When I got introduced to Andela. I realized that opportunity held a prospect of challenge. So being a lover of challenges, I did what most without a preliminary coding experience wouldn’t do — I applied. Then I got the Homestudy link and began studying. It wasn’t without challenges — I had expected that — I had to find time in my cramped up schedule to study, I had to dig up cash from my ever drying up pockets to subscribe and I had to stalk around cyber-cafes and shops for access to power.

Then the homestudy came and went, and I waited for a reply — for what seemed like ages. Eventually the reply came. The look on my face sufficed to reveal the content of the mail I peered at. It was one of those pre-formatted, consoling and solicitous messages that serve as placeholders for a reject.

Yes, that is what it was — a rejection mail. I was not used to failing or to giving excuses either, but one thought popped in my head. After-all, this is my first time. That’s right, first time.

So I tried again, the course focus had already shifted to Javascript and I wasn’t really comfortable with that as I considered Python syntactically sweeter. The mail eventually came, bearing a different story — a success story.

Another challenge lurked in the corner. It was uncertain as to how productive it would be to abandon my apprenticeship and travel all the way from Abia to Lagos for the first time, to interview. And all this for an attempt at Andela — quoted by CNN to be more difficult to get into than Harvard University. My research proved that my chance of success was something like 1 in 50. I realized I could up my chances if I waited for the next cycle while working on my programming.

I took a memorable risk and took on the challenge.

It is now day 3 of Andela bootcamp and to call a spade a spade, the tasks and code outputs and requirements and reviews have been no easy. The suffocating and impossible time frame and the expansive skill loopholes (Andela shows you a lot of things you do not know) raise a mountain of barrier for even experienced coders. Today’s output has been a big challenge because I have been working in near-isolation (didn’t go to Andela premises, hoping to save traffic time) and collaborating only from a distance. But we learn everyday, don’t we?

I look back at that point in time when I could have called it quits and realize that life is not worth living without risks. I look back and realize that for every one person that made it to this stage, a hundred had failed. And that is all the motivation I need to keep pushing on.

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