A diverse group of individuals tell us how they began their career in programming. Read them here.

Ijeoma Arisah shares her story.



Ijeoma Gift Arisah

As a child, I watched a lot of sci-fi movies, so I believed that technology could help mankind, including being the key to care for my parents in their old age. Since I knew I couldn’t always be there for them, I decided that technological advancement would ensure their well-being and the computer would get us there. In my mind, I imagined a version of Ironman’s JARVIS, an artificial intelligence robot that could assist and advance human progress.

Through the years, my interest in technology dissipated but nevertheless I pursued the science track in my studies. I elected this track because I excelled in the subject but also because I preferred the sciences over the humanities courses in history and religion. When I was around 15 years old, my dad bought a desktop. I didn’t have any formal training but still managed to find my way around using it by trial and error.

In college, I elected into a computer science program for the mere fact that it was a popular concentration. Unfortunately, the courses were not enlightening at all which created a culture where simply passing became priority over understanding the course material. Most of my classmates crammed to memorize pre-written codes so that we could ace the exams. At the end of 4 years, while many graduated with honors, they still lacked strong comprehension in programming.

During a visit home from college, a friend shared some e-books on HTML and CSS. The webpages I was able to design with those outdated books made me feel like a magician! And, it was an awesome feeling.

A few years out of college, I decided to go into teaching, but teaching was not what I felt born to do. One day, my good friend sent me a link to apply for the Andela boot camp, a program that actually pays you to learn how to code! It was one of the application questions that reminded me of my forgotten dream: “Why do you want to program?” The question literally hit me like a wrecking ball and I recalled how much enjoyment I got from programming. I felt confident during my interview and had a gut feeling that I would make it into the program.

And well, I did, and every day since has been an educating, challenging, and inspiring lesson. Being a programmer has been exciting so far and Andela’s unique curriculum — with its emphasis on full-stack development — is an unbeatable training experience. Currently, I am learning the Rails curriculum. Of course, there are days when I feel like pulling my hair out and smashing my computer against the wall but nothing beats the feeling I have when I fix a bug or solve a problem. Then, it feels like I’m floating.

I am so happy that I finally ended up on this career path and with time, I believe that having our very own miniature JARVIS robots won’t be such a farfetched concept.


Arisah Gift Ijeoma (cutishoty) is a Computer Science graduate from the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State. She’s currently a programmer at the Andela Institute and is proficient in technologies such as MEAN stack (Mongo db, Express js, Angular js, Node js) and Javascript but majors in Ruby on Rails.

Do you want to share how you got started coding and your experience so far? Go HERE to see how to do it.

Chioma Nkemdilim Author

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