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Ahmed Soliman – Meet the Mentor

Hi there! Ahmed here, tech enthusiast by day, dedicated husband & dad by night to a curious 9-month-old! Traveling and soaking up new cultures with my family is another fuel to my soul. Exploring hidden gems, and creating memories together – it's pure joy! But my greatest joy comes from helping others unlock their potential So, if you're ready to embark on your own tech adventure, whether you're a curious beginner or a seasoned pro looking to level up, let's chat! I'm here to guide, encourage, and celebrate your journey every step of the way.
Ahmed Soliman

Senior Software Engineer, Yelp

Why did you decide to become a mentor?

Becoming a mentor wasn't a master plan, but a calling sparked by my own journey. As a senior software engineer wrestling with complex systems, I know firsthand the value of guidance. So, when the chance arose, I embraced it - not just to share expertise, but to empower others like I had been. Now, it's more than just teaching; it's a rewarding exchange. Their enthusiasm fuels me, their unique perspectives expand my own, and I refine my skills by guiding them. Mentoring isn't just giving back, it's a shared growth journey. We learn, problem-solve, and witness each other's achievements – and that's the ultimate satisfaction.

How did you get your career start?

Landing my dream job as a software engineer wasn't exactly a straight shot. After graduating from computer science and engineering in Cairo, I started at a local startup, eager to dive into the world of software development. While it was a valuable learning experience, something in me yearned for a bigger tech playground, where I could tackle vast, data-driven systems. Fueled by this ambition, I took a leap of faith and packed my bags, setting off to chase my dream. This led me to Zalando, a company where terabytes of data awaited my engineering prowess. It was an immersive experience, demanding quick adaptation and continuous learning. But I wasn't alone. Two incredible senior engineers became my pillars, patiently answering my questions and sharing their knowledge. They instilled in me the value of clean code and robust architecture, foundational principles that continue to guide my work today. The real turning point came with my mentor, a system design guru who took me under his wing. His patient guidance, drilling best practices into my head, proved invaluable. It shaped my approach to software engineering and laid the foundation for my future success. After honing my skills at Zalando, the allure of London and its vibrant tech scene proved irresistible. Landing a role at Yelp allowed me to delve into the world of data infrastructure, building systems that powered millions of user interactions. Looking back, that initial leap of faith, coupled with the support of inspiring mentors, opened doors I never thought possible. Now, I'm passionate about helping others embark on their own tech journeys, just like those who guided me along the way.

What do mentees usually come to you for?

Mentees typically seek me out for two main reasons: mastering system design and navigating their career journeys. Whether they're junior engineers aiming to solidify their foundation or career changers making a leap, they often struggle with understanding complex system design principles and translating them into real-world scenarios. That's where my experience with large-scale systems at companies like Zalando and Yelp comes in. I share battle-tested best practices and guide them through practical exercises, helping them confidently tackle design challenges. But mentorship goes beyond technical expertise. Motivation and guidance are equally important. Mentees facing self-doubt or "imposter syndrome" find a supportive space to discuss their struggles and gain clarity on their goals. By sharing my own experiences and challenges, I empower them to believe in their potential and navigate their unique career paths. Ultimately, I want my mentees to walk away feeling equipped, confident, and inspired to achieve their dreams.

What's been your favourite mentorship success story so far?

Picking a single "favorite" success story is tough, as each mentee journey brings unique rewards. But one that truly stands out involved a psychology graduate transitioning to software engineering. Starting a new career, especially in a different field, can be daunting. She felt lost in the labyrinth of tech jargon, overwhelmed by interviews, and struggling to find her confident voice amongst seasoned engineers. That's where our mentorship began. Seeing her initial nervousness was understandable, but her determination was inspiring. We tackled the unknown together, demystifying buzzwords, practicing live coding tasks. We discussed imposter syndrome, replacing self-doubt with affirmations of her potential. Today, she is a confident developer in a well-reputable company, exceeding expectations and mentoring others herself. Her journey is a testament to the power of dedication, the transformative impact of mentorship, and the beauty of seeing someone blossom into their full potential. It's stories like these that fuel my passion for guiding others and make this journey so incredibly rewarding.

What are you getting out of being a mentor?

Mentorship isn't just a title, it's a transformative exchange. Guiding others unlocks their potential, and witnessing that blossom is its own reward. But the magic goes deeper. Sharing my knowledge not only helps others, it reminds me of how far I've come and the value I offer. It's forced me to articulate clearly, honing my communication skills like never before. But the most profound impact is on my leadership. Seeing someone overcome challenges, celebrating their wins, and witnessing their "aha!" moments – it's a masterclass in empathy and active listening. I learn to ask better questions, give constructive feedback, and truly connect with others. The benefits ripple out, impacting every aspect of my life.

But it's not just about me. My mentees bring fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and infectious enthusiasm. They keep me energized and remind me that growth is a lifelong journey, with endless lessons to discover. In this shared space, we're not just mentor and mentee, but fellow travelers, learning and evolving together. And that, ultimately, is the most rewarding part of it all.

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