Africode Mentorship: Lanre and Siji

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Siji Ajisegiri: Mentee

What do you currently do? I am a junior, studying Computer Science at Howard University.

What are some of your interests/hobbies? My interests are gaming and cyber-security. Also, I am currently a member of white hat organization aimed at developing hacking skills and getting better at network security.

What first got you interested in tech? I was studying Information Systems before I switched over to computer science. A little part of information systems has to do with programming and that got me interested.

Have you built anything (product/project) interesting? Currently, I am trying to build a mobile application aimed at benefiting international students in the US. It has to do with the conversion/sending of money from parents to children because this seems to be a big problem. I noticed this when most of my friends started complaining about being with money and how their parents cannot send money due to the exchange rates and interests rates of banks.

What value have you derived from being a member of the Africode community? I have been able to have conversations with Lanre (my mentor) on several occasions and he has helped with showing me what to do to get familiar with life after college as a Computer Scientist.

How would you like to use your skills to contribute to Africa development? I would love to use my skills in contributing to the development in Africa by creating avenues where graduates can have a good paying job while they also do what they enjoy doing. This way, I would be able to provide network security using Africans as employees instead of having to employ European or American expatriates.

Are there any African tech developments/news that you find exciting/interesting? Currently, there is a big wave of tech development in Africa. I do not have any particular love for specific news but I am really appreciative of the fact that more people are beginning to embrace tech development in Africa.

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Lanre Adebambo: Mentor

What you currently do? I'm currently in my final year of Honours Computing Science at the University of Alberta. I also work part-time at a local startup where I help build and maintain a real time collaboration tool called Stormboard. I'm responsible for implementing and maintaining various features of the product at multiple layers of the stack. From the front end web application, to the backend API and internal facing dev tools.

What are some of your interests/hobbies? I'm a huge soccer fan. I love playing soccer, even though I do that a lot less these days. I play lots of video games in my free time (FIFA's a big one) and predictably I love programming and using technology to find interesting solutions to everyday problems.

What first got you interested in tech? Growing up, I always dreamed of inventing things. I initially planned to study Mechanical Engineering at University but after taking a Computing Science course in my first semester, I fell in love with the freedom I it allowed me to program interesting ideas to life. I realized more clearly than ever that I could be the most creative and inventive version of myself through tech and I've ran with that ever since.

Have you built anything (product/project) interesting during college/professional career? I've worked on quite a few projects at school, work and in my own personal time. Most recently, I and a few friends built an iOS app called Cappsule to allow users tag interesting moments either as pictures or videos to locations. These moments (cappsules) are shared with other users of the app and they can be viewed through the app at a later time. Check it out at mycappsule.com.

What value have you derived from being a member of the Africode community? Being a member of Africode has allowed me connect with a great community of young, driven and intelligent individuals who all have a passion to positively impact Africa and who I believe I can learn a lot from.

How would you like to use your skills to contribute to development in Africa? I believe technology is a catalyst for development and although I haven't figured out a precise path, I hope to use my skills to contribute to the growth of Africa's tech industry.

Are there any African tech developments/news that you find exciting/interesting? I'm excited about the growing global interest in Africa's tech industry as well as the growing number of tech companies coming out of Africa. One company I'm really excited about is PayStack. I think they have the potential to transform Nigeria's eCommerce industry.