“The most important thing I learned is the nature of people and how to communicate with different cultural backgrounds because I am from a very different culture. This is one of the best lessons I got from Microverse. How do you fit in a diverse cultural environment?” - Lamia Sristy
Microverse students work incredibly hard to become professional software developers and we’re so proud of all our students and the work they put in. Our alumni have landed jobs around the world, earning more than what they made before — without paying Microverse anything until they’re employed.
We are delighted to highlight another alumni, who overcame societal and cultural hurdles in her work. Lamia Sristy is currently based in the Netherlands while working as a remote software engineer for a tech company in New York. Lamia shared how her cultural identity impacted her in her journey to becoming a global software engineer.
Moving Across the World, Twice
Lamia completed her bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering in her home country, Bangladesh. After completing university, she began to work as a junior full-stack developer for a local company. When her husband, who is also a software engineer, received a work opportunity in Thailand, Lamia left her job to accompany him.
In 2020, a year after their first relocation, they moved to the Netherlands where Lamia decided to search for a remote job. While she had little knowledge of how remote companies work, Lamia wanted to pursue a remote career because she and her husband were moving often.
During Lamia’s search for remote jobs, she came across articles about Microverse. She learned more about the program and decided that it suited her needs to start a remote career. Lamia joined Microverse in July 2020 and after nine months into the program, landed a job as a software engineer for a company based in New York.
Opening Up by Reaching Out
During her early days in Microverse, Lamia rarely spoke to others except where necessary. She shared that she was very shy and introverted. When she gained a mentee through a mentorship program, Lamia began to converse with her mentee more. “It helped me get out of my shell and talk more with her and understand if there’s anything I can do for her.”
Along with being a student at Microverse, she was also a mentor for other students. She worked as a code reviewer and project reviewer where she helped students in their portfolios and profiles. This experience helped Lamia open up to people more.
The Impact of a Multicultural Environment
Another key thing she learned during Microverse was how to receive and give feedback.
When she was working in a local company prior to Microverse, the work environment was in her cultural point of view. That meant she could easily connect with her coworkers and clients. Within Microverse, she got to interact with people from different parts of the world like Nigeria and Egypt. She learned to communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds. Lamia considers this diverse multicultural environment as one of the most important aspects of Microverse.
“The most important thing I learned is the nature of people and how to communicate with different cultural backgrounds because I am from a very different culture. This is one of the best lessons I got from Microverse.”
Accepting Her Remote Job Offer
Lamia received two job offers, one from an architecture firm in Amsterdam and one from a FinTech company, Lenox Park Solutions in New York. The Amsterdam-based company’s high offer was compelling but Lamia was hesitant to accept it because it was a local company. It would be difficult for her to stay with the company when there was a possibility she would leave the Netherlands.
Despite the lower salary offered by the New York company, Lamia was excited about the idea of a remote role. So she decided to negotiate their terms to accommodate the tax rate in the Netherlands. Fortunately, the company accepted the terms and increased its offer. Lamia’s decision to negotiate was a great move and one that Microverse career coaches are there to help with.
Before Microverse, Lamia had experienced discrimination first-hand when companies choose men over women in their hiring process. She said that it’s common in her culture for companies to think that women are unable to invest in the company’s work because they have other duties, such as being a housewife. After joining Microverse, Lamia found that these prejudices weren’t present in the hiring process' she went through.
Being a Minority In Her New Company
Lamia’s identity as a minority is reflected in her current role. She noted that within her current company, she is the only person of color. That said, Lamia was glad to see that the global software industry hires based on people’s skills, not ethnicity nor religion when hiring. “The company will invest in someone who has something good for the company,” Lamia adds.
“In today’s world, if you are applying for a job in the US or Europe, they will not judge you according to your accent or your skin color. They will judge you on how you do the interview and how you present yourself as a good developer.”
Best Lessons From Microverse
For Lamia, one of the most important lessons was how to present herself professionally. It’s sometimes difficult to integrate a work mindset when working at home. But she emphasized that it’s important to behave professionally even when the workplace is virtual.
The other important lesson she got from Microverse is how to interact with people from different cultures. As a non-native English speaker, Lamia found it hard to express herself properly. With the help of her peers at Microverse, she improved her conversational and interpersonal skills.
Advice for Microverse Students and Aspiring Web Developers
Lamia suggests focusing on two important things: profiles and portfolios. Improving your profiles help recruiters see your accomplishments, while portfolios help showcase your capabilities. Lamia also suggests investing time in learning complex data structures and algorithms, which are things that can be asked in interviews.
Lamia noted that software development interviews for both remote and local work weren't really different from one another. They may give you some projects to work on to test your skills, while other companies will ask technical questions in the interview process.
For aspiring Microverse students, Lamia advises that having basic experience in coding is very beneficial to starting your Microverse journey. She also assured that a background in computer engineering isn’t necessary to pursue a career in software development.
“If you can demonstrate your expertise, you can get a job.”
Through a lot of hard work, focus and dedication, Lamia established her career as a remote software engineer. To date, Microverse has enrolled full-time students from 100+ countries in its full-time online program, and helped students around the world land life-changing jobs. If you’re ready to change your life by becoming a remote software developer, get started below!