I met Edidiong three years ago when we both volunteered to work with Mr. Uche Aniche on Startup South 3. I don’t know how Uche does it but the man knows how to bring great talents together to work with him.
It was more than an experience for me as I was able to raise other volunteers to join my team and together we achieved great success for Startup South 3.
In just three years, Edidiong has graduated, she’s now one of the leading women in tech in Africa, recognized by Facebook as an Icon Of Change, She’s leading the Developer Circle in Uyo, spoken at international conferences, and yes she’s a developer at Interswitch, and she’s barely 23.
I tell my female friends that the least they can do for me is make me proud by being successful and challenging me to do the same.
Edidiong is that slay queen who knows how to make a brother proud.
But I wanted something to inspire more young ladies and provide a near template for success for women in tech In Nigeria. So I put Edidiong on Naira Dairy Session and I’m grateful she shared everything.
Read, and make sure your share with your sister, mom, girlfriend- every female in your life should read this.
Who is Edidiong Asikpo?
Edidiong is a young and passionate professional with multi-faceted skills and experience spanning across Software Engineering, Developer Relations, community building, technical writing, and Open Source contributions. She is a strong advocate of sensitizing people, especially women about the importance of starting a career in Technology. This passion has led her to play a major part in building communities such as Developer Circle Uyo from Facebook, She Code Africa, and Women Will. She is an eloquent writer, speaker, and communicator with a keen interest in making open Source contributions and inspiring the next generation. In 2019, she was one of the 40 people recognized by Facebook as an Icon of change because of her impacts and strong contributions to building the Technology Ecosystem in Nigeria.
Tell us briefly how you started and how you got where you are today.
I am a Software Engineer working in the Developer Relations team at Interswitch Group. I initially wanted to study Medicine & Surgery at the University because my Dad wanted me to be a medical doctor. This was predominant at that time because the dream of every Nigerian parent was for their children to either become Medical Doctors, Lawyers or Engineers.Along the line, I remembered how I loved taking Computer classes in Secondary School, so I opted to study Computer Science at Renaissance University in Enugu State, Nigeria. My university education was quite bland and typical, in the sense that the method of teaching was mostly theoretical, there was hardly any practical teaching involved. But, the turning point for me came in my 3rd year at the University when I secured a six-month out-of-school Industrial Training placement at a place called Start Innovation Hub at Uyo, Nigeria in 2017. At Start Innovation Hub, I was opportune to learn how to develop mobile applications, majoring in Android Development. I was thrilled by the fact that I was able to learn how to build some features I saw on most mobile applications I used. It was so exciting that I could do this and that excitement made me love Tech.
How is working at Interswitch like?
Interswitch Group is such an amazing company. When I joined Interswitch, I was in awe at the work culture. Everyone was super amazing and welcoming which is not something you see in most companies. I totally recommend Interswitch to any person in tech.
What apps, gadgets, or tools you can’t do without?
Well, I don’t think I can do without my laptop and iPhone. For apps, I can’t do without Whatsapp, Twitter, and Facebook.
Walk us through your typical workday
My day-to-day activity involves working on creating a better experience for third party developers using Interswitch APIs across Nigeria, by improving and handling the company’s Documentation Platform, Engineering Blog, Engineering Social media handle, Community Engagement, Community Support, Developer Education, Samplecode, and Demos.
What motivates you?
Life can be really overwhelming at times so I try to draw motivation from almost everything to keep pushing. Most importantly, I get motivated by the little things I am able to achieve every day. It serves as a reminder to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to.
What are the challenges faced by female developers?
Different Women In Tech face different challenges every day but just to some of the rampant issues;
● Society has made women feel they are not supposed to be developers because it is a Man’s world and that in itself has impacted the mindset of women negatively.
● Most women do not own laptops and they will find it harder to code. Yes, it is possible to use your phone to code but it is not the ideal way to code.
● Most parents won’t support women to take up a career in Tech cause when they see them in front of their laptop every day they will probably think they are watching movies or doing something less important. Then eventually ask them to go and wash dishes or cook (PS: I am not saying cooking and washing dishes is bad but Parents should be more supportive of the girl child).
What is your favorite aspect of being a developer?
My favorite aspect of being a developer would have been the fact that I get the opportunity to build amazing stuff every day. Being a Developer means you also have to be open to learning every day and remember Knowledge is power. So it definitely makes me feel powerful.
What has been your most satisfying moment as a developer?
The most satisfying moment for me as a developer was when the first product I worked on went live for external users.
How can we encourage more women to consider a career in tech?
I think women are underrated legends. We need to remind women that they can do anything they set their minds to by showing them other Women doing amazing things in the industry. We also need to encourage our parents to do better in raising up the girl child.
Besides work, what else do you do? What do you do for fun?
When I am not coding, you can find me exploring the beauty of nature and analyzing movies.
What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to? What do you Recommend?
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.
Do you have role models, if yes, who are your role models, and why?
Yes, I do. Hanson Johnson of Start Innovation Hub is an inspiration, mentor and friend.He makes me believe I can do and achieve anything. He has played a major role in the ongoing success of my career in tech.
What piece of advice would you give to a young lady who wants to become a developer?
To start, stay consistent and kill it because they are legends.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I would have started publishing writing and putting myself out there. At first, I used to think I wasn’t smart enough or good enough to talk about what I am doing or what I have done but I decided to not let imposter syndrome rule over me and start talking about Tech.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful as a career woman?
What career-related book has inspired you the most? (or, What is your favorite book?
The Coders Apprentice by Pieter Spronck
If you had a magic stick, which are the three things you would change in the world?
This is a strong question. I would totally love to change the end of Game Of Thrones,the terrible leaders we have in Nigeria and the fact that people don’t believe in God.
You said in your article that 2019 was The Best Year of The Last Decade for you, what do you think was responsible for your success?
The resilience of not giving up and getting things done. Also, I give God all the glory for everything I was able to achieve in 2019.
Briefly share your achievement in 2019 with us.
To me, 2019 was the best year in the last decade. Read all about my achievements in 2019 here;
What are you looking to achieve this year?
Share your social media handles.