A Software Engineer, a Non-Profit founder, a famous Technology Advocate and so much more.
It is not unusual for women to have many things on their plates.
..but what is more exciting about this STEMWoman is that she’s thriving at them.
Meet Ada Nduka-Oyom, a 2020 recipient of the global Booking.com Techplaymaker awards.
Ada is a software developer and that’s just one of the many things. Read on to find out how she juggles these various activities.
Let’s dive in…
Hi Ada, tell us about yourself?
I’m Ada Nduka Oyom, a Software developer and Developer relations expert. I’m also the founder of She Code Africa — a non-profit organization focused on empowering and celebrating young girls and women in tech across Africa. Asides advocating for the girl child tech-education, I also actively advocate for open source within Africa through my co-founded organization: Open source community Africa — a community for open-source advocates, experts, and enthusiasts.
What is your educational background?
I had my undergraduate studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where I graduated with a BSc in Microbiology.
You studied microbiology, how did you get into Tech?
I started out in tech while in the university, during my second year (2014 precisely) after seeing a movie about interning at Google, I was lucky enough to find an active tech community within my school.
Wow, that’s good
I joined for about a year and participated in most of the events with my phone. From there, I became the lead for the Google developer group within my school, GDG UNN — now DSC UNN — where I led for two years before graduation.
How did these communities impact your career today?
Joining these communities helped play a very active role in my career to date. It exposed me to a lot of amazing tools and technologies and even a network of friends in the industry who have had an influence in different ways to the success of my career.
Your efforts definitely paid off.
What is your typical day as a Founder and Software Developer like?
My typical day involves leading conversations and action planning with the different teams at SCA, a lot of shuffling between each team’s groups, approving or reviewing pending tasks, setting up and assigning new ones.
In-between all of these, you’ll either find me; finishing up a technical course or building out a service. There’s a lot of work behind all these actually …Lol
Have you faced any difficulties so far? Tell us about it
I did face a lot of challenges starting out in this field.
Getting a laptop to help with my learning was war, I had to make do with the little I could learn on my low-end phone, but it was never enough as it got more frustrating than encouraging, I mean one minute I could be trying to practice using a language syntax without even running any program and next minute, my phone crashes! Let’s not talk about how hard it was even getting a stable editor APK installed on my phone — it was so hard to find!
Then getting an internship or even into a Bootcamp program at the start was a lot more difficult for me as I came from a non-traditional background with very little programming experience and had to study twice as hard to make a good impression on the tests/interviews.
Have you ever felt like you were not treated as equal?
I don’t think I have ever felt that way, thanks to my upbringing — being confident and outspoken on a lot of things
That is really good!!!
What’s the best thing for you right now in your career?
Best? Definitely has to be winning the Role model award in the just concluded Booking.com Techplaymaker awards 2020. It’s the first time I would be nominated for a global award and winning it! — who would have thought?
Any unpleasant experience or failure?
There’ve been so many failures at different times which majorly stemmed from rejected applications but I never let them get to me, all it really taught me was to never give up on whatever it was I was working on.
Your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how it’s relevant to you in your life
“Keep showing up no matter how tough it gets”. I apply this in all aspects of my life including my career, it’s what makes people see me as resilient or tough but really it’s just me not allowing my failures to define me.
That’s a good one.
What were you doing the last time you looked at the clock and realized you had lost all track of time?
I was following a practical course on Kubernetes, Lol
How do you strike a work-life balance or alleviate stress?
I don’t think I’m the right person to answer this as I’m still struggling to create that, but some useful tips I’ve learned over time is to try and not stress over a lot of things. Juggling 3 different career roles can be overwhelming but also having a supportive/dedicated and well knowledgeable team solves a part of it.
Your favorite work tools?
My code editor: VSCode, G Suite apps, and slack
Your Philosophy/Motivation to work?
Seeing the countless positive feedback I keep receiving for my efforts and also watching the technical growth of our members at SCA, that’s another joy, It’s so fulfilling!
Thank you for all you do, Ada.
CAWSTEM is a community of African women in STEM. We are a female-led crew, on a mission to rewrite the narrative about having few women in STEM and, especially in leadership positions. We share interesting insights, news, and resources to empower women in their STEM careers.You can join the community here
Every Tuesday, we publish stories here about African women’s journey in STEM. We know every STEM woman’s story is unique…so we tell these stories to inspire our community. If you would like to share your story with us, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, we can’t wait to read from you!