Tell us about yourself?
My name is Chinenye Anikwenze. I’m a software developer focusing on frontend. I have a non-tech background, with a degree in History and International studies. Because of my degree and the state of Nigeria, I realized that I needed to upskill as my degree alone won’t be enough to get a job. However, I was quite hesitant on learning programming. Then, I didn’t even realize there were technical and non-technical roles in the industry. I thought everyone had to code to be in tech. More so, I didn’t exactly research about programming because subconsciously, I thought all the roles were core mathematics, or hardware engineering related. So I pursued other skills. I explored fiction writing, academic writing, screenwriting, and even copywriting. As an academic writer, I got published in 2 international journals and spoke at a few academic conferences. I was also hired as a remote copywriter/email marketer for an e-commerce company before I quit and decided to focus fully on programming.
What made you to chose a career in tech?
I was a freelance copywriter and email marketer. Then, I noticed that most agencies didn’t want “just” a copywriter in their hiring process. They needed someone who could manage their email campaigns. In the job descriptions, I noticed HTML and CSS being constant as part of the requirements. I figured that since both languages were related to front-end development, I should finally give programming a shot.
What are the challenges you encountered?
Firstly, Imposter syndrome. I disqualified myself for the longest time. Since I didn’t have a computer science background, I felt that I won’t be able to understand the technical concepts.
Networking: I’m not an outgoing person. It doesn’t help that I wasn’t really active in social media groups. So, I struggled with building relationships with other programmers, to collaborate on projects and gain access to hidden job roles.
How did Tech Skills Hack(TSH) help you?
I am a long-time follower of the founder of TSH, Iniobong Udoh on Facebook. So, I joined Tech Skills Hack Facebook community as soon as I resolved to start learning programming. I was able to gain useful resources. People shared drives of free courses on the platform which I used in learning.
Additionally, I booked a call with Iniobong and explained my grievance on networking and building in public. She gave me a roadmap on how to build publicly. She also encouraged me on how to research topics to share, and also how to effectively document my learning process on LinkedIn. So I implemented that and met other programmers. , through which I eventually got my first role as a software developer intern.
Also, I got “programmer” on the career quiz made by Tech skills Hack , which is also a boost that I’m on the right track with my current tech role. If you are looking at getting a tech started in tech and you are confused about what skill to go for, you should try this innovative tech clarity web app developed by Tech Skills Hack.
What advise do you have for those just beginning?
If you’re wondering if you have what it takes to learn programming or tech in general, my advice to you is to take the leap. There is an opportunity for everyone in tech.
A. I will encourage them to seek transferable skills from previous roles and interests in order to find the right tech niche to pursue. It doesn’t have to be core coding. Luckily, Tech Skills hack have a quiz that really streamlines this process for you.
B. Join communities and try to make friends with active participants and community managers. This can be asking them questions on a language you intend to learn, or enquiring about a roadmap so the concepts doesn’t get too overwhelming for you.
C. Give yourself enough time. This should not be overlooked at all. If you’re transitioning from another industry, this is crucial. I always tell myself this, “I studied History and International studies for 4 years (+1 courtesy of ASUU), and didn’t get paid. Why then should I expect to understand every technical concept and be Job ready in less than a year?” Just give yourself time.
Any parting words?
You are not late into tech, despite the sad news of massive layoffs in the industry. The tech industry isn’t going anywhere. Infact, Nigeria’s tech space is still at the beginning stage since we are yet to adopt it widely in different industries including agriculture, health, education, among others. So, you can take your time to explore different roles in tech. Wishing you the best in your journey.