A war refugees development story

William Isber is Bombaywork's latest hired developer. As a war refugee from Syria he came to Pajala in Sweden in 2015. His story is fascinating, to say the least.


Who are you?

– I'm a 45-year-old full-stack dot.net and React JS developer, married with two children. I've been working as a teacher and a developer, both in Syria and Sweden. I've recently worked for a bigger consultant company for several years.

What will you contribute to BW?

– I'm an experienced developer, but for the last two months, I've learned more than I did during the last two years. In bigger consultant companies, I've felt like a machine, a number among many. Here, I feel useful and like a human. I work hard but feel relaxed.

Tell us your background story.

– I lived in Syria, but when the war escalated, I fled to Sweden. It was a life-threatening journey, and I had to leave my family in Syria at the time.

– I came to Pajala in northern Sweden. After 14 days, I got an internship at an upper secondary school as a developer and math teacher. At the same time, I helped a university student in Umeå with advanced math as well as a young autistic girl with math in Pajala.

– After one month, the school wanted to give me full-time employment; that was, however, impossible because I had no residence permit yet. But I kept working as many hours as possible.

When William had stayed nine months in Pajala he was contacted by Talent Without Borders in Malmö.

– Talent Without Borders taught me about Swedish work culture. After that, they put me in contact with Cap Gemini, who offered me a three-month internship. After that, a six-month temporary job. After that, full-time employment.

William moved to Ystad and then Malmö. He worked for Cap Gemini for three years. Then, he left for Avensia in Lund, and after two years, he returned to Cap Gemini. Since February 2024 he works for Bombayworks.

– I find the culture at Bombayworks just amazing. With Bombayworks, I already feel at home.

What do you do when not working?

– My family came to Sweden two and a half years after me. It was impossible to come at the same time because it was so dangerous. I fled the war on an overcrowded refugee boat in the Mediterranean. A family reunion was possible because of my income and residence in Sweden, and they could, at the time, travel by plane. We like to spend time together. Mostly we walk and talk together. We live in Hyllie in Malmö, and we like to walk along the beach in Malmö. I also enjoy going to the gym.

Veronica Feilitzen

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