“The turning point for me was when I saw the commitment from the Capgemini volunteers. I realized I had to make more sacrifices.”
“CodeYourFuture is a really supportive community, like a family. They give you a real sense of belonging.”
Kadir Egilmez came to the UK from Turkey as a refugee, hoping to find a new start and a new career. “The demands of my job in Turkey meant I was often far from home and my two daughters. When I came to the UK I decided to try to find an opportunity in the technology industry.”
Initially, Kadir tried to teach himself to code, but found it difficult. “There’s so much content and materials available online but it’s like you’re alone in this big cloud of information. Finally, I found CodeYourFuture and realized it was what I was looking for.”
Inspired to succeed
Kadir admits he found the schedule challenging, and at one point was struggling with the workload. “The turning point for me was when I saw the commitment from the Capgemini volunteers. They give up so much of their time, including Sundays, to come and help us. I realized I had to make more sacrifices in terms of sleep, and seeing my family, to match the volunteers’ sacrifices.” In that sense, says Kadir, “CodeYourFuture is a really supportive community, like a family. They give you a real sense of belonging.”
These skills have helped Kadir to make an impact since he joined Capgemini as an employee. “The course teaches you how to find solutions – and how to ask for help, and approach new technologies. Making a website or an application can actually change someone’s life.”
Deepa Akhil, another CodeYourFuture participant, arrived in Britain in 2010 with a post-graduate degree in computer engineering. “I originally got a place on the doctoral program at the University of Kent, one of the world’s top centers in computer science. ‘Unfortunately, due to an administrative problem, I wasn’t able to take up my place,” she says.
Passion for coding
After a few difficult years, Deepa finally received some life-changing advice. “I was struggling, feeling depressed and anxious about circumstances beyond my control as I was unable to study and fulfil my dream. Then, someone at the British Red Cross told me about CodeYourFuture. I applied and was delighted to be accepted into the course.”
Deepa explains how she threw her energy into the program: “I’ve been coding ever since I was 17. Anyone who meets me sees the passion I have for it. CodeYourFuture really understood my passion, and supported me all the way.”
Deepa is now undertaking an internship at digital retail agency, Holition, in London, organized by her CodeYourFuture mentor, a senior producer at the company.