Getting into tech

Getting into tech

Some people (including myself) believe that tech is the new oil. Tech jobs pay a handsome sum as salary. There is the possibility of building the next awesome app that can generate a lot of money $$ for you while you work from home. In this post, I will be sharing based on opinion and some research ways you can get into tech.

Requirements for getting into tech

I will start like this: one thing is for sure, you don’t need a degree in Computer Science or IT or anything. If you already have a degree in something like Chemistry or even Business Admin, that doesn’t stop you from teching (hustling in tech). One of the things that really matter is the willingness to learn and sometimes unlearn.

Here is a list of two Africans in tech without a CS degree:

  • Jide Ogunsanya @jidetheblogger – He is the founder of OgbongeBlog.com a popular tech how-to blog. Jide studied a course related to Biology in the University
  • Seun Osewa – Founder of what easily is the most visited Nigerian website NairaLand.com he dropped out of school to focus on his career in tech.

There are CS grads who are also doing great in tech, so just maybe school doesn’t make or break you in tech but I strongly recommend going to school if you have the time and resource. It is a fine place to learn and make friends.

Where to start

In 2020 there are many options on where to start. If you are studying CS in the university you will get the chance to hear about programming, algorithms and data structure even without trying too hard (especially if you don’t skip classes *winks*).

For the rest of us, joining a tech community is a good place to start. In a community, you will hear about the latest trends in the industry like the latest Javascript frameworks (React, Angular, etc). Some popular tech communities in Africa include Developer Circles from Facebook, GDGs and Forloop.

There are other smaller communities that target specific product, services or technology. For instance, there is a WordPress user community out there. You can find communities for other subjects like Data Science, AI/Machine Learning and others. The best way to find these communities is to search online.

In tech, most communities provide a platform for members to connect share and learn without profit as the goal. (Free food, drinks and swags)

Learning Resources and being Self-taught

I earlier said you don’t need a degree to tech. Well, in case you can’t find a community near you, you can still get into tech. In 2020, there are a lot of text and video-based learning resources out there. Some are available for free while others will cost you some fee. The free resources are mostly as good as the paid ones so don’t panic. Sites like Udacity.com have free video courses on a wide range of subjects. Enrol and learn on your own, with a good level of consistency you can do it.

Pick a Path

Recently, I have worked with a few young people that are trying to get into tech. One very common thing with them is getting lost in all the wonderful career options available in tech.

Ask yourself and even decide before you start, “what path should I take?”. It’s better to be a master of one tech than a beginner in 10. Examples of what I mean by path include:

  • Frontend Web Development
  • Backend Development
  • Mobile Development (iOS or Android)
  • Machine Learning
  • DevOps
  • Blogging & Digital Marketing

Once you pick a path, work towards growing in that path.

Conclusion

If you are reading this post because you are thinking of switching to tech, know that it is possible to make that switch if you are smart about it. Find role models online (please join twitter and follow people and organisations in tech). Good luck and feel free to share this post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc if you found it useful.

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