“The one thing that you refuse to stop doing consistently will eventually pay off.”
I learned the above reality from the reflection on what happened to me in a few years. In 2017 when I started my tech career journey, it was a tough time for me and my friends but we believed that our new path (tech) would pay off eventually.
We were all young, energetic and hungry for success, we all wanted to do things in superpower mode but the limited resources and demographic barrier was a major challenge towards achieving these goals. We drained ourselves thinking about the big things even when some of them seemed really unrealistic.
One sunny day after my school tasks, I spoke to two of my friends about bringing people of the same profession together, to share knowledge, and to learn new things together. They held back at first because we had limited resources. We did not have any tangible income or support asides stipends for food and transport. We eventually decided to give it a try despite financial limitations.
I set up a small team and we formed a community using a WhatsApp group. During our launch, I invited a few of my friends to speak on different tech-related topics, it was a great success. This was how my journey as a community builder officially started. I found it interesting to bring people together and I consistently organized different events to keep it going.
How do you get a job?
Creating a community is not just it, the beauty is the good friends you would eventually make along the line, a lot of people would love to associate with you because of your credibility, and you can easily get recommendations for jobs and other opportunities like internships, traveling, grants and a whole lot of good stuff.
I was surfing the internet one day, I came across an article by Ingressive for Good on how they partnered with SW DevFest organized in Ibadan city. I researched more about the organization and found out they were supporting students in various institutions across Africa to upscale their tech career and also provide the resources needed to succeed. That was all I needed at the time. I have organized some events without support from any company. I applied as a campus ambassador and I was approved after 14 days of review. It was a great opportunity for I and my colleagues. We leveraged the Ingressive Campus Ambassador program to organize a series of impactful events on the Campus, we trained students on coding, product design and Version Control systems.
Thanks to Ingressive partnership with Github, we received campus kits and several goodies from Github through Ingressive.
Through the Ingressive Campus Program, my work as a community advocate got noticed and I co-founded several communities like Kwarabuild, Sitemach, Kanispace, GDG Ilorin and MALhub.
Founding MALhub has been a major success in my tech journey, moving from a small office generating N200,000 per month to a larger office that is currently generating more than N500,000 every month. It was regarded as the House of Tech in the city of Ilorin, Nigeria.
In 2020, Ingressive launched their non-profit organization, Ingressive For Good. I was contacted by the co-founder Sean Burrows during the pilot phase to work on a community framework. I worked on the project for 2 months and it was approved. After a month, I received another call from Sean, guess what? It was a job offer!
Just like that, without writing any application or submitting CVs, I got my dream job as a community advocate. I started on a contract for 6 months and was promoted to become a full staff.
Who speaks on my behalf?
Perhaps I would say, it was due to being an active Campus Ambassador or that I ensured a mutual connection with my program lead at the time , Adewale Abati. I learnt a lot from him, his leadership skill was exceptional and so emulating. We frequently met at different tech events across different regions. I enjoyed attending tech conferences, it broadened my sense of inspiration and increased my network.
Three things you should start doing as a community organizer.
- Update: We all want to create a community, but not everyone is patient enough to see a community thrive in challenging moments. The only choice you have is to keep working on what you have to improve as time goes on.
- Learn: The only way you can drive a community forward is to acquire the right skill sets, don’t be a quack organizer. Learn more with the right resources.
- Accountability: Be more accountable for what is going on around you, and tell your stories to the world. Your good work deserves more reward, improve your analytics skill to forecast your community’s future.
A community cannot thrive without the impact of its members, the game is about everyone.
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