Empowering Transformation: graduates’ experience in the ALX SE program
Get ready to be inspired as 4 successful graduates share their insider tips and strategies for graduating successfully from conquering coding challenges to harnessing the power of community support
On April 14th 2023, the ALX Software Engineering program graduated over 500 Software Engineers from all across Africa.
This week we caught up with 4 of the graduates- Ahmed Olawale, Joy Akhanolu, Jerry Doubles and Ekene Okoli to find out what kept them going and how we too can make it through the ALX Software Engineering Program.
From zero coding background to pro coder: Ahmed’s experience
With a background in Agricultural Economics Ahmed Olawale’s experience is similar to most people who join the program as he was a total beginner.
He had no coding experience with python or C but he was extremely clear on what he wanted to achieve by joining the ALX program–to provide solutions to problems that are facing Africa, US and the world at large using tech. He did not let his lack of experience discourage him from following his dream to become a software engineer.
Today he is currently a back-end developer at a startup company– an opportunity he got immediately after graduation
His advice for total beginners?
“You have to set your priorities right. You have to know what you want. So if you identify what you want, that will help you along the way.
You have to be disciplined and be consistent with it, and you have to be totally motivated to do these things. There will be setbacks, but if you are very very determined to finish, you will do it.”
Thriving in a male dominated industry: Joy’s perspective
Joy Akhanolu is a virtual assistant, technical writer and front-end developer. She is extremely passionate about building a community of Software Engineers whether you’re just starting out in the field or are experienced.
While there seems to be no consensus on the number of female software engineers globally, what we can all agree on is that there are fewer female software engineers as compared to male software engineers. For Joy, walking into a male dominated industry was difficult at first but with time, she managed to make it through the program.
It does not mean that her experience in the program was easier than that of her male counterparts. Instead, Joy had to quickly learn how to step up and ask questions, collaborate and even learn how to stay motivated.
Her advice for women looking to get into the field?
“It doesn't matter if you're the single female out of 1000 names. As long as know why this is important to you, my dear, go for it!
Your why stands as a driving force for you. If you really have the passion for it, no matter how tough it gets you will get to the end because that being alone drives you to want to accomplish you want to have that thing in your record that oh, I ventured into this and I finished it.”
From Farmer to Software Engineer: Jerry’s shift into tech
Similar to some of the participants in the program, Jerry Doubles is embracing the spirit of reinvention and new frontiers.
Jerry has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and an unmatched passion for business and a variety of experiences in building and managing companies. Jerry owns a farm where he does commercial agriculture and personally supplies the harvest to his customers. When it came to the tech side of business, Jerry often felt frustrated due to a delayed response or surface explanation when dealing with IT professionals. He then found himself interested in discovering how to build a website or an app to make himself and his teams more efficient.
His journey into tech started with learning python and taking part in a hackathon organised by the UN where he came in second. After two of his close friends recommended the ALX program, he applied and joined the program.
Jerry is now a graduate of the ALX SE program.
His advice to others seeking to join the program?
“For the best part of it I had my eyes on the goal and I kept at it no matter how difficult doing hard things was very hard. No matter how peers were messing things up for you. The last one is preparedness. I think people jump on this course thinking it is like any other course on the internet… You must limit some stuff and have eyes firmly on the goal”
Fake Face it till you make it: Kenny’s dream come true
Despite not having a tech background, Ekene Okoli always desired to get into the field as he considered himself a tech enthusiast.
Upon graduation from university, Kenny took initiative to start learning through various online courses. However, he felt the various courses did not give him the platform he required to get to the next level. He discovered the ALX SE course and knew that this was exactly what he needed to up skill and create a powerful tech network.
Joining and completing the course has been a fundamental step for him as he met so many amazing people, that he can solve problems and share codes with.
His advice to others seeking to join the program?
“Basically just to learn how to communicate and network with people. Because one thing I believe is you cannot do it alone. You definitely need need help from your peers and from other people. Even those that are not even in the ALX program. You will need to ask around for help and guidance…”
Whether you are a total beginner, tech enthusiast or looking to make a career shift, let their experiences be an inspiration that it is possible to complete and succeed in the program.
Join us on Tuesday 23rd May 2023 at 4:00 PM (GMT) | 5:00 PM (WAT) | 7:00 PM (EAT) on this twitter space as we get to hear more of their stories in detail.
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