Monday, June 28, 2010

Innovation + Technology = AT&T

Hi, its me again. This time I am going to write about my work in AT&T.

I work as a SharePoint developer, and my task assignment is to troubleshoot the current
SharePoint server and develop new features to enhance the service. I am very happy to join my
department in AT&T, these guys are smart, well oriented, and creative.

Our AT&T center is a branch office of San Ramon,
which fulfills a huge area in the city. The building itself is amazingly big (About 2700 employees working in it), and it is consisted of 4 intersected buildings (they call them "wings"), with a very large circular cafeteria. The overall area is surrounded with water and trees except the areas of 4 car parks, this place provides a shelter for many goose birds, giving it a unique combination
between nature and civilization.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sillicon Valley

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have just landed at San Francisco International airport” that was like a dream came true, being for the first time in the united states and heading directly to the Silicon Valley where all giant companies, business expertise and technology leaders are, meeting all the IT experts, professionals and businessmen who saved no effort to transfer knowledge which hopefully will be transferred to Iraq afterwords.

Professional development day takes place on Wednesdays, where professors from UC Berkley demonstrate the different aspects of business models as well as how to understand market needs and venture goals of the finest technology companies in the Silicon Valley.

It's my point of view, that the most interesting part so far was how to deal with a startup company in terms of funds, office space, venture capital, time, staff .. etc. Entrepreneurship terminology was absolutely rich as well.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Hello every one, I am Aram from Erbil-Kurdistan-Iraq, I am the only Kurdish guy in this IT Intern program, I am Software Engineer, I graduated in 2009, and now I am teaching in the same college as Assistant Teacher, if you want to know about me more, please just click at my name in the right side menu, then you can find more info about me. and if you want to know even more, please feel free and just say: Hello!

International House, is the place where me and two other interns sleep at, it is a place which people from all around the world come to there, so I met many different kind of people, for example ( India, China, Japan, France, Germany, Finland, …etc ) so you discover many kind of new cultural, it is amazing, thats why it called: International House!

Now I am working for American company called Engine Yard, they are software developer, they work with Programs, Databases, Websites, Hosting, …etc, the people here in the company are very friendly, in the first weekend i went out with them, we went to see the iMAX movie about HUBBLE telescope, and also we went to the telescope store, and I bought one, " which was my dream " also I planed for that before I came, that day was the most amazing day since I am in US until Now!

Engine Yard, gave me a project, and I should complete it before I came back to Iraq, the project is about " Ad Server ", it is a website, which I will owen it, after I finish it, the language that I am working on it, it is Ruby on Rails, I really loved the project and the new language as well, it is all interesting. and after all when I finish here I just want to say: thanks Engine Yard!

Golden gate park trip

Hi all, at first for those who don't know me I am Mustafa Jasim Tuama computer engineer from Nassiriyah city one of the Iraqi interns working for square company in San Francisco. I want to speak today about our trip to the golden gate park. It was amazing place its just like a part from the heaven. I went to the golden gate park with my friends Ibrahim, Mahmood and Wael and Wael in the last because he used to say I am the youngest between them. And we met a lot of girls who fall in love with us , No I am just kidding it will be more fun if that happened but at all it was so amazing and we had fun over there.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mahmood greets you

My greeting to all, my name Mahmood Algburi one of the Iraqi IT interns , i'm very happy to be here with the second group. I always looked forward for an opportunity to develop my skills in the IT field , now with the help of AED and US embassy in Baghdad my dream came true.

During my first three weeks in America I learned a lot. The first week involved an orientation program and was a nice opportunity as a cultural exchange and we had a tour in San Francisco and some tourist places.

Me and Ibraheem are working with AT&T company. It's big family there, where everybody in it is friendly. We really liked to work with them as a team and everyday we get new experiences.

Each one of us has different dreams and aspirations but we all look forward to gain experience and considerable skills especially in the field of Information Technology.

At the end of my words, I want to thank AED and the US embassy in baghdad and everyone who helped me .

Friday, June 18, 2010

A very big thank you!

Greeting to the dear readers,
I am Ibraheem AlSheikh Ahmed and I would like express a bit about my feelings here as one of the 7 Iraqi IT interns. This is my first trip to the United States and I enjoyed the experience of living and working with nice people. Starting from the minute I landed in Detroit airport, I witnessed how people are kind in this country. Later When I and my friend Mahmood joined AT&T (the giant telecommunication company) I enjoyed being a part of a very big family. The high morality and the hard work are the two important aspects of life here, and I think I am going to learn from people here, and increase my skills and experince whether in the IT field or in the life field. All of the above could not become true without the strong efforts from the AED and the US embassy in Baghdad. So, a very big thank you for the AED, the embassy, and for AT&T for this opportunity.
Kindly keep up with this blog as my next post will be about my internship in the amazing empire of AT&T.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hello World!

Authors often prefer a step-by-step style to write about programming languages, and they usually start by a "Hello World!" example, so I decided to make it the title of my first blog post in America, because I indeed am experiencing this world for the first time!.

I should start by introducing myself, I am Wael Wajeeh Al-Sallami, a 22 years old guy with a BS in Computer Science, I'm the youngest intern in the Iraq IT interns program and I work with Square, a young company that was started last year by Jack Dorsey, a brilliant entrepreneur who has also started the well known "twitter" four years ago.

Since my arrival here to the US, I've experienced a lot of things, many of which I liked very much and felt lucky to be a part of, the orientation week was wonderful and our supervisor Ms. Meredith Gavilan was nothing but kind and helpful to us, providing guidance to me and the other interns so we can get the best out of the experience, and Ms. Julia De Souza was of great value as well.

After the orientation week, four of us had to leave UC Berkeley's International House where we all used to live together, and there were only three of us left living in the i-House, however I felt lucky to be one of those three due to the wonderful cultural experience one could get from living with people from all around the world.

We - me and Mustafa - started working for Square and it turned out to be one of the best things I have experienced here, it is a small company with a limited number of employees, many of which are now good friends of mine.
Everyone in Square is friendly, in fact so friendly that they invited us to a party before we even started working for them.
I feel so privileged to be a part of this company, to be working with such brilliant minds and great characters, and to be in a "start up" company, which gives me the opportunity to closely observe how new companies evolve, what difficulties they face, and how amazing solutions are constructed, both on the technical and the business scales, which is pretty much what this program is about.

Now After roughly two weeks of working for Square, I feel more confident that this experience is going to be one of the most joyful yet educational ones in my life, and I owe the credit to AED and the US Embassy in Baghdad.

I feel I have said enough for today, but I will be updating this blog on regular bases, so please keep visiting this blog to get the latest updates from me and all the other six interns.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hello from Mozilla

Hi, I'm Hayder one of the second group of the Iraq IT interns. I'm very happy to be here working with one of the leading IT companies in the US. I think this program will help me increase my work experience and learn how the American people think and work. Taking this experience to my country will help me develop the IT sector there.
Thanks to the AED for choosing these great companies, I'm happy to find every one here willing to help and advice at any time.
The first week was the orientation week, I found it very useful and learned many things about the American culture and we had a tour in San-Francisco city. The second week we went to our companies and our accommodations accompanied by Ms. Gavilan our program officer. Now I'm working with the infrastructure team in Mozilla corporation as a part of my internship.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ahlan Wa Sahlan!

Hello and welcome to the Iraq IT Internship blog!  We have now begun our Summer 2010 program, and our newest interns will begin posting soon.

The Iraq IT Internship Program brings 6-12 young Iraqi IT professionals to the United States for 12-week internships at leading U.S. IT companies. We are very excited about the summer 2010 program, and our newest group of interns. These seven talented young professionals will be posting to this blog regularly, to talk about their experiences in their internship and in the United States.

Please meet our Summer 2010 interns:

Ammar, Aram, Hayder, Ibraheem, Mahmood, Mustafa, and Wael!

They will be working this summer at Mozilla, AT&T, Engine Yard and Square, all in the San Francisco Bay area.

Welcome to their blog!


Program Officer, Iraq IT Internship Program

Monday, June 7, 2010

AT&T demonstrates the meaning of Rethink Possible for two Iraqi interns

May 24, 2010
Sarbast Rashid and Sadeq Shnaishel arrived in the U.S. on Jan. 24, but the journey for the two AT&T interns from Iraq started months before in October. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that for the very first time, the U.S. State Department would sponsor an Iraqi Information Technology Intern Exchange program. Interns would spend 12 weeks working with some of the leading technology firms in the U.S., acquiring critical IT and entrepreneurial skills to help develop the technology industry in Iraq.
This announcement would change the lives of two young Iraqi men — and it likely changed the lives of some of the AT&T colleagues they encountered.
A journey to success
After days of filling out applications and participating in interviews, weeks of waiting and months of background checks, Rashid and Shnaishel learned they were two of six interns selected to participate in the program and that they'd be headed to St. Louis to work for one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world - AT&T.
Shnaishel, 24, is a college graduate and hoped to expand his programming skills, observe competitive market practices and learn about successful business models while in the U.S.
"When I got selected for the program, I left my job because I knew it would be a big change in my life," he said. "For us, it is three months, and it is not just an internship, it's a way to start our journey to success." Shnaishel's co-intern, Rashid, is a 23-year old college student who wanted to learn the latest technologies so he could apply those skills to his future career.
But Shnaishel and Rashid were in for a surprise. While they expected to learn about new technologies and expand their programming skills, they didn't expect the life skills, business smarts and lessons of acceptance they would learn from the employees at AT&T.
One big family
During their 12 weeks at AT&T, Shnaishel and Rashid worked on different projects related to AT&T's IT operations. Shnaishel worked as a program developer; Rashid focused more on project management, contributing to a project that will increase the efficiency of interactions between AT&T and its customers.
"We were all very impressed by their willingness to learn and participate," said Sarah Gateley, senior technical team lead, who supervised Shnaishel and Rashid. "They arrived and enthusiastically jumped into work and began building relationships with their AT&T co-workers. The program proved to be a good opportunity for all involved."
And it was the willingness of AT&T's employees to answer those questions and address new ideas that made Shnaishel and Rashid realize that AT&T is not just one of the biggest companies in the world, but also one of the most nurturing and diverse. Both interns took notice of AT&T's family-like work environment. They were greeted with smiles, they were asked for their opinions and they were introduced to other employees from neighboring countries to Iraq. "If you asked me what makes AT&T unique, I would say it's their vision and diversity, and the way they treat their employees. Sometimes, I feel like I am home," Shnaishel said.
AT&T External Affairs and other employees arranged several outings for the interns to show them life outside of AT&T and expose them to American culture. From meeting Missouri's former governor to spending time on an employee's farm to visiting area schools, Shnaishel and Rashid truly got a unique and robust view of American life. "We're not just learning what it's like in business here," Rashid said. "We have the chance to study the entire country."
Shnaishel and Rashid took notice of the cultural differences, and the advantages of living in a society that's open to new ideas. "It's really difficult for anyone to understand a new culture immediately. Some things people might find weird or not that ordinary, because of the difference in culture," Shnaishel said. "I am so happy that AT&T understands that issue."
But to AT&T, a different culture, and a different way of thinking, wasn't an issue, it was an advantage. " Sadeq and Sarbast brought fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to our business. They were open to experience all AT&T and St. Louis had to offer," said Debra Hollingsworth, AT&T, director, External Affairs. "The cultural exchange was a win-win for the Interns and AT&T employees."
A bright future
Rashid and Shnaishel returned to Iraq in late April, leaving behind their new AT&T colleagues, but taking countless memories and lessons back home with them. "I think this has shifted the way I think. Now I can look for ideas and promote them. I now have the confidence for work; I have the experience and the knowledge," Rashid said.
Rashid plans to finish his education, and then take the ideas he's formed and the lessons he learned from the internship to start an e-commerce business in Iraq. Shnaishel has plans to start building a GPS application for the iPad.
Just a few weeks ago we launched the Rethink Possiblesm brand, but as Rashid and Shnaishel learned, in reality our employees have been living and breathing the idea for years. Shnaishel remembered one conversation he had with an AT&T colleague. "He said it takes only one man, only one with a vision to make a change. Then all the problems I saw just disappeared, because I know that where the focus is; energy flows. It's that easy."
It's these types of lessons that will affect Sarbast Rashid and Sadeq Shnaishel for years to come. During their last day in St. Louis, Rashid continued to thank AT&T employees. "I may not remember your name, but I will always remember the experiences, your care and the time you spent with us."
Both men have hopes that AT&T will one day expand to Iraq. Because as Shnaishel simply stated, "AT&T is the kind of organization that you want to exist in your country and make you proud."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

my interview with Channel 5

AT&T gave me opportunity to talk to ch5 which is the most viewed channel inside st louis
it was in the air yesterday this is the link for the video and the article

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

it was 3/9 when i get an email from Mr. Castro a co worker in AT&T work as a PMP(Sr. project manager) it was an invitation to Hispanic Chamber of Commerce it was a meeting called Business After Hours and its simply an event to bring HCC members together
he was kind to take us to the place by his car and get us back to mansion house where we live the host for this event is Edward Jones who give a financial presentation it was awesome its talking about the economic crisis and how to run your business in this tough time and it was also a visionary speech about how they started their work the first time and the most important lesson i get form this speak is the important of the networking and building relation ship in business to stay in business its not enough to be the best its not enough to sell at the lowest price its very important to make people trust you
Mr. after the event end Mr. Castro share with me some valuable information one of them is about a company owner how talked to him and said that 70 percent of his work came by referral and that to explain to me the important of networking and  building a trust relationship with the customer  after all its all about people .
It was an event I really get good insight from 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the Open Source Software !!

Hi all, today I want to talk about one of the most interested thing I observe here from the technical side. All of us (Iraqi IT Interns) visit many universities like Stanford, Berkeley (California) and Maryland, this most issue that i notices that all these university use open-source programming language to teach students the programming algorithms, high level programming and they didn't depend on the famous software companies like Microsoft, Apple,...etc (only if there is a lab. gift from this companies to that universities) and I am really surprised from that at first because in Iraq most of the college that I see uses Microsoft products (you know that there are no copyright in Iraq so it is very cheap!!).
And even when I now in the Mercy Corps they use open-source programming and platforms, all these universities and most of the companies want to be independent from Big software producers, they want to be free !! and I thank in Iraq we need to big switch to this type, and as an Instructor and IT Director in my university I will try my hard to do this change.

my friends I want your comment .......

Expo Center

in the previous days there a show in Expo Center in Portland named "Energy Trust Better Living Show", in this show many companies offer the new technology of Solar and wind power beside many healthy products.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Alice in Wonderland in 3D !!

a month ago Serbest tell me that he goes to the movie theater (Cinema) in the Saint Louis to see the Avatar movie in 3D which and encourage me to see the 3D movies. then I browse the INTERNET to see where the 3D theaters and what is the new 3D movie.
Alice in Wonderland is the new one and there is a near theater to me (LLoyd Center Cinema)which Floyd help me to find it.

The Mount Hood

There is a very nice Mount in the portland city called the Mount Hood, there are alot of snow on this mount most of the time. Floyd offer me to go with him and his family to this mount and It is really a wonderfull time we spent it there.

Friday, March 19, 2010

danforth planet science center

it was great experience  i get a chance to go with Deb (AT&T external affair) to visit the danforth planet science center.
the concept of using the technology to help poor people in africa and all the work that have been done in order to enhance the amount of the protein so that the food have more value and the best part is that they take scientists from africa and teach them how to do that themselves 
it was a great experience

celebration with my team

recently we finish our work in release 12 of our project so we get out to celebrate that accomplishment
it was fantastic day i have lots of fun
and see how team harmony is important to success in work

saint patrick day

this is the parade of saint patrick day i have lots of fun this day 
and see how america support the freedom because basically saint  patrick is an Irish Parade but they celebrate it in the US how great is that

high tech day

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Accomplishment, teamwork, time: AT&T is ideal model of corporate America

Before I had the chance to know what AT&T was, I thought that AT&T’s main focus was telecommunication. This is only partially true because today AT&T is very competitive in several other industries such as providing fast Internet service or broadband, creating enterprise software and application development and developing an IP-based TV system known as U-Verse.
AT&T has more than 284,000 employees, and thousands of them are IT professionals and code writers who, for example, write the software that handles gigantic database flow systems. The rest of the employees range from drivers to public relations to external affairs who help the government form regulations and to experienced managers. AT&T is spread all over the United States, but their key branches are concentrated in several states. One of them is in St. Louise, Mo., where I work with the other nearly 5,000 employees in one of the three AT&T buildings.
It is amazing how all these massive work processes are man- aged in AT&T. With all these employees, customers and huge numbers of services provided, I was wondering how they manage it. Based on my observation, the work environment in AT&T is based on teamwork. Talking about the IT section of the company, each project has a team to work on, and all team members have to submit weekly or daily status reports to their managers to ensure that the work is progressing smoothly and products will be delivered on time. In addition, AT&T employees are using special tools to increase their efficiency. They keep all of their work documents digitized and are accessible by all the team members who work on the same project for updating and reviewing purposes. They also use in- side-the-house communications tools. Simply put, every AT&T employee can easily communicate
with another AT&T employee using AT&T’s internal Instant Messaging tool, e-mail and phone. No matter what is your position in AT&T, you can simply come in the morning and find the contacts of the chief executive officer of AT&T and send him a good morning greeting via the IM.
Because AT&T is involved with everyday life of their customers, they work not only to deliver a good quality services, they help them and their communities. The pioneers are the world’s largest industry-based volunteer organization with about 325,000 employee and retiree volunteers. AT&T also has about 10 groups that support employee diversity and community involvement. Women of AT&T is organized to connect and inspire members to achieve their personal and professional goals and to effect change in the community. They help women in the workplace and raise about $20,000 each year for women and children charities. HACEMOS is a non-profit, non-partisan organization open to active and retired employees of the AT&T. family of companies. The organization’s main purpose is to foster an environment where people support and encourage each other to succeed professionally, personally, and in the community. Addition- ally, in 2008 AT&T contributed $169 million through corporate, employee and AT&T Foundation giving programs.
In addition to being number one in its business and providing best services. AT&T contributes to the society and to the high-tech community, AT&T receives, on aver- age, two patents every day for a new invention and discovery. Simply put, AT&T is the kind of organization that you want to exist in your country and make you proud.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My way to the Iraqi election

The last week has very important event for all Iraqi people, it is the election, it happened every 4 years and any Iraqi adult can vote and decide who will lead him in the future.

It was far away from my apartment to reach the election center but I decided to go and vote, I went there a little bit late and I saw the people and TV crowded in the center and each person when he vote he should paint his finger by ink so that’s the voting reference.

Then after voting I completed my way to visit my uncle he invited me to share the lunch with them having Iraqi food (DOLMA) and pickle so I used to visit him every weekend and I feel myself lucky because he is near from me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekend on the Golden Gate

hi everybody

in the last 2 weeks I had the chance to see Jill again which was great, and also Matt my supervisor invited me and Saif and Shannon to his house for dinner and we meet his family and had a wonderful time there, as for the weekend i spent it on the golden gate bridge, i know that all of us had the chance to see it when we first came to San Francisco, but that was a short visit, this time i crossed it walking and went all the way up the hills on the other side and had a wonderful 7 hour trip, i thought of sharing some of the pics that i took with all of you, so here ....

and finally, a pic over san francisco

Thursday, March 11, 2010

just be careful when u talk to media

greetings guys i put the letter i send to the journalist who play with my words to write what she want to write probably you don't want to read the article because its really hurt  the botom line is be careful and make sure you see what they wrote when they publish it and if you can before it will be good

i was writing to you from work and even don't read the whole article few things i want to point at and make it clear
1)i say there is so many dumb people in the world to answer the question about why there is war i never say in iraq.
2)when i talked about people and how they  must know that difference is something good again i never said iraqi people i am talking globally
3)i said i lost to uncle before the war killing by the iraqi government before 2003 and lost two nephew after the war but i never said that i lost them in conflict
i lost them in a terrorist attack because they work in the police to try to make iraq saver place but i never mention that and i wonder how you could say something i never said you draw your own conclusion.
 after read it carefully i find it hard to say thats its only misunderstood because you put things from your imagination and try to delete some fact i say like when i talked about my relative i lost you talk about my nephew and don't mention my uncles actually you said that i lost my uncles in conflict which is so untrue because the saddam government kill them.
please make the correction and try to be more professional next time if you have something with war or you have some idea you want to give to american people please don't put my name on it

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dinner in the Bija House

Bija Gutoff working in the Mecry Corps, she is very nice women. She offer me a very generous offer to have a dinner in her house with her husband , I go there and we talking about many things concerning Iraq and my Internship experiment and the interested thing is the dinner it self because they bought Halal meat!! and most of the food on the table is look like arabic food like rice, salad ,hummus and many Delicious dishes.

OHSU Visit

Gretchen Ansorge working in the Mercy Corps and responsible for Middle East, she offer me a generous offer to meet her brother John, he is working in the OHSU (Oregon Health and Science University) and he is responsible for online medical courses for Instructors.
I should take the Ariel Tram to get to his job place, which new experiment to me to do that.
He explain to me all the technical issues concerning the online training be side he show me the most of the OHSU buildings which is very interested place.