My journey into the world of programming

A lot of us go through school learning and amassing a variety of information with no idea of the real-life applications. I fit this mould.

After my degree in Computer Science, I realised I was not competent enough to face the ICT world. I registered for a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) programme just to try my hands at networking, and got interested in Cyber Security. I started applying for a master’s degree scholarship to study either Computer Forensics or Network Security. While going through the requirements for Computer Forensics on a UK university website, something caught my attention — “you will learn a scripting language so that you can develop your own forensic tools.” That was when I realised I needed to learn a bit of programming; something I had tried so hard to avoid while I was in school. Programming was the one part of Computer Science that did not appeal to me, so much so that I refused to accept a programming final year project. I insisted I was going to do an animation project instead, not knowing that I was going to end up in a programming field.

I tried learning Python programming on Coursera, but could not follow through as I needed to travel for various scholarship exams. Back in school, I had tried learning Java, C++, and Visual Basic.NET; all to no avail.

A friend of mine randomly sent me a link to some new company called Andela that was hiring people to train and pay them to be software developers. I had given up on applying for scholarships as each one I applied to sent me a rejection mail. Besides, I did not want to be a Software Developer. I just wanted to be a Cyber Security expert. My friend encouraged me to give it a shot, and I did. Again, I got rejected. “No big deal,” I thought. A few months later, Andela sent me a mail for an all-female recruitment. I hesitated initially, then applied again. I was called for an interview, and then a two-week bootcamp.

Curious me in the middle

Bootcamp at Andela was challenging: I learnt Javascript, HTML, and CSS. It was tough for me, but the thought of becoming a Cyber Security expert in the future kept me going. After the bootcamp, I was invited into the fellowship.

Day One of the Andela Fellowship

On February 2nd, 2015, I started my journey officially into the world of programming as an Andela fellow. I started with Javascript, then moved to Python. Now I have fallen in love with DevOps, all these still with the dream of becoming a Cyber Security expert.

One thing I have learnt so far is that you never know your abilities till you try, and sometimes you cannot really try till you are given the opportunity to. When you are not given such an opportunity, you need to find a way to create one for yourself. I cannot say I did it all by myself, either. Being part of the Andela fellowship has helped a great deal. You can apply here if you also want to be part of the Andela community. Try to take chances and put yourself out there without giving up. Perseverance is key and keeping your mind open to changes as they come helps, too. Never ever say you cannot do something.

Thanks for reading.

Published in Techspiration + Ideas + Making It Happen.