In Conversation with Code to Inspire mentor, Aalem Daneshyar

AalemThis is Aalem Daneshyar a 29 year-old, a 2013 graduate from the Software Engineering department of Computer Science faculty, Herat University. Aalem is one of Code to Inspire’s stellar mentors whose guidance and expertise help the women at Code To Inspire reach their full coding potential. Without Mentors like Aalem, CTI would not be possible!

Why did you join CTI as a male mentor to teach girls coding?

Code To Inspire was established for a great cause; to empower Afghan women and to help eliminate the gender gap in technology. This was enough inspiration for me to join CTI in November 2015.

What programming languages and subjects you are teaching?

We have decided to teach our students one of the cross-platform application development frameworks. These are less expensive and time consuming than native mobile application development. Most of these frameworks, especially the one we use, called Appcelerator, require knowledge of web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, I started by teaching them these.

As a man pursuing a career in tech, why do you think it is important for women in Afghanistan to learn to coding?

Most people, in almost every country, believe that women are not meant for coding or technology. I think it’s time to change that belief and to prove that women can be as good as men in technology.

Today the number of working women in Afghanistan is increasing compared to a few years back, so there will be higher chances for them to be employed as programmers. CTI students can also establish a company of their own or get online employment as a programmer. Therefore the knowledge of programming and coding can be vital to them.

How do you see the progress of your students from the very first day until now?

When they joined CTI they had a very limited knowledge of mobile applications, now they are able to implement their ideas and create mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms.

If you want to share a message to people around the world about Afghanistan what it would be?

There is more to Afghanistan than just the clashes and war reflected through media. We are helping to build Afghanistan version 2.0, by educating Afghan women how to code.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself?

I like fixing things and solving problems, especially computers and mobile phones. Sometimes it takes weeks to solve an operating system issue on an android phone.