Primarily, I’m a programmer! I say that because for most of the last decade (7.5 of 10yrs) I made my living through writing code than anything else. I was able to fit into other work roles because of my reading taste and curiosity to satisfy a cause. As a financial adviser, public speaker, writer/analyst, business analyst, product manager or release manager. I still love to program but I don’t get the thrill just to make money, I want to build something that can touch your lives, that’s why I came to programming in the first place! So, each time I build stuff that make lives better, i feel genuinely happy than anything else.
Their roles are very crucial as nothing can be achieve if no one is willing to roll up their sleeves and bang the codes together. And the better and faster this can be done, the best for an idea to achieve its goal.
At the end of the day however, the “why” is most important that the “how“! Coding is just one part of the jigsaw and it will only be a missing piece if we have a puzzle at all. For coding to make sense, it needs to fit into a bigger picture of solution that moves humanity forward, whether in business, lifestyle or government. So, if we don’t really know what to build, we may as way be writing a new Linux distro…for people living in Lagos.
Visionaries and Executors
I don’t know but a lot programmers (engineers) seem really dismayed to see people who aren’t engineers become CEO of tech companies and the general remark is to pull the “engineer card”! The question is, if this person does not have the vision/idea, tenacity and organization skill to bring key people, including engineers to pursue the dream, where will the engineer fit? Maybe, coding up a requirement drafted by a product manager in one big software company or IT support company.
The role and importance of visionaries is to connect the dots, how do you walk past a certain street and sense the need to build a solution to their problem? How do you think getting stranded and not getting a cab should inspire you to start a cab hailing service worth >$30billion? How do you think giving people platform to sell to millions of Nigerians should be your own headache? The visionaries can come from any background, marketing, sales, product management, software engineering or whatever form! You have got to have the ability to connect seemingly unrelated dots together to create something meaningful.
For us all, average users, we all have our problems in small pieces, how can you envision a solution we can depend on for our daily lives? Does it make sense to check up what your friends are up to early in the morning?
Nigeria and Africa needs more Visionaries and Executors…those who can connect the dots, envision a solution to everyday’s nagging problem and inspire team of committed fellows to make it a reality. At the end of the day you can always hire an engineer to build it…from anywhere in the world!