I had the courage to take the leap

I had the courage to take the leap

From a young age I was encouraged by my teachers and parents to study technology, software and engineering.

Shaden Bsharat, Software Engineer & GAI Specialist

Amdocs

22 Nov 2023

I had the courage to take the leap

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I was born in Nazareth in the north of Israel, and I went to high school there, specializing in computers and physics.

When I was in the 12th grade I visited the Technion in Haifa with my math teacher, who took us to the computer faculty and encouraged us to study there. When we were unsure of whether to go into technology or not, because these subjects seemed a little removed from our day to day, and it may be hard to see what the future will bring, he encouraged us irrespective of this hesitation, and it impacted me. I remember his words to this day.

When I was 18, I started studying computer engineering at the Technion. After two years, I felt distanced from industry, and I wanted to see what I would want to do once I graduated. I got a student job working at the Alpha Omega company, which develops systems for neuroscience fields. This helped me see where I was heading professionally. Once I graduated in 2017, I continued at Alpha Omega for another four years as a computer engineer, working in a small team on a wide range of aspects of their software. What most interested me was the front end side of the software, and I started learning more advanced technologies in this field. Along the way I also got an MBA in Big Data and Business Intelligence from the Technion.

Whatever I learn I share with my followers

In 2021 I joined Amdocs, as a software engineer in a front-end development role. In parallel I started my blog on Instagram - Shaden Codes , where I create content for other programmers who want to start out in the coding world. I share resources, tips and tricks to help them get started in the software space – I post a variety of content from tips on coding to how to, how I prepared myself to interview for the job, difficulties I encountered along the way, and even how to organize your work space at home. Whatever I learn I share with my followers. I never learned content creation on a professional level, and only learned about it as I was creating content for my Instagram page.

The more followers I gained, the more responsible I felt for them

There aren’t very women in my field, so other women were very interested in my blog and asked many questions and shared their experiences with me. This prompted me to create more content. The more followers I gained, the more responsible I felt for them. I now have 113,000 followers, and I am motivated to continue. It’s opened my eyes to a new world of content creation that I never thought of before. It has taught me to think out of the box, become a story teller and release my creativity. I used to be shy to talk on video, but most of my blog is in video format, so I had to learn how to overcome my reticence.

My blog has opened doors for me, and I now work with influencers around the world. It has given me more exposure, for example, when I got to participate in the AWS Summit in Tel Aviv where I was asked to share my experiences. There aren’t too many people who create this kind of content, it’s a focused niche of software development, to be face to face with them was a great experience.

Generative AI interested me on a personal level

This outside interest led me to my latest position in the marketing department, where I work on generative AI in marketing. The new wave of Generative AI interested me personally – it was interesting to my audience and also helped me create content – video, images, texts. So I started reading up on this field. I started connecting with startups that offer products in the Generative AI space, and learned how to use these tools to create posts on LinkedIn, Instagram and more. This is how I got to know people from the Amdocs marketing department, and they saw common areas of interest that I was working on and wanted me to incorporate them into the marketing department. This is how I made the shift from software engineering to marketing. I first started working mainly with social media, and then I moved to work with the different marketing teams to create business use cases and integrate GAI tools into our daily tasks.

"I made decisions where I didn’t know what was waiting for me on the other side, but I had the courage to take the leap. If you believe in what you’re doing, and you give it your all, making the effort, and being fully engaged, without looking for quick results, it will pay off."

My tech background helps me with everything I do. I combine technology with marketing, community and content creation.

I also set up the GAIM (Generative AI for Marketing) forum when I started my new role. This forum meets and shares use cases to see how best to use Generative AI that are relevant to Amdocs. One of the main things I do is to study new tools and to incorporate them into what we do at Amdocs.

My biggest challenge is time management

Everything I do for my blog is in parallel with my full time day job, where we work very long hours. It isn’t easy. It’s not as if I had a lot of free time, and I was bored, so I started a blog. So sometimes, I wake up very early in the morning to get my blog done. But this challenge gives me a good understanding of time management.

I always have to be moving forward and do something new. I feel the need to constantly improve what I’m doing – evolve with the trends and come up with more interesting ideas in order to attract the audience while keeping my content helpful and valuable.

I would think twice before sharing my opinions

I haven’t found that being a woman in my professional life throws up any particular challenges. But there are societal challenges. At the start of my professional journey, I would think twice before sharing my opinions, both because I am a woman and because Hebrew is my second language. But these were temporary challenges that I overcame. The fact is that you can do anything you put your mind to if you believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.

As a student and a young engineer I felt that I was in the minority, there were always mainly men in the room. It’s hard to ignore the fact that most managers are men, and this affected my confidence. But we can overcome this by seeing examples of other women who become successful leaders.

By sharing what I do with other people, it answers questions that they may not even know to ask

I work within my team and share my knowledge. By sharing what I do in my job, I show them what’s possible. I hope that this inspires people. I don’t really see myself as someone who tells people what to do. I feel like my indirect approach influences people. When I was younger I would always seek out other people working in the engineering field to learn from and to ask questions. So I feel that by sharing what I do with other people, it answers questions that they may not even know to ask.

I love working in a live, dynamic constantly changing work environment

It keeps me interested and studying every day. I love the community from the GAIM forum where I connect with people. It doesn’t feel like work to me, and I am always excited about the next session. Through my blog, I enjoy thinking strategically and planning my blog. I love seeing the influence I’ve had over the past two years.

When I do find some spare time, I love spending it with my family. I’ve been married for two years. I love to travel, and I use my love of photography to document those experiences.

Believe in what you are doing and give it your all

Throughout my life so far, I've made tough decisions, such as to start working while I was studying, to leave my first job to find a new position, to start my blog Shaden Codes, and making the shift from software engineering to marketing. I made decisions where I didn’t know what was waiting for me on the other side, but I had the courage to take the leap. If you believe in what you’re doing, and you give it your all, making the effort, and being fully engaged, without looking for quick results, it will pay off.

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