Hi ! I’m Salma
An entrepreneur, an aeronautical engineer and a self-taught programmer dedicated to helping you become the person you most want to be.
My life’s passion and mission are to serve people and help them overcome the challenges they encounter now, for a brighter future.
One of the questions I’m often asked is out of all what you can do why you chose to teach programming ?
The answer to that goes back to 2013-2014, when I was still a student in the aerospace engineering school. Back then we had a module called “programming” that I did not understand at all and for sure I couldn’t pass. We learned Java as a programming language, and at that time, I did not know that programming was even a thing. I’ve never heard of such thing called programming in my life and when I was introduced to it for the very first time, it was a disaster. It couldn’t make any sense to me. The language felt completely different, like if I was talking to an alien. I was thinking God, what kind of language is this, and what kind of being understands it ! So I couldn’t pass this module and had 0.5/20 in the first exam and 3/20 in the final exam.
I was made fun of because of my marks in this module and the level of understanding I had. People were talking behind my back and bragging because they had better grades than me.
I was sharing a 2 bedroom appartement with a guy that was in my class, and he was brilliant in that “programming” thing. Everyday he grabbed a quick snack in the evening when he was back from school and sat the rest of the time in front of his computer staring at the screen and typing lines and lines of code.
One time I asked him, why do you do that? Why do you spend your time learning something that nobody understands ? Something that won’t serve you in the futre ? What possibly can you like in this language?
And his answer was the turning point in my life. He said: Salma, you don’t realise what you can do if you know how to code. Look, for example now I’m working on a software for a the company I had an internship in last year. They were fond of my work and I helped them a little bit with their software and now they’re asking me to build a new software for them. And also I’m helping my dad to run his business better by creating a software for him that can handle all what dad cannot do for him to focuse on what he does the best.
I was standing there, shocked and confused after hearing his response. And then I said: I don’t understand. Are you telling me that you, at this age, who is majoring in aerospace, and who does not have anything to do with software engineering except that you’ve learned how to code via internet, which means you’re a self-taught programmer, you are helping a big company with their software and your dad too ? Does it mean in this case that if I learn how to code, I can create any software I want without me needing to have any degree in software engineering ?
And his response was yes. And from that day my mindset has shifted. I went from a pessimistic girl who does not understand anything about computer languages to someone who is hungry and willing to learn and progress every day in this area. Because I’m not going to lie, making your own software and design it the way you want for the purpose you want and when you want, who doesn’t want this kind of freedom !
I started with VB.NET, I found this language easy compared to Java, I struggled of course to understand it, or should I say to understand how the computer works and understands the instructions. In the summer of 2014, I got my first internship in a MRO (maintenance repair and overhaul) aeronautical facility and they were thinking how they could handle the site better and manage the manhours to better serve their customers. And at this moment I suggested to build a small software that can do all the work for them. The software can calculate how many manhours are needed for the maintenance of this aircraft, what kind of mechanics can work on a specific zone of the aircraft, how many tasks will be performed during this maitenance, what is the progress of each task, and at the end create a report of the whole maintenance with graphics and percentages.
For me it was a very rewarding experience as I had to put for the very first time what I learned to practice. It was a small software, nothing fancy, but to me it was something exceptional.
But after this experience, I thought, how about taking things to the next level ? How about taking programming seriously and instead of just scratching the surface of this area and remain an amateur, level up my skills to create meaningful things for people they can use in their daily life and help them with their journey and unfold the mystery of programming for them ?
So I asked myself, what is the simplest thing that people can use and access quickly without having to go throught a number of steps to get it ?
And the answer was: A website. Yes, a website is the simplest thing people can access from anywhere. With just an internet connection, all what should be done is to type the name of the website on the google search bar and taraaa… ! There is no download involved, no gigabytes that will be taken from the space of the computer memory, no set up required. Just an internet connection.
My mission today is to help you realise the potential you have and how your brain is powerful. Remember, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
I’ve been through a lot of failure, I’ve struggled a lot and made a lot of mistakes and learned from those mistakes. That’s why I’m here today, to share with you what I learned in the simplest way, because it doesn’t have to be hard, it’s supposed to be simple!
Another question that I’m being asked frequently is why now that you are an aeronautical engineer you want to change to programming ?
To be clear, I’m still an aeronautical engineer and I don’t look for being a software engineer. However, learning how to code helped me a lot in my career to build small apps, websites and softwares to make the job I’m doing easier.
And this is one thing you can do too. If you’re working and you have repetitive tasks in your daily job you can build a website that stores all the data needed and automate these repetitive tasks so that you can focus on something else. This way you’ll be more productive. You can also suggest to your company to build a website for them that interacts with all the data in the database and manages all the work for them.
Every business runs on computers and softwares, and whether it is your own business or a company you’re working for, at a certain point you’ll need a part of your work to be automated so that you do what’s more important for the business.
Learning how to code leads also to a software engineering career, and that might be your goal. There is currently a shortage of software developers worldwide, so learning to code can be an easy route into an open field of work.
But whether your goal is to become a software engineer or just aquire a new skill to use it in your daily life I’m here to help you with that. I hope you’ll enjoy my posts and that they will be useful for you.