In our interview series of female trainees from the Burda Journalism School, this time round, Nina Weber meets Eleni Siakagianni, director of engineering at Cliqz, to discuss the importance of diversity, female bosses...
Learning and working together: Nine young and talented refugees participated in a 4-week IT training course taught by IT-experts from Cliqz. The program enabled the highly motivated young men from Syria, Afghanistan or Nigeria to gain new programming skills or apply pre-existing ones. The spectrum of the participants ranged from a tech-savvy 16-year-old to a former IT-student.
Key skills for new ideas
The Camp’s curriculum included lessons in User Interface Design, search engines and the programming language python. The participants quickly formed groups which then started small projects in the last week of the Burda Cliqz Camp to implement the newly gained skills on practical tasks. They were supported by the Burda Bootcamp, the company’s hotbed for digital ideas.
Will the next Steve Jobs be from Syria?
Marc Al-Hames, director of Cliqz GmbH, was impressed by the results of the first Burda Cliqz Camp: “The world of IT offers great possibilities for everybody and all experts for software engineering are highly demanded on the job market. The participants of the Burda Cliqz Camp had the possibility to gain insights on their professional and academic orientation. I am very proud of our employees, who were very engaged in taking care of the participants and sharing their knowledge. I am equally proud of the participants, who were able to program their own applications after just a few weeks. Who knows, maybe the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs will be from Syria or Afghanistan?”
Specialized knowledge and creative power
On the concluding demo day, participants were given the opportunity to present their digital projects. A library administration tool, a platform to reserve meeting rooms and even a simple computer game showed the participants’ specialized knowledge and creative power.