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Dumebi Okolo
Dumebi Okolo

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🥳🥳Congratulations! You have not been hired

Impostor syndrome is something that a lot of people reading this article have experienced (or are experiencing) at one point or another in their personal and professional journeys.

In my case, I don't have the proverbial "voices telling me that I am not good enough."
Rather, I am the voice constantly telling myself that I am not good enough.

This is a burden I have carried for a long time, and now see the need to speak up and liberate myself.


I have been dealing with impostor syndrome and decided to document my journey and get inspiration from how far I have grown professionally and personally.

Welcome to my life

I think of myself more as a writer and teacher, than I do anything else.
Basically, all my life has reflected this.
Right from when I was a child, I had written.
Previously, my focus was on fiction writing, which lead me to author my poetry anthology, WHERE DEAD MEN WALK in 2018.

Here's a link to the book.
Let me know what you think about it. 😃


In 2016, I got my first job as the Senior Editor at Writers Space Africa.

we win

This was something I was very excited about because it afforded me the opportunity to do two things I loved so much: read and write.
WSA magazines were published weekly after collating entries from various submissions under a particular theme or effect.
My major job description was:

  • to determine which article aligned best with the given theme,
  • look out for, and correct grammatical errors,
  • contribute to the pool of submissions,
  • advertising as well, seeing as the team was rather small at that time.


At the turn of 2017, I got into the university to study Petroleum and Gas engineering (Gas major).
I maintained my role as a Senior Editor at WSA, juggling it with school.
In November of 2017, I got into another (volunteer) role as the Director of Media of the Society of Petroleum Engineers(Uniport chapter), where my primary job description was:

  • to write editorials on behalf of the chapter,
  • proofread the editorials being sent out by the chapter president and other team members before it was sent out.
  • Create and manage a social media presence for my chapter.


The year is 2018 and I had branched out a bit in writing from fiction to academic writing (I needed extra income to survive school 🤣).
With my increased school work and three jobs, I had to make the decision to drop one of them.
I dropped my job as senior editor at WSA, as that was my most demanding job.
In October 2018, I published my first (and currently only) book; a poetry anthology, WHERE DEAD MEN WALK.


2019 continued much the same, with my tenure as Director of Media coming to an end at the turn of the year.
I had only academic writing at this point.
In June, I became the Co-editor for the SPEUPC weekly Technical magazine [A volunteer role].
This brought me back to where I was with WSA, writing and editing articles, although technical articles this time around.

Later in the year, I started my own e-learning facility, Alphar Group of Companies (group of companies because it was meant to grow into more).
With AGC, my aim was to make the knowledge of proper English and the mastery of Writing accessible to more people.
With this in mind, I had my first training cohort of 40 participants, training them to understand writing, english and art in general.

  • Built and grew this community all by myself.
  • Managed advertising for the first cohort, which yielded 40 active participants.
  • Organized and conducted the first cohort.
  • Sourced for speakers and anchors for the first cohort.


In 2020, COVID hit and everything was on lockdown, including school and my writing career.
I officially started my programming journey in 2020, at the peak of the COVID lockdown.

I started my journey on Solo Learn where I earned my first certificate in, after completing the course, INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING USING PYTHON

python cert

Having equipped myself with the knowledge of python, I decided that what I wanted to do was become a machine learning engineer.
I went ahead to do a great deal of projects, and to earn more certificates in machine learning.
I took datasets from Kaggle and worked on them on my local computer.

I got another certificate from SoloLearn.

machine learning

I had the second (and sadly last) cohort of my Art and Writing workshop where I had over 80 participants, double of what I had the previous year.
I had more speakers, and more anchors.


As part of the mandatory internship exercise at school, I worked as a Research intern at a QA/QC lab.

I also continued on my machine learning path, adding more certificates to my collection and increasing the projects I did.

Great learning

I thoroughly enjoyed python and machine learning, and kept striving for perfection in it.
I also took a YouTube course from Mosh Hammedini on _Understanding Python. _

Towards the end of 2021, I was introduced to the world of blockchain technology and development by a friend, and I couldn't resist my interest.

I dropped what I was learning as a Machine Learning engineer, and went straight to learn Blockchain development.

September 2021, I landed a role as the Growth Marketing Manager at Kaoshi Network!
I was enthusiastic about my journey.

lets go gif


By January 2022, I had bagged a certificate from SimpliLearn on Blockchain Developement.


After this, I went ahead to use a tutorial video on Youtube by Patrick Collins to perfect my skills.

For the first half of 2022,I struggled to learn Blockchain Development. I did learn, but I struggled with learning and understanding blockchain development. It was a difficult time for me.

In due time, I had an epiphany. It was that,

'for me to properly learn and understand web3, I had to learn ad understand web2.'

However, before leaving the web3 space, I learnt about Developer Relations as a role. I was fascinated. It was like they had bundled all the things that I love doing, and made it into a role! From then I determined that this was the path I wanted to follow, and began my transition into it. But there was still so much to do and learn.

I got into Frontend web development, a path I have since come to love and be very passionate about.

I began my frontend development journey in earnest.
I thoroughly enjoyed everything I was learning and building. It was special to me to build something and get to see it come to life with my eyes.

I consumed frontend development with everything I had, thanks to Angela Yu of the App brewery.
I had a wonderful time getting introduced to Frontend web development.
I took other courses on the side to amplify my knowledge, which you can find on my linkedin profile.
You can also see the cool projects that I have worked on or am working on in my GitHub profile.

A friend told me in September, and I quote,

You should write for a living, man.

I was inspired.
I wrote my first ever technical article on Hashnode, which has grown to become my most successful article on Hashnode.

I have been averagely releasing technical articles every week since October 2022.

Rejections 🤣😭

I don't quite think anything prepares you for the enormity of the tearing at your soul each rejection email you receive carries.

This is November 2022, and I felt equipped enough to start applying for junior roles, so I put myself out there.

I was getting so many rejection emails, it felt as though my name had been blacklisted by job boards.

I didn't even get invited for interviews, just straight rejected.😭😭

In December, luck smiled on me and I was invited for an interview with a recruiter in a big blockchain company.
Unfortunately, I was stood up for this interview. 😥

Personally, I thought rejection emails were painful, but being stood up for an interview that you poured heart and soul into preparing for was devastating.

crying gif


After everything that happened to me in 2022, I decided to take a break and focus on school.
By Feburary 2023, I had graduated from the Department of Petroleum and Gas engineering, University of Port Harcourt.
With everything else, this was a win that I cherished so deeply.😊

Being done with school, I decided to put myself back out there.
I continued on my frontend development journey, and kept writing and getting better.


ah shit gif

I cannot talk about my 2023 without talking about the volume of rejection emails I got.
Although, unlike last year, I got up to interview stage with some of the companies. I was, however, always dropped because it was said that I lacked the required years of experience.
As though to add insult to injury, I lost my job as Growth Marketer.

Prior to losing my job, I was often times displeased at those who made long, sad posts on LinkedIn about being laid off. I thought, "it wasn't that deep."
After losing my job, I discovered just how deep it actually was.🤣🤣

It has been a couple of months for me now without job, but I have persevered.

I have gotten better at writing technical articles, and consequently my teaching.
I ran a complete frontend web developement course earlier in the year, and I had a great time doing so.
I have also gotten better in terms of my skills with advocacy. Having years of experience with growth marketing for a B2C company, I have developed more skills in technical evangelism and developer advocacy.
My frontend skills are probably the most surprising to me.
I do not claim that I know so much now, but I have learnt and grown so much!

In conclusion,
This is where I currently am in my journey, and unless I make very bold to write of the future, I shall stop here for now.

This article is my way of getting out of the shell that impostor syndrome has placed me in.
Writing about and detailing all these things that I have done (though not much) has given me a sense of accomplishment, pride and good in how far I have grown and come.

If you have made it this far, congratulations! You now carry a part of my story in your mind.

congratulations gif

Top comments (22)

iamtowbee profile image
Oluwatobi Oluyede

FFantastic post. Impostor syndrome is something I can relate well to. I applied to scores of jobs in early 2022 before the universe finally answered my noisemaking. Each rejection felt like I was sinking into the deepest crevices of the undesired. Now I'm all the wiser, and I laugh myself to tears after each one. Just curious, you were initially in Web3 and veering towards data sci; what was it like coming from a non-tech bg?

dumebii profile image
Dumebi Okolo • Edited

I was in ML veering towards Web3, and finally a frontend developer, soon to delve into backend. 😅

I wouldn't necessarily say I was coming from a "non-tech" background, as nobody was born into tech. I perhaps just started my journey a little later than some.

I absolutely love your testimony, and I can't wait to write the part 2 of this article for when I finally get a job, and how much it'd have changed me and my mindset. 😅

I'm so happy for you. Congratulations 🎊 🎊

iamtowbee profile image
Oluwatobi Oluyede • Edited

Fairs. yeah I'm grateful, although a work in progress than the finished article. About jobs, I think building experience is the way to go. That way, you can get a foot in the door. What technologies do you use? I'm also learning backend with node express and MongoDB.

Thread Thread
dumebii profile image
Dumebi Okolo

Thank you so much.
Currently: HTML, CSS, Javascript, React, a bit of next, Tailwindcss, bootstrap and some other css frameworks...
I'm hoping to start learning Ruby for backend.

Thread Thread
iamtowbee profile image
Oluwatobi Oluyede • Edited

React + Next with Tailwind go hard. Why Ruby though? I mean nodejs seems obvious

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dumebii profile image
Dumebi Okolo

It does seem obvious, and was what I was planning on...

But I found out Forem is built on Ruby, and I got interested.

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iamtowbee profile image
Oluwatobi Oluyede • Edited

Okay. Prolly you mean Ruby on Rails. Oh and btw your career roadmap is somewhat similar to mine, that without the Ruby branching tho. We should connect

Thread Thread
dumebii profile image
Dumebi Okolo

Ruby, and then Ruby on rails in due time.
Oh yeah?
We should connect. Find me on LinkedIn here. Can't wait to connect!

Thread Thread
iamtowbee profile image
Oluwatobi Oluyede

Just added you. Thanks!

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Fantastic post, Dumebii! 😀

However, before leaving the web3 space, I learnt about Developer Relations as a role. I was fascinated. It was like they had bundled all the things that I love doing, and made it into a role! From then I determined that this was the path I wanted to follow, and began my transition into it. But there was still so much to do and learn.

This is so dang cool! I work in DevRel as a non-developer and I really love it. I know we've been talking about this some in various places, but just to say I think you'd do absolutely awesome in DevRel. Stick with it, you've been working hard and doing lotsa cool stuff. You're on the right track!

By the way, this bit...

In October 2018, I published my first (and currently only) book; a poetry anthology, WHERE DEAD MEN WALK.

Woot! Fellow fiction writer here. 🙌

Well, that's what I majored in during university at least... can't say I got a published book like you though. That's so freaking cool!

dumebii profile image
Dumebi Okolo

Thank you so much, Michael. Your words truly mean a lot to me.

I finally put the book into a shareable link. Forgot to do that before.

Please have a read. I'd love to know what you think!
Thank you again.

adiatiayu profile image
Ayu Adiati

Wow, you had a handful valuable experiences, Dumebi! 🤩

I learnt about Developer Relations as a role. I was fascinated. It was like they had bundled all the things that I love doing, and made it into a role!

Same here! I love to learn and write, and enjoy mentoring. So I've been interested in this role (or anything community and devex related) and try to find my way there! 😃

Thank you for sharing these, Dumebi 💙

dumebii profile image
Dumebi Okolo

Hiiii, Ayu!!
Thank you so much. I truly appreciate your kind words.

You're so right. I'm more interested in mentorship, teaching and writing. I currently have a good number of people under me as mentors. I can't wait to fully get into this role and reach my full potentials.

I'm rooting for you on your journey! 💕💕

adiatiayu profile image
Ayu Adiati

I'm rooting for you as well!!! 💙

hectorlaris profile image
Héctor Serrano

Dumebi tks. I know this reality. T`s necessary lived and enjoy it. How the singer say: There's not a defined path walking becomes the path. 🤓

dumebii profile image
Dumebi Okolo

You're definitely right. I just can't wait to be over with this phase. 😅😭

blackgirlbytes profile image
Rizèl Scarlett

Love it! You have a wealth of experience. Rejection is tough but that's only because something greater is coming your way! Your thoughts on DevRel are exactly how I felt about it when I discovered it!

dumebii profile image
Dumebi Okolo

Thank you so much Rizèl! This means a lot. I have admired you and your work for a long time.
I keep looking past my rejections and jumping in to the next and newest opportunities. Thank you, again, for the vote of confidence.

nathan_tarbert profile image
Nathan Tarbert

It’s a hard road and I’m rooting for you.
Thanks for telling your story.

dumebii profile image
Dumebi Okolo

Thank you so much! I appreciate it.

blvckmamba profile image
James Clinton

Great article Dumss🙌

dumebii profile image
Dumebi Okolo • Edited

My boss. 🙇‍♀️