My programming journey started in January 2019. Although had my mind on it for a while, I never really pushed further than just the thought. But the thought like a seed was planted in my mind and just needed good conditions to make it sprout. Not having a laptop discouraged and made me lazy. I mean, who was going to or at least willing to teach me programming without a laptop? I tried learning some stuff online, using my android tablet. Mostly the basics, free online courses on Cousera. And every time I stopped when it either got too boring, my data subscription was running too high or I just wasn’t understanding what I was doing. I needed a real teacher at that point, Someone I could see and ask questions. I had always learned better through contact.

So, the search started. I was reading articles about programming intensively; what language should I start with? How much will it cost me to learn? How long will it take? And, which school is the best to learn from in Port Harcourt? These findings introduced me to a whole new world of things I never knew. I realized just how much I could do with my phone and my tablet too. I was introduced to text editors that I could use for a start on my tablet.

Reading about it opened me up to so many possibilities. My interest was spiked. I saw myself doing so many things with programming, my imagination was all over the place. I knew I had to work towards this and my resolution grew with much altitude and before I knew it, I was consumed by so many ideas. This made me spend more on data subscription to boost my learning. Honestly, that wasn’t really helping but I kept pushing on.

After a while, I knew I couldn’t keep it to myself anymore, I had to tell people about the passion consuming me, burning every inch of my skin. And as I told friends about this, I was more resolved to do something about this. It was a surprise to me that friends were so interested in helping me get this. I didn’t know I had such amazing friends. Rasheed got me data to watch online courses with, Jide offered to help me find a good school in Port Harcourt where I could learn. While Shirley offered to introduce me to people who could show me or provide information about how I could start.

I woke one morning to a message from an unknown number. I would usually be guarded the moment I saw that. But this time, I gave in the inquisitive voice in my head asking me to check it out. And so, I replied as politely as I could. Apparently, this is a friend of Shirley’s. He talked to me for long about what a great decision I had made in considering pursuing a career in tech. I later got to find out that it was not just him. People in tech although competitive, are not looking to bring others down or discouraged others. I have never been in such an encouraging space, where the growth of everybody matters.

He introduced me to the Port Harcourt school of AI, a group of data scientists in Port Harcourt. I joined their WhatsApp group where I met others who were too willing to welcome me into the world of programming and data science. Soon, more courses were introduced to me. I was exposed to more knowledge and I felt for the first time in a long time that I was going to be a part of something bigger.

Two days after meeting Tammy, I was given the option to choose between two tech firms in Port Harcourt where I would love to intern with. And when I chose, I didn’t choose because I did my research on both firms. No, I chose because I felt that more consideration was put into choosing the name ‘ElitePath’. it’s crazy I know, but that really wasn’t the time to make sane decisions. He sent a number to me and asked that I talked to the person behind the number as soon as possible. I sent him a message immediately. I wasn’t going to let this walk right by me. My message was returned immediately and before I knew it I was being invited for an interview.

To say I was scared was an understatement. What were they going to ask me? I don’t even know the first step to programming. All my courses didn’t mean anything. I was overthinking it like I always did with everything else. And although I was nervous about it, I was not going to let that stop me. I knew I needed to put myself out there and leave my comfort zone. I was there in no time, earlier than the given time. And that same day, I did not just ace the interview, I was asked to start on Monday. I knew right then that the journey had begun and there’s no roadblock that’s going to stop me this time.

Dikisikiboka Tamunoitekena

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