Talented programmer with a lot to give

Back in Iran, Reza taught programming at the university. Integrify has given him new hope to be able to put his skills to use in Finland, and maybe someday even do a doctoral degree. He has already started a programming job at Nord Software, Integrify’s main partner.

Reza has a Master’s degree in software engineering. The 33-year-old taught programming at the University of Kermanshah in Iran for six years.

“I know 15 programming languages”, he says.

Before his teaching career, Reza worked in several private software companies. His responsibilities included programming, web design, and system and database development.

All in all, he has worked in the IT field for over ten years. However, his first programming experiences date back to much earlier years: he started coding “from scratch” as a kid.

“All the books about coding were in English, and as a child, I couldn’t understand them. So basically I just looked at the pictures, copied an extract of code and rehearsed using the trial and error method. Ever since, I have been learning more and more about the topic.”

From teacher to refugee

Before life got difficult in Iran, Reza didn’t know much about Finland. But when he was weighing his options, he was impressed by the country’s education system and economy. So that’s where he decided to go.

The trip to Finland was rough. He traveled with his friend from Iran to Russia, and from there to the Finnish border – only to hear that the border was closed. Only a few people were allowed to cross the border each day. Waiting to get across, the two men ran out of money, so they had no other choice than to fast until they would be let through to the other side.

Reza finally got to Finland in January 2016. The weather was very cold and snowy, but he didn’t mind; he was finally safe.

Ultimate dream: a doctoral degree

Reza was placed in the Tallukka reception center in Vääksy. That’s where he learned about Integrify.

“The Integrify staff interviewed people who were interested in their training program. When I said that I was a software developer, they told me that not only would I get into the program, they could even get a job for me! That’s all I’m asking for, really. To get a job, to develop systems and to develop myself. I feel very lucky.”

And indeed, Reza did get a job: he is now working as a programmer at Nord Software, Integrify’s main partner, where his first assignment is to build an eCommerce plugin for a finnish startup.

Someday in the future, he hopes to bring his wife and daughter to Finland as well.

“My number one dream is to do a PhD degree at a Finnish university. I’m also thinking of maybe starting a company of my own. I still have a lot to learn, but that’s not a problem. Learning new things is like putting money in the bank.”