Discover more from Faces of ALX SE
Daniel Dohou the community building maestro
Daniel is seamlessly weaving coding and networking to create powerful connection of peers and other bigger deal people around him because he knows to go further, he must go with people..
Tell us a little bit about yourself, who is Daniel? What are your passions? What interests you? Which cohort are you in?
I’m Daniel Dohou, a beautiful Mind. I am a software engineer in the making with the ALX SE program. I am passionate about learning new things, reading books, helping others in the SE industry as much as I can, and listening to Jon Bellion’s music. What interests me the most is the limitless possibilities of solutions that come into existence by understanding the basics of coding and software engineering. This has helped me sharpen my skills towards my quest of becoming an SE. I am currently a learner in cohort 17.
Did you always know you want to become a software engineer? Or when did that interest develop? Did you initially know it even to exist? Or did you just know that you're cut out for a career in tech?
While I was growing up, my ultimate dream was to become a civil engineer. However, I equally had a devoted love for operating and playing with computer systems and mobile phones. So, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, one of my neighbors back at home noticed my passion for tech and introduced me to a Google Africa Developer Scholarship program. From there on, I was introduced to coding and my passion and interest grew boundlessly. It is during this time that I discovered a field called Software Engineering which I had never known existed. As I continued to research and learn more, I knew that I was destined for a career in programming and software engineering . I believed I was cut out for it and from there on I started pursuing training opportunities that would prepare me to take on such roles.
Thanks for reading Faces of ALX SE! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Let's speak about the power of networking. You have pretty much discovered that and you learn a lot in public and you document your journey and talk about your successes and challenges. Like where does that come from?
The inspiration for learning in public came from the number of times I failed to pass the GADS program. I attempted taking and doing the program alone and I ended up not only enrolling thrice, but I equally failed thrice! After this experience, I decided on the 17th of December 2022 to be very intentional and consistent with my SE journey. I knew I needed a strategy of keeping myself accountable and I knew that I stood a better chance if I did so publicly. I, therefore, made a decision to keep an account of what I do daily on Twitter using my hashtag. I can testify that documenting this has helped me in ways I cannot explain. Learning in public has also helped connect with and support so many peers where I have built a very awesome community around me that keeps me in check.
Learning in public has helped connect you to so many people. Would you say it is an effective tool for subtle networking if one is afraid of approaching people verbally?
Yes, learning in public is more than an effective tool for subtle networking. It helps people understand your growth, and they get to know your journey and resonate with you on that ground. There is also a form of reassurance and confidence that comes with it, especially in times of imposter syndrome, that helps you grow positively, with a boost in determination. It is hard for people to know how they can help you and/or how you can equally help them if you do not seek avenues to speak up so that people can understand your journey. However, it is always great to explore ways of meeting some of the people you interact with online in-person to complete the networking loop. One strategy is attending tech events in person because you get to meet a lot of people, and also make a lot of friends
Tell us about the group Algorithma, how did the idea come about, how did you start recruiting and what are you guys up to currently?
Algorithmia SE 🌏 is a growing coalition and community of ALX SE students, where we work on ground-breaking project ideas and solutions to real world problems, as a community. I am always mind-blown when I see ALX SE students tweet about their amazing personal projects. So I thought, ‘Why not bring them together? Why not create an open-source community of ALX SE students on GitHub?’ When it comes to software engineering, ALX SE is one of the best. So, the idea of bringing the best SEs together was scary but I am overjoyed I did. About recruiting, it started from an open call on Twitter where I received a lot of DMs. Then I began creating the WhatsApp community where information was passed, and it’s going really fine. Currently, we’re working on the static website on GitHub, and through this, the floor will be open to more ALX SE students to join our open source community.
A lot of people would sign up and maybe you will end up with a few serious ones? What is your strategy for making Algorithma a sticky community that people want to belong to?
Truth be told, the number of active Algorithmians has reduced, and the number of those that participated in the Demo Project too is satisfactory. At first, I was discouraged, but it took the help of the new friends I made from the Algorithmia SE community to help me see the future in what I was doing. My strategy to make it a sticky community is to, first, have a team (which I already do) that comes up with fun ideas and projects for the community. Giving a listening ear to everyone, as they share suggestions and ideas too, has helped us grow at a great pace. Making everyone feel welcome and asking for more ideas from everyone, is also a way of connecting with them on a more personal level, and being their friends. I must say, I am really glad this community has grown, and is growing in its own special form.
In the ALX SE program, it is very apparent that one cannot try to walk the journey alone, you must find people. Seeing how you have networked a lot, what are some of the tips you would share on how one can go about identifying people to work with?
Some tips I will love to share are:
Be the kind of partner that you really wish to have.
Have an open mindset, and be ready to work with anyone. Being receptive and understanding will help you resonate with your partner, and also help you in being considerate, when taking into account your levels of experience.
Being willing to make a sacrifice, and also having a growth mindset will help you in exploring the possible ways a task can be done collaboratively.
Taking responsibility for your mistakes and actions, also helps when facing bugs or when debugging.
Have fun and celebrate the little wins loudly! Appreciate each other as this helps you connect on a more personal level, as you learn from each other.
We know Daniel the Software Engineer in making, but what is one fun fact that most people do not know about you?
One fun fact about me is I love eating 🤣. I also love thinking deeply, and motivating others the best way I can. I also love making a lot of friends, too.
You are now in sprint three. You have already tackled printf you have gone through the gates of Shell so looking back at the journey, what has been your most challenging project?
My most challenging project was the Simple Shell project because I had to learn how to effectively use Valgrind for memory leaks. My understanding of C then was really messed up, but I had an understanding partner, who helped me with it. I plan to revisit that project in the future, with what I now know in C.
Are you team VI or team emacs?
I am proudly team VI. I really envy the way Julien uses Emacs but I bet it is no surprise because he is more than a senior developer. Using Emacs is really complicated, but I would really love to learn how it works, when I can, in the future.
What gives you hope for the African continent?
The exponential rise in the need for technological advancements in Africa is an emotional one for me, and seeing how we survive here, makes me believe that we have the potential to get there. Tapping into empowering programs like the ALX SE program that pushes us to do hard things, and utilizing the skills we acquire in the development of our continent, brightens the future of Africa. In Latin, A Beautiful Mind once said “Futurum est lucidum”. It means the future is bright!
Thank you for reading Faces of ALX SE! Subscribe for free to receive new posts to your email