The Value Of A Tech Community by Jessica Olanrewaju
Tell us about yourself?
My tech career journey started with job offers in Data Engineering, Technology Analysis and Full Stack Software Engineering. Through immersing myself in learning, I surprised myself with how much I was able to achieve in these discipline areas for someone with a non-technical background. Although it was challenging I learned it was possible. Through self-reflection and interacting with tech communities I also learned that a technical role focused on building relationships and designing solutions is where I wanted to start. This streamlined my focus to Solution Architecture.
Advice to your younger self?
Keep going. Keep exploring.
Practising resilience while learning not only provided me with new skills, it helped me see what I was capable of!
If you could invite anyone to join the Black Valley community, who and why?
If I could invite someone to join the Black Valley community it would be a Black person trying to transition into tech alone, because with Black Valley they no longer have to. Here, there is a proactive, consistent and equipped community waiting for them with open arms.
It’s a beautiful thing to have the option to seek guidance from a community of people who are willing, dedicated and rooting for your journey! Not everyone has that.
Something I’ve observed amongst my peers (many being Black young professionals) is that their journey into the professional world was often done alone. Now, they are killing it! However, many have expressed how much more confident they felt once they had access to community.
Through community I had the opportunity to learn from the genius of others and to see even more clearly the genius in me! Bootcamps, conferences, talks, webinars, training programmes, open days, hackathons, Discord channels, Slack channels and mentoring programmes, such as Black Valley, provided me with insights that perhaps I would have missed out on if I continued to journey alone.
Black Valley doesn't shy away of the fact that there are incredible Black minds being slept on in the tech community. And as a Black woman from a non-STEM background with all the strengths of dyslexia, I appreciate this.