Location: Dubai, UAE
Job title: Web developer, SEO
Rimaz Rauf has always been a power learner, especially when it comes to developing his IT skills. Growing up and going to school in Sri Lanka, he did his own research, bought books, and watched videos to fill the void in his formal education. As he put it, “I knew I’d never learn what I wanted” by only relying on local resources, which were expensive and “you can’t find the course you want anyway.”
His passion for software and management was certainly beyond the scope of Sri Lanka’s resident IT experts. YouTube offered a much broader selection, but he couldn’t find exactly what he wanted and had a hard time avoiding distractions on the site. Other online providers weren’t the right fit either; their selections were too narrow and too restrictive, forcing students to follow a pre-set path instead of offering Rimaz the freedom to follow his curiosity.
That’s important for Rimaz because his approach is to learn every possible way of doing something and then decide which is the most efficient, easiest way for him personally. He compares learning about IT to working out a math question; it can be solved in many different ways, but Rimaz only cares about the one best way. Sometimes these skills are job-related, but mostly he’s just hungry to supplement his knowledge.
After finding Udemy through a Google search, Rimaz thought, “‘My god, this is what I’ve been looking for!’ I was so happy.” First, he loved having so many courses on his topics of interest to choose from, including Java, PHP, Arduino and SEO. He’s taken three different courses just on NodeJS in his quest to pinpoint the easiest method for developing applications.
Being in a fast-paced field, the currency of the course content is crucial for Rimaz too. He really appreciates that Udemy offers courses on the latest versions of technologies and that instructors constantly refresh their material to reflect the newest updates. The Udemy platform is an immersive space where he can focus and practice as he follows along with lectures. Plus, he has access to the instructors themselves and has gotten in touch simply to thank them for their great courses.
Today, Rimaz lives and works in Dubai as a Web developer and SEO and Google AdWords specialist. There are lots of startups in Dubai, and with what he’s been learning on Udemy, Rimaz believes he’s well-positioned to get his own slice of the pie and secure more projects. “With Udemy, I can learn something in a few hours and then put it to work right away,” he says. For example, he thought “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About SEO” from instructor Evan VanDerwerker was “fantastic” and immediately helpful.
Rimaz hasn’t stopped with tech courses either, finding time to enroll in courses as diverse as yoga, filmmaking, and Arduino. Now, “every weekend is my learning time,” and Rimaz also downloads lectures to watch during his commute. He acknowledges that learning comes naturally to him, but he also knows that everyone has to take control of their own upskilling these days if they want to remain marketable. “You can’t stay in IT if you don’t keep learning. If you don’t have the motivation, you’ll be outdated,” Rimaz explains. “I didn’t want that to be me.”