challenges of a Nigerian programmer
Starting up a new skill such as programming can be very exciting until you start to encounter some of the challenges that tag along with it. The ability to comfortably learn (code/design) with a flow without any interruption increases chances of achieving higher productivity but in this country we have several challenges ready to interrupt the process. Let look at some of these challenges :
Power supply :
We live in a country where everyone is really excited once the power comes on because we do not get this on a regular basis. It's funny because the life of a programmer revolves around constant power, but in this country we can go weeks without any power at all and without a generator you can not work at all. You either decide to keep fueling on a daily basis(extra costs) or you are forced to sort for places to power up your devices. Programmers in this country have the weirdest stories of how they are forced to do the most in order to power up devices in order to learn.
- “I always stay in a barber's salon close to my house so I can charge up my devices for work”.
- “I spend most of my days in the hospital lab because there is steady light there”
- “ i usually spend most of my days in the cafe close to my apartment cause of light available”
- “I always to the eatery close by to power up my devices”.
- “ you will always find me in the gaming house trying to charge up so i can work”.
These stories are endless you see, the power supply in my country will shame you . It is every programmer's worst enemy.
Lack or internet:
Every programmer deals with these issues until you figure out a contingency plan. There aren't so many technical Hubs that offer free internet services anymore and this disrupts the flow of online courses and hinders your access to learning materials and watching youtube videos . This can be really discouring and the cost of internet subscription is way really high considering it is never sufficient to achieve maximum progress in learning.
Questions and focus:
They say you are a product of your environment, this can be the place you find yourself, or the people you relate with or your thoughts in general, and in the tech world, relating with like minds plays a major role in achieving desired goals and also keeps the fire burning(interest). Attending tech conferences, belonging to a tech community, having a mentor and having role models, play a major role in spicing up your interest and providing answers to most of the challenging stages you encounter during the course of learning.
Learning in a typical African home can be so challanging. You will have to deal with your mum, who thinks you are growing a habit of lazing around in front of the system, and your siblings who think you are making up excuses to avert doing house chores. There are even days when attending virtual meetings becomes an issue because there would be the weirdest noise going on in your background or you will be interrupted to do a chore. It is usually not easy to convince them about your career path and how time consuming it can get.
There is this mediocre thought that every youth with gadgets, who spends at most 12hrs a day on a system is into internet fraud. Although it is typical of programmers to spend most of the night hours working because the night is peaceful and quiet to learn and focus. But then you can't really get everyone to understand this but then you have to make an effort to prove them wrong .
To be honest it is not easy to adapt to a new habit such as learning on your own considering the numerous distractions such as social media, friends and family. In order to achieve a level of productivity in the midst of all this you need to train yourself to follow up routine plans, proper time management is a skill you have to grow to have. Draft out a schedule for your daily routines and allocate more time into learning or working. It won't be easy to maintain the routine but practice makes perfect. Try to achieve at least 2 things on your daily schedule and over time it will become a habit.
Programmers in this country face a series of challenges that are most times long lasting like in the case of power supply and the internet. These are the essential needs of a programmer and we unfortunately do not have them in abundance and so there is a need for contingency plans such owing generators, fuelling it on a daily and owning a Mifi in order to avoid context switching (interruptions) during crucial moments and if happen to have a tech Hub close to you, you can pay for a working space. Most of programmers encounter these challenges on a daily basis and i want to tell you "you are not in this alone and all the struggle is to find a breakthrough".
I never lived in Nigeria before so i'm very sorry to read the struggles you're going through as a programmer in your country. But despite these challenges, you still follow your passion! You all are such strong people and I admire that :) Thanks for sharing this!
This says almost all of it, adding the poor economic status of the country's effect on the developers, more work less pay💔 and the blackmailing effect of internet fraudster activities on genuine developers seeking international jobs😭. SAD