This month, we caught up with Mehrnoosh Beniss to learn more about her journey into tech!
Name: Mehrnoosh Beniss
Location: Originally from Iran. Living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands for almost 4 years now!
Role: Fullstack Developer at jobseeker.com, currently mostly focused on the front end.
Tell me a bit more about your journey into tech?
I switched careers from UX/UI Design to Development in Dec 2020. My journey was not smooth at all. I was rejected many times.
I had my first job offer as a developer on Dec 2021, and couldn’t pass the probation period. The second job didn’t have the right culture for me and eventually, I decided to resign.
Now I’m lucky to be working with a great team at a company with a very nice culture. My stack is ReactJs, nodejs, TailwindCSS and Figma. I do both design and development and I really love the combination.
We have a small, lean team and don’t have a design department. I have the privilege to advocate for the product’s usability and user experience too. I basically develop what I used to only design before. I have been super lucky to work in tech industry for so long: I have so many friends and mentors around me that I could look up to. My partner is also a principal-level developer and he really helped and supported me though my journey.
What challenges have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
Before the pandemic, when I had just immigrated to the Netherlands, my mental health wasn't great. It was my first time being far away from my family, and living in a country with way less sunlight than Iran, I had no idea what lack of vitamin D3 would do to my body.
I think I went through burnout without even realizing it. I had lost interest in working at my design job and would stare at my monitor for hours. After work, I would just cry and feel so upset about myself and my performance. I would overthink and doubt myself.
Aside from this, I lost two family members and was processing all of the horrible incidents that were happening in Iran.
Then, the pandemic started and it actually helped me to create a safe environment for myself at home to recover.
Something that has helped me overcome the challenges along the way is to have a weak memory and not taking things too seriously. Yes, I would grieve and cry and have lots of imposter syndrome after every rejection, but I wouldn’t let myself to stay in that mental space for too long. That’s just who I am I guess -- goofy and bubbly as heck! Maybe having an unfocused brain has also helped: because my brain cannot focus on anything, I have been able to move on quickly after being depressed by rejections!
What are some of the resources from SheSharp that have helped you with your growth?
SheSharp has been an amazing support system for me. Every time I was rejected, I would come to SheSharp’s Slack Community and there were people who had similar experiences to me. They would support me and encourage me to stand up again and keep going.
Sara, Alex and Gabi have cheered me up a lot of times. They’re my heroes and I’m learning a lot from all of them. Tessa: she is an amazing builder. I’m always fascinated by the stuff she makes with code! And Amanda who is a source of peace and delight and she is very humble.
During the pandemic, I would attend the online talks and workshops and learn from the community. I attended my first ever hackathon thanks to SheSharp. The hackathon went really well for me. I teamed up with a fellow junior developer and learned a lot from her. I think I had a huge confidence boost after the hackathon. Even though our team didn’t win, I felt I had a huge achievement to work on a coding project in a limited time with a full focus: something I’ve been struggling with my entire life!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to break into the tech industry?
Get as many insights as possible from people who have already gone through the path you are interested in.
Get mentors, not just one, but more! (I learned this from Vivian during the last SheSharp’s event)
Make use of free valuable content on YouTube, Tech Twitter and online courses on platforms such as Udemy.com,
Don’t let rejections make you upset. Try again and again. And feel free to contact me whenever you feel overwhelmed or need someone to just remind you how amazing you are and how far you’ve come and CAN go!
As a side note: if you want to know more about my failures as a developer, check out my first ever blog post!