From Algeria to DeltaV
Sihem Azibi says she came to DeltaV Code School for one reason—to change her life.
Sihem moved to the United States with her husband six years ago from Algeria, where she studied Computer Science. She speaks Arabic, French, and English but she didn’t know any English before moving to the US, which made it hard to use her Algerian Computer Science degree.
“I had to start from the bottom,” said Sihem. “I started working at a retail store, and honestly, I don’t know how they hired me. I was barely able to say a word. But I learned a lot there.”
Then, Sihem became a mom. Later, she got a job as a bus driver for the Iowa City Community School District. She loved working with kids every day. But when a friend told her about DeltaV Code and Digital Marketing School, she realized that she was eager to return to Computer Science. She saw DeltaV as her opportunity to make a change and gain the skills needed for a new career in software development.
The Pandemic and the Job Market
Sihem wasn’t the only person looking for new opportunities this year. The pandemic left many Iowans in search of new careers as traditionally stable industries experienced major turmoil. In order to address this need, NewBoCo invested more than $300,000 into making DeltaV more easily accessible to Iowans through a combination of live-streamed instruction and tuition assistance.
“With the crisis our state is facing right now, we believe DeltaV could be a huge lifeline to people who are stuck at home and trying to figure out what their next career move should be,” said Eric Engelmann, Executive Director of NewBoCo. “With these tuition awards, hopefully we can remove financial roadblocks and make a lucrative new career in software development accessible to more students than ever.”
Learning and Working at the Same Time
Early on, Sihem attended DeltaV through the Nights & Weekends program, which allowed her to keep her job during the day. Once she completed Code 201, however, she made the jump to full-time DeltaV student. She graduated from Code 401 in July 2020.
When asked about her success with DeltaV, Sihem said, “I want to show people that wherever you come from, and whatever your background is, if you want to do something, you can do it.”