Seun Agbeye’s journey into software development began where many young people’s dreams begin: a Hollywood blockbuster film. Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible franchise was all the rave, and Seun – like many other teenagers back then – was enthralled by the story.
“I have always been obsessed with technology but I never knew what I wanted to do with my life. Everything changed after I watched “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”. In the movie, there was this guy, Benji Dunn, that could build literally anything from scratch. Then I googled the movie, the role the guy played in the movie, and I came across words like ‘Software Engineer’, ‘Software Developer’, ‘Software Expatriate’, ‘Computer Scientist’, e.t.c. All those words I came across in my research were buzzwords to me, so, I googled each one of them and things became crystal clear to me,” he says.
Seun had racked up a reputation as an excellent barista and ice-cream scooper at one of the popular cafes in Lagos, Nigeria. He was working to save enough money for a college education. He was going to study Systems Engineering and be just as good as Benji Dunn. In the meantime, though, he just didn’t quite know how he’d get his start in technology.
“If you want to learn how to code, talk to me”
Remember that scene in Terminator 2, where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character tells young John Connor, “Come with me if you want to live,”? It’s arguably one of the most iconic lines in movie history. As the story goes, John Connor does go with the T-800 and the rest is history.
Seun traces his access into tech to a chance meeting with a gentleman known as Joseph Agunbiade at the mall where he was working. Mr. Joseph was sporting a shirt on which was written, “If you want to learn how to code, talk to me.” Seun did talk with him and there began a mentor-mentee relationship, where Mr. Joseph would introduce him to the world of software development. At this point, Seun was unsure if he still wanted to follow through with his plans to go to college or use all the money he’d saved until then to buy himself a laptop and keep learning software development.
It was not an easy call. Saving the money for college was a long shot, but so was the thought to leave that dream and pursue technology.
“How I Came to Andela”
“I heard about Andela 3 years ago from Michael Rosenberg,” says Seun. Michael and a team of Andelans had taken a table at his restaurant on a particular day. They were celebrating, and Seun had overheard everyone address the man as Michael. When he made Michael’s order, he took special care to spell his name on it with the cream. This got the man’s attention and they struck a conversation, where Michael tells him about Andela and how he could join the fellowship and get paid as a software developer if he can make it through the rigorous 2-week Bootcamp. It didn’t take long for Seun to make up his mind after that.
He broke the news to his family and told his mom he’d rather use the money he’d saved up to buy a computer and give software development his full attention. He quit his job as a barista, where a promotion was imminent, applied to the fellowship and the rest, as is commonly said, is history.
“Some of the things I have worked on that I am really proud of include:
Those things I mentioned above are not a big deal to me anymore, but at the time I was working on them, they were, and I am really proud that I challenged myself to complete those tools with no prior experience doing such things.”
When asked if the journey has been worth it and how, Seun tells us: “Yes, my journey into the “software land” was worth it because I have proved to myself that I can be useful to both myself and the world. My curiosity and drive for greatness has changed the “Mission Impossible” to “Mission Possible“.
NB: Andela is looking for passionate software developers to take on a full-time, paid employment opportunity with them. Think you have what it takes to be an Andela developer? Apply to the fellowship.
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