HOW IT ENDED…

In life people have sets of goals, these goals are always organized using a priority scaling system. I had plenty goals for myself, but one goal was much important than any other currently and that was getting the required skill to accomplish the major goal. I had my plan laid out, I needed an organization that can help me get there, and there came Andela.

They had such an excellent plan too, with diversified goals which most prioritized was training 10,000+ Tech Leaders, then comes profit making. During bootcamp, my project was to design a drag and drop shopping cart that will also show the cart summary, it wasn’t easy but it was worth it. I can look back and remember the stress I went through, I had to travel a long distance from Okokomaiko along badagry way to Illupeju during the second week of the bootcamp, thank God the first week was permitted to be taken care of remotely. But then thinking of it, I don’t know if I should be grateful for that or not? I leave that to be answered later. I am good at being myself, no pretense, I built my bootcamp project with simply JQuery, CSS, HTML and javascript, you can’t believe it? Co-boot-camper's were using Express, NodeJS, AngularJS etc, and I kept wondering what the heck is all this, are you sure I can fit in here? Well, I pushed the thought aside, did what I knew best how to do, and defended went back home. You won’t believe it, we were told in two weeks time we would hear from them, in just a week time, the long awaited mail landed. I have to sign a four year contract, which I cannot leave till after 18 months or have to pay back the cost of training me. It took all the guts in me to sign that contract, I had challenges, real serious ones but I refused to let in to the fear, I told myself, Honey! you are a warrior, reach out for it!

On 3rd of January 2017, we landed at the office at Moleye Yaba, I was anxious, I felt lucky, I looked forward to it. The induction started, the part I can remember vividly was the learning department session; we were asked how would we love to learn, everyone aired their opinion, I have always been a self-learner, and I felt it would be better if I keep the habit, so I said I would prefer to be given all resources needed and allowed to discover it on my own and ask questions wherever I get things mixed up. It was sealed and agreed on, we proceeded to Amity where the final induction was done. The pretty lady residing at the NYC office came on air, read the contract thoroughly for us, and then finally concluded, “remember it’s not a competition, take your time and make sure you understand every tiny bit thing that you are doing”. I recorded that, because it sounded like what I would love to hear from an organization I did share four years of my life with.

There were simulations and checkpoints, each touching different facets of the curriculum, there was so much to learn, I saw the greek sounding NodeJS, AngularJS and Express, the only familiar one there was git, github, OOP and Regular Expressions (from my Java background). I am not a quitter, I love challenges, I am going to face it head on, but I am not going to pretend about anything, thank God there is the opportunity to still try for additional one or two months after first three months probation if one doesn’t meet expectations. I thought, since my situation is that bad, I am quit sure I will make use of that grace.

Checkpoint 1 and simulations 1 were running in parallel,I was assigned to tasks in simulations, if I can remember well, the tasks were: front-end unit testing using karma, code coverage publishing to coveralls.io and coding of the cfh leader board generation algorithm. That task wasn’t easy but I attempted it, I added the coveralls badge, but the percentage wasn’t updating and I was wondering what was left undone, I started googling, and I read about coverage publishing using istanbul but how to do that was a problem. The next I did was to consult the TTL, I messaged him about my discovery and waited for his guidance on how to proceed with the new insight I gained, he asked me to hold on with it, and I simply did and faced my checkpoint. I started writing the test suites for my checkpoint, I wasn’t sure if I was getting things right, I contacted the facilitator and sent him a code snippet of the test suite I wrote for confirmation or correction to avoid duplication of errors., I can’t remember vividly either I was ignored or asked to consult other senior fellows. At that point I got the gist, I made a friend at the cafeteria and I decided to make him my consultant. The facilitator was tough on us, it wasn’t funny, but we have to keep pushing and that I did.

One good day in the office, playfully, I made a remark that I see the relationship between I and the facilitator as that of an Antelope and a Lion in the forest? How would you interpret that? Well predator, strict or no nonsense person, believe me it was misinterpreted. Next week, P&C invited me for a one and one chat, the complaint wasn’t about that but that my facilitator said I wasn’t meeting expectations and I wasn’t socializing. Yea, he is right I wasn’t, but I was still studying the grounds, I didn’t want to expose myself much because I had reasons the initial time why I took that decision. I would share one of them, so that some of my capabilities wouldn’t be known so that I can learn what I can during the fellowship. I took the feedback, increased my socializing but decided to keep it on the watch, because anything I say if I eventually over-socialize can be interpreted to mean anything and acted upon for or against me. Thank God I finished checkpoint 1 and sims 1 with just one undone task in sims 1 which was “front-end unit testing using karma”.

It all came crashing at checkpoint 11 and sims 11. I was pressurized in checkpoint 1 to meet up I used gulp-multi-connect to start my web server rather than trying out express and used AngularJS for my front-end, and believe me I regretted ever allowing myself yield to the pressure when I saw checkpoint 11. There was protractor, circleci, jest, enzyme, reactjs, redux, postgrel, sequelize and webpack; not just that in sims 11 there was reaction commerce itself, meteor, BlazeJS, and docker. It wasn’t funny, I remembered I didn’t cover express in checkpoint 1 so I decided to cover it as well, since I heard immediately after checkpiont 11 we would be moving into apprenticeship (that’s if your facilitator recommends you). But I made one major decision, no yielding to undue pressure anymore, you know why? Most of my mates finished their projects later I finished mine, so what was the purpose of all that, so I decided to take my time after-all this was for me as much as it was for Andela. I took my time started reading about each of the technologies meticulously, because one day I would have to defend my training before clients and junior fellows who would want to consult me.

On Friday, 10th of February we were called for a syncing with our facilitator in a meeting, it all went fine, till he re-emphasized that we have three weeks, failure to meet that deadline, we would have our contract terminated. Believe I am one lady who can never for anything trade-off excellence for time, isn’t that why the whites are doing better academically than us, every child is given an opportunity to study at their own pace and capacity. The best surgeon as I heard was a dullard when he was in class with his mates, but today he is the best surgeon. He was a dullard then, because he was special, he saw things differently, a way others never do, nobody knew until it was time, his great talents manifested. If everyone including his family had given up on him, you think, we would ever get to know that the dullard in class then was a potential great surgeon? That’s by the way, Andela is here to train 10,000+ tech leaders, yea, they can adopt this, but what if it’s abused? D0 fellows are paid 100+ in naira, for just learning and doing nothing else apart from giving feedback on how to make the fellowship better, so where is the money to pay a person to learn for eternity? Such money doesn’t exist hence, the condition: minimum of three months and maximum of four months. Now if as a facilitator I decide that a certain class is excellent technically and can take lesser time and save the organization money and time, how do you go about it to make that happen and inform them about that? Simple, motivation and not threat! I don’t sign a contract of a training of minimum of three months and maximum of four months and you come around and threaten me to finish in 3 months when I know within myself if I push myself to do that, that I am pushing myself and Andela towards failure. Like I always said, I don’t like disappointing people and I pretty don’t like people disappointing me. Maybe I had given out my opinion with the wrong tone of voice, but then who wouldn’t when the former facilitator reported I wasn’t meeting expectations because I wasn’t socializing and then I see my mates still defending checkpoint 1 a week and some days after. I don’t want to be the worker who finishes her work late, yes, I want to be early like I presume they wanted for me, but as much as I want that I want to be meticulous, no rushing if I have four months, I relax, use it and achieve excellence, rather than using three months and turning out half-baked. Talking about the money I am being paid, yes, that’s why I am taking my training serious so that I can be good at what I am being trained for, and return the value of my pay and much more to the organization and go my way and preach about them.

Yes, it didn’t go well as I expected, but if I am to rate the fellowship, I give them 90 out of 100, and that’s an A. Yes, they deserve it, in just two and half months you want to know the technologies I learnt, wait let me list them: NodeJS, Express, AngularJS, ReactJS, Meteor, BlazeJS, Jade, Sass, Less, Material Design, Reaction Commerce, Git, Github, Pivotal tracker, slack, google hangout, google calendar, CircleCI, TravisCI, Docker, Coveralls, Webpack, Gulp, Grunt, Jasmine, Mocha, Protractor, Jest, Enzyme and others. I may not be an expert in all of them, but as a tech person knowing about these through them and the opportunity they gave me is worth being thankful for and the 100+ naira every month. Thank you Andela! I would always remember you with utmost fondness in my heart and I pray that you have more and more grace to accomplish that which you set out to accomplish in Africa.