Hello! My name is Lydia Ingabire.
Today, I am deeply humbled to have a chance of sharing my story about how I conquered my fear of becoming a software developer as a woman.
In high school, I studied management and ICT, and programming(C, C++,..) was a principal course but, I didn't see myself as a programmer in the future. I was young and immature, I wanted to do easy things. I always thought that programming was for genius at the same time, I admired it as something brilliant.
After high school, I started university in accounting but honestly, counting money was not fun either. I was in that stage of my life where I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do in the future. I dropped out without finishing because the issue was that my parents couldn't afford to pay for my school fees. I was confident that once I shall go back to the university, I shall study something else even if I was not sure of what.
I started working in hotels to make a living in 2016, and by the end of 2018, programming crossed my life again when Andela came to Rwanda. I received an email about how Andela wanted to train those who wanted to learn to code. For the first time in my lifetime, I felt like I finally knew what to do in my life. It got my attention again after spending many years without hearing about programming. I filled out the form requesting them to accept that I join the Andela learning community(ALC), that is how the journey started. I remember writing HELLO WORLD as my first line of code like it was yesterday. I felt like the most genius programmer alive.
In 2019 I decided to quit my job to dive deep into the world of programming. When I think about my journey, Andela definitely will not miss it. Andela taught me all the basic skills I use today, from designing a simple webpage using plain HTML&CSS, creating APIs, using Github&Git, Collaboration, problem-solving, Teamwork, etc. I always cherish all friends I met, mentors who were always ready to assist me, and memories created through that journey.
This journey was not an easy one. The journey was full of highs and lows. I failed many times, I had many things to learn to be a developer, and sometimes I would feel like giving up and trying something else, however, I was confident that programming was what I wanted to do in my life and that pushed me even if sometimes I would do it with tears on my eyes.
In 2020 when Covid-19 started, it was another challenge as it found me still learning. I had to figure out a way forward to reach my dreams of being a software developer. I joined MICROVERSE an online school that train developer. I can say that while others were in lockdown, I was busy coding, and making new friends from more than 50 countries in the world this journey was colorful. Microverse boosted my confidence again. I had fun learning a new programming language(Ruby&Rails) and many other technical and soft skills.
After spending 6months learning, I got my first job as a Technical support Engineer and after I got some other opportunities as a software developer. Imagine how I felt! my heart was full of mixed feelings crying and laughing and full of gratitude, it was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I can say that many opportunities are coming my way. I look back through my journey with a smile on my face.
If you are reading my story, however, you are in the middle of trying something new, yet nothing is working out, please don't give up! Remember why you started.
PS: I still have many things to learn. I always fight with imposter syndrome, but, yes!! we push on regardless.