In the first of a new series of stories of exceptional talent, we talked to Akram Dweikat, a Palestinian Machine Learning computer engineer based in London. He became a Tech Nation Visa holder in 2015, enabling him to work in the UK for 5 years. He told us about why he chose to move to London, and what’s great about UK tech.
The tech scene in the UK is very diverse and fast-paced. It is rich with companies, experiences, and resources. And there are so many opportunities to do amazing work and to build awesome things. I’ve been impressed by how collaborative and supportive the community is here. People are generally really happy to be helpful.
My work has developed a lot since being endorsed for the Tech Nation Visa, and I have been able to build a lot of skills that are helping me with my current work. Since I have been endorsed I have worked on different projects in different sectors (fintech, retail, and building a video game to improve mental health for young people). That all helped me get to my current job as Head of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence at Daemon Solutions. We build machine learning algorithms and best practices to help large companies adopt and build their own machine learning and AI practices.
I love London for its culture, diversity and innovative spirit. I enjoy meeting interesting people from all kinds of backgrounds. And I especially appreciate the access to knowledge available. So many world-class museums are free. Leading experts give talks about the latest findings. I’m interested in machine learning and artificial intelligence, and there are so many events each week. It’s easy to keep my knowledge up to date.
It means a lot to have the recognition from Tech Nation through the visa, for all the hard work I put in developing my skills and pursuing my passion. I started programming when I was 10 so I think I’ve already reached my 10,000 hours! But also, even in a place as diverse as London, it’s not always easy being an immigrant and receiving this visa helps me feel appreciated and welcomed by the British people.
If I had any final words to anyone interested in applying for the Tech Nation Visa, it would be that hard work always pays off, and the best is yet to come!