Q&A With Our Developers in Residence: Akinjide & Rehema

There are many ways to embrace the #TIA spirit, and one of them is by doing a quick Q&A with our newest DIRs (Developers in Residence) who will be touching down today at JFK—Akinjide and Rehema!Since 2016, Andela’s Developers in Residence program has given select Developers from Lagos and Nairobi an opportunity to spend three months working, living and playing out of New York. Encouraged to make the most of what the Big Apple (and the rest of the States) has to offer, the DIR program helps diffuse the TIA spirit and culture across all of our offices, ushering in new ideas and fostering our unique brand of collaboration that helps us grow as a strong community.We spoke briefly with Akinjide and Rehema to find out what tops their list of to-dos while in the U.S.:We’re really excited for your arrival! What are some projects you plan on working on while in NY?Rehema: I’m really interested in product development, so I’d like to work on building out some kind of app from scratch for a side project! There are a lot of different aspects of app development that I want to integrate into my skillset—UI/UX, for example, or Android. And I think while I’m in New York, which is home to a lot of cool FinTech apps, I’m thinking about seeing how they design for scale to guide a side project for me!Also, Justin on our NY team has been working on a podcast called Building for the Next Billion over the past few months. I would love to help co-interview some of the amazing guests he has on there.Akinjide: I generally love arts and design, but I’ve never done much outside of using free stock images or icons during personal projects. I’d like to sharpen my own photography skills while I’m there—perhaps find places in the outdoors where I can take pictures of wildlife and maybe start a Tumblr or something. Doing this will increase my thoughts about designs and level up my photography skills.What do you hope to learn from NY-based Andelans while you’re here?Akinjide: I hope to learn more about how tech is talked about from a sales and marketing perspective. To me, this is important because it helps keep me focused on the big picture—sometimes you get so focused on a single project that it becomes easy. This is important because I think it can help me guide decisions better which is important to develop more leadership skills. Rehema: I want to get better at storytelling—I know it sounds like it might not matter for software development, but to me, being able to share the inspiring stories of people from Africa and beyond who are building amazing tools and solving difficult problems is important to me. I think it would inspire more people to use tech to turn challenges into opportunities. Hopefully I can define my place in the tech world too!What do you hope to teach them?Akinjide: I know there is a strong appetite for people who want to learn how to code in NY, so I’m hoping to get the chance to hold a small coding session or two while I’m there for anyone who is interested.Rehema: Same here! I’ve been talking to a few people on our marketing team on Slack, who have been teaching themselves how to code. I think I can help them become just a bit better at it.What are you most excited to do in NY?Rehema: I want to see a Broadway show, although I don’t know which one yet!Akinjide: Me too! I’m also excited to learn about some NY culture, especially the food. Rehema: And not just NY either—I’d like to get the chance to go to Silicon Valley and San Francisco before I go back.

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