Let me tell you a story.
I was in my fourth year in the university, preparing for my internship and aspiring to be like one of those ‘start-up guys’ I read about on Techloy, problem is, I only know little of PHP.
I went online and started searching for companies in Lagos where I can do my I.T. and learn the art of programming, a task that was proving arduous and I was about giving up when I stumbled on a Sarah Lacy’s article about the movers and shakers in Nigerian tech scene featuring O.o. (as he is popularly called).
I started digging around, wanting to know more about this ‘proudly Nigerian’ man. After two hours of search, I was impressed by what I saw and decided to try my luck being his protege.
I found his contact information on his Onepage profile ( he co founded Onepage with Joel of Buffer), and I called him. He said he was busy at the moment, but promised to call me back and I thought that was the last I was going to hear from him but true to his words, he called back and we spoke for about 20 minutes, after which he agreed to tutor me and hook me up with his friends who can help me improve my programming skills (he is a UX guy) and this was how I started my I.T. in earnest.
Though I never met O.o in person (still haven’t met him), he gave me the first web server I worked with, tutored me, introduced me to mock ups, wire framing and the concept of framework(he wanted me to learn CodeIgniter, but I never really grasped the concept, probably because I was too lazy then), helped me launch my first web app and and even wanted to pay me to learn!!!
Now, I am proficient in CakePHP, currently learning Laravel 4, worked on a couple of web apps, working on more web apps, and confident enough to take on any web app.
The moral of my story: it’s simple, I owe most of what I learnt to O.o., the act of kindness he showed me some few years ago has fast tracked my career as a web programmer and I will be forever grateful. The faith he had in me meant a lot and still means a lot to me.
This is a clarion call to all of us out there, having a protege who we can spend 5 hours a week tutoring doesn’t hurt, in fact, it will help to create a positive ripple effect where proteges become mentors themselves, which in turn helps develop the tech industry we’ve always professed love for.
Finally, a big thumbs up to Fora’s Iyinoluwa Aboyeji for the idea of Fora bootcamp where they are teaching people (even those with no experience) software engineering and also offering them jobs.
Thank you for your time and I hope you are inspired to take up a student who can benefit a lot from your wealth of experience, meanwhile, help me throw three gbosas for the No. 1 star man himself.
And to O.o., I’d like to say thank you for what I have come to dub the ‘readrack’ experience, you still inspire me and still eagerly looking forward to our first meeting.
My Friend, O.o., is a great man was first published on Joshua Oguntade’s Medium.
A Nigerian Geek who uses technology as a catalyst for social change.