Meet Yetunde Sanni from Andela, the software developer with an impeccable track record
The world of computer coders, especially in Nigeria, has significantly been the domain of male geeks. But, it’s undergone a much-needed makeover in recent years, with women getting to roll their sleeves to code. In recent times, we have seen some women lead the pack of female coders, one of them is Yetunde Sanni aka Yettie
YC recently had a chat with Yettie on her story.
Can you introduce yourself ( your name, who you are and what you do?)
My name is Oluwatoyin Yetunde Sanni, I am a software developer, I currently work with Andela, and my duties basically involve building software solutions for different Andela partners across the globe. I am also the co-founder of TechInPink, an initiative that mentors and supports young women who want to get into technology. I also co-organize “Lagos women in machine learning and data science” to get more women into the AI field.
So, how did you find yourself in tech? Was it a lifelong dream?
I have been attracted to the computer since I was 10 years old. I opened my first email at the age of 12 back when the internet was a luxury talkless of personal computers. I find that everything involving a computer and gadgets has always drawn my attention.
It was more like a lifelong dream, but I wasn’t sure of the career path. You know, computer science is broad and at the point when I got attracted to it, I never knew the various parts of computer science. I just knew that, whatever I was going to do, was going to be related to computer science. So, when I had to apply for admission, picking computer science was a no-brainer.
Most young people don’t get to know where their passion lies early on, they swim with the tides of life. What is your take on that, and how can young people find their passion?
I personally think at the beginning of one ’s life, it might not be that simple to figure out what your passion is or are. What is important is that you do not sit around or get lazy. Or choose to do nothing because you don’t know where your passion lies. What I would suggest is that you get busy. It is hard to know where your passion lies by sleeping and waking up. You need to get busy, try to find yourself in groups that are about getting better, volunteer at the different things. You will get to a point where you will know your passion. Keep being positive and while you do that be sensitive to yourself about the things you do. You can now streamline your actions and activities towards the thing(s) you are passionate about.
Growing up, were there episodes/ challenges you will like to share that can be of immense value to young people.
When I joined my current company, we usually had this thing called a training period. Where you are in training for three months to learn soft skills and tech skills. I was on probation for the first month. Before I started coding, I felt like I wasn’t smart enough to code. There is a way society places people who code labeling them as nerdy and super smart with an IQ of over 150. I was like, I am not that smart to code. I went into coding later on during my NYSC, as a result of a push from my boss at that time.
He motivated me to start coding, gave me books and I began getting better. He was the one that pushed me.Moving forward to when I was placed on probation at my current company, those fears came back. I thought once more, that I was not smart enough. It was at that point, I realised that it is good to have motivators around but the greatest disaster is when you still doubt yourself. So I needed to get to that point where I believed in myself; I had to get that point where I was self-confident. The worst will still happen in the future, so you need to learn how to believe in yourself.
I went from being on probation to someone who inspires young women to go into tech. So, don’t just depend on people to motivate you, you have to believe in yourself.
We have seen a pool of young ladies go into fashion and makeup because it is what’s in vogue, should women try to aim higher in their career pursuits?
Yes, we have seen more women lean towards fashion and makeup. I always say, don’t go into tech because you want to join the bandwagon and I believe that also applies to other career choices. No matter how brilliant you are, you are still in the process of learning. It is like a lifetime project, so for people going into fashion and makeup, it has to be worth it.Most ladies are running into it because they feel that it is a place to get quick money, that is fine. No matter the path you want to take, you should aim high. It is fine if you want to do whatever you are doing, but you should aim high. You should just have the mindset that you can get to the peak of that career.
Can you recommend any books or do you have any last words for your people?
For everything you do in life, you have to be conscious about time. Every second that passes in your life should be worth something. Remember, you can never get back time spent. For a good book, I recommend “The Industries of the Future”, by Alex Ross.
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