We asked a diverse group of individuals to tell us how they began their career in programming. Over the next few days, TechCabal will be featuring stories shared by these various software developers in Nigeria, on how they got started coding.
I knew I wanted to be involved in building things right from when I was a kid. I thought maybe I could do that by becoming an Engineer like my father. I had this dream of being an Engineer for years till it was time for me to choose a college of education. I was so psyched by the fact that I was going to begin fulfilling this dream. But it was cut short when my father told me to study Computer Science and gave his reasons for that. As an obedient child as always I did as he said, but as someone who didn’t want to study what I didn’t like or had no clue about, I decided to make myself fall in love with the course. Prior all this I only had the basic knowledge of a computer.
In the process of forcing myself to love this course, I stumbled upon one of my many passions which was gaming. I played games ranging from the TETRIS to FIFA (still do though) and I realized, yes this was it, I could become a game developer. So I researched on what it would take to become a game developer and found out that i needed to learn to program.
I studied Computer Science in Babcock University and came across some amazing people (students and lecturers alike) who motivated me and guided me in the line of programming. I studied Java in my second year and in the course of learning that, I had flashes of when I clicked on a mobile game app and saw a coffee logo. It’s Java, I said to myself. This was it, my game development mission had started. Unfortunately, I was let down because at the end of that year the only highlight for me was writing a program to simulate an ATM system. It was my first program (first meaning first time I would write a complete program myself). At least it was something :).
Maja, Toyin, James and Bukola, in Swap Space Maryland, Lagos studio
In the quest to feed my hunger for more programming, I went to Swap Space (where I work now) to learn Web Development with the hope of coming back to Java for Game Development. At Swap Space “change” in all its ramifications happened to me. I was blown away by how much there was to know. I always wanted to come back every summer; although some of my friends advised me against that. To cut the long story short, I didn’t listen to them because I knew what I was and still am getting from there.
There are other reasons I learnt to code but they wouldn’t have been if not for my passion for games. I am still learning to code well and someday not far from now I would develop a game :D.
Makinwa Olubukola is the lead developer at Swap Space (@teamswapspace), a company that delivers IT solutions and services . She’s currently working on Connverg @connverg, a web-based platform that helps coders connect, support and learn from each other in real time. You can follow her @Dim_kyky.
Do you have stories of how your love for coding began? Please share in the comments below!