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It is Never too Late to Become a Developer

My first contact with programming was in 2002 as a second-year Diploma student when I had to take a course on Visual Basic. From the start it was quite evident that the lecturers taking the course were out of their depth. In the library, there wasn’t any good resource on the subject that we could fall back to. In the ‘computer lab’ the population of students taking the course and the number of faulty PCs made the ones that were functional insignificant.

To crown it all, Visual Studio was not installed in a single PC, we had to make do with the VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) that comes bundled with the regular Microsoft Office applications. At the end, we did what Nigerian students have had to do to pass–make some sense of the portion of the ‘handout’ or course material the lecturer comes to class to read out and cram the remainder.

If you say it must not have been a pleasant experience for me, you can please say it again. I remained fascinated with the world of programming but I never could find the courage to enter it until late 2017. I came to the realization that it would be very difficult for me to grow as much as I would have loved to if I remain on the path of what I studied in school–Engineering. Where are the industries or research institutes? Where are the tools or equipment, and how affordable or accessible are they?

For the world of software development, it is clearly a different game. My Visual Basic encounter sixteen years ago; the world in no longer the same. The ease of accessing the Internet and the affordability of it has made information retrieval a button, tap or click away. Your PC is your laboratory while the Internet is your library.

Nevertheless, not everyone can be a self-taught programmer. Even self-taught programmers will tell you it was NOT easy trying to figure out things on their own, they have had to seek help from sources outside of their books and themselves. And if they are sincere enough, they will advise that you have “someone” to guide you at the start of your journey because it will positively impact your ease and speed of learning.

From my roughly one-year experience I can say such advice is the truth! There is nothing like being guided by those who have walked the path before you. To my utmost surprise, I discovered that if you are willing, you could learn in three (3) months far more than what you got from four or more years in a Nigerian tertiary educational institution.

According to Salim Ismail, the Founding Executive Director of Singularity University, “[Information] technology is a major driver of change in the world.” Some months back, I watched a short documentary that stressed that many organizations today are finding ways to leverage technology and this will lead to them having fewer employees, and even then, tech savvy ones.

According to the World Economic Forum, “On average, by 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today.” In other words, job roles are gradually being replaced by skillsets! Individuals in some parts of the world, some as young as nine are already hacking the future developing the fundamental skills that will keep them relevant.

You can join the train because it is never too late to start. If I could take the plunge after fifteen years, you can too. At fofx Academy, you can master the fundamentals so you are equipped for a fulfilling future in the world of tomorrow. The time to develop and grow yourself is now!

Afe Araromi is a Consultant at dipoleDIAMOND Limited, a tech organization of repute trusted to orchestrate digital transformation for large and medium-scale businesses. He is also the Provost of fofx Academy, a school for digital skills in an era of digital transformation; and currently the Community Organizer of the Lagos-Nigeria chapter of UiPath Community. He is proud to be a web developer and a top-to-bottom business automation enthusiast with a focus on BPM (Business Process Management) projects using ProcessMaker and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) projects using UiPath. He is a certified UiPath Advanced Developer, and currently a UiPath 2021 MVP (Most Valuable Professional).

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