learn everything. It’s impossible. Though I think that’s part of what makes it exciting, too. You find your own path and you’re always learning, but placing your own individual stamp on the code.”

Finding all the right pieces for a life to unfold

For Ahmad, Youwe University is not only about the growth of his coding knowledge. It’s about acquiring a wider set of skills that will propel him along his new career path. And because a place at Youwe University comes with the built-in opportunity for every student to become a PHP developer on successful completion of the course, there’s a definite sense of continuous progression.

“I have a clear vision of what I want to do,” says Ahmad, “and now, with Youwe University, I have the tools to achieve it. There have been a lot of tiny steps, and a few big leaps, which have got me to this point in my life. This opportunity is really important to me, I want to have a respectable job and create meaning in my life. It now feels like the future that I want is beginning to unfold in front of me.”


For more information about Youwe University, you can keep an eye on Youwe’s Careers Site and LinkedIn feeds. We’ll be announcing the future bootcamps and how you can register your interest in attending there, so stay tuned.