Naaleh College Insights – Yehoshua Kahan

An interview with Yehoshua Kahan, Software Developer – Bet Shemesh, Israel

Naaleh College Insights - Yehoshua Kahan

An interview with Yehoshua Kahan, Software Developer - Bet Shemesh, Israel

Tell us a little bit about your background and your life.

I spent years in yeshiva. I got married in 5762 and studied in kollel for about ten years. Fast forward- I eventually got into programming, with my first introduction to the field coming by way of AvraTech, an organization in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem dedicated to helping former avreichim learn to program while staying solid in their learning.

 

Where do you live?

I live in Bet Shemesh, Israel

 

What field of technology do you work in?

I am trained in back-end development and recently co-founded a software firm with a partner.

 

What got you interested in technology? Did you always want to work with computers?

The opportunity arose for me to study technology. I decided to go for it and found it intriguing. I did not expect to get into programming until roughly a week before I joined AvraTech.

 

Were your family and friends supportive?

Yes.

 

Did you attend a college or study program? If yes, which one and why did you choose that specific program?

AvraTech offered a program that combined mornings in the beis medrash with afternoon instruction, a paid stipend, and eventually employment. It didn’t fully work out for me (I got laid off about five or six months after the end of the classroom phase), so I went on to Compuskills in Jerusalem. They offered an eight- months course focused on web development with C# and .Net, which I successfully completed just before Rosh Hashana 5779.

 

What were 3 things you were looking for in a study program?

I was looking for a commercially productive tech stack, thorough instruction by experienced developers in a religious environment, a program that was either online or close enough to my house to commute, and assistance in finding a job after the program’s conclusion. 

 

What were 3 things you liked about your study program?

I’ve already discussed AvraTech, so let’s talk about Compuskills. Compuskills gave me two wonderful instructors, Yaakov Yisroel Kosbie and Tzvi Tafet, a small class, and lots of opportunity to practice from database design to front-end coding to MVC.

 

Did your study program accommodate your religious lifestyle?

Both AvraTech and Compuskils are run by frum Jews and cater to the frum community.

 

Did your study program allow you to have a flexible study schedule?

No, the hours were fixed.

 

In what way has your degree/study helped you in your life?

It gave me a professional focus. I got a part-time job doing quality assurance automation work after I completed the program at Compuskills. It provided welcome income and valuable experience.

 

Do you think your degree was instrumental in finding a job and did it impact the level of your salary?

I strongly doubt that I would have entered programming at all without AvraTech and Compuskills.

 

Where do you work?

I work out of my home office.

 

Describe a day in your life.

I try to hold on to a solid learning seder in the morning. In the afternoons, I network with potential clients, work on my skills, and often have meetings with my partner and other business contacts.

 

How do you straddle the work/life balance?

I’m very fortunate that I can make my own schedule, so while the work/life balance is a challenge, it is not an insurmountable one for me.

 

What challenges did you face when you first entered the tech world?

Getting that first full-time development job proved very difficult for me. I got a few interviews but no offers for a full-time development job.

 

What lessons have you learned?

I probably would have done better if I’d built myself a web site, created a blog, and showcased several commercial-quality projects. My main error, I think, was in chasing too many “shiny objects” in the form of new technologies rather than settling into one and cranking out high-quality work even before I had a job.

Leave a Reply