When we talk about using technology for sustainable development, we often think about it using a close lens. What we don’t realize is the multidimensionality of technology and the many ways it can impact upon sustainable development, especially in Africa. Chukwuemeka’s passions led him to learn about blockchain, how it can help improve processes and how resources derived from it can be used by the development sector.
According to him, there’s something for everyone. You don’t have to be an expert, you can learn about blockchain technology and you can make a lot of money.
What were your motivations for pursuing a career in Tech ?
My quest for having a sustainable means of making money led me to tech.
I am a passionate advocate of the United Nation’s sustainable development goals. What motivated me to pursue a career in tech is directly linked to my life journey. After leaving the university and doing my NYSC service year in Abuja, I began volunteering for NGOs and different humanitarian organizations. In my work, I realized that you cannot cause long lasting change and achieve the SDGs without money and around us, we have different sectors that can produce money and a sustainable means of developing more projects. I looked out for those sectors I could fit in, I noticed it was only tech I had an interest in and could fit in. I looked out for a new emerging technology which has the means of generating wealth for individuals and I found Blockchain.
I dived into blockchain and made a research about it and I got the opportunity to work for two international organizations Lbank, International Exchange and I became an ambassador for the World Literacy Foundation. I founded an initiative called Blockchain for SDGs, which focuses on using the opportunities in blockchains to solve the global goals.
What are the challenges you encounter in your daily work at L bank?
One of the challenges is the fact that L bank is not a known company here in Africa, and as the community manager, it’s my duty to make the company known and introduce people to blockchain through L bank. I started up with creating my personal community where I conduct webinars, masters classes, ask-me-anything sessions, marketing sessions, and other events to publicize our various products and services to Africans.
Working for a centralized exchange for the first time and being tasked with making sure the company becomes among the top 10 centralized exchanges on the coin market tab are the biggest challenges I face. We are currently 15th on the list. It’s been challenging but I try my best.
Speak to us about what excites you about your role?
This question is very exciting to me as I’m very interested in educating people on digital currency and blockchain. Being able to link blockchain and the SDGs and exemplifying how it can be used to help resolve global challenges. Working with people from different countries around the world, exchanging ideas, thinking globally and acting locally. Being able to merge my passion and my job is a very exciting thing for me.
What skill set is required to undertake a career as a backend developer?
You really need technical skills to undertake a career as a backend developer. Maybe a degree in computer science then furthering as a web designer and also specializing as a backend developer, frontend development, and more. You really need to know what you want to do (because there is a difference between being a backend developer and a frontend developer) in order for you to put in the ultimate effort. The first thing is to make up your mind that this is what you want to do. There are different institutions that offer this course. Blockchain and tech companies all over the world are also looking for backend developers.
Can you share a few life lessons you have learned in your journey through Technology?
I have learned a whole lot in the space of 2-3 year that blockchain and technology is the next big thing in how we do things. For instance, I have a friend in the World Food Program and they have been battling transparency when it comes to giving out food products to countries that are facing problems. For example, in the parts of Nigeria that are facing insurgency, food products never get to the affected regions but with Blockchain, they have been able to identify these countries and track these food products until it gets to their destination. By doing this, we get to save people’s lives.
We have been able to use technology to solve word-class problems and in solving these problems we are also creating value for ourselves and making money at the same time. That is the biggest lesson I have learned so far.
Another lesson I have learned is that it is important to get a mentor. Mentorship and being among the right community is the shortest way to tech. I have mentors that have helped me a whole lot.
What advice do you have for newbies building a career in tech?
The first thing you should consider is the reason behind your wanting to join tech.
Is it because of the money? Or just to follow the crowd?
You need to have a substantial reason. I wasn’t a tech person when I joined tech. I was a humanitarian but I realized I wanted to be in the tech space to solve a particular problem which is to help people find a sustainable means of making money. Currently I have helped a whole lot of companies acquire funds from Blockchain companies.
Then you need to find a mentor and also read about tech and surround yourself with the right community that will push you in the tech space. Another piece of advice is to use some tech tools to project yourself for example LinkedIn and follow companies you want to be like and observe their activities. Be open to learning and be patient.
What opportunities are available for young techies who want to undertake a career in blockchain technology?
There are a whole lot of opportunities available for young individuals that want a career in tech. It is not compulsory to know how to trade before you get hired by a Blockchain company. You can be a content writer and be employed in a Blockchain company by writing content. You can get paid for this. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert in technical analysis, trading, and the likes, you just need to have the necessary information and read about everything surrounding the Blockchain industry.
Also as a business developer, you also have the opportunity to work in a Blockchain company. There are also many opportunities to work as a marketer, a business developer, a strategist, a customer care officer, a legal practitioner, healthcare worker etc. Whatever your career path, you can be a part of blockchain companies and make a whole lot of money.