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Edinam’s meteoric rise: from intern to Associate software engineer within a year!
A display of legendary resilience and determination, Edinam juggled a full time job, the ALX software engineering program, pregnancy and a new baby whilst earning promotions at work through it all!
Edinam Adjoyi is a dynamic individual making her mark as a rising woman in the field of technology. At the age of 24, Edinam has already achieved remarkable milestones in her career. She embarked on her journey in the tech industry as an intern at Lergeshire Helenson, a fast growing Fintech company in Ghana. With her dedication and passion for coding, she quickly advanced to the position of an associate software engineer. Currently, Edinam holds the esteemed position of a senior software engineer at Lergeshire Helenson. Her expertise and proficiency in software development has contributed significantly to the success of various projects. Edinam's ability to adapt to emerging technologies and her commitment to delivering high-quality solutions have earned her recognition as a valuable asset within the organization. Beyond her professional endeavors, Edinam is a devoted wife and mother, effectively balancing the demands of work, motherhood, and personal growth.
In August 2022, Edinam joined the ALX SE program, a transformative learning experience that propelled her skills and knowledge to new heights. As a part of Cohort 9 of the ALX SE program, she gained exposure to cutting-edge technologies, industry best practices, and a strong network of like-minded professionals. Her relentless pursuit of excellence is evident in her simultaneous roles as a worker and a student, constantly seeking opportunities for personal and professional development. With her unwavering determination and remarkable achievements, Edinam Adjoyi continues to inspire and make a significant impact in the tech industry, embodying the spirit of a driven and accomplished woman in the world of technology. We sat down with Edinam to gain further insights into her remarkable journey.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in the western part of Ghana where tech was something I had never heard off in my entire life while growing up. It was when I moved to Accra, the capital of Ghana, where my pastors were always talking about this thing called tech. I then took up an interest in tech because from a religious perspective, I felt it would be a powerful tool for me to reach out to many people. I have had a keen interest in tech where I undertook some studies at other institutions such as the Kofi Annan AITI in Ghana.
You started the ALX software engineering under very extremely unique and challenging circumstances, kindly take us on that journey.
As I mentioned earlier, I developed an interest in tech when I moved to Accra and my pastor recommended it to me. Around this time, I had a full time job and I was 2 months pregnant and I was not keen on going to a physical school that would require me to commute. I was, therefore, looking for an online learning program and when I came across ALX I decided to apply. The application process was tough but I pushed through after getting email notifications to finish it since the deadline for cohort 9 was approaching.
I almost gave up during the probation period as balancing a full-time job, pregnancy hormones, fatigue, and a rigorous course, was extremely challenging. I cannot really explain how I overcame this phase but everyday I kept motivating myself that I will really be so proud of myself when I finish this course. I did not want to give birth and look back regrettably that I just sat at home doing nothing so moving forward with the end goal in my mind everyday really helped push through every obstacle.
At the same time, I had been working as an intern developer at Lergeshire Helenson, a fast growing Fintech company in Ghana and I knew that I wanted to get into a full time role. The only way I could do that was by gaining more skills and experience. I knew that I needed to improve my skills but I did not know how exactly to do so. I applied to so many courses but they lacked structure so when I got into ALX, I knew I had stumbled on gold and I could not even believe I was getting so much value on a fully-funded scholarship! The fatigue was no joke because we had a task every other day and some people left because it was too tough for them. Sometimes I would be presenting on our group page during PLDs and I would sound like I was gasping for air but I really had a very supportive network around me.
You joined the program and juggled a full time job, ALX program, and giving birth while enrolled in the program, how did you pull that off?
I did not make it too stressful for myself because I was not obsessing over the deadlines. I was focusing on efficiently doing and finishing the projects no matter the deadlines because what I needed was the advanced innovative problem solving experience for my work. For example, when I gave birth I had a whole lot of tasks that I had not done for a whole month because of being in hospital and all that buzz that comes during delivery period. During this time, we had been given a short break by ALX and I also had time off at work to go on my maternity leave. I, therefore, took advantage of this time when my peers were on rest and work was less busy to catch up on all the projects that I had not done. ALX gives you a lot of resources but if you really want to understand the concepts, you have to look for other material and watch videos on the internet, but the difference is that you now know exactly what you are looking for.
It is therefore, the drive that I had that was pushing me ahead and even when there is no strength. Strength is not what is actually already there but you keep building it because if you tell yourself that you do not have the strength to keep going, then you will never be able to do it. So being a mother, an employee and a student, I centralized everything into one which is I am a career woman. I then created structures and routines where I made time for each and every segment instead of trying to juggle and get overwhelmed. I know something like pregnancy will swing you up without notice based on hormones and I literally had those moments when I was so fatigued. However, the moment I remembered my ‘why’ , the fatigue just left my body and I was able to get on with what I needed to do for that day.
How is our ALX baby? Is it a he or she? Did you name them ALX?
I have a friend who used to tease me that I have an ALX baby and that by the time I give birth to her, she will be coding. She is called Immaculate and I think she is already showing signs of being a programmer. Every time I sit down with her on my lap to work, she will be staring at the black screen and then starts punching the keyboard really hard :).
Take us through your journey working at Lergeshire Helenson because within less than 2 years, you have been promoted from intern to senior software engineer, how did that happen?
As an intern, I was mostly given basic websites to build and mostly we would spend a lot of time whiteboarding and sharing our ideas with the senior tech talents. However, I knew I wanted more than just being an intern hence I was asking a lot of questions and built a great rapport with the company’s senior software engineer.
At the time he was building an application and even though I did not have experience with such, I drew from the experience in the program where we were learning all these other programming languages and applying them by building basic stuff. There were private sessions I requested with him where if I had anything mentioned that I did not know, I would ask questions and also help him out and be as resourceful as I could be. A short while later, the senior software engineer had to transition out of the company so he went and put in a great word for me to my bosses that he had trained me well and I would be able to carry on with the work he was doing. That is how amongst all other interns, I am the only one who got employed on a full time basis and got promoted to associate software engineer.
When I then joined the ALX software engineering program, I really discovered and honed my skills because I did not know anything at all about APIs and backend development. The hands-on approach in ALX especially working on projects like the Airbnb clone really empowered me to take on more responsibilities at work. Airbnb was a series of projects that were given back to back and as much as I called myself a software engineer, this project made me ask myself a lot of questions🤣. My fiance was telling me to sleep because he watches a lot of comic tech TV shows and he used to say that techies magically get solutions in their dreams :). I was doing almost similar projects at work and even my boss would notice how much more efficient, knowledgeable and structured I had become in my work. I always talk a lot about ALX at work and I tell my boss about it all the time so he knows where I am getting the value addition. After looking at my quality of work and how much stride I have made, I was promoted to Senior software engineer. All this happened within a span of less than 2 years bearing testament to how much the ALX software engineering program shapes one into an entire IT department not just a software engineer!
You chose an admirable route starting as a volunteer intern and making your way from there. What would be your advice to those contemplating or afraid of this type of route?
It is important to be very humble in the initial stages when you are starting out because this phase will make or break you.
My internship was not paid because I was looking for an opportunity to learn and actually put my skills to the test in the real world of work. I thought of my internship as an extension of my training beyond classwork and I knew while there if I show value and become resourceful, then the money will flow. I was in school and doing all this classwork but I did not have the enterprise knowledge or experience to know what is expected of me when I got an actual job or contract. Getting such an opportunity to put all the knowledge to practice helped me understand what will be expected of me when I get employed or contracted. Even now that I have a job, I still lookout for other projects that I can participate in so that I get the opportunity to sharpen all my skills including those that I do not need in my current role.
Do not wait till you graduate, start seeking for avenues such as internships that will help you understand how to apply the knowledge and skills you are currency acquiring in solving real life problems. You have to carefully choose the company, go in and give value and be exceptionally resourceful then the money will chase you down.
You are currently working on another fintech product, kindly tell us what it is about and how people can interact with it.
At Lergeshire Helenson, we are currently working on a digital banking and card payment app called Raven. The goal of this product is to be an alternative to traditional banking products. It is designed to fit the lives of those with a global lifestyle and be the “daily choice” for anyone who wants the flexibility not currently available from regular banks. We are starting here in Ghana but our goal is to expand throughout Africa and beyond as we seek to make things such as exchanging currency a seamless process. We are also keen on making the process of sending money to anywhere across Africa and beyond an easy process by dialing a few buttons on your phone. Our competitive advantage will be lower rates for transactions compared to mobile money and even mobile banking. Most of these services currently cost a lot but for us since we cut down on a lot of overhead costs, it will be easier to lower the cost to the customer.
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