10 || May || 2023View in Browser
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How to leveragetech communities
Greetings ET people 🖖🏾
As cliche as it sounds, that saying “if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together” holds a lot of truth, especially in today’s world. As humans, we were not built for isolation. We thrive in community and grow well when we have support to lean on.
In today’s edition, we discuss tech communities, their benefits, and what the good ones can offer you. In the coming weeks, we’ll go more in-depth into tech communities and hopefully provide you with more insight to choose the right community for you.
The journey to a flourishing tech career can be long and arduous. Don’t go it alone!
As always, please share this newsletter with your friends and network.
by Pamela Tetteh and Timi Odueso.
Some trivia before we begin. Answers are at the bottom of this newsletter.
- What percentage of people finish online courses?
What are communities?
Let’s be honest, finding the motivation to enter tech can be difficult.
Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, there has been an increase in the creation of tech courses and resources to help people get into the field. Now more than ever, there are numerous opportunities and assets, but as an aspiring techie, how do you find these resources, and the knowledge to properly use them?
Our answer is communities.
Since 2020, I’ve taken several courses: A Facebook Certified Community Manager course, a Digital Journalism Course on Reuters, a non-profit Funding Essentials course on Acumen and many more. The only reason I was able to complete them was because I had the support of community.
In the Facebook course, I had my then-manager walk me through it. I also took the digital journalism course with all my coworkers at TechCabal. And with the Product Management for Small Newsrooms course I took in September last year, I had a community of like-minded people who also took the course.
Communities are easy to understand. They’re a group of like-minded people who are working towards the same or similar goals as you are. Communities will often include veterans who have walked a path you’re now considering, newbies who are looking for guidance, and even the occasional ITKs who do too much. 😒
How communities work
So how will communities help you in your tech journey?
Well, one of the most frequently asked questions we get on Ask A Techie is how people can find the motivation to start tech careers.
Becoming a data analyst, a backend engineer, or a designer is no easy or short feat. It takes months of dedication and learning, and years of hard work and perseverance. Oftentimes, it can get lonely and monotonous, especially if you have other priorities.
Tech communities are where you’ll get the support, motivation—and even the spitefulness 🙂 —you need to continue because let’s be honest, what’s a more powerful motivation for Africans than the possibility of parading one’s success before the enemy?
Here’s what you’ll get when you join a tech community:
- Access to industry knowledge: Tech communities often have experts who have done it before. These folks are often ready to share their tips and tricks with everyone. For example, ConTech Africa—a no-code tech community—had an event a few weeks ago where Daniel Abayomi, a designer at Meta, shared with upcoming designers how he went from zero to many many zeros. 🤑
- Network: No, we’re not talking about the MTN or Airtel kind. We’re talking about the chance to have access to professionals who have this industry knowledge. Joining DataFestAfrica will allow you to speak with people like Olanrewaju Oyinbooke and David Abu who both work on data for Microsoft. Communities can also extend beyond the Slack channels to events like this Àsà Coterie event where designers got together to party.
- Career development opportunities: This is probably the most important one because opportunities abound in tech communities. ConTech Africa, for example, has a Slack channel dedicated to job opportunities for its members. Within these tech communities, people also share other opportunities like scholarships, ebooks, grants, and even offers like CV revamps!
- Accountability: Finally, there’s the chance to find other people who are also learning. Joining a tech community will keep you accountable because there are others like you to learn and grow with. It’s probably one of the only instances—other than buying crocs—where peer pressure works for good.
Starting next week, we’ll highlight the different African tech communities we’ve found and share their details and benefits.
Don’t worry, we’re not selling you anything except the opportunity to find a village that will grow your tech career for free. 👌🏾
The Entering Tech Shorts
This edition of Entering starts with a question on if product marketers do the same thing door-to-door salesmen do. Martha Kingsmike, a product marketer at PiggyVest, tells all in one minute!
Ask a techie
Q. As a law student who has a niche in finance but now wants to break into the tech space, is it really possible to combine the both? I hear a lot of techies say that finance and tech can’t really be intertwined, this isn’t about the fintech space.
This is a bit difficult, because the combination of finance and tech is fintech, whatever way you look at it. Whether it’s building new solutions like Interswitch did, or digitising existing traditional solutions as with online banking and ATMs.
For you, we’d suggest considering a career in compliance which is basically where you ensure that finance solutions are compliant with whatever laws that regulate the space. A great person to look to here would be Moe Odele and the Vazi Legal team. Although Moe isn’t into finance exclusively, she’s built a successful and exemplary career on helping tech companies achieve and maintain compliance by attaining licences, setting up proper know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) standards.
Hope this helps!
Q. Going forward, what tech skills, or path do you think will be in high demand? I’m trying to commit myself to learning something and becoming competent at it/employable before the end of the year.
Definitely data science, cloud computing and AI. There’s a rush for AI across companies globally. And unlike the web3 rush which we think was way ahead of its time and lacked critical use cases, the effect and importance of AI has already rippled through the world.
ChatGPT launched last November and it already has 100 million users per month—it took Facebook over 4 years to get that number, and ChatGPT did it in four months! Many companies are now building AI into their tools: Google has Bard, Microsoft has an AI helper, and even Canva has Canva Magic.
And it’s not going anywhere soon. People want fast and affordable assistance, and AI helps that. A career in AI will definitely help in relevance, seeing as even more African startups are trying it out!
That’s all we can take this week. Have any questions about working in tech? Ask away and we’ll find answers for you.👇🏾
Here’s where to find your first tech job
If you’re interested in kicking off your career in tech, here’s a list of job boards that regularly upload their platform with African tech jobs.
Tech trivia answers
- The average completion rate for online courses is around 15% and the dropout rates are astronomical.
- Jumia – iOS Developer, Head of UX and Product Design, Frontend Intern – Uganda/Nigeria/Egypt
- Crowdforce – Senior Android POS Engineer – Lagos, Nigeria
- Moniepoint – Technical Product Manager, Technical Support Engineer – Lagos, Nigeria
- Dentsu – Senior Content Editor, Senior Copywriter, Media Strategist – Cape Town, South Africa (Hybrid)
- Mastercard – Senior Specialist, Product Management – South Africa
- Bamboo – Mobile Engineer, Technical Prdoccut Manager – Africa (Remote)
- Bani Africa – Product Designer, Sales Executive, Accountant – Africa (Remote)
- Pulse Africa – Head of Contributor/Influencer Engagement, Senior Graphic Designer, Content Strategist, Cinematographer – Uganda/Kenya
There are more jobs on TechCabal’s job board.
Disclaimer: TechCabal is not affiliated with or associated with jobs and opportunities listed on all its job boards and newsletters. All applicants bear the responsibility of researching about the roles and companies they apply to.
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