What Trump's election means to African Techies

This post is a bit late because I needed to inhale, exhale, and then wake up to our soon to be reality. Trump will be the next president of America. This post is not intended to be political. I could not vote, so my opinions on the elections really had zero value. However, now that the dust has begun to settle in, I want you to understand the implications of Trump becoming president especially as it attains to African Techies.

Why is this important? I am glad you asked! I was talking to one of the kids I mentor in Nigeria last week, whose plans might I add is to eventually come to the US for his masters and find a good paying computer science job in the US. This kid, yes, I am calling a 6'4 tall junior in college a kid, told me he does not care about the US presidency. I was shocked. And then, it dawned on me that many people, especially international students in the US ( or eventually planning to be), do not understand how Trumps presidency might affect them so I plan to explain it to you all that in this post.

"Skilled" immigration might no longer be possible. That is to say, hiring professional coders to work for US companies, especially in the US, might be tough. Breaking it down further, if you are an international student, it might be more difficult for you to find a Job in the US. So, maybe you should start considering migrating to Canada, or moving back to Africa - no, seriously!

Silicon Valley as we know it today is built on immigrants with visa and H1-Bs. However, there are a lot of uncertainly about what Silicon Valley will look like going forward. Currently, a lot of skilled international software engineers are hired into companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and even smaller start-ups. Going forward, there might be laws to enforce that US citizen get first pick at these jobs. 

Additionally, you are sleeping under a rock if you don’t know how hard it is to get an H1-B visa these days. H1-B is a visa that allows US companies to hire college graduates. The US issues only 65,000 H1-Bs a year. You think that is a lot? The USCIS received 236,000 applications in the first 5 days after opening up the application last year. That means there is currently a less than 25% chance you will get a H1-B visa. Even if you start up working on OPT, there is a less that 25% chance you will remain in the US 3 years after you are done with college. Now, if Trump reduces the 65,000 cap, then, I mean, you might just be screwed.

I hope this posts opens your eyes and allows you to rethink your future and helps you plan accordingly. Obviously, there is still a lot of uncertainty, but I wanted to make I explained what might happen to you all. In the main time, read Trumps stance on immigration here.

Checking out…

What the hell is "the Cloud" and why Africa should care

I work for Microsoft and my Job is to drive Azure consumption. Azure is Microsoft's cloud.  Prior to joining Microsoft, I had no clue what it really meant to be on the cloud. Some of us have iPhones, so our first introduction to the "cloud" was probably iCloud with Apple "forcing" people to back up their data to the cloud. After working for Microsoft for 4 months, I "kinda" get it. This blog is my translation from techy jargons to human readable English.

First of all, there is no cloud, sorry to disappoint you.  According to Wikipedia, "the term cloud is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on the cloud drawing used in the past to represent the telephone network, and later to depict the Internet in computer network diagrams as an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it represents", if that makes sense to you. Basically, the cloud is not in the sky, as some of you might think. The cloud is on the ground - it is a set of computers (virtual machines) stored "somewhere else" (Datacenter) . For example, when you save an image to your laptop, the image exists on your laptop. However, when you save an image to the cloud, the image exists on another computer somewhere else. That is what it means to save your data to the cloud - you are saving your data to another computer somewhere else.

Why is this important to understand? First of all, it would make you look a tad-bit smart when you are talking to someone technical. Lol. Second, the cloud has made it easier than ever to get a start-up company running fast. You don’t have to buy servers anymore, companies like Microsoft can take care of all that compute while you are using the cloud. You also only pay for what you use. For instance, if traffic on your website occurs only during the weekdays, you can save a ton of $$ during the weekends and run only what is needed - this is the beauty of cloud computing.

Now, why should Africa care? The cloud can actually improve the economy of a lot of African countries. Suddenly, startups can leverage the cloud to get their product into the market faster. Hospitals can collect data about patients and store all the information to the cloud and not worry about buying massive computers. Remember, you can access the cloud from a mobile device, so having a mobile device can give you access to terabytes of data that is not necessarily stored on a phone.  I know that internet is also an issue in some parts of Africa, but with the cloud, we don’t need to worry about it too much. All you need is enough data to access the cloud, while all the other computing and processing can be done in the cloud ( "another computer stored somewhere else")

Getting started with the cloud is easy and cheap. I kid you not, with $0, you can have a website running in less than 10 mins. Get started with Azure (Microsoft's cloud)  here.

What Can You Do With A Computer Science Degree?


I am so excited about the Africode Mentor program! As a mentor, I get to learn a lot from my mentee and I also see gaps in the education curriculum. This week, as I spoke to my mentee, I realized he did not know the different career paths he could take with a degree in computer science. To be honest, no one sat me down and listed out the various career paths I could take when I was in college and I wish someone did. I just assumed that with my computer science degree, I would have to write code for the rest of my life. Not true at all. In fact, a degree in computer science can open doors to non-science related fields because you are inherently a problem solver. So, what can you do with a computer science degree? A Lot! Here are some of the few:

Software Engineer: Someone who writes code! Whether its front-end or back-end development, a software engineer is a problem solver and spends 70%-80% of his or her time writing code.

Program Languages:  Java (my favorite language), C++, C#, Perl, Node, JavaScript…. Famous Software Engineers: Eric Schmidt (Executive Chairman Alphabet Inc), Mark Zuckerberg (CEO and founder of Facebook),

Average Starting Salary: $72,790 annually


Product Manager: Someone who acts as the middle man between the engineering team and the business unit.  They are responsible for gathering requirements to make sure that a product is successful. They are called the CEO of a product. Product Managers are different at different companies. Some Product Managers code, some do not.


Program Languages:  Any

Famous Product Managers: Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, Michael Dell, founder of Dell and Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle

Average Starting Salary: $83,293 annually


Business Analyst :  Someone who analyzes an organization or business domain (real or hypothetical) and documents its business or processes or systems, assessing the business model or its integration with technology.


Program Languages:  Any

Famous Business Analyst: Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, Michael Dell, founder of Dell and Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle

Average Starting Salary: $60,000 annually


Network Systems Administrators: These are people that install and support an organization’s network system. They work to examine website functions to ensure performance without interruption. They also perform data backups and disaster recovery operations

Program Languages:  Any

Average Annual Salary: $75,790


Developer Relations/ Developer Experience: This is actually what I do - and I love it! The Developer Relations/ Developer Experience organization helps keep your company connected to the communities that love your companies technology and makes sure they are successful using your companies technology.  You work as a Developer Advocate/Technical Evangelist and your role is really to get people excited about building solutions on your companies platform. In my opinion, this role is a mixture or sales and technical strategy.


Program Languages:  Any

Famous Technical Evangelist: Steve Jobs (Apple Inc.), Vint Cerf (Internet), Don BoxGuy Kawasaki (Apple) Alex St. John (Microsoft), Myriam Joire (Pebble),

Average Starting Salary: $103,00 annually


CEO/CTO of your start up: You can create your own company!


Program Languages:  Java (my favorite language), C++, C#, Perl, Node, JavaScript…. etc

Famous CEO/CTO:  Mark Zuckerberg (CEO and founder of Facebook), Leah Busque (former CEO, TaskRabbit)



These are just a few things you can do with a computer science degree. You can also end up being a Researcher, a Professor, a Teacher, a Consultant and even a Technical Strategist. The world is your oyster with a degree in computer science.