Today, we are excited to highlight one of our newest employees, Omer Yariv! Omer joins Code The Dream as our Senior Developer Tech Equity Fellow. Read more about Omer’s work, his relationship to technology, and some of his favorite things.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Israel. I moved to New York City about 11 years ago, and then to Carrboro, North Carolina a year ago.
What were you doing before you started at Code the Dream?
I was the primary caretaker for my kids during the pandemic. Before that I had a long career as a Product Manager, Team Leader, and Software Engineer. I worked at startups and as a freelancer, and I’ve also taken breaks from working in tech, during which I backpacked extensively through Asia.
How did you get into technology? Do you remember the first time you used a computer? What was that experience like?
I was lucky. When I was a kid my parents got us a personal computer pretty early on. They somehow bought a Dragon 32 computer, which immediately started a rivalry with our neighbors who had a ZX Spectrum. To give you an idea of how ancient this is, the storage device for these computers was a cassette tape. Eventually both us and our neighbors got Amstrad 64s, and peace was restored. I enjoyed writing short BASIC programs for these computers, and later connecting to BBSs. The ability to access information that was very hard to get to before then was mind blowing, and as soon as I had my first taste of the Internet I was hooked. The best aspect of the WWW, in hindsight, was the “view source” option in web browsers, which allowed me to see how people built the coolest things and be able to use that knowledge to build my own creations.
What excites you the most about working at Code the Dream? What projects are you working on?
I just joined Code the Dream only recently, and I’m currently working on an internal app that will help manage students and cohorts.
What drew me to Code the Dream was the mission. As an immigrant, the fact that I was a Software Engineer really helped smooth my transition to the US. Software development is an occupation that pays well, has a high demand wherever you are, and has a lot of flexibility in terms of working remotely. I believe that learning software development can open up so many opportunities for people.
What excites me most day-to-day here is seeing how new developers keep improving their skills. Almost every day they face a challenge that they’re not sure they can solve on their own, and again and again they end up finding a solution for the challenge and improving as developers as they do so.
If you had all the money you needed for a project, what would you build?
It will probably be something to do with the brain. I’m amazed at how little we know about the brain and how it works. I’d love to work on a project that explores it further.
It’s impossible to choose. My favorite movie of the last year, for sure, is Everything Everywhere All at Once, which manages to be way smarter than it should be, and at the same time doesn’t take itself seriously at all.
One song that still makes me stop in my tracks, even though it’s 25 years old, is (loosely translated) “That’s how it is (to love you)” by Berry Sakharof, an Israeli musician who manages to uniquely blend together East and West, old and new, mainstream and esoteric. Every album he comes out with is familiar and yet surprising and different from his previous work.
I’m a sucker for Japanese food and Indian food, which are probably on two different ends of some food spectrum but, at the risk of being a cliche, my real love is hummus. Unfortunately, I have yet to find good hummus on this side of the ocean.
Favorite place you’ve visited?
I fell in love with India the minute I stepped foot in it, and ended up spending almost 18 months backpacking there. There’s still so much I haven’t seen there, though.