No one really writes about the pain involved in learning to code in Nigeria and I don’t know why.
First of all, peep the the cover picture on this post, it represents an art-work for a song by a music artiste in Nigeria titled “Thunder Fire You” by Ric Hassani. Literal meaning...may thunder strike a person dead.
It was sung as a song for a heartbroken man but I put that up there because there’s a lot of forces designed to frustrate the average young Nigerian mind by the Government.
I started my developer journey, no prior computer science degree, delving into a new career because well, there are simply not enough jobs. I said what I said.
And now, it has only gotten worse...
Laptop prices have doubled and are now tripling due to the weak strength of the Naira against the dollar. Some developer advocates like Hack Sultan, Prosper Otemuyiwa and Adora Nwodo have been doing their best to help the Nigerian community but for how long? Trust the government to try and take the plaudits when a Nigerian dev builds a world class product tho.
Data!!!! A successful developer needs to learn to know how to ask the right questions on Google and StackOverflow yeah?
But you see,in order to use Google, you actually have to be connected to the internet...Now the average Nigerian earns 2000 naira daily and the least internet plans go for half that price!
Funny story? Many people do not even earn that...tell me again how it’s supposed to be easy to just be in the “zone” to code?
The way I see it, to use YouTube and the plenty resources available online for self-study, you’ve got to have access to the internet and how are you supposed to cope with spending at least 12-20 thousand naira on data monthly when you haven’t even started getting paid? And to plunge you into further depression, you’re given an option of “borrowing” data...sighs.
- Now to the most annoying part...EPILEPTIC...nah scratch that...NO POWER SUPPLY!!! Paint this scenario in your head...
Young and defiant newbie dev who is trying their best to scale through, has been able to get a laptop, buy/borrow data and joined a free boot camp or tried to do some self study. This young developer wants to maximize their time and draws up a study schedule so they can also get their tasks and assignments submitted early enough.
There’s a problem tho...”PHCN”(the corrupt organization in charge of supplying power) only gives them electricity 3 hours(phased irregularly) daily and coupled with that, they still have to “share” light in their street because the transformer is not powerful enough to supply the 12 streets using it.
Their street uses the epileptic power for two days and there’s a total blackout for the third day.
In total they have +/- 6 hours of a possible 72hours to power their devices, get studies in and also do their assignments. Then you find them at Bet9ja shops (sports betting kiosks) trying to charge and learning to code with street kings(agbero and urchins) shouting in the background trying to stake bets on virtual football games.
That is just a peek into the life of most newbie Nigerian developers. I just thought you should know. I deliberately excluded some parts because it gets ugly as you go. Feel free to add your experiences and draw strength from each other. Selah.
Despite all this, we still do our best yeah? But think of the talents being wasted because they do not have the psychological capacity to cope with these kinds of problems...just think about it for a minute?