Why should I build a career in software development?
My Journey into a career in computer programming was greatly inspired when I attended an NSC (Nigerian Computer Society) conference as a student in Computer Engineering Diploma course, but the real journey started in my 200 level as an undergraduate, when one of my favorite lecturers Engineer Ngozi took us a course titled FORTRAN Programming language. I wonder if I loved the course because of her or the course itself. I was more interested in the practical sessions than the lectures and handout given, so I started doing everything to get a Personal Computer (PC). I developed this idea that if I were to be called a computer scientist, then I should have a PC; I got one, though it didn’t last till my final year.
As our class progressed into learning newer languages and harder stuffs, many opted out of writing codes themselves, especially then, when having a PC was a big luxury and finding resources for problem solving was scarce. For me it got more interesting – even though it meant borrowing a PC, saving money to get a modem etc. I was able to implement my project of developing a simulation using animation in Visual Basic programming language.
I saved money to get myself a good PC while I was teaching, I also took on free jobs in order to build my skills. I did this till I was employed as a programmer at the Programmers’ Unit of the Management Information System (MIS) in the University where I work and presently the only female programmer in the team.
Some of the key things I have learned as a female programmer
- The Joy and pride of solving a problem: Programming is simply solving problems by giving computing devices instructions. This is a great point for anyone who likes to take the challenge of bringing up solutions.
- Female involvement in the progress of humanity is important because it brings balance to how everything created affects humans.
- A source of inspiration: Being a woman that takes the challenge of solving technical problem is a big inspiration for girls who think “it is not a woman’s thing” and become afraid of even trying. Your work and life story can inspire girls to take up Software Engineering field. Presently I mentor University and young girls to code.
- Being a programmer can give you the privilege of flexible job like working from home especially if you have built skill. A lot of women desire to have a job that gives them the privilege of taking care of the family, software development is one skill that can be free-lanced.
- Women skilled in the field of software development are well paid. As a matter of fact, it ranks amongst the top 10 in most surveys. (http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/02/the-11-highest-paying-jobs-for-women.html)
Chioma Ezedi is a Software Programmer at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Zaria and a friend of Pink IT