I never thought I would be in this field, because I was always into education and non-profits (until I realized that they profit more than anyone and I stopped liking that). I was never technophobic, but now I see how everything is dependent on computers and IT. None of us Ethiopians in Israel is going to study computer science or something other than being a social worker, or a coordinator in a youth organization, because everyone wants to give back to the community: but there is more than one way to be a role model. I want to help people and to give back, but it doesn’t mean you can’t reinvent yourself.”

Tikva Sendeke

“I did my Bachelors degree in Computer Science, working with Photoshop and Corel - software that is old now, but ten, fifteen years ago, it was cutting-edge in Syria. I always liked computers because they represent the future. In Aleppo, I used to run the computer department at the college of agricultural engineering. I was a trainer, and I would love to work as a coach againI’m in Germany with my husband and four daughters and I want to continue with FrauenLoop so I can broaden my social network and eventually teach again.”

- Nazek Aswed

“I’m originally from the Philippines and I worked as a journalist there for about ten years. It took me a long time to find data science because I just had no exposure to it. But I’m excited about data journalism and I think data analytics is agnostic enough in terms of which subjects and industries you can get into. To me, data science seems like the most fun and interesting [programming] and more secure than other choices." 

Kay Alave

"I had started teaching myself Java and doing an Android course by Google, when I joined FrauenLoop. After the first workshop, I went home happy, because I had really enjoyed it. I thought, ‘If I could stay longer, I would.' The main trouble I’ve had is to change my career path. I knew I didn’t want to do research anymore, and I realized that one of the most fun things I did in my studies was writing code.

- Christina Galani

"I did not study computer science, but I worked at Vodafone with front-end templates and I was always interested to do more. I really like using CSS, and at FrauenLoop I have started with JavaScript…I want to understand how software companies work in Germany, how it is to specialise in front-end development. I don’t know others who work in IT here in Berlin: I am learning on my own, while my kids are small and in Kita."

- Yasmine Fawzy

“I took coding courses here and there, but for a long time, I was just remembering programming when I felt lost, or sad, or frustrated on my job. I thought, “I want to be more technical. FrauenLoop is an opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded people —even though we have different backgrounds. It’s an environment where you feel you are not less than someone else. I’m not judged and I am improving my skills.”

- Bamby Gassama

FrauenLoop is a huge benefit for me, because with JavaScript and JQuery, I need something structured, and I need someone to push me, and to set goals, and give tips and support. For a lot of people, it’s late for a new start, but for me, it’s a new opportunity. I always thought that programming is somehow connected with mathematics, but it’s only logic!

Ivana Draco

“I studied for five years in college, then became an engineer for quality and controlling, but then I married and had kids, and there were no opportunities to work as an engineer. And then came the revolution and we had to leave. I see FrauenLoop as an opportunity to get back into engineering in Berlin, because it is something I take really seriously.”

Noha Ayman

"I have a bachelors in Accounting and a Masters in Auditing (from Syria). I also did a second Masters in International Business in Lithuania. And still, even when our certificates are recognized, we can't make the employer believe in that. No one says that “we have these people who are educated, they have so-and-so skills and we are glad to have them.” I am not a refugee because I did something wrong. I am a refugee because I am willing to work more, in order to integrate in Germany and to move forward.” 

- Mayssaa Hefteh

“I feel like I can do more. I’ve met a lot of people from tech and I like the conversations I’ve had with them so much that it actually changed a lot of the prejudices I had about the tech world. FrauenLoop has done so much to shape the attitude that I have right now: the students, mentors, the interactions that I’ve had and the motivation that I get from this...I feel like I’m in school, but a super cool school that builds the skills - practical skills - that you would use in a tech career.”

- Alina Cucu

“I was 18 or 19 when I discovered that I loved programming. I studied it at university in Mosul, where we had around 30 or 40 percent women. I graduated in the top ten and then worked for two years as a web developer in the department of municipalities & public works before I left Iraq. So this is really important for me, to accept other people and to be accepted the way you are.”

- Marwa Ahmed

"If it wasn't for FrauenLoop, I think I would have not started…or at least it would be very hard to make a first step. I always thought that I wouldn’t be good at it [computer programming]. But when I heard about the classes I decided to try. Also, because as a Graphic Designer I have a different background, I thought that I could use coding in a different way.”

- Aga Sowinska

“At work, I was told ‘focus on one thing to become better.’ I did learn that whatever you start, you have to put time into learning —but you can learn anything, even on the job. I learned also, that you have to admit, when you don't know something... and you have to ask the right questions... then you will develop much faster. I think there’s always this conflict that you need money and you want to do something good (e.g., for humanity). That’s one reason I think that learning to be a developer, you could kind of bring these things together… if you work with just art, that’s harder to do.”

- Jasmin Wirthgen

"I attended Sana’a University for four years, studying International Business. Then I did another four years’ degree in English, at a private university. Of course I am desperate to start with something like internet technology —it’s very interesting, it can lead to job opportunities. Because when I came here, they took my ID and passport…I told them that, you know, I’m educated, I have two certificates. They told me “oh, it doesn’t work here. You must do an Ausbildung.”

- Abeer Al Mehdar

“I didn’t expect that the situation for women in Germany is worse than the situation for women studying engineering in Damascus. The situation for women in Damascus was way better than here. I was just…disappointed. More women (there) are studying electrical engineering, and I was recognized as a technical engineer there.

In my masters program (here), we are four women: two from Iran, two from India, and me. No German women. Of eighty students, all the rest are men.

- Maria Sadek

First of all, I realized people who can code can earn more money. I didn't know the scale of how much you can actually make. And now, since I started coding and looking into some positions like junior developer, let's say... it's much, much more than I earn. I feel like women are really being encouraged to do tech. A lot of things are getting automated, and if you want to keep track, if you want to be on the job market, you have to understand coding.

- Kamilla Fatkullina