Moyinoluwa Adeyemi is an Android Developer for Off Grid Electric, working remotely from Lagos, Nigeria. The team that she is a part of works on an app that enables people in Sub-Saharan Africa to have access to clean energy. Before Off Grid Electric, she was the sole Android Developer at Swifta Systems. She has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with Mathematics from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.
Moyinoluwa loves learning and sharing her knowledge about Android Development at local and international events. She started the first Women Techmakers group in Nigeria at her university in 2013 and she is currently a co-organizer for the Google Developers Group in Lagos.
1. When did you know you wanted to be in tech?
There was no epiphany for me and I’m not one of those people who started coding when I was 5. I just happened to find myself in the field and I loved that I could bring ideas to life through the work that I did.
I took science classes in secondary school and, while I disliked Biology, I loved Mathematics. Just before entry exams into university, I needed to select a course to study. I had a list of science related courses to pick from and I avoided all that had to do with Biology. That’s when I saw ‘Computer Science with Mathematics’ as one of the options. I didn’t know what to expect, but it didn’t have to do with Biology so I figured I would be fine. Mathematics was also part of the deal and that was enough to convince me to go for it.
“I‘m not one of those people who started coding when I was 5. I just happened to find myself in the field and I loved that I could bring ideas to life through the work that I did’.”
I had friends in university who knew how to build J2ME apps for mobile phones. That seemed interesting, so I got them to teach me, and that’s how my journey with Java started. I dabbled a bit into graphic design and front-end development before finally settling on building for the Android platform.
2. Who’s been a role model you look up to?
My grandfather is someone I looked up to. My siblings and I always spent the summer holidays with him when we were younger and he always made sure that we had story books to read. He always told us about his performance in
school when he was younger and I made it a goal to break his academic record. In the end, I wasn’t able to break it, but I did have the same amount of A’s as he did in the same exams. A tie is better than a loss, I guess.
3. Where’s your hometown?
My parents are from Ijebu Imusin in Ogun State, Nigeria but I grew up in Lagos.
4. What’s a challenge you’ve faced in your career journey?
I’m facing a challenge right now. I am trying to answer these questions as best as I can, but at the same time, my introverted brain is currently overthinking. It’s trying to figure out how much information is too much information, what the most appropriate answers to give are, and what people will think when they read it. Brb, I need to do a quick search on why introverts tend to overthink things…
5. Describe a time you were proud of yourself.
I built an app last year that tells the time in Yoruba (one of the major languages in Nigeria). It started as a thought, “Hmm, let’s see if this can work”. In my head, I felt that if there was some sort of formula for time telling in Yoruba, then maybe I could transform that into an algorithm and build an app based on that.
The first thing that I did was ask my friends (via Twitter and Facebook) who understood Yoruba better than me to help me understand time telling. They told me all that they knew and I found that there really was a pattern. In about five hours, I had a working prototype. I got feedback from more
language experts and I was able to polish up the app. In the end I had two versions; one for Android Wear devices and the other for Android phones.
It wasn’t so much about the final product though. I was particularly proud of this project because it was a reminder of the power that I had as a developer, and a reminder that all it takes to solve any problem is curiosity.
“It was a reminder of the power that I had as a developer, and a reminder that all it takes to solve any problem is curiosity.”
6. What’s something that’s been on your mind a lot lately?
It is really difficult for Nigerians with Nigerian passports to get visas to some countries. It’s like one moment the world is opening up to us, and then very quickly, some invisible doors are slammed in our faces. I’ve had a couple of rejections, at times when I’m starting to apply to attend and/or speak at international conferences, which sometimes even come with partial or full travel sponsorships. I initially thought that this was peculiar and specific to me, because people don’t talk publicly about these things, so I started asking around and found that even people who work for reputable companies and whom, in my opinion, meet all the criteria still get rejection letters. The only reason that I set out to learn German this year is so that I’ll finally be able to read the Visa rejection letter (written entirely in German) that I was sent after I applied to travel there for an all expenses paid conference a while ago.
7. Favorite food?
I don’t have any favorites. I like a lot of different things at different times. Hot chocolate works on a cold, rainy morning, pounded yam is perfect after a marathon 🙂
8. Mac or PC?
Mac. I used to be very confident about this answer, but now, not so much.
9. If you could try another job for a day, what would it be?
10. If you could give your 18-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Your life will sort itself out. Just be sure to never lose your sense of curiosity, show up everyday, and do great work. You’ll only connect the dots when looking backward.
This article was originally posted on medium.com by Women of Silicon Valley