My Pivot Journal is a Ventures Africa weekly series documenting people’s career transitions from one industry to another, especially to tech.
Favour Chibueze’s journey into the world of technology began long before she fully grasped its incredible possibilities. Intrigued by coding after hearing a friend rave about his talented female colleague who was a coder, she decided to explore the tech space. After dedicating 100 days to code and a few internships, today, she enjoys bringing designs to life with codes and helping other tech talents build their careers. Here is Favour Chibueze’s pivot journal.
How it started
As a child, I was always interested in computers. However, when it came to selecting a career path, I initially leaned towards medical science. I actually liked medical science. My parents even suggested I pursued computer science or a related field at university, but I remained adamant about studying microbiology or pharmacy. Eventually, I followed that path and pursued a degree in microbiology.
I first heard about tech from a friend when I was in 300-level. At the time, he was a programmer at hotels.ng, a Nigerian online hotels booking agency. He would always talk about coding and programs. He would also talk about his colleague at the time, Sarah Chima, who was this stellar front-end developer. I was intrigued. For some reason, I had thought that was a track only men ventured into.
Transitioning for me truly started in 2019. I was waiting for my school to clear me so I could go for my service year. I talked to another friend who was also into tech. He introduced me to w3schools, a freemium educational website for learning to code online. I registered on the platform and also registered on free code camps, another platform that helps people learn to code for free through thousands of videos, articles, and interactive coding lessons. I wrote my first set of code that year. I joined the 100 days to code platform too. I would spend a minimum of 1 hour every day coding. I did this for the next 100 days. Not too long after, I heard about the Zuri internship. It seemed like a good fit especially considering my non-technical background. With the little knowledge I had garnered, I knew this was a path I wanted to pursue. I enjoyed bringing things to life through codes.
After a while, I heard about the Zuri training. I joined their startNG program, applying for the front-end development track. It was interesting getting to learn the basics and working with other people because I had been learning on my own for a while. I decided to further by applying for their HNG internship, which is a more comprehensive training. That was the challenging part. First, there were 10,000 applicants for the HNG internship. I tried, I got through the first 5 levels, and then started collaborating with others. At that point, it became quite challenging and I almost dropped out. I had encouragement from friends who told me, I could do it. I just needed to keep pushing. That’s what I did. I reminded myself of my goal of being an excellent front-end engineer. And by the end of the program, I was part of the 200 graduates. Being a part of the 200 graduates out of 10,000 that had initially applied truly boosted my confidence. I knew if I could finish strong, then I was ready to pursue this professionally.
I decided to look for a place where I could get real-time projects and upskill. Fortunately, tech companies usually reach out to HNG platform with job vacancies for graduated interns. Upon graduation from HNG program, I got a mail from them asking if I was interested. that’s how I got my first job. I like to think my tech journey more fortunate and faster than some other people. It took me about a year to transition. I wrote my first line of code in 2019, and in 2020, I was already working a full-time role in front-end engineering .
How it’s going
I am a front-end engineer and I currently work at Eden Life, a tech-enabled service that puts your home’s chores on autopilot. My day-to-day involves working with program engineers and other engineers, developing different products. Embracing a remote work setup, my typical day revolves around providing updates on my progress to the team and immersing myself in coding tasks. Each day presents new opportunities for growth and accomplishment.
When I first got into the tech industry, I had no clue that it would turn out to be such a hot and in-demand sector. Honestly, all I wanted was to pursue something I was truly passionate about. But as time went on, I also discovered a genuine interest in community management. Right now, I’m volunteering as a community manager at Devcareer, and let me tell you, it’s incredibly fulfilling. I love helping people navigate their own career paths and providing support along the way.
Keep learning and never underestimate the strength in community.
Have a community of people you can reach out to whenever you have challenges, at the beginning of your journey, and even when you get into the role. It is important because, at some point, you will get tired and frustrated. And it is important to have people that can assist you when you get stuck, personally and career-wise.