My TIIDELab Experience 2.0 (Second Month)

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand. ~ Vince Lombardi, Hall of Fame coach

Another month has come and gone at TIIDELab. I cannot overemphasize the impact this journey has had in my life positively. I have discovered parts of me that I didn’t know existed and also how to overcome some of my weaknesses. Although there are two sides to everything, as long as the positives outweigh the negatives, it’s worth it!

Amazing TIIDELab fellows.

JavaScript! Yes, that’s what we have been up to. I came across a tweet that said, “Learning JavaScript is like looking both ways before crossing the road and then getting hit by a plane”. My thoughts exactly…hahaha. However, JavaScript is a really interesting language.

Mr. Ibrahim Kehinde(CEO, Ksolutions Ltd, Abuja), who preferably goes by the name Mr. Kenny introduced us to Vanilla JavaScript i.e. pure JavaScript without frameworks or libraries. JavaScript is the most popular programming language used on many platforms and here’s why; it is an open-source language, there are available resources everywhere, it meets the needs of both client-side(React, Vue js, etc.) and server-side(Nodejs) programming and mobile app development. It is light-weight and along with HTML and CSS a powerful core component of web development by bringing life to static web pages.

One of the numerous sessions with Mr. Kenny.

We went from learning the history of JavaScript to writing simple JavaScript Codes. Concepts in JavaScript such as data types, variables, operators, etc. were also introduced. Afterward, came control flows which are If/else and switch statements, loops(for, while & do-while), and how to use string literals. With this knowledge, We were able to write JavaScript programs such as; a program to recharge or transfer airtime/data for self or others, a calculator that performs basic arithmetic operations such as addition, multiplication, and subtraction. Following that was functions. In programming, there is a principle called DRY-Don’t Repeat Yourself. Functions are a core part of the implementation of this principle. Functions help you to write reusable codes for actions that repeat themselves multiple times in a program, rather than having to rewrite these pieces of code every time that action is needed; helping you save time and write clean codes.

Data structures came with arrays and objects. And finally, Document Object Model (DOM)and Browser Object Model(BOM) manipulation. We also learned how to Create, Read, Update & Delete(CRUD) data from the local storage. With arrays, Objects, DOM/BOM, We were able to build mini-projects like a simple app that performs CRUD operations and more.

In my first article, I mentioned that fellows were shared into groups to work on group projects that provide solutions to real-life problems. All of these JavaScript concepts are applied in our projects as we progress and build on them. Mr. Kenny makes sure to review our progress weekly and guides us on areas of difficulty. He is an excellent instructor and doesn’t joke with his class exercises. Sometimes even Google cannot help you 😂😂😂.

Although learning remotely hasn’t been easy, especially with the network situation in Nigeria, TIIDELab makes it a point of duty to provide recorded sessions of classes to help those experiencing bad network catch up.

Again, my team is working on a project management tool called BASCOM projects, and we cannot wait to share it with the world. Talking about teamwork, what started as a joke came to stay and I was made Project Manager. Apart from working with these amazing individuals, working with my team has further shown me how good I am in collaborating with people. I received recognition from my teammate in the middle of an in house discussion with the CEO present during our weekly meet up, it was unexpected, and I was emotional because as I had no idea that I was making that much of an impact on them.

To further test our JavaScript skills, we were given a job opening to apply for. A coding challenge was sent to every fellow that applied but unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the next round. However, it opened my eyes to areas I needed to focus on and practice more. The old me would have been so worked up and emotionally down but at TIIDELab we do not dwell on our failures but rather learn from them and do better. In the words of Mr. Kadiri Salami -” If you’re not failing, you’re not learning”.

We were also scheduled to have a zoom interview session with Mr. Celestin Omin. The man who was made to write codes in the USA at JFK airport; to prove that he is a software developer, so he could pass security checks. If you’ve been following tech news in Nigeria, you’ve probably heard about his good work. I have mine scheduled for later today. I look forward to sharing the experience in my next article.

I always save soft skills for last because it is the medium through which we learn how to effectively communicate what we are doing to the world. Kudos to our in house Big brother- Mr. Shamsudeen Aderoju and Mr. Pishikeni Tukura for working tirelessly to make sure that we gain the required soft skills. There’s also Mr. Nazih Ajanah, an alumnus of TIIDELab Cohort 1.

LR: Mr. shamsudeen, Mr. P.K, and Mr. Nazih.

Fridays bring joy because of the fun games, critical thinking, and problem-solving tasks. We also get a breather after working through the week. In the second month, we learned Smart and Ethical decision-making and had activities to demonstrate how well we understood this concept. My group was tasked with a case where two very good software developers who work in a company that is known for a non-profit sharing policy developed an application that had a high potential market value in their free time but with company resources. While trying to decide on whether to tell the president or keep it to themselves they took it up to their project manager and left him to decide. As a team, we were saddled with deciding for the project manager. We decided that based on some core ethical values which are trustworthiness, respect and responsibility, fairness, and citizenship as well as principles such as personal virtue, government requirements, etc. The project manager must uphold integrity and inform the president. This will also prevent future legal actions if they decide to keep it to themselves and the company later finds out. He was to also talk to the president into the company retracing the decision on the non-profit sharing policy because it might cause them to lose the best of their staff. This decision was conveyed through a playlet. We came third among five teams who also had other case lets. From this task, I learned that there are times in our lives where we will be faced with making very difficult decisions, and our ability to think through facts without letting emotions guide us entirely is very important.

My team during our presentation on smart and ethical decision making.

Another interesting Friday was when we were faced with a scenario where there’s a snowstorm and the team lead has frostbite on both hands while team members are blinded by the snowstorm. The task was to build a tent that can protect everyone and withstand the wind. For this task, we were provided toothpicks, tape, blade, straw, and glue to build a tent that can withstand wind. All team members except the team lead wore blindfolds to represent the blindness caused by the snowstorm and were to take instructions from the team lead who isn’t allowed to touch anything(frostbite). My team won this challenge and from this task, I learned the importance of teamwork, effective communication, listening, good leadership, and different perspectives on how individuals think when faced with challenges.

My team during the tent building activity

We also had an interesting session on ‘Career Path, Qualities, Skills and Opportunities of a Software Developer ’ with Mr. Adekunle Lawal, a software developer in Malaysia. We learned the road map to becoming a software developer and also important skills needed. There was also the opportunity to ask questions.

During the session with Mr. Adekunle

Also, within this month, there was a personality test activity that helped fellows to understand themselves better.

To commemorate the Nigerian Independence at 6o, we reflected on how far we have come and modeled the National Assembly. Fellows in Abuja and Lagos nominated and elected Leaders. After the elections, I emerged Senate president. Mr. Babayemi Ibrahim O (Godrej, Nigeria Limited, Lagos, Nigeria) took us through a session on ‘Challenges and Opportunities, preventing growth in Nigeria’. He encouraged us to have an optimistic mindset, summon the courage to take bold steps that people perceive as reckless, always be mindful of cause and effect by taking responsibility for situations we could control, speak out, change the narrative, and much more.

Picture 1:Role playing Senate President.— Picture 2:Fellows and the CEO wearing traditional attires during the Independence Day celebration .

As senate president, I presided over a plenary session on key issues affecting Nigeria such as the economy, security, and corruption. Another highlight of the day was, we finally got to meet Mr. Kadiri Salami(CEO/Founder TIIDELab) in person. He commended us for our hard work and encouraged everyone. He gave us five(5) essential points for growth which are;

  1. Having an entrepreneurial mindset: ability to seek opportunities and turn them into businesses.
  2. Self-confidence: own what you do, mention your values, and sell yourself.
  3. Continuous learning: Curate your sources of information and identify with people that illuminate your path. Experiment and keep trying. If you’re not failing, you’re not learning.
  4. Improvement: learn from experiences. There’s always a better way to do things.
  5. Reinventing yourself and the way you do things.
Mr. Kadiri Salami (CEO/Founder TIIDELab) during his visit.

Finally, he finished by saying -” to be successful you need an enabling environment and a willing mind”.

To crown it all after competing against Team Lagos in a current affairs competition, Team Abuja lost by one point but that also qualified us for the position of Deputy Head of House(DHOH) for following the week. I was nominated as the next DHOH.

Thank you TIIDELab for providing an enabling environment for continuous learning and growth.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing the next month with you.

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If you missed my first article, My TIIDELab Experience 1.0(First Month) click here.

Software developer