Michael Berhane, Founder and JavaScript Developer

What made you decide to work in tech?

I was a late bloomer. I originally started out as an aspiring (non-technical) founder. I was working on my own e-commerce startup fresh out of university, and ended up scraping together some coding knowledge out of necessity. The startup dissipated, but the newly found skills remained. I enrolled in Comp Sci masters and the rest is history.

What was an obstacle you faced and how did you overcome that obstacle?

Mainly the perception I had internalised that you had to have been coding from the age of 13 to be any good. I just kept at it, and found examples of other late-ish bloomers to keep me motivated. I was actually only 23 at the time, so thinking back on it was slightly crazy.

What is your experience being a POC in Tech?

I tend not to think about it, as it hasn’t super affected my progression in any real sense, although it’s hard to not to notice the homogeneity within the technical roles in the industry.

What was your perception about the tech industry before entering it? What is your perception now?

That you have to be a super genius to partake in it. It’s difficult and hard, but doable with enough drive.

What are three tips you can give to high school/college students who want to enter tech?

Projects, projects, projects. Build stuff and get it out there, GitHub is your friend. I spent too much time reading programming books when I first started, which was almost a complete waste of time. To summarise: ABC (always be coding). I stole that phrase from a random medium article, so forgive the plagiarism.

Shameless Plug

As co-founder of this very blog, I’ve got to plug POCIT. More to come; watch this space.


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Talk Soon!
Michael Berhane, Founder of POCIT
Ruth Mesfun

Co-Founder and Blogger for POCiT. She is also piloting the first Computer Science curriculum as a teacher at Excellence Girls Middle Academy in Crown Heights. She was selected for the CS Educator Fellowship at the Flatiron School and is also a member of Teach For America-New York's Ambassadors Program.

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