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Highly educated refugees take control of their future at Exact

Highly educated refugees take control of their future at Exact

Exact and HackYourFuture joined forces last summer. HackYourFuture trains highly educated refugees to become fullstack web developers and helps them to start a new future in the Netherlands. After this intensive training, Wael, Bassam, Soolaf, Wael and Mohamad are now working within the software development team of Exact. For them, it's much more than just a job. It's about contributing to society.

Helping to a new start

By offering a free training HackYourFuture helps refugees with a new start in the Netherlands. Martine van Iperen, Software Development Manager at Exact, is one of the initiators within Exact to collaborate with HackYourFuture.

Successful software engineer

"HackYourFuture is a very special initiative. Refugees are trained by experienced business developers to become fullstack web developers in seven months", Martine explains. "The training shows that these people are very capable. They are ambitious, intelligent, problem-solving and have a lot of perseverance".

Building a future

That's why Martine hired five people through HackYourFuture last summer. Lawyer Wael Al Nadeem, mathematician Soolaf, business economist Wael Alhomsi and Bassam and Mohamad with a background in English literature. Due to civil war they had to leave everything behind. "For them it is so much more than a job. It's about contributing to society, building a future and independency after years of uncertainty," according to Martine.

A turning point

Experienced colleagues supervise and train them further within Exact in the Microsoft technology stack and Exact Online. "I'm very glad I got this opportunity. It really is a turning point in my life," says Wael Alhomsi. "After all these years, it's nice to be part of society again and to be able to earn your own living. Mohamad also took this opportunity gratefully: "I want to learn as much as I can and be productive to create value for Exact. Every day we're working hard on this."

A whole new world

It's certainly not easy. Especially the first few months were challenging for the new employees. "It's a whole new world. I try to learn as much as possible from everyone and gain knowledge. But it remains difficult," says Wael Al Nadeem. Soolaf adds: "The challenge is not just learning how to program. Everything is new: the language, traditions, culture, working environment, but also the social part." Luckily, things are getting better and better. "Everyone on the team and Exact is very helpful. They really take the time to help us," says Bassam.

Inclusiveness and diversity

Martine is proud of her team members. "They're doing extremely well and I'm sure they're going to mean a lot to Exact."  In addition, the arrival of Wael, Bassam, Soolaf, Wael and Mohamad also brings a different atmosphere to the team. "It creates understanding and awareness. Finally, HackYourFuture fits perfectly with Exact's policy on inclusiveness and diversity. A good example of turning words into deeds.”

HackYourFuture is a programming school for people who have no or difficult access to training and the labour market. The organization believes that training and 'high quality' jobs should be available to everyone. During a free seven-month program, students are trained by experienced software engineers. Since its foundation in 2016, > 200 people have graduated and more than 85% have a job as a developer.

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