From notepad to DevOps enthusiast

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Coding has allowed for individuals across the globe to express their ideas and creativity through their programming techniques and skills. People can start no matter what their job is, or what their degrees are. From Architect to Fashion Designer, you can jump straight into it, whether you want to pursue it as a hobby or a new career. 

We had the privilege of speaking with Deborah Emeni, a talented Software Developer based in Nigeria, who has overcome numerous obstacles to achieve her current success. During our conversation, Deby shared her experiences of learning how to code while being active in a Google Developers Student Club, the challenges she encountered on her journey and how she transitioned from Engineering to DevOps. Read about her journey in our recent blog.

What inspired you to get into software development?

My journey starts in Nigeria where I was at university studying Computer Science. The first year of my studies were maths heavy which surprised me, but as I entered my second year the focus moved towards QBasic and Fortran. I’ve always been interested in computing, and the tech industry so I was glad to see more of my degree veering toward this. 

Throughout my studies I was introduced to an extra-curricular programme created by Google called The Developer Student Club; this is where I found my true love for coding and over the course of my studies, I became the Community Lead for the club. As my studies were coming to an end, I was lucky enough to receive sponsorship from Google as the club’s community lead to travel to Ghana to meet and connect with some Google developers. I met some amazing Developers and Engineers across many countries where I attended workshops, hackathons, and events. 

This opportunity given to me by Google was once in a lifetime, and my skills wouldn’t be where they are today without it.

How would you describe your experience as a Software Developer so far?

My first experience of software development was on paper, which isn’t the most conventional introduction to coding. I didn’t have a laptop, so I started my journey by writing my code by hand, I began with HTML and quickly expanded to CSS, Python, and JavaScript. This allowed me to create several different projects and techniques using multiple languages, but I felt it was only just the beginning. 

For the last two years, my main focus has been DevOps which is a surprising turn for me. When I first started learning about Cloud Computing in 2021, I wasn’t expecting a lot, but I was instantly hooked. 

I learnt about the importance of automation and the goal of making the job of a Developer easier and more efficient. This became even more prominent once I created my own application that allowed me to automate and streamline the deployment process. This was when I knew DevOps was the niche for me. 

Since then, I have written blogs on the various techniques and projects I have created. For me, DevOps has been the perfect blend of creativity and technical knowledge and I can’t wait to see where my career takes me.  

My journey hasn’t been all fun and games though, and I’ve experienced many challenges along the way. From experiencing inappropriate advancements during interviews and in the workplace, to not being taken seriously by my male counterparts because of my gender; unfortunately, I feel like it has stopped me from getting certain opportunities. 

Thankfully I was able to find communities online to help me, and I became a member of She Code Africa where I was able to connect with a group of like-minded women who really helped me to stay motivated and continue my tech journey. 

What has been one of the most memorable moments of your career?

I think the industry is only going in one direction, and it’s here to stay. The great thing about DevOps is the problem it solves for Developers by making their lives and their jobs a lot easier. I have been able to witness first hand through the DevOps projects I have created how beneficial they can be for a Developer.

What advice would you give to people starting out?

For people starting to code I think one of the most important things is to believe in yourself, it sounds simple, but it is easy to get demotivated throughout every process from problem solving, to fixing bugs in code, to interview rejections. It’s important to take a step back and reflect, because eventually, everything will click and fall into place. 

My second piece of advice would be to take a deeper look into the languages you want to learn and figure out what are the advantages and disadvantages of the coding language. These vary from person to person, so ensuring the language you learn is right for you is key. 

Lastly, I encourage you to take risks, join communities and look for feedback from others. The Software Developer community is one of the biggest, and best, so throw yourself into it and don’t be afraid. 

Our conversation with Deby was great, and we're glad we can share her story with you. If you're ready to get started on your own coding journey, we've got you covered. Check out some our more recent blogs on interview and CV tips to help you get started or contact us to learn more.




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