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Women in Tech Profile: Ada

Ada Nduka Oyom

Lagos, Nigeria


Tell us about yourself.

I am a software developer and I also like to consider myself as a developer relations expert. I started out in tech from a non-traditional background (BSc Microbiology) back in University. I did not fully pick up a career in IT until 2016 after graduating, I started out fully in Software Development for web and I did a little bit of project management before fully switching to Developer Relations and Developer Advocacy path. I am also the founder of She Code Africa - a community for women in tech across Africa, as well as co-founder for Open source community Africa - a community aimed at building and diversifying open source contributions from African “open sourcer-ers”.

How did you decide to get into technology?

I always had a knack for gadgets and in my 2nd year in university, I came across a tech group run by (now defunct) Google student ambassadors in my campus, so I gave the first event a try and immediately I knew that it was something I wanted to keep up with.

From attending events, I transitioned into leading the Google developer group (GDG) for my campus till I graduated. That role alone gave me a lot of exposure into tech and I have come to cherish all of that till date. The rest is history.

How would you describe your experience in the industry so far?

It has been amazing and if I had to do it all over again, I would not hesitate. There has obviously been the ups and downs but for me, that is what makes it more interesting. I love how there are little to no entry barriers to starting a career in this field. There is also the part of how amazing and welcoming the ecosystem can be. Everyone is willing to help however we can because we either understand how it feels being at that point [a newbie in tech] or we just want to see you succeed. Not to talk of all the limitless career opportunities that exist in this field. I have had the opportunity of meeting and connecting with people who I would not have had the privilege of coming across if not for being in tech.

What does a typical day in your job look like?

With everything happening lately as well as COVID-19, I now work fully remotely, therefore a typical day at work starts with me reviewing my calendar and trying to align activities for the day. Then I move on to my e-mails to respond to any pending tasks on there. Since I work with a global team across different regions, there is a 101% chance of getting e-mails at 2:00am, so I try to attend to the tasks that require my attention for the day. The rest of the day would typically involve virtual meetings, developer community interactions, working on internal docs and sometimes giving technical talks. I like to end my day with some personal technical learnings.

Has your expectation of what the tech world is like matched the reality? How?

I would say Yes and No. It is not all roses and flowers as there are obviously downsides such as gender imbalance, which is one of the many things I and my team at She Code Africa are looking to solve. There is also the racial imbalance in a lot of sub fields, another thing I am actively working on i.e. throwing more spotlight on Africans and black people in tech.

How do you navigate working with men daily (if you do) and how do you make sure to get your voice heard?

I am thankful to be working at an organisation that sees the values of women in tech far beyond just their gender. I honestly do not feel intimidated when working with men, I am more of an “intellectual-first” person i.e. I do not consider your gender but rather your smart contribution to the project or conversation on the table and that is something I want everyone out there to inculcate. So, in summary, whether you are a man or a woman, I am unbothered and more focused on solving the problem at hand and that also means if I have to point out one’s bias towards my work cause I am a woman, I will. I am all for equal treatment.

If you could change one thing about your journey in tech so far, what would it be?

Absolutely nothing, every single phase of my journey has brought me to where I am and I am very thankful for that, even the trying times. It is what makes my story more unique.

What was the best professional advice you ever received?

“Be proactive”, that was not how it was worded but that was my interpretation. Success is not achieved by sticking to a routine or shying away from responsibilities.

What advice do you have for younger ladies aiming to pursue a career in technology?

YOU are your biggest competition. If you really can think it, then you can definitely do it. There are lots of other women in this field, rooting for you all over the world, go for it!


Editor’s Note:

I would like to send a massive thanks to Ada for taking the time out to answer the questions above. Huge kudos to you for all the amazing projects that you are working on and accomplishing on behalf of all the women in tech in Africa and beyond. I enjoyed learning about your journey into tech and your experience in the field so far. It is such a positive story and I can only hope that it shows women and people reasons why they need to get into tech if they are not already.

You can follow Ada on her socials listed above.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on this post and share with your contacts! Do not hesitate to contact The Technical Millennial if you are interested in sharing your story.


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