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New Crew Member: Elaheh Jabbarifard

Published October 9, 2020

Meet our newest programming apprentice, Elaheh Jabbarifard!

Currently a student at UW-Madison, Elaheh joined our team for the fall semester. Through her full-time apprenticeship, she's growing her mobile development skills and gaining real-world experience by working closely with senior staff on a new mobile app for a Ten Forward client. 

Originally from Iran, she brings persistence, determination and a positive attitude to the team, and we've really enjoyed getting to know her over the last month.  

Elaheh's apprenticeship is sponsored by Madison company Widen Enterprises, Inc. You can learn more about Widen here: https://www.widen.com/

Welcome to the team! What brought you to Ten Forward?

“The first time I was looking through Ten Forward’s website, I saw the 'Culture' section in it, which I haven’t seen before in other companies. I saw that you define your company’s culture in 8 principles, while 'positivity' and 'diversity' took my attention. It set this big light in my mind about the company, and although I had applied for other companies, I really liked to get the apprenticeship position in Ten Forward. After having two interviews, I felt those principles in your company’s culture by my heart. The respect to the diversity, and kindness and intimacy between the employees in the team means a lot to me. Ten Forward is my first job experience in the United States, and definitely the sweetest one!”

What are you looking forward to learning or doing during your apprenticeship?

“This is my 6th year of living in the United States, and there are many things to learn for me. I love learning new things, so I’m trying to learn as much as I can, from all of my teammates, in addition to software development. I’m so happy that I have expert teammates in software development, who are really supportive and help me learning with their kindness and patience about my many questions as a second language person!”

You moved here from Iran, where you worked in public media. What inspired you to study computer science when you came to the States?

"In Iran, there were almost 15 main media channels, like sports, news, kids …and each of them had their own information system and report forms. I was a connection between the users of those channels and the high-level managers of the public media. Any time managers needed a detailed report of the channels’ activities, I had to go to the channels and gather the channels’ reports and data files (in their own style) and make the required report for my managers. 

After a year working in this system, I thought that we could have a uniform information system with two output types (channel reports and manager reports). In this way, when the users have data entry in the system, we could get the data from our servers in the styles that we needed. 

When I suggested it to my manager, they didn’t accept it at first, but after some analyzing they started the project. Since I was the connection of the software developers and the clients, I had to have instruction sessions for them and also report their needs to the development team. At that time, I was hoping to learn Java programming someday, then I could fix the problem myself. 

So when I came to the United States with my husband and two daughters, I decided to study computer science and learn programming."

You’ve talked about how challenging it can be to attend university in a language that isn’t your native language. Do you find that any strategies you used to learn English also apply to learning programming languages?

"I think the important thing that helps me in learning English, is repeating the words and expressions, and trying to use them in my regular conversations.

This is exactly similar to learning new concepts in a programming language. I usually try to use the previous concepts that I’ve learned in a programming language when I’m practicing the new concepts. It helps me a lot to learn the use of them."

Describe your perfect Sunday afternoon.

"My ideal Sunday afternoon would be having my whole family here and spending time with them by going shopping or taking a walk by Lake Mendota with them, in a summer afternoon in Madison.”

Fill in the blanks: "If I could only __ one __ for the rest of my life, it would be __."

"If I could only choose one sweet for the rest of my life, it would be baklava."

Favorite board game or video game, TV show or movie, band or musician, emoji.

Video game: Uno

TV Show: The Ellen Show

Band or musician: Ali Zand Vakili


You've mentioned that as a parent and university student, you don't have much time for television these days. If you had to pick, would you rather watch "Star Trek" or "Star Wars"?

Star Trek." 

Author details

Hilary Stohs-Krause

Co-Owner and Senior Software Developer