How I broke into tech with no technical background!

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Hi!

This is my first blog post ever. I decided to do this to talk about my transition journey into a career in tech. I have no prior experience/background in tech whatsoever. I didn’t study computer science in the university neither did I study Information Technology. I have a degree in Agricultural and Bio-resource Engineering. Lol, you must be surprised why/how I’m now transitioning into tech. Well, keep following and you’ll soon know how.

It all started when I was posted to the Federal Capital Territory, FCT for my national youth service (for the sake of those not in Nigeria, NYSC is a program set up by the Nigerian government to involve Nigerian graduates in nation building and the development of the country). While I was in search of a place to do my primary assignment, this start-up (Fintech) firm was looking to take in corpers. Guess who hurriedly applied just to leave the house, ME! To cut the long story short, I resumed at the firm in the research & development department. To be honest I had no idea what to expect or what I was going to do. Initially, I didn’t really take my job serious cos I was like I’m just doing this cos it is compulsory. My intention or desire was to work with an NGO after my service year which was why I volunteered with one as my community development service (CDS). When I started taking my job serious was when I became more involved in the conception phase of a product. I was always lost and I found myself always asking so many questions. I wasn’t directly or even openly involved in the product development stages as the firm was a not-so new start-up (post for another day) so the development team were contract based & remote. I believe my bosses noticed I was eager and willing to learn so I was retained after my service year. I am still working in this department as an R&D team lead but I want more. I want to become actively involved in the product development stages. I want to transition into product management and/or product design.

I’ve gotten clarity on the career path I want to take. A career in tech. I decided to start this blog in order to share my struggles, challenges, wins, progress etc just to put myself out there and help someone who is also trying to transition into tech but doesn’t know how or what to do. I don’t have a background in tech. I don’t know how to code. So If I can, you can too.

Late last year I started taking my career goals seriously. In order for me to understand so many things to aid my transition, I got a mentor who has been a product manager for over 9 years on the Girlsintech mentorloop platform. I took a certificate course with Utiva. Joined a community and I’ve been reading so many books. I intend to put into practice all I’ve learnt so far, my newly acquired skills into solving problems, managing a small team and building scalable products and I’ll be carrying you along every project we work on (with permission ofcourse, Lol). I’m not an expert but we improve by practice, right?

That said, if you have a career in tech, I’d love to know how you started and any advice, tools, resources you think will help me transition smoothly.

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Zainab Ali

Let’s start with the easy stuff. Sharing my transition journey to a career in tech, everyday thoughts, some stories, personal development and lifestyle.