How She Works

From Accounting to Programming: I am Florence Okosun, a Web Developer at Andela, and This Is How I Work.

I am thinking of changing the series from “How She Works” to “How She Does It” because I feel that it sounds better, but let me know what you think. That aside, I had an amazing time reading about Florence, I love how I was able to relate to her story because we initially had to make wrong decisions in our career paths.
So, without further ado, meet Florence Okosun, a Web Developer at Andela.

[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]Let’s start at the beginning, you got your Bsc. in Accounting. What were you hoping to be then?[/stextbox]
Studying Accounting was not exactly a choice, to get an employer to listen to you in Nigeria you need a BSc. in something :-). So it happened that I ended up studying Accounting. I had no plans to build on that I knew what I wanted to do at the end of the program and it was to build my programming skills and so I did. If I didn’t end up as a programmer, perhaps I would have opted for being a full-time musician. I enjoy music, I enjoy my profession, I could only do what I enjoy doing.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”8pt”] Studying Accounting was not exactly a choice, to get an employer to listen to you in Nigeria you need a BSc. in something 🙂   [/perfectpullquote]
[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]So, where where did the interest in technology come from and how did you transition from having a degree in Accounting to being a developer? Were you self-taught?[/stextbox]
My interest in technology I believe started when I enrolled in a computer science program at Yabatech where I obtained an OND in computer science. Though we didn’t do much programming (the trouble with our educational system), I was really curious about how software really works and I went out of my way to learn more but sadly as at the time, the opportunity was really scarce. In 2007, I built a software, my very first software, a standalone application using MS Access and it was for my church. It simply collects and stores members data. I was thrilled at what I could do with internet access, a computer and some alone time. I never stopped trying to pick up things and challenging myself, I still do.
[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]How would you describe your job as a web developer to the uninitiated?[/stextbox]
My job involves, first of all, a lot of thinking, the ability to think through a problem is key, trying to figure out the best way to solve it. Problem-solving skills is an essential skill needed to succeed as a programmer. Then after that, develop a computer program. What that means is, to write a set of instructions to solve that problem in a language the computer understands. I don’t work in a silo, I work with other developers and engineers, technical skills are not the only skills needed to succeed as a programmer. From time to time, I have to work on projects with other developers, some other times act in the capacity of a Technical Team Lead and sometimes as a mentor to Junior developers.
[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]What are the top 5 software you use in your practice?[/stextbox]
The top 5 tools I use, in no particular order, are:

  • Slack (Comms)
  • Trello (Project Management Tool)
  • GitHub (Code repository)
  • CLI (Command line interface)
  • Webstorm and Atom (IDE/Text Editor).

[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]What time do you get up in the morning and how do you start and end your day?[/stextbox]
Typically, I start off by checking my email and then to slack responding to them as needed. I also check my calendar for any meetings scheduled for the day. I’ll be checking my Facebook notifications afterward, I’m not big on twitter, I’m hardly there. That takes just about a few minutes before I get started with the business of the day. My evenings take a similar pattern, except that I tend to be more productive in the evenings so I get to work on my personal projects or a project I am contributing to or sometimes just write a blog post if I discovered something I would love to share. I happen to be a member of a community called Laravel Nigeria, every now and then developers posts about bugs they are facing and request help, my evenings are most likely going to involve collaborating to fix a bug with another developer on the platform. When all is said and done, I finally get to sleep at 11 pm thereabout.

[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]A GIF that can be used to describe working at Andela?[/stextbox]
I can think of 2 🙂

EPIC: An Acronym for Excellence, Passion, Integrity, and Collaboration
and:

Liberating.
[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]Has your gender ever affected your work experience?[/stextbox]
Andela believes that talent is gender neutral. You don’t need to be a man or a woman to grow and succeed as a developer at Andela. As a female, you have an equal opportunity as a male to be placed on a partner engagement, the pay is not gender based neither are the other benefits.
[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]What is the favorite part of your job right now?[/stextbox]
I really enjoy learning so my favorite part is having to learn other languages and stacks aside from my primary stack which is PHP/Laravel.
[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]Given the ubiquity of technology in our everyday lives, what are your predictions for the future of web development?[/stextbox]
Data Science and Machine learning, this is the future. Whilst there are lots of programming languages for web development, I see python being in hot demand at least for the next ten years and the demand for python developers will be high. Web apps will be data-driven and any app that is not data driven should be reconsidered. There’s currently a lot of data-mining activities and machine learning algorithms running in the background of many websites, including our favorites (Facebook, Google etc.). Programming for the web will become much more competitive as the need for programmers with this skill plus some subject area expertise will be in high demand.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Data Science and Machine learning, this is the future.  [/perfectpullquote]
[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]What laptop & smartphone do you currently use?[/stextbox]
I use a MacBookPro and an iPhone6.
[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]Can you share a picture of your favorite tech gadget asides from your Smartphone?[/stextbox]
 

[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]Do you have a work playlist? What are the top 3 songs in your workplaylist?[/stextbox]
I love a wide range of genres so this is hard … Let’s go with:

  1. Toxicity (system of a down)
  2. Jailer by Asa
  3. Joromi by Simi.

[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]What book have you’ve read(if any) that has gotten you inspired?[/stextbox]
I’m Currently reading a book on working remotely, written by the founders of 37SIGNALS (now Basecamp).
[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]Share a picture of your workspace setup?[/stextbox]

[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]If you were to do your career all over again, would you do anything differently?[/stextbox]
I wouldn’t go for a degree in a field I am not passionate about ;-).
[stextbox id=’alert’ shadow=”false” bgcolor=’d6f3ff’ bgcolorto=’d6f3ff’ image=’null’]What advice would you give to young people thinking about being a web developer?[/stextbox]
Do not be afraid to ask questions, do not feel disappointed when you don’t find help, keep pushing, it gets clearer only with time and never hesitate to offer help or mentorship, attend tech meetups, hackathons, competitions etc. and most importantly, make sure you are active in some tech community.
Fill in the gap, I’d love to see Princess-Jewel Essien tell us how “she works.”


Next week, Y’all will get the chance to meet the Manager of cloud operations at one of the tech companies in Nigeria. So, if you’ve wanted to find out anything about Cloud Computing, here is your chance! I’d pick only one question (from you guys) to ask our next guest. 

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20 comments on “From Accounting to Programming: I am Florence Okosun, a Web Developer at Andela, and This Is How I Work.

  1. Kate says:

    Would you believe me if I said that i am in a similar situation as Florence.
    I am currently in 300 level studying accounting at Babcock University and I got introduced to coding, started learning and now I am actually fascinated with it, as a matter of fact accounting now seems like a struggle to me ( it has always been but after discovering my love for coding, it became worse).
    Friends are advising me to focus on what I have now (accounting) but after reading this I feel so inspired. God probably made you publish this article for me and yeah i woll probably graduate with a 2.1 in accounting so I don’t waste my mum’s money but after that Andela it is.

  2. Firstly, she’s pretty and secondly self learning has always been the best option for programmers, I’m still fighting with my OND and really programming has been zero, we ain’t doing shit… And the worst part is when it come to project/seminar…. You see the supervisors expecting more out of the nothing they actually impacted. Even my seminar that I’m begging God on for my supervisor to just let me go. I chose to write in ANN and this my crazy supervisor who has little or zero idea how much time and research I put together to write still wants me to do better than someone taking PhD. WTF!… I stated learning C# on my own but really got boring. Limited resources, no light, limited internet access. I’ve decided to dump it for blogging, lol. That’s a dumb thing to do I guess, I been attending meetups and others, it seems to be helpful, I’ll be attending another on JavaScript this weekend too.😁 Thumbs up Florence… Keep the code alive
    techzbyte

    1. James amara says:

      What does being pretty have to do it the post

  3. Kay says:

    …to write a set of instructions to solve that problem in a language the computer understands …

    Literally the “textbook definition“.
    This girl must be a Nigerian! 😆

  4. Tessa says:

    Amazement. You rock girl. Fine geh wey know book. Too much sauce.😗😙😚😍😘😄😃🤣

  5. Yomi Alabi says:

    This is impressive, Florence! It’s not every day you see people who have a major career shift like you have.

  6. ỌBÁDÁRÀ says:

    … WELL, IN TODAY’S WORLD 🗺, ITS NOT ABOUT THE COURSE YOU’RE STUDYING, ITS ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BE UNIVERSALLY RELEVANT.
    WE CELEBRATE THIS WOMAN. CONTINUE DOING THE RIGHT THING…

  7. michael says:

    Amazing, i admire ladies dat programs…dats wat attracted me to misstechy in d first place… see what misstechy has inspired me to accomplish…Visit https://alphatekng.com for mind blowing tech gists.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Am exactly in the same state Florence was in. I pursued accounting in my undergraduate but its not my passion. So currently am learning python with some guidance from a friend, I hope to join andela soon enough, so help me God 😛😛😊

  9. Oge says:

    I find this piece interesting but she is missing out on a very big opportunity – Technology in itself isn’t a career until you use it to power a course. I have a degree in Accounting and currently run an accounting technology company – I felt bad when she said she lost interest in accounting which ordinarily should have been her unique selling point. I have build and developed accounting software and financial application using my accounting skill and technology; thanks to my programmer friends who were able to assist in this regard and I can confidently say that I earn 6-7 figure from that application – My application is being used in real estate, manufacturing, hotels, travels, etc and it wasn’t just the application that is driving the sales but the brain behind it – we are accounting graduates with tech skill. Look at the big 4 – PwC, KPMG, Delloite & EY, they are investing billions in technology which means – the future of accounting is technology. Why not horn your accounting skill, then find an area you can power with software – Take a look at invoicing, expense management, reporting, banking, reconciliation, receivables, payables, etc – these are accounting subjects that are yet to be driven by technology – So please use your tech skill to power your accounting and I bet you, top firms will hire you to solve their accounting challenges.

    1. Kemi Oguntayo says:

      Wow just checked out the software. Impressive sis!!!!!

  10. Amos says:

    Amazing article and comments. Am a BBIT agraduate but am foreshadowing my career is heading awrong direction, simply because ever since I finished my college am lacking a place to join for even an internship. Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. Laide says:

      Err what is BBIT

  11. Harry says:

    Fyn geh. Better pikin

  12. Nice one….I’m inspired after reading this article.

  13. Yudy says:

    She likes rock songs too. I like this girl already! Toxic!!😉

  14. KingAbsolute says:

    Motivational post.
    Mostly, its not always about what we studied but what we have passion for.

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