Another "How I Got Into Tech" Story: Muslim Girl Edition

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Another "How I Got Into Tech" Story: Muslim Girl Edition
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How and why did I get into tech ๐Ÿค”?

For some, this is such a simple yet complicated question because several reasons lead right up to that decision. For me, it really is no different.

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How It All Started

I've always wanted to build things "with my hands", products that people could use. I had a dream of becoming a hardware engineer and working with Dell so in 2014, I chose to study Computer Engineering in the university.

I resumed in 2015 (thanks, OAU๐Ÿ™„) and I was really excited to begin my journey. However, that feeling slowly faded away due to the immense stress, frustration and the feeling of inadequacy one gets from schooling in public Nigerian universities. I focused solely on trying to get through school with great grades because I was such a perfectionist and I had GPA targets I wanted to meet.

About 3 years into my program, most of my male friends/colleagues were already into software engineering and suggested I try it too. Me being me, I was still adamant about my hardware engineering dream and didn't want to try anything software.

Then a Turn...

Eventually, we had to go for SIWES early 2018 and that was when I gave frontend development a try. I gained some fashion designing skills before school so I liked creating visually appealing content. I was always thinking of the next designs to bring to life and I decided to channel that into frontend development instead.

I got an unpaid internship role at Terragon (the student hub in Ile-Ife) and there, I met Idowu. He was like a mentor and was really helpful throughout the internship. He shared resources like W3Schools and some others to help learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I also got to build simple projects, he'd assess them and offer tips on how to improve. I'm quite grateful to him because he contributed to my progress and made me want to improve and learn even more. After the internship, I kept working on little projects so I could have demo projects to include in my future applications.

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Late 2018, I sent applications to several design and IT companies in Lagos for a 6-month internship role. Most of them never responded (my mail definitely ended in the trash). However, I wasn't willing to give up so I pushed even harder. I got phone numbers from websites and tried calling for enquiries. Eventually, I got two interviews; one for a design company and the other from Crenet Techlabs.

I later got the internship role at Crenet and those 6 months pretty much gave me all I needed to start working in the tech field. I learnt quite a lot during the months; worked with Vue.js and got to contribute to real & live projects. It was really nice working with the team.

I wrote a post about my experience working at Crenet Techlabs here.

You can also read some of the posts from my #InternDiary series.

Life in 2020

We can all agree 2020 was such a crazy year. There were lots of depressing and overwhelming moments but there were also good ones too. I had my project defense in February and 'life after school' was supposed to "start". My portfolio had some notable projects (incl. my final year project ) so I had intended to get a job in Lagos whilst waiting for NYSC.

Of course, COVID-19 happened so 10 months later, I'm working remotely for a company in Lagos. I picked up React, worked with Gatsby and got a couple of tutorials to help stay updated with Vue (I'm a dedicated Vue.js advocate lol).

Summary?

It was just the path for me.

I was already in a software engineering environment, I had friends encourage me and I was into aesthetically pleasing content. I enjoy creating visually appealing products with a wow user experience.

I'll be honest and admit it can be a bit challenging especially since one can spend hours debugging or writing codes all day. It can sometimes affect other areas of your daily life in the long run.

However, I do like what I currently do and I look forward to learning more. I'm also pretty interested in other fields in tech and I'd love to explore those as well.

All in all, I'm glad I'm on this journey and I plan to make the most of it to get to wherever I need to be.

The sky is the limit!

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