Category Archives: Education

Explain IT: Season 4, Episode 5 Bringing company culture to a remote workforce

This time we’re talking about the office of the future – how big will they be? Well as we speak we’re still in lockdown; most of us are stressed to some degree; there’s fear of infection, of isolation, there’s fear of redundancy and major financial worries. And all too soon those personal and family worries can tip over into mental health issues. Let’s face it, it could be your organisation’s insensitive or disorganised management which is to blame.

To be honest, that individual would not have been successful in building the size team that was needed if he hadn’t reached outside his comfort zone, because you just have to do it. What we’re seeing is it’s no longer that the place to be is Silicon Valley, London, and New York. Now, the place to be is online, and the digital economy is booming. Companies don’t care where people are anymore. I think that some of the barriers around like that mental barrier of, “This person’s in Mexico. Two years on, it is pretty clear that remote working is now a permanent fixture in the working life of many people.

A Two-Year Retrospective on Remote Work

The descriptions per episode are the original ones. This research does not constitute a personal recommendation or take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situations, or needs of individual clients. Clients should consider whether any advice or recommendation in this research is suitable for their particular circumstances remote work podcast and, if appropriate, seek professional advice. TNC’s CEO, John Waterhouse discusses how organisations can achieve sustainable remote working with TNC’s CTO, Craig Northveth in Down The Wire Podcast’s 5th Episode. You can find links to all of the topics we’ve spoken about today in the show notes and even more on our website at

95% of Remote Workers Stream Content While Working –

95% of Remote Workers Stream Content While Working.

Posted: Tue, 04 Oct 2022 21:32:12 GMT [source]

More than two years on, however, there’s no excuse for working hunched over your laptop on the kitchen table. There’s a plethora of peripherals and devices that can improve your comfort and productivity while working from home. And adding a couple of key pieces of equipment can dramatically boost your experience.

Interpersonal Isolation Leaves Remote Workers Looking for New Ways to Connect

But I think I think a little bit more realistically. For me, I always prioritise monitors like I couldn’t, I would have enough monitors to, you know, satisfy every single Chrome tab I have open if if one my budget allowed or my electricity bill allowed. But yeah, I think if, if you’re gonna if you’re gonna prioritise one thing in an idealistic home working set up, it’s got to be displays; more the better for me. It’s true – those subscriptions do start to add up after a while. But think about why you’re making your podcast.

Podcasts for Remote Workers

I’m getting a proper proper swivel chair with actual armrests. Yeah, and I did invest in my first pair this year. Some Sony XM4s and yeah, I just don’t know how I don’t know how I’ve gone without it to be honest. And just any any any level of noise any I don’t even have anything playing most of the time. It’s just the slight the the active noise cancellation, just blocking out just enough is fantastic. And I have a couple of colleagues I’ve got at IT Pro will know that I do take it a step further sometimes and listen to white noise. So if anyone is like me, and it does kind of make you go a bit insane after a little while.

Episode 355: How to Manage Asynchronous Remote Work With Kendra Dixon, Director of Operations for Parabol

And what they found overall, and it was published in a UK journal, was that for every pound invested in that manager training programme it saved £10 in sickness absence over the following six months. Security efforts are not limited to security teams. High impact strategies need to engage everyone from employees to the board of execs, DevOps teams and IT. Learn how how to become not just an effective partner but a trusted advisor across an organization.

Podcasts for Remote Workers

You can choose whether to record the video or discard it, but the video is an important part of the call. Seeing the other participants means you can give non-verbal cues, and receive others’. You can see when someone’s itching to jump in, so you can invite them to share.

Create a Personal Finance App for Budget Planning in 2023

It’s one that’s composed of individuals with different backgrounds and skillsets. These include both manual and automatic versions of functional testing, performance, and usability testing. Security is, of course, a top priority, so you’ll need to subject your app to a battery of penetration testing. The reason is obvious—you’re dealing with people’s money, so the potential consequences of neglecting to do so are catastrophic. One point worth mentioning is that you should always use simple language and avoid jargon in your app. This ensures that everyone, regardless of financial knowledge, can understand what’s happening on-screen.

However, you need to connect your user account in the app with cards and bank accounts, that’s why guarded passcode is a must. The login/logout procedure should be taken every time a user interacts with the application. It’s smart to allow short-term sessions (sessions with a limited lifetime) it will minimize the chances for the app to run unprotected. The design phase is one of the most vital stages of app development.

How To Build A Personal Finance App

Therefore, 24/7 support, consultations, and prompt customer service won’t hurt either. We recommend using simple language to make everything easily understandable. The finance app does not have to be caught up in unknown financial terminology.

how to build a personal finance app

If your startup idea is a business financial management app, then we can move on to the most exciting part of all of this for you. Flutter is always worth considering as one possible option for cross-platform apps. With this software development Cyber Security Specialist Job Description and Salary kit (SDK), you can develop applications for iOS, Android, macOS, Linux, Windows, Google Fuchsia, and the web. The use of artificial intelligence makes the difference between a powerful financial assistant and an ordinary money management app.

Wally (in App Store and Google Play)

Learn how to build a personal finance app or expense tracking tool using Bubble’s visual programming platform. This article will show you how to build a personal finance app like Mint from scratch. We provide practical strategies, talk about the technical side, share our real-life experience. As soon as all the details are agreed upon, the process of development takes place. To create the best budget manager app, you should implement the best UI/UX design.

How do you build a personal financial system?

  1. Track your spending to improve your finances.
  2. Create a realistic monthly budget.
  3. Build up your savings—even if it takes time.
  4. Pay your bills on time every month.
  5. Cut back on recurring charges.
  6. Save up cash to afford big purchases.
  7. Start an investment strategy.

If you want to learn more about how to create a personal finance app that will assist people with tracking expenses, keep reading and you are going to find the answers you need. Some of the tools helping us get better QA results include Sentry — a full-stack bug monitoring platform. Sentry identifies and diagnoses errors in code and provides better visibility into probable causes of errors. It’s a perfect tool for personal finance management app development.

What Is a Hybrid or Work From Home Model?

Having access to a wider talent pool means you can hire people with specialized skills. This can give your organization a competitive edge, help you move into new markets, and ensure around-the-clock productivity. When you switch to the asynchronous communication style mentioned earlier, you won’t have to hold meetings every day to discuss project updates or touch Fogbyte Lda Lisbon: AWS Cloud Engineer base with your team, saving everyone time. These tasks can all be accomplished using project management software. First, you must create policies that benefit both WFH employees and in-house team members alike, even if they look slightly different. Employees should feel like they’re equals and not second-class citizens, which sometimes happens with remote teams.

What are the risks of hybrid working?

  • Harder to collaborate with remote employees. There isn't a perfect virtual substitute for spontaneous water cooler chat or bump-ins around the office.
  • Faster employee burnout.
  • Difficulty keeping up with hybrid schedules.
  • Not suitable for all industries.

What works for big corporations may not work for smaller organizations. Furthermore, the same model may not be beneficial to businesses in the same industry due to their different workplace cultures. Saying your company is a hybrid workplace is much easier than Best JS Framework for NET MVC developer? : dotnet creating an effective one. Without a doubt, hybrid work will be more challenging for managers than their old ways of working. And hybrid work raises questions of trust, accountability and measuring productivity — even equity and access to hybrid opportunities.

Companies Shifting to Hybrid Work

When considering the right option, consider your organization’s needs, goals, and hybrid work model. Managers and HR teams will want to keep employees feeling connected with fellow staff at all times. Isolation and disconnect are one of the few concerns voiced by hybrid employees, but they should be taken very seriously. Creating virtual water cooler moments is key to keeping employees feeling they are in the know as well as forming team bonds. Kumospace’s virtual drinks feature has been used 10s of millions of times by teams as they create their virtual water cooler environment. Companies that are embracing hybrid working are situated well for the future should demographic or social changes further affect their workforce.

What are the disadvantages of working from home?

  • Increased isolation.
  • Home office costs.
  • Risk of overworking.
  • Risk to productivity.
  • Distractions at home.
  • Workplace disconnect.
  • Disproportionate work-life balance.
  • Less face time.

A policy is not an answer to why people should come to the office. Leaders need to develop a compelling workplace value proposition that represents the culture, benefits and interactions employees will experience on-site. To help leaders explore the first question, we asked employees who want hybrid work how many days they would prefer to spend in the office during the typical workweek. Employees’ fourth and fifth reasons remind us that in our increasingly digital world, they still need to feel connected to their coworkers and their organization. Connecting with their team and feeling that they are part of the company culture is simply easier to experience in person. Naturally, work locations and policies are not the sole determinants of the employee experience.

Improve Tech Support for Employees

As a result, employees have resisted returning to full on-site workplace schedules, so managers have adopted hybrid working structures. A Microsoft research study found that 66% of company leaders are considering redesigning their physical office space to better suit a hybrid workforce. And 73% of employees want the hybrid option to become permanent versus returning to an in-person office. So how can you propel your firm toward an anywhere, anytime model?

  • The flexibility gives employees more autonomy in the workplace and improves their overall job satisfaction and productivity.
  • What’s more, employees can use company spaces for more effective community building.
  • Learning Discover courses and other experiences that bring out what’s best in you, the people around you and your entire organization.

During the following six months, teams of six employees—each drawn from multiple divisions, levels, and generational cohorts—worked together virtually across Brit Insurance. They began with diagnostic tools that helped them profile and share their own working capabilities and preferences. Then they embarked on a series of learning modules designed to create deeper insights into how they could work together to better serve one another’s needs and those of the company as a whole.

The value of hybrid work

• Hybrid workers were the most productive, albeit marginally so, with remote and office workers following close behind. Companies today must meet the needs of their workforce or risk losing talent to employers that do.

hybrid work from home

Labbox, Kosovo edtech startup teaching kids engineering, is looking to expand beyond the Balkans

For more than two years, edtech startup Labbox Education has been bringing science, electronics, and computer engineering closer to children across Kosovo, through fun and interactive ways that encourage thinking and finding new and innovative solutions for various challenges.

According to the startup’s founder Arta Zaimi, who has already founded a coding academy in Kosovo and also has extensive experience in programming and electronics, the idea about the company originated while she was searching for a solution that would solve both the difficulty of teaching and understanding the complex scientific fields. 

Enjoying the magic of creation

“Labbox aims to expose children to real-world electronics and engineering as early as possible. Based on our testing and general pedagogical advice related to child development, the best age to start exposing children to technology from a creator’s perspective is age 8. This is the time when their mathematical thinking is developing strongly and children have a grasp of the basic math functions, which if compared to how electronics work, are similar in difficulty,” Zaimi tells The Recursive.

“By learning and practicing engineering activities, kids not only start to enjoy the magic of creation, but they also develop crucial skills in the process. That form of thinking takes children a long way in life,” Zaimi points out.

Arta Zaimi combines more than nine years of experience developing complex systems for bank and enterprise use, as well as more than four years of experience in the field of education.

The main concept behind the startup’s products is using STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. Every month, kids that are using Labbox are getting boxes with new STEM projects and engineering tasks, through which they learn to understand ‘Why’ and ‘How’ things work. 

Expansion plans

While public schools in Kosovo have already started using Labbox’s curriculum, now the company is looking to expand on foreign markets as well.

In 2018, Labbox received joint-equity financing from the EBRD and the EU through the Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WBEDIF). Labbox is also a Techstars portfolio company, accelerated from Techstars Berlin in the first quarter of 2021.

This year, Zaimi and Labbox will also be featured in the Romanian investment platform SeedBlink. For Zaimi, this cooperation means that the startup will also gain more exposure and visibility.

“As Labbox is growing beyond the borders of the Balkans, and with the demand, we are seeing from European countries, we felt it is the right time for a crowdfunding round. We decided to share the opportunity of investment with smaller investors that usually don’t have the chance to invest in a startup at this stage,” Zaimi tells The Recursive.

“We also would like to give the opportunity to high-value individuals who are also parents, as we believe that the best supporters and investors we can have with us are those that will be our customers,” she adds. 

At the moment, with an investment of €300K the company has set up its own production line in Kosovo. And Zaimi points out that there is room for growth.

“There is an amazing opportunity for growth for Labbox and due to the economics that we are seeing and the market performance, I think the business is basically a no-brainer,” Zaimi explained during the SeedBlink presentation earlier this month.

“The other reason is, especially for those that understand the importance of our mission and the value proposition, I think that there is an opportunity to take joy in helping our world develop in the right direction and opening the minds of those that will hold our future,” Zaimi concludes.

This article was first published at The Recursive – an independent community-born online media focused on the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe (SEE).

Infographic: How Well Does an Engineering Major Pay?

• DevOps engineers strive to provide the organization with a competitive advantage in terms of speed, efficiency and deliverability. Below is an informative table of the DevOps certification salary that you can expect in different countries. Given below is a table that will give you an idea of how much salary you can expect at different DevOps levels. Please help us protect Glassdoor by verifying that you’re a
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  • The average total compensation for a DevOps Engineer in US is $149,842.
  • Check out this list of our learners’ favorite courses in 2022.
  • Tech companies usually consider the cost of living in your area and adjust your salary accordingly.
  • As a Devops Engineer on this team, you will be involved in the upswing of new technology in an..

As with the average data architect salary, the mean compensation rate for entry-level data architects varies a bit depending on the reporting resource. However, Payscale states that entry-level data architects with less than one year of experience can expect a salary closer to $72,743 per year. However, while data architects are often well compensated, exact salaries can vary. For example, specific specialties may offer higher pay rates than others, and years of experience or seniority level can play a role. By reviewing salary data, it’s easier to see typical compensation based on various factors.

ASME’s Learning Hub – Login

Job Details Azure DevOps Engineer, 150k. AWS Azure Cloud development GITLab and GITLab CI CI CD Scripting. Nothing exotic but they have Python Bash. Anyone that reads Groovy would be great for a potential Jenkins migratio.. We are currently seeking a Data Engineer with Java Background to join our team HYBRID in Jersey City.. Why join this team Leverages DevOps principles in the administration, deployment and monitoring of Web..

  • As a result, the data architect salary many professionals see is often very enticing, including if you prefer the freedom and flexibility that comes with remote data engineer jobs.
  • The company’s or candidate’s physical location also comes into play, as many employers factor in the cost of living when making offers.
  • POSITION SUMMARYSony AI America (SAIA) is seeking highly motivated, self driven DevOps Engineers..

Consider expanding the scope of your search to encompass both in-person and remote opportunities. Staying current on industry trends and technologies may also strengthen your candidacy for a DevOps engineer role. Social media pages, YouTube channels, and blogs can be exceptional resources for job seekers. For example, you can register to how to become a devops engineer join the DevOps Slack community, where over 20,000 DevOps professionals share insights. Many factors influence the salary offered to data architects when they’re looking for a new job. First, the quality of their data engineer resume and how well they answer entry-level, junior, or senior data engineer interview questions play a role.

Average Dev + Engineer salaries in US

Let’s explore four key factors that affect the average salary of a DevOps Engineer. In the United States, the national average salary for a DevOps Engineer is $1,10,728 per annum. According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a DevOps Engineer in India is Rs. 7,00,000 per annum. The company’s or candidate’s physical location also comes into play, as many employers factor in the cost of living when making offers. Whether a company is a startup or well-established can similarly be part of the equation.

As a Devops Engineer on this team, you will be involved in the upswing of new technology in an.. Bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, or a related field. The skills you bring to the table as a DevOps Engineer have a major impact on your salary. If you’re just starting out, make sure you have at least a basic grasp of all of the important DevOps skills and tools.

Salesforce developer salary in 2023

But, there are many factors that influence how much you can expect to make as a DevOps Engineer. In this article, we’ll go over how much a DevOps Engineer makes on average and the various factors that influence their salary expectations. It takes time, money, patience, sacrifice, and a lot of hard work.

  • The salary range for a DevOps engineer is $73K-$125K.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2022, the median salary for database architects is $134,870.
  • For example, specific specialties may offer higher pay rates than others, and years of experience or seniority level can play a role.
  • By this I come to the end of this post on DevOps Engineer Salary.
  • Data architects are currently in high demand, and the need for these professionals is only expected to continue rising over the coming years.
  • According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a DevOps Engineer in India is Rs. 7,00,000 per annum.

You’ve finished your DevOps training, and it’s time to show off your new skills. Get noticed by hiring managers with these tips on writing your DevOps resume. As you continue along your path toward becoming a DevOps Engineer, the journey might seem long and difficult at times.

20 Best Online Courses for Remote Job Seekers

In this class, you’ll learn to connect with your organization to maintain a productive work environment at home. Structuring your day, creating a dedicated workspace, and avoiding distractions are all keys to remote work success. Learn to communicate effectively with other remote colleagues, avoid office politics, and remain engaged without feeling isolated. No matter what company you work for, if you’re working remotely, you probably need to know how to use Zoom. If this is your first remote job and you’ve not worked with Zoom before, that’s okay. This class will show you everything you need to know, from using Zoom on your phone to hosting and attending meetings.

best courses for remote jobs

No, it takes a special kind of person to nail down a full-time gig that lets you work from home (or anywhere you’d like). This beginner course is offered by Google to help you learn how to write code to solve problems and automate common system administration tasks. – Practical skills like UX research, usability testing, creating wireframes, etc. If you want to become a graphic designer, I believe this course is well suited. This course teaches you the fundamentals of graphic design, how to use typography, color theory, and so on. Data scientists and Data analysts are the sexiest jobs in recent years.

Best Online Writing Courses

All salary data represents the average salary in the United States as of May 2023, according to Glassdoor. Job growth data comes from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and represents projected growth from 2020 to 2030 (unless otherwise noted). If this is your first time jumping into this remote workforce, don’t forget to check my ultimate guide to work from home productively. You can complete this course in about 6 months to get a certification that is good for a variety of roles in IT like Junior Systems Administrator or IT Support Specialist. Google Analytics is one of the essential tools for all kinds of online businesses. From a website to an app, this tool helps people to track and analyze the traffic coming to their online platform.

  • Throughout nine courses, students will develop various skills focused on HTML, React, CSS, JavaScript, and user interface (UI) design.
  • The final course, “Social Marketing Capstone Project,” provides students an opportunity to apply these principles to create and receive feedback on a marketing plan that expands their companies’ social marketing.
  • Database professionals use software to store and organise data such as financial information, and customer shipping records.
  • By the end of the course, you will not only be able to optimize your own website, but recognize SEO principles in practice every time you type a search into Google.
  • “It really does come to the fact you feel that your attention has to be completely directed to the person on the screen,” Mareschal says.

The explosive growth of TikTok — and its riot of joyful, full-body dance moves — may owe something to our deeply baked perceptual psychology. One scientist, David Nguyen, says he has found evidence that standing back from your camera can reduce creepiness. Nguyen is currently director of Accenture Labs in Shenzen — part of the research wing of the consulting firm — and in his Ph.D. studies he investigated how well people bonded over video chat.

More Online Courses for Remote Job Seekers

The course curriculum includes various topics such as setting yourself up for success, Staying productive while working remotely, Working with your team, and the most common challenges of working remotely. This is another one of the crucial online courses for remote work that will be beneficial for working professionals. Topics covered include building a web presence, planning an online business strategy, and getting started with search engine optimization. course careers remote jobs As one might expect from a Google course, it really digs into search engine related concepts, including search engine marketing and the attributes of a good keyword. The course concludes with introductions to social media marketing, mobile marketing, email marketing, display advertising, and analytics. In this role, you get to use your organization and people skills to lead teams and complete successful, on-time, and on-budget projects.

Being able to find data about your company is not necessarily the problem. This course will teach students how to interpret and sift through data, and determine what it means, what is important, and what is best left discarded. Luckily, plenty of free or low-cost online options exist that allow telecommuters to conveniently fit courses into their schedule.

How to Become a Cloud Engineer?

You can also look into developing a broader set of skills in networking, virtualization, and storage through your current company. Cloud engineering is a fast-growing field with many exciting perks, and the importance of cloud engineers in this digital age is evident. However, you must understand the technicalities, gather the required knowledge, and gain experience to better position yourself for the opportunities in this field.

how to become an azure cloud engineer

This certification is designed for people who want to become Azure IoT developers and already have experience with software development and Microsoft Azure. To get this Azure certification, you need to pass the AZ-120 Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty exam.

How much does an Azure administrator make?

This rapid growth has led to a dramatic increase in the number of jobs requiring Azure skills. One of the best ways to prove that you have those skills is by obtaining certifications.

  • The Director of the Marketing Department has commissioned a project for the software development team to create a solution that will enable the…
  • An Azure cloud engineer is a member of the engineering team that helps design, deploy, operate, and manage the Azure cloud platform.
  • You should also understand the linkage between cloud operations and the development teams working alongside you.
  • To get this Azure certification, you need to pass the AZ-120 Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty exam.
  • If you would like to become a Cloud Engineer, then attaining a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science or related field is definitely your first step.

To get this Azure certification, you need to pass the AZ-140 Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop Specialty exam. This certification is designed for people who have experience administering Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop. This certification is designed for candidates who have an advanced knowledge of Azure architecture. You don’t have to take the AZ-104 exam before taking azure cloud engineer AZ-305, but you have to pass both of them to get the certification. Candidates for this exam should have at least a general knowledge of IT architecture and software development experience, especially using REST APIs. Then, this person migrates the function to the new system, and maintains it. Microsoft Azure is the largest public Cloud computing platform in the world.

Earn relevant certifications.

Are you interested in the role of a cloud engineer and want to become one? Martin Yate is a career coach and one of the foremost experts in the world of job search and career management. Sierra Gawlowski, PE, earned her BS in civil engineering and is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Washington.

Big Job Cuts are Coming to Goldman Sachs – The New York Times

Big Job Cuts are Coming to Goldman Sachs.

Posted: Wed, 11 Jan 2023 14:08:24 GMT [source]

Organizations hire cloud engineers to employ cloud services, improve their utilization of cloud resources, or gain an understanding of cloud service operations. Cloud engineers’ work draws upon a mixture of technical and managerial skills.

Mentorship Program for Kosovar Students

There is so much potential that students who live in Kosovo have. There is a lot of talent that needs to be nurtured and guided. The lack of access to platforms where they can channel their potential and achieve personal development is a huge barrier to them. But why does this only remain rhetoric? Why are so few Kosovar students achieving their dreams and goals? After racking my brain for an answer, I realized that the root of the problem was not the students themselves, but rather the lack of opportunities that are presented to these students. 

Upon attending the sixth form in the United Kingdom, I have noticed a large amount of differences between the schemes and programs available to students in the UK and in Kosovo. In the UK, we have various career meetings, opportunities to talk to professionals about their careers, we get chances to visit workplaces that we might be interested in, and weekly exposure to various different challenges and schemes. However, I have recently become aware that a large majority of schools in Kosovo do not have these opportunities. Economic difficulties may prove to be barriers for such programs, however, I’ve started my own initiative to give students who are interested in STEM a chance to a virtual network with professionals for free.  

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) are such important career paths for the development of humans but also for the development of a fledgling country like Kosovo. These careers contribute towards the formation of a better society, for example, medicine helps medicate ill patients and technology improves the methods of living by making processes more efficient. After witnessing the lack of support for students in Kosovo to achieve a STEM career, I decided to take matters into my own hands, and create a mentoring opportunity for these students. Kosovar-Albanian students who have an interest in STEM have the opportunity to sign up for a mentoring scheme that partners any interested student with a professional or researcher from their field of choice. After the coordination of dates and times, the student and mentor will be able to participate in one-hour weekly Zoom calls, in which the mentor will be able to explain the pathways for entering their career, and any other relevant information that the student might need. The program is three weeks long and has begun on August 3rd, and any interested students can sign up by clicking the link and filling out the form. (  

I am very lucky to be a part of the Kosovo diaspora in the UK, because I am aware that I have opportunities here which youngsters in Kosovo most likely don’t have. Not only do I have the possibility to encourage positive change in Kosovo by voicing my opinions here in the UK and abroad, but I also have the chance to gain support from a wider variety of people here in the UK and promote awareness of a lack of opportunities for Kosovar students. I aim to use my power to create a positive environment in terms of career development for students in Kosovo because going into STEM requires students to have a lot of knowledge about the subject. Making informed decisions in terms of a career and commitments is also a key aspect to having a successful career, so I hope that this program provides these students with the right amount of knowledge, and to have any questions answered about their future. No student should be left without support, and this is what I hope to promote through the creation of this mentoring program. 


My name is Ideja Bajra, and I am a 16-year-old currently living in the UK. Since the age of 7, I have aspired to become a scientist, and I wish to fulfill that dream by studying biochemistry at university, focusing on the importance of protein structure for the function of proteins in the human body.  

It has always been a particular passion of mine to encourage more youth into STEM, therefore, I have created a non-profit, ‘Based In Science’, that aims to encourage more of the youth in the UK and Kosovo into STEM-related careers. As part of the non-profit, I will be offering free activities, events, and opportunities to students interested in STEM who are from the UK and Kosovo. Aside from organizing a non-profit, I am a student at Drapers’ Academy Sixth Form in the UK, studying Biology, Chemistry, and Physics for A Levels.  

In my spare time, I enjoy reading and writing and am currently writing a book about the contribution of the 21st-century female biochemists to the field of biochemistry, and the major scientific developments that have occurred in the last 50 years. I also co-authored a featured article about BAME women in STEM for the Biochemist magazine, as well as having written a book review for the Biochemist. As the Ambassador for Biochemistry at the Young Scientists’ Journal, I regularly write articles and interviews for the journal, to promote a love for science and to encourage more people into biochemistry careers.

Covid-19: Interview with Dr. Marsela Ceno, Leader of the Association of Albanian Doctors in Germany

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty and instability in its management in terms of health, even in the most powerful states, all this due to its extremely rapid and widespread. This rate of spread of infection has taken many developed countries unprepared by not having sufficient capacity in hospitals to treat all infected patients. Given the situation created, we considered it very important to conduct an interview with Mrs. Marsela Ceno who leads the Association of Albanian Doctors in Germany, in order to provide lessons and information on how Germany as a developed country has managed the situation with Covid-19, as well as what we (Kosovo and Albania) should do as countries developing, that we have limited capacity compared to a developed country such as Germany.

KD: Could you tell us about the situation in Germany regarding the Covid-19?

Dr. Marsela Ceno:Well, the situation here in Germany can be said to be under control, of course, the number of those affected is increasing, especially those who return from vacation, but here the health system has shown stability, even in the pursuit of people who are confirmed as affected or in finding persons who have been in contact with the latter. Tracing is a very important process in Germany as well as mass testing, so a map is created of people who are affected, and those who have had contact, then self-isolation is required for 14 days until the onset of symptoms. You should also know that the health system has very large capacities, so even if a significant number of patients go to the family doctor or are in serious health condition and need intensive therapy, the capacities in Germany are very large, so at the moment the situation is under control and the trust that the Germans have in the health system of their state made them experience the situation without the panic that characterized it at the beginning of this pandemic.

KD:As you may know, in Kosovo and Albania, in recent days and weeks there has been an increase in the number of people infected with COVID-19. What do you think are the main reasons for such a thing?

Dr. Marsela Ceno: I think the reasons are several. The pandemic in Europe has reached Italy probably since December, while it became official in March. Even the Balkan countries, here referring to Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania suffered a very heavy lockdown and very large restrictive measures, and this was different from the reality we experienced in Germany. It is true that in Germany most of the public services, schools and kindergartens were closed, but life in a way “continued normally”, so there was no curfew. The person who went to work if he was not obliged to do home office, leaving the house was not forbidden, going to the markets also, so there was no closure of life, complete isolation of life and this made the wave of spread of the disease to be not in the highest numbers, but to be continuous, while in our countries both in Albania and in Kosovo perhaps the lockdown caused the postponement of the spread of the disease in the population. Then with regret, I want to point out a phenomenon, which I have actually followed through the constant contact I have with my family in Tirana, but also through my short visit I had in Albania a month ago, and the awareness of the general population, at least until recent weeks has been very small. There have been people who questioned the existence of this virus, and by not really appreciating the importance of the situation they also showed negligence, either in respecting the distance or also wearing the mask, so it is unfortunate, in a way irresponsible or the easy taking of the situation by a large number of the population, caused that by not observing the necessary measures, the spread of the virus increases in the months or year we are observing. Then we must take into account the regulation of movement between countries, so we who came from Germany to Albania, and also the possibility of movement from the Balkans to European countries, certainly increases the risk of spreading the virus. I say the reasons are multifactorial and I believe the time has come for us to reflect on each of these reasons together so that the pandemic passes as easily as possible.

KD: It has been emphasized many times that citizens are neglecting the danger of the virus, maybe this fact needs research…

Dr. Marsela Ceno: I think those coercive measures are in fact against the instinct of every human being because the main principle of every human being is to be free, free in living daily life. So indeed the figures of the countries we had at the border like Italy with a very large number of deaths per day made it a little easier psychologically for people to accept the lockdown when in fact the figures of the persons affected or those who had lost their lives were not dramatic so it was a precaution which people because of the danger they thought might come easily accepted, but seeing that the level of those affected fortunately remained very low, then people believed that all this great measure of restraint, prevention was probably not necessary, so for this reason, some thought it was just a game or it was a lie or it was a conspiracy theory, so they thought it would not find them which the danger had passed. If now they think it is just a fabricated situation, a situation created for certain purposes, of course, the vigilance decreases, they do not start taking care of themselves, they see no reason why to wear the mask, to maintain physical distance. But I have an appeal for all those who doubt the existence of this virus, to see the persons who are hospitalized. Even young ages who may not have concomitant diseases fail to win the battle against this virus, so it is fortunate for the part of the population who are not to see these sights. People should be aware of respecting the minimum distance of 1.5m to each other, to keep the mask especially in environments where physical distance can not be preserved, large gatherings should also be given up whether on holidays, engagements or even at funerals. We are in a pandemic situation and solidarity between us is the only way to emerge victorious in this situation.

KD: How do you assess the work of state institutions in Kosovo and Albania in pandemic management?

Dr. Marsela Ceno: I do not have very accurate first-hand information to say or I am not in a position to judge the work of institutions. I think that both health systems in Albania and Kosovo have done their best, but now it is felt that the situation is slowly getting out of control.

KD:How do you see the contribution of the diaspora in combating the COVID-19 virus pandemic? Is there room to do more? If so, how can such a thing be done?

Dr. Marsela Ceno: I have mentioned in other interviews also that every evil has a good, and the good of the pandemic caused by Covid-19 was the emergence, the advertising of the Albanian diaspora as an extremely powerful instrument, with dignity and personality. I am referring here to the contribution given by a very large number of Albanian doctors working in Germany, who within the initiative of the association since mid-March 2020, so we just realized that the pandemic or virus had arrived and in Germany, and many Albanians, whether from Albania, Kosovo, or Northern Macedonia, remained confined to Germany, and perhaps lacked a family doctor or, due to a lack of knowledge of the language were unable to find out how they should act like. We set up our own support groups for each German Bundestag, made our telephone numbers and e-mail addresses available, and tried to give as little support as possible to all Albanian citizens who needed our advice. In fact, this is a part of the great contribution of all other Albanian doctors everywhere in the world. You may have followed on almost all TV channels or also in the print and radio media, there have been interviews from all Albanian doctors everywhere who have faced this virus in their countries where they live, and tried to share with their countries of origin a way of strategy in the first place how diseases could be identified, secondly what are the preventive measures, to give an appeal to the Ministry of Health in the way of testing patients and providing therapies, what are the alternatives, what has resulted in effective therapy, ie has been a mobilization or is still ongoing extraordinary life of the diaspora, at least in the prism of Albanian doctors who are in the diaspora, and also we have noticed or heard that in recent months the economic aid that has come from Albanians living in the diaspora to their families has been higher than ever. Then we have the philanthropist, for example, the director of the international firm Ecolog, who has donated free tests for COVID, whether in Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, as well as in Albania, so it is a mobilization and an extraordinary commitment. So I can not say at the moment what there is room for improvement, I have the impression that each of us who is in exile either individually or even organized, we have managed to give the maximum of what we have had the opportunity.

KD:It has often been pointed out by infectologists that in case of an increase in the number of infected, there may be a shortage of anesthesiologists. In this aspect, how much could the diaspora or the doctors there have contributed?

Dr. Marsela Ceno: Yes, this is a very fair remark because all those patients whose condition worsens and need treatment with intensive therapy, ie integrated, to give them enough and necessary oxygen, which they can no longer realize lungs affected by Covid-19, they all end up in intensive therapy and anesthetists are the ones who mainly give the first treatment. What has been done in Germany and so far has been very successful, has been the mobilization of other medical forces which means all doctors regardless of their field of action, so it does not matter if they are internists or surgeons, you should to be trained so that at the moment the situation becomes such, that anesthetists are no longer enough to provide assistance to these patients, to have the opportunity for doctors of other profiles to come to the service of treating these patients. Many universities in Germany have also invited students who are engaged in the treatment of these patients, certainly not in making the main treatment but in providing assistance, such as assistance to the anesthetist. There have also been people of different profiles who have given their free contribution through hospitals, whether for moving beds from one ward to another. Before turning our eyes to diaspora doctors, it is important for me that the medical and non-medical staff present in our countries be trained in such a way that if the situation reaches such a level that the situation gets out of control, then other staff be prepared to provide first aid. Perhaps what can be thought and that would be very good, is that some of the doctors who are in the diaspora come and give their contribution in Kosovo or Albania, but we hope that this point does not reach, and also probably would be a very good alternative for the respective countries then come in contact with countries such as Germany that have very large capacities in intensive care, that cases in which are difficult that can not be treated to the end in Kosovo or Albania then to be sent by special transport and treated in Germany. Germany provided such assistance to France, it also received some of the patients who were in very bad condition from Italy, but these are agreements that must be concluded at the state level between these two countries.

KD: What would you suggest to prevent the spread of the virus in Kosovo and Albania, based on the experience of the country where you live?

Dr. Marsela Ceno: Then I refer to the experience as well as reality or actuality in Germany. Starting from the individual behavior of each of us, i.e. maintaining social distance and also wearing a mask in all those environments where maintaining distance is not possible, i.e. in the supermarket, post office, or restaurants which are not well ventilated. I must also emphasize that wearing a mask is something that has two medals of its own, i.e. if textile masks are used they should be washed occasionally if disposable ones are used they should not be worn for days, but even after 4 hours of use should be changed, because in recent days there are announcements which talk about the complications caused by wearing the disposable mask for a long time. They make up a very favorable terrain through the moisture and warmth that comes from our breath and the placement of fungi for causing inflammatory lung diseases, which lungs are just as at risk as pneumonia caused by Covid-19, so I take the chance in this interview to emphasize this appeal, i.e. textile masks should be washed regularly and those that are disposable should not be used for days, weeks or even months, but should be changed after 4 full hours of use. I also want to appeal to all people, to give up the holiday, the big family gatherings, no matter how great the reason to be happy or even sad. We are in a time of pandemics and therefore we must show solidarity, not only to protect ourselves but also to protect others, especially the ages who are most at risk of this virus are people over the age of 55 or 60, people who are polymorbid, ie suffering from diseases such as diabetes or hypertension, or persons who have other systemic diseases of the immune system. I also want to urge people who feel they may have signs of COVID, cough, or fever to isolate themselves for 14 days and see a doctor only if their condition worsens.