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2 Things I Learned From Women Techmakers 2017

This article was first published on medium in april 2017

I randomly applied to be part of the Google Women’s event that was to hold in Lagos. Lately, I have had a bad case of Impostor Syndrome. Almost because I feel that I don’t belong in this tech world. That maybe, I am trying to become something other than myself, or like I just don’t fit in. Anyway, for whatever reason, they thought it was a good idea to let me come, and I am glad they did.

First off, as with all things Google, the event was well put together. The line up of speakers was good and I was generally ready to have a good day. Now apart from the Fireside Chat with Kemi Adetiba, I thought I would have a day filled with tech lingo and come away light headed without any understanding about what had transpired the entire time. Suffice it to say that I was wrong and Google just blew me away. The speakers were so real. I could see that they had come from all walks of life, like literally. The most amazing part for me was that they weren’t all ‘born’ into tech and didn’t all write their first line of code in their teens. One story struck me in particular because the lady — Chika (CEO Talenbase.ng) had spent 8 years in HR consulting before starting her HR Tech company. That was really cool. Here are my two biggest takeaways. You can already guess, but at the risk of writing a redundant paragraph, here goes.

1. You don’t have to have a tech background to be in tech!

Yes I know, it goes without saying right? However, even though I had read countless articles and heard stories about people who didn’t start out in ‘tech’, however, it really didn’t sink in. On Saturday, I not only heard people share their stories, I saw them. Now, it’s one thing to watch a youtube video and quite another to see the person share in real life and even speak with them afterwards. I was quite happy to have a chat with Chika after the first session, and she shared a few things with me that I think are quite relevant to my journey, me being a HR person and all.

2. It doesn’t have to take one million years!

Yes again, becoming proficient in a tech related skill doesn’t have to take forever. The stories that touched my heart the most of course were the people who despite their backgrounds in management or economics or law, still went ahead to pursue their tech dreams. Now, I’m not saying they did it in a day, but I see them looking young and so I know it didn’t take donkey years. I’m convinced that whatever we decide to learn, we can actually learn, if we apply ourselves to it. That’s another reason why I’m super excited about being a part of the Android Learning Community by Google & Andela. It’s an awesome experience and I’m already learning so much.

Finally, this question was the perfect way to end the session.

What you do with your time must make your life count. At the end of the day, you can acquire all the skills, but if you do not use them to make our society a better place, or make life easier for someone, then you have wasted valuable resources. One thing I picked up during my undergrad, is this “we are occupying too much space to not be serving” so we must serve, and in serving we would find a life that is full of meaning.

Need I mention that I had a fabulous time? Well, I did!

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