A Year of Friendships and Community

What I look like in December 2018

When I woke up on the 1st of January 2018, I couldn’t have possibly predicted how the year would turn out. I certainly had my plans, but that was the best I could do.

2018 Facebook Developer Conference

Looking back on the year, I can truly say that I am grateful for the friendships carried over from previous years, and for the new ones made.

Sanusi, Innocent, Ikezi, Annastesia, Mbuyu, Tanero in San Jose

I am extremely selective about my friendships and it takes me a while to make new friends. I can still vividly recall the first time I saw Sanusi and the first time he walked up to me to introduce himself. It is safe to say that Sanusi became a catalyst for a lot of the events that took place this year.

F8 Deep-dive at CoLab

CoLab is Sanusi’s baby and the vehicle for a lot of the effort that has gone into putting Kaduna on the global map. It hasn’t been easy, but it has given birth to a number of things, such as Developer Circles Kaduna from Facebook, Google Cloud Developer Community Kaduna, Figma Meetup, Digital Skills workshops, and Andela Learning Community.

Developer Circles Kaduna led to an all-expense paid trip to Silicon Valley to attend the 2018 Facebook Developer Conference, where I met a bunch of new individuals and forged new friendships. This also led to more community work outside of Kaduna, giving me more exposure.

One of the people I met at Facebook introduced me to Kemdi, with whom I now work closely on what I would call a daunting task.

The commitment to Google Cloud Developer Community, Kaduna, led to an all-expense trip to Nairobi, Kenya, for Sub-Saharan Africa Leads Summit organized by Google. This led to more friendships.

2018 SSA Leads Summit

As a result of the community work I was doing, I was made a Google Developer Expert for Machine Learning. I am currently the only one on the continent. Off the back of that, I attended the GDE Summit at Sunnyvale, California, and again made more friends.

Machine Learning Google Developer Experts at GDE Summit 2018
Sub-Saharan Africans at the GDE Summit

But that was not my last major outing for the year. Facebook brought about 70 community leads together for a week in December.

Developer Circles SSA Leads Summit

When I say I have friends from Cape to Cairo, I mean it in the literal sense. It would be tough work dropping me in an African country where I don’t know someone. I can also say this of some European countries even.

It was a year of writing blog posts, taking tutorials, speaking at events, and doing lots of other rewarding things.

Some events I spoke at this year

There was travel, lots of it. I was away from home a lot. I am glad we have video conferencing to fill in the gap.

Home is where the heart is

I look forward to 2019. I know from experience that I can’t predict what it will bring. I might write a book. I expect there will be lots of community work as well. Perhaps more friends and a bit of travel.

Until then, happy holidays!