My Pivot Journal is a Ventures Africa weekly series documenting people’s career transitions from one industry to another, especially to tech.
It was not Dickson Durosakin’s childhood dream to become a Python instructor. Before now, he just wanted to be an accountant who could afford everything he needed. However, while on his accountancy path, he got stuck with a project that changed his course to tech. Dickson Durosakin is now at the tech gate leading more tech enthusiasts into the tech world.
How it started
Everybody had a childhood dream, although most do not eventually tread the trail to date. Durosakin isn’t an exception. While growing up, he had the opportunity to visit his modestly wealthy uncle. There, he had access to things he loved as a child and often saw his uncle come back home dressed in three-piece suits. This lifestyle fascinated Durosakin. “He could afford all we needed, and this privilege always made the house fun for us. Seeing him prepare for work all suited and living the life of his dreams influenced me. When I learnt he was an accountant at a bank, I pledged to be one myself,” he explained. Fast forward to 2019, Dickson Durosakin was part of the new accounting graduates ushered into the labour market by the University of Lagos.
In his final year as an undergraduate, Durosakin had a lot of spare time, which he enjoyed with his grandfather. All through the time, Youtube was his companion, and he would watch videos on a wide range of things. After a while, he noticed a certain kind of video piqued his interest compared to others. He loved tech videos and often caught himself on pages like Fisayo Fosudo’s. “It was always lingering in my head that I wanted to be in the tech field, but I also had the impression I couldn’t do it because it was for geniuses,” he stated.
Some of his friends invited him for tech skills training at his school’s engineering department. This training fuelled his inquisitive spirit but did not allay his fears of being unsmart to survive the tech space.
After graduation, he served in Oyo state for NYSC in 2020 and worked as a teacher. Being a young man with an entrepreneurial spirit, he freelanced on projects for clients in the accountancy field. On one of his projects for a client, he realized his Excel and accounting skills were not enough to face some arduous tasks. He had worked on an Excel sheet that could calculate the return on investments (ROI) automatically for a client. However, the client had an Oliver Twist character and wanted more. “The client said he wanted something that could alert him more, and he can use it on his mobile. I could not do all he was asking with the knowledge of excel that I had. It was at that point I resolved to code. I thought about making an app and pouring the needed features on it for him to use,” he explained.
While in service, he grabbed the basics of coding in 3 months. Then, he could not make an app as he desired to meet the client’s demand. But he could make him get notifications and send emails within the three-month space. After service in 2021, he got a job his first job with instinctHub. He applied to be a backend developer, hoping he would learn more on the job. “I told the boss I wanted to be his back end developer, but I do not think I had enough skills. I told him the plan was to be an intern and learn on the job. He accepted me because he saw my confidence, but when I came to the premise, he told me to try and teach somebody. I taught the person, and he said I would be good as an instructor. I performed poorly the first few times, but I kept improving,” he explained.
Learning did not come easy for Durosakin, especially with the socio-economic realities in Nigeria. He faced the challenge of irregular power supply, high cost of data and suspicion from family members who perceived him to be an internet fraudster. During the learning process, he got resources from freeCodeCamp, Youtube, and Udemy. He took courses like 100 Days of Python, The complete web development Bootcamp by Angela Yu, and Web developer Bootcamp by Colt steel on Udemy. On freeCodeCamp, he took courses like Responsive web design, Data analysis with Python and Frontend Development Libraries.
Durosakin notes that some online resources could be expensive for beginners, but one has to be watchful for when there would be discounts. “Udemy slashes their course cost, and courses initially posted at N46,000 could go below N5,000” he stated. He suggests if the courses are still not affordable, Youtube is a good resolve. However, he does not fully endorse that because “you would learn many unnecessary things before the necessary ones. You’ll become scared if you look at the advanced resources before the basics. But if you buy a course someone has carefully planned, they take you from the basics to the advanced level,” he argued.
How it is going
Presently as an instructor, his preferred learning mode has tilted from being video-based to reading books. Amazingly, the more he taught, the better he became. As a result, he provides insight when the instinctHub team is at a crossroads. “Whenever there is a problem in the office, and we are deliberating on how to solve it, I was able to provide solutions to current problems other teammates are not seeing,” he said.
Determination and motivation.
“I have always been determined to be the best in what I do. I know that working at a big firm like Google requires hard work. A constant appraisal from people for doing a good job keeps me going,” Durosakin said.