#YouthInTech is an initiative that promotes enthusiastic young people who have an idea or an innovative project.

Aldin Isaki is a student from North Macedonia. He is currently studying computer science at “University of People” in USA. In the meantime, he is also working on the certification in the EC council for digital forensics and computer crime detection Është certifikuar nga Global Tech Council për inteligjencën aritificiale në nivel eksperti. He has been certified by Global Tech Council as an Artificial Intelligence (AI), expert level. He also works with cloud computing, where he holds a master’s certificate as a cloud architect from Google and is the youngest student to receive it.

What was the moment you realized you had a passion for technology?

I and my family moved to a village called “Leshok”, when I was 1 year old. It was a remote village, no neighbours around, and that’s where I grew up. I went to school in Tetovo city. Since I was a little child, I always got bored fast playing with toys, and I used to tear them down, because I was always curious how things actually work. . I used to collect the left electronics, and I was trying to build things by myself. Later on, when we got a computer at home, it was like a new toy for me, and I spent quite some time exploring it. I was experimenting with it, going through the menus, clicking, and sometimes we had to send it for repair, but that did not last long, because when I was 8, I was able to detect and fix the problems by myself. I always enjoyed working witch computers and technology, but I realised I had a spark of talent, when I was helping my friends and teachers at school by fixing their computers, and installing software.

What are some of the projects you are currently working on?

Currently, I am working on projects for cybersecurity. Most of the projects are models I have created, a few of which are in the development phase, and some in the testing phase. The models are made based on where they need to be used. They can be useful for companies, institutions, banks, governments, etc. Secure and fast communication, file sharing, and networking are my priorities on these projects. Since I am a Master Certified Google Cloud Architect, my projects are cloud-based, which is an innovative and secure technology.

Besides these, I am also working on educative projects that in total are 5 projects. I started these projects after a research I did in the western Balkan countries. The analysis showed that there is a big gap of knowledge in the field of cybersecurity. Since most of the school curriculums are outdated regarding technological aspect, I think these educational courses/trainings will be provided through non-formal education.

In which of the projects did you encounter the most difficulties and did the failures help you to be more successful?

In every project I’ve worked on, there have been challenges, but never failures. I think the word “failure” does not exist in my vocabulary, only the word “learning”. It is essential to have a good working strategy. Planning, finding resources, doing analysis, getting comments and opinions are very important. When you have a good work strategy, good communication and a professional team, the challenges are easier. The important thing is to work on solving them instead of ignoring them.

How do you think cyber security should be approached in the context of young people?

I think the youth lacks information on cybersecurity. I see on daily basis, just by going out for coffee, people directly connect to the internet on open networks, and use their devices which contain personal information that can be at risk anytime. I see people not reading the terms and services, policies, and accepting them anyways. I see people go on websites, and accept “cookies” without knowing what they are. These are the most basic things, for which we should rise awareness, and provide information to the youth, because we can’t have a general secure system, if we don’t start from creating a safe digital environment for our personal needs. The educational system in the Western Balkan countries does not provide any information regarding cybersecurity, and I haven’t seen any work being done for that. My hopes are on non-formal education.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

This is a question that I like to keep to myself, but what can I say is that I will never stop following my passion, learning the newest technological developments, and always motivating the youth, to create a better future for us, and for the next generations. I once read a quote that said “Be the change you want to see in the world”, and the reason why I work on educational projects, is that I want the youth and the future generation to have easier access and a better learning process than I had. Contributing for my motherland, will always be very important to me.

What advice would you recommend to other talented young Albanians in technology?

First I want to say that, I see potential Albanian youngsters that could reach the heights of technology. Technology is the fastest developing field, and the challenging part is following it. For those who want to pursue technology related professions, staying updated is very important, because otherwise you are kicked from the job market in a matter of years or even months.

Nowadays, the access to information is very easy. You can learn anything you want, using online platforms. The first thing you need, is a laptop/computer, and access to internet. In google, YouTube, GitHub, there is an endless ocean of information, and most of it is for free. Even the paid courses, have special discounts for students, and don’t cost much.

Last but not least, working on personal growth, and on personal mental wellbeing is very important. Working with technology, requires focus, consistency, persistency, self-motivation, and many other skills like this, which are not related to technology, but are very important. The computer can become very addictive, to the point where you forget there is a life out there. I wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone, that’s why sometimes you need to get rid of the technology, and spend some time in the nature. It will increase the productivity and it will contribute on keeping your body and mind healthy.

Everything can be achieved, even with 0% talent. What is important is to never give up on our goals.