“Mark Zuckerberg is your role model and you’re planning to build the next Facebook” Wehdone sir.
Technology has been making rounds lately.
With tech startups closing millions of dollars in funding and tech companies offering free food as part of employment package, dream jobs are about to change from what they used to be. It’s almost time for our parents to shun the “You must study Medicine” slogan and start dancing to the tune of Computer Science.
With the limited number of jobs in other sectors, a career pivot is not a bad idea after all. A career in technology can be broadly divided into three: Computer Science, Design and Digital Marketing. Of course, there are other minute areas like Operations and Sales. Let’s take a good look at the three major ones.
“I need a t-shirt, pair of jeans and pair of eyeglasses to be a nerd” Not quite true. Maybe you should know your Math and Algorithm as well.
Computer Science deals with every technical input that makes up a tech product. This can be software or hardware. For software products like Facebook, you can easily do without the hardware. For a mobile phone like iPhone, the software makes the hardware function. The basis of computer science is Math. You need to understand how logic works and be able to apply it in solving problems.
To learn software development, there are a couple of programming languages that you need to know. It’s funny the way computers work. You have to speak the language machines understand to be able to make them work. These languages ranging from HTML, CSS to Python are essential to the development of every website or app you use. There are websites that can teach you software development for free. I’ll recommend codeacademy.com and freecodecamp.com
After trying your hands on some languages and mastering them, take on projects. Free Code Camp will give you access to real NGO projects you can work on. This helps you build your understanding of your new tech skills. You can also take some freelance jobs to make money while you immerse yourself in the knowledge of coding. I believe GitHub profile is a must-have. It allows you contribute to open source projects. You can also create yours. Also, attend hackathons -these are long hours coding competitions. They’d help you build your problem-solving sense. After you’re a pro, you can decide to start your company or join an existing one.
On the hardware side of things, you need to understand how various components work together to form a big part of something working. You can get started with some courses on Coursera about computer architecture and hardware.
“This app developer is dumb. Why is the button over here?” Uhm. The designer is the real culprit here.
The visuals of an app are the handiwork of a designer. Leaving this task to complete nerds will result in an app that only nerds can operate. The designers help to make a product adaptable to what a human can interact with. The work of a designer is not limited to apps, they also work with marketers to design creatives for marketing campaigns. They have the ability to translate ideas to beautiful things you can see.
Apart from the developing your creative ability, you need to understand how to use the design tools. There are a couple of them out there. Adobe is very popular for creating amazing tools for design. We have Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and others. However, we also have other design tools like Corel Draw, Balsamiq, Canva and the likes. Learning design can be daunting because you need to learn how to learn specific tools and should be able to adapt to other tools doing the same thing. You can get started here: design.tutsplus.com
When you start creating designs (either volunteering or freelancing), you have to showcase them to the world. A Behance profile is the best way to get started. Afterwards, you can have your own personal website where you put your portfolio and can share it when needed.
“You cannot come to our website, check our products and go scot-free. We will chase you around the internet with those products” Somebody cannot even play with you again.
Digital Marketing is the use of online tools to grow businesses (some of which are tech businesses). The person behind Hotels.ng’s social media accounts and the people behind Booking.com’s ads on Google Search are digital marketers. They work all day to ensure that the message of their products gets to the right people at the right time in the right place. This includes drafting out and implementing digital strategies that businesses use to build their brands online and grow.
Learning digital marketing involves knowing something about everything and everything about something. You should start by learning the basics of everything digital marketing and diving deeper into an aspect of digital marketing. You can get started at digitalskills.withgoogle.com where you will learn the basics of digital skills and go on to discover more about what you like.
You can get to work by taking on some projects as a volunteer or freelancer. You can also create a digital marketing agency where you will help lots of businesses grow.
The pattern is similar. Learn what you want online. Practise by freelancing, volunteering or starting your own business. After all, the best way to learn is through experience. More experience means improved career. As you do more, you become more relevant in the industry.
Welcome to tech!