ALC ’17: The beginning of my EPIC journey

Few weeks to the end of NYSC I was thinking of how I am going to impact the society, do things people can use. I want to change the world (everybody want to, right?). Then came Andela and Android Learning Community (ALC) beginner’s program. I’ve always been a fan of the tech world (by the way, I am a graduate of Economics), so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity because it was totally free. I applied and we were asked to take a test (Test?! I don’t like the sound of this!). Took the test and I got 66%. I wasn’t expecting to be picked. Well, I got the mail stating I had, been selected for the ALC beginner’s program. Start of the EPIC journey

A week into the program slack channel already lit. People showing what they have done. A particular guy even claimed to have completed the whole course. Seriously? In a week? (Course that is supposed to run for three months). I was chilled and learning at my pace from Udacity after all, everyone will get their certificate at the end of the program, so no rush. After the first ALC meet up, I got a call from a certain number saying I was recommended by someone to join their team for a project. African Chicken Genetic Gains — Nigeria (ACGG-NG) was looking for a seasoned android app developer team to develop Chicken Feed Formulation application. I couldn’t say Yes, I’m in or No, I’m not interested. I asked him to forward the necessary document to my mail, I was terrified when I saw the document. Easy way out, just say No and continue with your learning, but nah, I said Yes. Nobody achieves anything by learning alone but by applying what you have learnt. So, I was asked to submit my C.V and portfolio of apps done. Portfolio what? I AM JUST A MONTH INTO MY ANDROID PROGRAM! I rang up the team leader and told him I had no apps to my name. He asked me to do something that I still had 5 days. Well, I already said yes, so I downloaded materials, used stack overflow and in four days, I had three simple apps to my name (at least I have a portfolio now, laughs). We submitted all the document required and ACGG — NG screened out many teams (a team is made up 2 developers and 2 agriculturists). Three teams made it and we were one of them.

My ALC program continued and I was enjoying the classes handled by Kunal and Katherine of Udacity (awesome tutors). Two weeks later, a mail came in, we were asked to make a demo of the chicken feed formulation app and submit to ACGG — NG in 10 days which will be ranked and the best team gets compensated. At this point I wanted to quit because I wasn’t sure I was ready but then I wasn’t going to give up at this point. I put a call through to my partner and requested we work at my place. He agreed and we started working. Told him I was just a beginner and he should put me through some things whenever the need be. We shared the responsibility, I worked on the interface and he worked on the java (coding part) and sometimes we switched roles. We had fun while working and everything went smoothly until two days to deadline when we realized we made errors and major changes were needed. Making major changes on what you have been working on for days isn’t a funny thing especially when the deadline is near. We kept our cool and corrected the errors and we submitted some minutes after the deadline. We thought we’d be bounced but the deadline was extended by a week to allow teams to make necessary adjustments. We made the demo more beautiful and included some things that weren’t on the initial demo submitted (this time around we submitted two days to deadline).

It was June and we were almost through with ALC beginner’s program. During the program, I met amazing guys, awesome facilitators (Kayinsola and Eze), helped guys with their projects, I was offered help when needed. The sad part of the program for me was when I was unavoidably absent for the grand finale meet up. I couldn’t participate in the hackathon. But hey, I will be done with my ALC beginner’s program course anyways….. June 26, I got a mail from Andela and a message from my team leader. Andela acknowledged the submission of my project. Finally ALC beginner’s course was over (I am still waiting for my certificate). Later that same day, I got the message from the team leader that we were ranked as the team with best demo. They claimed both UI and functionality of the demo app were awesome and they asked for negotiations to begin, so we could start working on the app fully. One of the happy moments of my life. I said to myself ‘’It was just a simple and ‘amateurish’ design and nothing special about the work done’’. They loved it so I’m glad. Anytime I look at the contract terms and think of how much I’ve learnt and how far I’ve come in 4 months, I always say thank you Andela! Thank you Udacity! Thank you Google!

and the EPIC journey continues……