Each month, we’ll feature our developers in Lagos and Nairobi to share their unique stories and highlight their contributions to the community.
Inspiring Children to Code
Ladi Adenusi has been fascinated by computers from a very early age. When he was seven, his parents bought Ladi and his siblings their first computer. He remembers taking it apart and rebuilding it to understand how it worked. Ladi then started teaching himself to code in C/C++, along with Java, PHP with MySQL, and C# with ASP.Net.After graduating from the APTECH Computer Institute in Lagos with a degree in software engineering, Ladi moved on to London Metropolitan to study computer science. He was then accepted into Andela’s third Lagos cohort in November 2014. He’s since inspired an entire generation of children to explore their own programming dreams.
Through Andela, Ladi began working with Kano, a London-based startup that created computer kits designed to teach basic coding skills. He jumped in right away and began working on MakeArt, an app that lets kids create images and shapes by completing simple coding exercises.The initial thought behind MakeArt was to build something fun for kids to play with that would simultaneously teach them basic programming principles.Ladi’s contributions to MakeArt included refactoring and abstracting the code, adding more functionality to the app, and managing the API. He was responsible for creating new campaigns such as Summer Camp, Mischief Week and Pixel Hack, which have helped boost number of shared creations, and ultimately kit sales. (Kano World was built using VueJS, and the Kano API was built using MongoDB, Redis, Express and Node.js.)“When creations are made in art, they get to be shared in the community app, world.kano.me -- this is how people are able to share their own creations on social media,” Ladi explains. “Think of Kano World as a Facebook app for kids who like to code and share their creations.”
To date, kids have used the app to code over 40,000 creations, and Kano’s user base has nearly doubled as a result.“Kano is about all the awesome things you can teach yourself to create and then share with other people,” Ladi says.Outside of his work with Kano, Ladi is currently building Andela’s Slack Welcome Bot, an automated greeter to make Andela employees feel welcome and help them easily introduce themselves to the rest of the team.“I currently use the MEAN stack. I’m learning some ReactJS, but I’m still a sucker for C# and .NET development too,” says Ladi.He’s also working on revamping the Executer API and designing the web app after winning the Uber Hackathon in Lagos last year.See what Ladi is currently up to on Github.
Serving as a bridge between the engineering and business sides of an organization, application engineers are highly sought after - and by upskilling in this field, you can set yourself up for an incredibly impactful and lucrative career.