From Taxi Shifts to Database Drifts: Mohammed’s Journey to Monin

In IT, it’s not just always about mastering codes and algorithms. Sometimes, it’s about motivation and the path someone takes to pursue their interests. In this blog, we’d like to share Mohammed Akmal Amir’s inspiring story of transformation and resilience. Join us as Mohammed discusses his remarkable journey from behind the wheel of a taxi to becoming an Oracle DBA at Monin. Let’s dive in!

Hi Mohammed! Can you share your journey into the world of IT with us? 

Absolutely. A few years ago, I returned to Belgium after living in Saudi Arabia, and I was on the hunt for a new career. I tried my hand at being a taxi driver, but quickly realised that I wanted to do something different. I already had some foundational knowledge of IT, so when a fellow taxi driver told me he was pursuing a graduate degree in networking in the evenings, it managed to pique my interest. 

The flexible modular structure of the program allowed me to balance work and education effectively. It was designed for individuals like me, who had full-time jobs, and that made a significant difference. Still, it was quite intensive: for four years, I worked from 4 AM to 2 PM and studied from 6 PM to 12 PM.

How did you end up at Monin after completing your networking degree? 

Well, after earning my degree, my initial plan was to start at a helpdesk and learn more about various facets of IT. However, my lack of French language skills limited my options. One day, I received an email from Uptime Group, the parent company of Monin. They were looking for someone who wanted to learn more about Oracle databases and the Linux operating system.  

They promised to provide on-the-job education, which was exactly what I needed. I was also attracted to the clear career path they offered. Instead of just providing  support, I could specialize and become a subject matter expert (SME) faster. At the age of 34, having a clear direction to go in was definitely a benefit.

Could you share your experience of joining Monin and how the company supported your growth? 

My journey at Monin has been fantastic! On day one, I received everything I needed to hit the ground running – a laptop, company car, essential information, and software. It was incredibly well-structured, with detailed documents outlining my initial tasks and course units for the first days and weeks. 

I was really motivated to get started, and it showed. While the Oracle education program was scheduled to take twelve to eighteen months, I completed it in just four. Monin noticed my rapid progress and my preference for learning on the job, so as soon as I felt comfortable, they let me work on real-life projects and support tickets. 

Monin clearly promotes a culture of knowledge sharing, which I truly appreciate. The dedicated Confluence space for troubleshooting is an invaluable resource, and colleagues are always willing to help. During the pandemic, I missed in-person learning, but a colleague was only a Teams call away, and they even set up a dedicated Slack channel for me to ask questions. As I continued learning, Kristof reserved a weekly hour-long slot on Friday to discuss any issues and questions with him.

Now that you’ve been with Monin for a while, how would you describe your experience? 

It’s been an incredible two years! Monin’s open company culture has definitely been a highlight. We don’t have daily stand-ups, but we can always connect with each other if we have questions. Our work-from-home flexibility, coupled with optional office days, means that we can work whichever way we prefer. There’s also a lot of variety in the work itself: some days, I’m deeply engaged in dedicated projects, while others involve solving helpdesk tickets. 

I can already handle most issues with ease, but the occasional complex support tickets provide an exciting challenge to solve, together with my more experienced colleagues. In the future, I want to keep learning above all. I’ve started dabbling in coding in my spare time and have my sights set on specific certifications. Plus, I’m considering pursuing a bachelor’s degree in AI, a field closely related to our work with large sets of data. Bring it on! 

Ready to start your own database journey with Monin? Explore our career opportunities today and join Mohammed and other database enthusiasts!