My 2018 In Retrospect.
I have been making a lot of noise lately of how awesome my 2018 has been. It got some people curious and they asked me to share, so I decided to do a review.
Coming into 2018, the only goal I had was to read 30 books. I got inspired when I read Chuba Ezekwesili’s article titled “My 2017 Reading List: The Year of Learning”. I made my list and entered a GoodReads challenge with a lady I met online. As I write this, I have only read 2 books and 3 pending halfway but the lady had a 100 books goal and have read 102 books to be exact.
As an avid reader, 30 books wasn’t a big deal. I planned to read at least 50 pages a day and if those books were at least 500 pages, that would be approximately 30 books. I had everything figured but everything changed when I attended SMW (Social Media Week) Lagos 2018.
I have always wanted to attend SMW Lagos but I was always busy with work. Being a facility manager was tasking, I hardly had time for myself, sometimes I went to work on Sundays. I was holding the company’s control line, so sleep wasn’t even an option because when a client calls, I would need to contact the technicians on-site to solve the problem. At first, It was fun and exciting because I loved the challenge it came with and I was learning a lot but It later got boring with time after repeating the same thing over and over again.
It’s a one-week event, so the plan was to attend the event while on my leave. When It was time to go for my leave, my superiors didn’t approve and I got pissed. At that time I didn’t care because I had already made plans. I needed a break from everything and I felt SMW Lagos would be refreshing.
Attending SMW Lagos was an eye-opener, I was amazed by what young people were doing. I attended a lot of masterclass and sessions but there was a particular session that caught my attention. While seated in the crowd tweeting, the screen came on and it was a short documentary on CodeLagos. I got curious and I googled. At that point, I didn’t even know what I wanted but I registered anyway.
After the session, I went to the lobby and this fine dark-skinned lady was on her mac with her VS code open. Walked up to her and we spoke for 15mins and that’s how I decided to go into coding. I was in the moment and forget to collect her contact and that’s how I didn’t see her again till this day.
My leave was over, It was a new week. I resumed work but it didn’t feel right, “I don’t belong here” I told myself. Some of my colleagues noticed and advised me not to quit until I got another job and my reply was “I will not allow the fear of the unknown cage me here”
I resigned and I never looked back. In the spirit of clearing my head, I traveled to Abuja, Niger, Nassarawa and my home town Borno. My adventure was cut short when I got a mail from CodeLagos. So I had to head back to Lagos.
Since I had an interest in Data Science, my programming language of choice was python. CodeLagos was great, made new friends and I would always be thankful to our facilitator, now one a close friend, Abdullahi Abdulkabir for introducing me to a lot of meetups and always pushing me to do stuff. After our batch ended, he encouraged me to register as a facilitator but impostor syndrome kicked in and I couldn’t.
During that period, I applied for ALC 3.0 (Andela Learning Community ) also known as Google Scholarship Challenge on the frontend track. Thousands of applicant from Africa applied but only 15000 + were accepted. It was a challenge for two months and only 500 of us will be selected after for the next phase. It was an exciting experience. I didn’t make it to the next phase but the program helped a lot, I found out a lot of things about myself. Met some awesome devs both offline and online, we still throw bants and all, till today.
ALC 3.0 ended and I went back to my python, searching for resources that will aid my data science. I came across a lot I even started learning what I didn’t need (this, I came to realise later).
2 months later, I realised the only way to achieve mastery and beat impostor syndrome was to facilitate. The next batch of CodeLagos came and I applied to be a facilitator. Guess what, magic happened and I got in. Funny I got what I wanted but there was a big challenge. I found out that the people I was going to be teaching programming were visually impaired(Yes!, blind). I would leave this story for another day, but let’s just say I found a way around it and did an awesome job(I think).
One faithful weekend after an exciting Manchester United win I was throwing bants with other football fans on twitter then I came across a twitter handle called AI Saturdays, I got curious and googled. I found out they had a Lagos community (AI Saturdays Lagos) and a new cohort was supposed to start in August.
August came and I attended the whole 15 weeks of the cohort. During this period I picked up writing and I wrote a total of 16 articles. All these articles were featured on AI Saturdays Lagos blog.
After AI Saturdays Lagos, there was this knowledge gap some and a couple of friends started The Data League. It is just a study group of extraordinary data enthusiasts for now, but we hope it becomes something bigger.
I Supported my high school friend’s NGO called Project Candlelight Initiative, we had campaigned for #VoteNaija (to encourage youths to vote) and #SayNoToJungleJustice which we got support from Human Rights advocates. We also organized a football match between Project Candlelight 11 and the Nigerian Comedians at the National Stadium.
I joined the Google Local Guides program — a program for volunteers that contributes to Google map.
I am also on a full-stack journey with ruby on the RLC (Ruby Learning Community) program. We are about 100+ spread across Nigeria. I am also the team lead of my group.
I wanted to end the year with a bang so I gave myself another goal to make it 20 articles. One thing I found out about myself this year was that I can do anything I put my mind into.
I am not close to where I want to be but I am glad I started. This year I crushed a lot of goals even the ones I didn’t even plan for and I plan to crush more next year. Who knows, I might go into photography, podcasting or even fashion. I had an amazing growth this year and I pray to God to see me through next year.
This is my 20th article, another goal crushed.