Women in Tech Profile: Gift Egwuenu
LinkedIn: Gift Egwuenu
Tell us about yourself.
I am a front-end developer passionate about making the web accessible to everyone and advocating for building open and inclusive developer communities. I have been in tech for 4 years and I love sharing my knowledge with others and I do that through my blog and YouTube channel.
When I am not coding you can find me geeking about photography, trying new food recipes, and exploring different ways of creating content that can help people pivot their tech careers.
How did you decide to get into technology?
I have had an interest in technology for the longest time. I remember my early high school days - I was very intrigued with computers and always spent so much time on them, playing games, improving my typing game, and exploring the different things I could do on it.
I was also very interested in computer science as a subject and was tagged the "handyman" in my house because I was the go-to person for repairs or how to operate the computer.
That was when I decided that I would study any courses related to computers and take it up as a career.
How would you describe your experience in the industry so far?
I have had a very swell time since starting my career in the tech industry. It has been almost four years and I have grown so much in terms of technical abilities. I have been able to attain this with hard work and persistence.
I have had my fair share of struggles,
imposter syndrome, and trying
not to compare my progress with others.
I like how the tech industry is ready to support you and the tech community is mostly ready to help you when you ask. I have also been presented with opportunities that I never would have imagined I would get because I am constantly sharing my journey and learnings publicly. That has been the most significant part of my experience in the industry.
What does a typical day in your job look like?
Things are a bit different now because of the pandemic. I work from home and my entire team has gone remote. I start my day by 9:00 am and have my team’s stand-up where we share updates on the work we are doing. I have several meetings during the day, and I get to work on tasks assigned to me during this time. I typically wrap up work at 5:00 pm and closeout for the day by 6:00 pm.
Has your expectation of what the tech world is like matched the reality? How?
I will say it has. I heard a lot of stories before getting into tech professionally. The most intriguing thing I learned before joining is that I can work from anywhere and potentially find jobs in other countries and relocate and this is exactly what has happened to me! In three years I have been able to move from working in Lagos from the office to working remotely and now relocated to another country. It is a dream come true for me.
How do you navigate working with men daily (if you do) and how do you make sure to get your voice heard?
I have always been in teams where I get to work with men and this is due to the fact that there is an obvious gap in the number of women to men ratio in the industry.
"Notwithstanding, I do not ever feel like my voice is
not heard because everyone is afforded
the same opportunity to contribute to the team
regardless of their gender."
If you could change one thing about your journey in tech so far, what would it be?
I think I will try to change my mindset when I first started. I had a mindset that as long as I am still a beginner, I am not good enough to share my work, share my opinions or ideas. I also found it hard asking for help when I get stuck trying to solve a problem. I know better now that even as a beginner that should not invalidate my opinions and I should be free to speak up and ask for help when needed.
What was the best professional advice you ever received?
Share your work publicly. I started blogging because of this advice and it has been a game-changer for my career.
What advice do you have for younger ladies aiming to pursue a career in technology?
There is every chance for you to succeed in tech so do not think you cannot be successful pursuing a career in tech, always remember - you bring your own unique experience to the industry.
I would like to send a massive thanks to Gift for taking the time out to do this interview. I enjoyed learning about your journey into tech and your experience so far. I wish you all the best with the future.
You can visit Gift's socials and websites and connect with her via the links listed above.
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