Calling all African techies - promote yourself this season!

My passions for the longest time have been the rise of innovation and technology, the future of Africa and my old time friend, media and marketing.

Merging the three ingredients together is an impactful mix and one that I urge everyone to ponder on in regards to their own progression as we end 2017 and head into the new year.

Innovation and technology

You may be a self taught coder or a intricate, detailed driven data scientist or a budding product manager, not yet in the role or company of your dreams. Not to worry, you are  already equipped with more than most since you have the creativity, a growing toolkit of skills and the technology at hand. Take time to perfect your craft even more in this season and get further ahead.

Firstly, you can simply keep up to date with latest happenings and changes across various industries and look for opportunities where you can challenge yourself. However, if you want to speed ahead, you may want to learn a new language, grab some open source data and work with that or improve your front end skills.

Don’t limit yourself to the classroom or the projects and homework that your professors set.  If you are a keen product manager in the making, start thinking about the product as a whole, not just the software. Start researching how to devise roadmaps and understand more about design thinking and how you can apply this to your future work. Try out something new and continually innovate by pushing your own skillset. It’s the one thing in your hands and it will only benefit you in the long run.

Media and marketing

Over the years, through the social media trenches has revealed viral gold. We have seen passion projects turn into full businesses or lead to the dream job of that person. We have seen collaborations occur real time on various social platforms, often culminating in the fruition of useful products and services.

I know for the majority of techies, the very sound of “self promotion” and “marketing” goes against the core ethos of many. Build and they will come is the mantra many are living by. I agree to some extent, but what about if they don’t come naturally? Then this is a prime opportunity to attract them and draw them nearer.

Also the proverbial “they” is not limited to only users either. They that can potentially draw nearer include influencers, people you admire, journalists, companies, investors and many more.

I would spur everyone to share what they are working on. It not only encourages and inspires but it may also benefit many.

What is the best way to go about it? There are the platforms such as Github that is commonplace, but think more creatively than that. Try sharing your entire thought process for something you built recently through a series of Instagram posts or publishing real time updates on Twitter. Write a medium post about the lessons you learnt and add the prototype link in a specific Facebook group or community. Whatever media outlet you use, be sure to share. It will add to your resume and you never know who will spot your awesome talent.

Future of Africa:

Finally the future of Africa depends on us. The more we build, create and share, the more the global industry will get used to seeing us as founders, innovators and changemakers. It’s not a easy task by no means but we must be the change we want to see.

I urge all of you during this seasonal period to reach out to others and use the power that we all have these days to self promote. It can only benefit.

If you have any projects you want to share, feel free to tweet me at @miss_tosin - I would love to see!

Tosin Adeniji is an expert creative marketer, passionate about media tech and impacting young people. She currently works as Senior Product Manager within the Verizon innovation team in New York City and holds a MBA from Cornell Tech. Prior to her Masters, she was in London where she worked within entertainment for companies such as EMI, Universal and LoveLive. Over the years she has worked and consulted for the likes of Spotify, Google and HP.