Programming a Future in IT

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Abdullo completed the USAID-supported course with high grades

Abdullo Sodikov used to work as an ATM maintenance engineer in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, but always had dreams of becoming an IT developer and contributing to the development of the country’s growing IT sector. As he found himself less and less interested in his day job, he realized he was ready to take the next step towards his goal of becoming a web and mobile application developer.

Around this time, Abdullo saw an announcement on social media recruiting students for an intermediate-level Android course offered by the Ilmhona Skills Accelerator. The Accelerator is part of the Ilmhona Inspire Initiative, a youth IT training program supported by USAID’s Future Growth Initiative. Without hesitation, he submitted his application to the program and was accepted.

In April 2021, Abdullo completed the course with high grades, and, full of enthusiasm and determination, applied for a junior-level Android position with Alif Bank. Unfortunately, the bank considered his skills and experience insufficient for the position and declined to move forward with his application. Abdullo grew more determined than ever, and registered for the more advanced Android Level 2 course in Ilmhona, which allowed him to further improve his skills and abilities. According to course instructor Islomiddin, the advanced course has a practical focus, with theoretical lessons supported by hands-on tasks and independent assignments.

In addition to his formal coursework, Abdullo also began to pursue independent study. “I started reading thematic literature and reviewing case studies,” he recalls. “Sometimes I did not even sleep at night as I studied the latest material. All of it strengthened my devotion to programming.”

After completing the advanced course, Ilmhona recommended Abdullo’s IT development skills to local companies Eskhata and Vatan ICT. He was thrilled to receive competitive job offers from both companies and ultimately chose to join the Vatan ICT team as a software developer. For Abdullo, the career shift was the realization of a long-held dream.

“Before studying at Ilmhona, I had no programming experience, but through the training program and experienced instructors, I became a good programmer and realized my dreams and plans,” he says. The online format of the program allowed him to study on his own time while still maintaining his full-time job.

Yet even though Abdullo has now advanced into his dream job, he has no plans to stop learning.  He says he will continue to build on the skills he acquired through Ilmhona to further contribute to the development of programming and IT in the country.  

“For a long time, I did not believe in myself and in my abilities,” reflects Abdullo. “I am grateful to USAID for the opportunity to study at Ilmhona and for the confidence that the Ilmhona instructors helped me to acquire. Even with all this, I could not believe that an ATM operator could become a software developer in one of Tajikistan’s biggest IT companies.”

In 2020, Ilmhona partnered with USAID’s Future Growth Initiative to launch the Ilmhona Inspire Initiative, which aims to provide IT training for young people to support their future employment opportunities. USAID helps youth in Tajikistan develop business IT solutions through training and hackathons with the purpose of supporting course alumni in leveraging their new skills. Supporting IT trainings, USAID creates new opportunities for young people in the tech industry and business, and actively contributes to the growth of a digital economy in Tajikistan. To date, the project has supported IT training for 296 students, including 67 girls; 56 of training participants have gained employment in the IT sector.   

Last updated: November 04, 2022

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