Omar, born and raised in the US, and Palestinian by origin, always had an innate passion for technology. At a young age, educators around him observed his talent and encouraged him to cultivate his tech strengths, ultimately directing him to the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Surrounded by likeminded individuals, Omar channeled his passion for technology granting him acceptance to Virginia Tech University- which boasts one of the leading engineering schools in the nation.
Through his studies at Virginia Tech, Omar pursued his interests in robotics and problem solving. He leaped from Mechanical, to Electrical, to Computer Engineering, in his quest to find his right fit - eventually realizing that Computer Engineering provided him with the best mix of hardware (Electrical Engineering) and software (Computer Science). Through his degree, Omar gained a deeper understanding into the inner-workings of programming for embedded systems and low-level programming. He worked on several robotics projects, including an electric motorcycle and an autonomous maze-navigating robot.
During the summers, Omar held various internships with government contractors, which helped prepare him for the jump to the corporate world for his first full-time position. After Virginia Tech, Omar went to work with GE Aviation, where he learned about all facets of developing software for aircraft systems. During his time at GE, Omar worked on a flight simulator (which allowed him to test aircraft code on simulations before shipping the code to a real-life aircraft), where he also experienced what it took to lead a team, as he assumed the role of testing lead for a team of 60-100 software developers. During his time at GE Aviation, Omar simultaneously pursued a masters in Computing from Marquette University. Through his graduate studies, Omar’s focus shifted from robotics to web development, as he pursued his interests in entrepreneurship and looked for ways to mass-scale and distribute software solutions.
After two years, Omar left GE to work on a private government web application at Parsons. In this role, Omar was able to put to use some of the web technologies he had learned and learned more about testing web applications. While at Parsons, Omar continued studying web frameworks, and learned about the Drupal web framework through a 4-month course, offered to him by one of our diaspora members - Ashraf Abed, the founder of Debug Academy. “This course exposed me to full stack web development (front and back-end) and provided a framework for combining all I had learned into a cohesive tool for developing and distributing web content”, he describes. “I am currently using Drupal to construct a website centered around finance and investing (two of my non-engineering personal passions). Regardless of the application (robotics, web development, testing, etc.) I love that I can put my software skills to work and create an application that I envision”.
Omar is interested in working with startups in Palestine, whether it be by means of collaboration, partnerships, or mentorship opportunities.