On March 28 2018, I submitted my application for the Google Africa Challenge scholarship, led by Andela with support from Udacity. The weeks up to that day had been unarguably the most challenging of my entire life, and I had the perfect excuse not to have completed that application process.

But that is a story for another time.

Google Africa Scholarship Campaign Picture

I remember it took literally everything I had in me to sit down amidst the internal and external chaos I was facing at the time to complete the application process. Little did I know this singular act will become one I would become most proud of in the following weeks, after I got selected, and most especially today, when I got the mail that I was one of the about 500 selected (out of over 16,000 learners) and offered the chance to get the Udacity Front-End web developer Nanodegree.

My Eureka moments! Left: May 2, 2018. Right: July 11, 2018

My experience over the past two months have been transforming to say the least and I highlight here my most important learning from the first phase of this challenge, knowing fully well that the next 4 months of learning would be as intense, if not more, than the past 2 months.

You really don’t know until you try to build

This isn’t my first time trying to learn web development, and while I found some of the concepts familiar, integrating them in an actual project was another ball game entirely. I spent most of my time learning, unlearning and relearning the basics, and only after building my first project can I boast of an understanding of how it all works.

My first Project

Nothing helps you like a Community

Trying to learn things on your own is good but in the tech industry, you will be shortchanging yourself unless you identify with a community. The opportunities for growth are so immense when you have people around you to ask questions when you get stuck and vice versa. Being a part of the Andela community provided constant motivation each time I felt overwhelmed or like I don’t have what it takes to continue in this line.

To wrap this all up, I would like to say that no matter what you may be going through, when an opportunity you are interested in comes knocking, never allow your challenges stop you from pursuing it. There will be disappointments along the way, but in the end, you will be grateful because they make you stronger.

A big thank you to the team at Andela for their dream of building world class developers, Udacity for the great course content and to Google who provides the funding for the scholarship.

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Educator || Youth Development Advocate || Technology Solutions Provider. I train, teach, mentor, and consult on making the best of technology.

Educator || Youth Development Advocate || Technology Solutions Provider. I train, teach, mentor, and consult on making the best of technology.