About

Who am I? (TL;DR version)

My name is Ali Alaa. I am a front-end web developer based in Cairo, Egypt. I have been working in the field for around 8 years. I am currently focusing on creating online learning content. I publish online courses, articles and I am planning to publish free tutorials on my youtube channel.

I also do freelance work from time to time. If you are interested in working with me, feel free to get in touch with me.

The Beginnings

I was first introduced to web development during my time studying telecommunications engineering around 2010. During that time I discovered themeforest and I was intrigued by some of the WordPress templates that I saw there. Shortly after, I decided to start learning web development and WordPress in parallel with my university studies. I learned through online tutorials and courses. As far as I remember, tutsplus & Lynda were my two biggest sources of learning.

A memory of my days studying at the university that I found on my old phone.

First Milestone

At the time I graduated university; I was able to get a jQuery plugin & a WordPress template published on themeforest. This of course happened after multiple rejections which looking back I consider were important for my development. This was a huge milestone for me. Although my theme didn't do well, but I knew that I have reached a good point in my career.

During that time I was looking for a job and I wasn't yet decided on which field I would like to carry on with. I was applying for jobs for both telecommunications and web development fields.

A photo I took during working on the first accepted WordPress template on themeforest.

First Job

I got my first job at a web development agency in 2014. I worked on tons of WordPress projects. At the same time I was still working in my free time on WordPress themes for themeforest. I managed to publish another WordPress theme and a WordPress plugin. However, I started to lose interest in WordPress stuff and I was more interested in learning more about JavaScript and different front-end aspects that I wasn't aware of like accessibility, JS frameworks and hybrid mobile application development. Luckily, that was also the direction of the agency I worked for. We were getting more web app and hybrid mobile app sort of projects.

“I have been in the tech space for the past 10 years, worked with more than 100 developers. Ali is THE best frontend developer I have worked with. He has great knowledge, helpful and has a distinguished work ethic.”

Testimonial from the CEO of the agency where I had my first job.

Publishing themes on themeforest also wans't a very good idea if you are an individual. To succeed on such a competitive marketplace, you have to have a team of designers, developers and customer support and that wasn't possible for me at the time. So I decided to quit themeforest and focus more on expanding my front-end development knowledge.

Working at an agency was a really beneficial step in my career. Working on real-life projects, dealing with clients and collaborating with different teams taught me a lot. But after a while I decided to take my next step and start freelancing.

Freelancing

After few years of having a regular job, I gained a lot of experience and worked on a lot of big projects. Nevertheless, I started getting tired of the routine. I felt like I needed a new challenge at this point. So I decided to start freelancing. When I took that decision, I had no idea what to do and how to find clients. I started applying for jobs on Upwork. And given my empty Upwork profile, It took me around 6 months to be noticed and hired by a client. It was a very difficult period in my life. I was barely getting any income and I started to doubt my decision. But during these 6 months I did a lot of things that helped me a lot later. I created a website for myself which was shared by Wes Bos, wrote some articles on medium, created a CSS grid cheat sheet which was shared by Smashing Magazine and so on. All of that gave a bit of exposure and helped me have some stuff to show the clients that I was applying for their jobs. Since I got my first job, things went a lot better for me and I was able to get clients easier. A lot of times I didn't have to search for jobs, clients started to get in touch with me either from an article I wrote or from my Upwork profile.

“Ali is the best freelancer I had the opportunity to work with. He produces quality code, maintains an excellent communication and always delivers in time. It is a real pleasure to work with him.”

“I would work with Ali again. He is a really good developer and has strong technical skills.”

Testimonials from some of my freelancing clients.

Course Creation

After about a year of freelancing; I was thinking about something new to do. One of the things that I thought of was creating online courses. I wasn't sure if I was gonna be able to do it. I haven't done anything like that before. But after some research and demos, I decided that I am gonna give it a try. And I started preparing for my first course which was about creating WordPress themes. It took me a very long time to prepare and record that course. I was very unconfident about how I was doing things and I kept re-recording and re-editing a lot. But after the first few sections I started to get used to it and I finally released the course on Udemy.

I struggled a bit at the beginning with sales, but after a while the course started getting some traction and also some good reviews. Few months later I decided to do more courses. Although it's a very stressful process to create and edit a course on your own; but I really enjoyed the outcome of it. Helping students and getting positive feedback is a really satisfying experience.

I have made 3 courses so far and I really enjoyed each one of them. When you create a course about a certain topic, you really learn a lot about this topic. When you are willing to explain something to people, you have to have a very deep understanding of it. And that makes you learn things wouldn't have learned otherwise.

I am currently focusing on creating more courses. I am also planing to do free tutorials on youtube and write more articles here on my website 🙂.

A photo I took while editing one of the lectures of my first course.

A photo I took during recording one of my courses showing my recording set-up.

“Probably one of the best WordPress Udemy course. Not an easy one, it will take time to digest it but the topics are deeply covered by Ali.”

“Very competent teacher with clear pronounce and clarification as well as useful practical examples.”

“Ali is really a great Teacher, My all search stop after watching his course and now I have created my first theme to sell on ThemeForest.”

Some of the reviews left by students who took my courses.

More About Me

When I am not working; I am probably spending some time with street cats, that makes up around 20% of my day 😄. I also enjoy football (soccer), I am a fan of FC Bayern Munich, Arsenal F.C. and Al Ahly SC. My favourite form of entertainment is music and my favourite band is Radiohead.

A photo of me and Nadya (a street cat).