My name is Olowu Abayomi. I am a computer science graduate from Moshood Abiola Polytechnic. My interest in computing started way back in secondary school. Mobile phones that allowed internet services had just been introduced into my community. I noticed that whenever people needed to browse they had to call customer service to configure their phones for browsing. I saw that it was time-consuming and I thought about a solution. I called the network providers, Glo and MTN, and got all their internet configurations. So when people in the community needed to configure their phones for browsing, I handled it myself. It made me really popular at the time and also fueled my desire to know more about how computing works. From that moment, I made up my mind to study computer science!
During my undergraduate studies, I developed a strong interest in programming, but I didn’t go into the details of programming, I just did the basics of different programming languages like Visual Basic and C#, enough to pass my courses and get good grades.
Then one day, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and saw a post by Seyi Onifade. He mentioned the Zuri Software Development scholarship with Ingressive for Good. I applied for it and was selected as one of the beneficiaries. I was so excited about the opportunity. I completed the course and also participated in the project phase.
The training was beginner friendly and easy to understand. The lessons helped to fill in the knowledge gaps I had from self-learning. I gained first-hand experience in working on projects remotely. I also became more confident about front-end development.
The Learning Management System (LMS) during the Zuri training was really challenging. It helped me to stay motivated and committed to finishing tasks in good timing. The mentors were really calm in addressing the challenges that the trainees had and I learned a lot from their leadership styles. All of these have come in handy now.
I completed another 7-month training course by Reskill Americans and after that got the HNG internship. I was made the team lead and it was the first time I would handle such responsibilities. I didn’t get to the final stage but my team got to stage 8 before the team we were out of the competition. This experience encouraged me a lot because I was proud of how far we got and how much we accomplished during the training
After my training, I started accepting side projects and developing myself through them. At a point, I began applying for junior developer roles. I got called for some interviews but some of the tasks they needed were not what I was experienced with. The interview sessions exposed me to what was required of software developers. I jotted down questions that I couldn’t answer and researched them after the interview.
I saw the training opportunity for Interswitch on LinkedIn in April and applied for it. After about 3 weeks I received a message that I was qualified to take the aptitude test. I passed the test and was scheduled for an oral interview.
I passed the oral interview and after some weeks I was sent an offer letter and resumed as a software engineering trainee in August. The application process wasn’t an easy journey because there were times I was depressed and I wondered if I was doing certain things wrong. Many times, I also questioned my competence. I had friends who supported and motivated me to keep going. I also had a part time job as a junior developer which also boosted my confidence.
From my experience, I have learned that the tech journey is gradual and there should be no rush into it. I’ll advise everyone breaking into tech to be patient with themselves during the journey.
I4G has been a really important part of my tech journey. Being a part of the Ingressive for Good alumni community prepared me for my dream job. I became more confident about my software development skills after the Zuri training. There have also been many training sessions on the telegram platform that have been enlightening. I remember a presentation by Adedolapo Lawal on how to structure CVs. It was really enlightening and I was so impressed with how so much vital information was given to us for free.
I gained some connections with fellow participants in the Zuri training that have helped in my tech career. I worked with one of these connections on the project that recommended me during my interview at Interswitch. I have big dreams and aspirations to make novel solutions to Africa’s challenges through tech and I4G is one of the reasons why I’m inspired to keep pushing at it.