Africode Mentorship: Titilayo and Regina

Regina Rex: Mentee

What do you currently do? I am a Sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, double majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science. I am a Resident Assistant on campus and also, currently working as a Software Engineering intern, for Oja Express.

What are some of your interests/hobbies? I love listening to music and singing. I enjoy watching movies, reading and learning new things.

What first got you interested in tech? I decided to study Computer Science after I was introduced to Python at Google Computer Science for High School -a one week programming camp where I got to learn python and work with raspberry pi. I was fascinated by the things I could build and this piqued my interest in the field.

Have you built anything (product/project) interesting? I am currently building my personal website (www.reginarex.pw) to showcase a few projects I have worked on in school and during my personal time. One of the interesting projects I am currently working on is a microcontroller project to detect how long it takes a laser light on the chip to bounce back to the sensor.  It calculates the time of flight using a distance sensor. I  enjoy working on embedded systems projects and this project is a fun and good learning experience for me.

What value have you derived from being a member of the Africode community? As a female in the tech field, having a community of people who share similar goals and interests has made me more comfortable and confident in my career choice. Being able to relate and share my ideas with other mentors and mentees has increased my motivation, and inspired me to reach my goals and aim higher. Also being part of Africode has helped me grow my network. I have met many people and also learned a lot.

How would you like to use your skills to contribute to Africa development? One of the reasons why I fell in love with computer programming is because I see it as a tool for growth and development. Currently, I don’t really have a specific plan, but I hope to use my skills to educate, encourage, and empower other females like me, to pursue STEM courses.

Are there any African tech developments/news that you find exciting/interesting? One of the tech development that I am currently excited about is the Made in Nigeria Tech podcast (MINT). I find this podcast interesting because they discuss important topics, use it as an opportunity to showcase startup companies, and also talk about the technological growth in the Nigerian tech community.

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Titilayo Craig: Mentor

What do you currently do? I am a User researcher currently working at Microsoft. On a typical day I work with product teams of designers, engineers and PMs to enhance and add new features to an application. I usually use various research methods and run usability studies to ensure the products are focused on our target users needs.

What are some of your interests/hobbies? I love to travel and typically try to visit at least one new country/city a year.

What first got you interested in tech? Honestly I am not sure- I just remember back in 2006 when I was choosing a major I knew I wanted something that brought information together. So I ended up getting degrees in Computer Science and Applied Math. The more I learnt, the more I enjoyed being in technology.

Have you built anything (product/project) interesting? During my Human Computer Interaction masters, I did create a more friendly accessible weather website for people with visual impairment so that could count as interesting to me :). Right now I work on a 3-D creative Paint software which is actually pretty interesting especially because of where the future of technology is going.

What value have you derived from being a member of the Africode community?  I always say "To whom much is given, much is expected" so coming into the Africode program as a mentor, I just wanted to be able to provide assistance to someone since I have had some great people who have encouraged me on my career path. There is so much value in just being a part of a place that brings more of us into technology.  Also seeing how smart and great to work with my mentee has been has definitely been great.

How would you like to use your skills to contribute to Africa development? I will like to work with organizations that get young people excited about technology and into it early through mentorships and programs like hour of code etc. Currently I am working on a review system with a few partners that promotes customer service and partnership between the businesses and their customers. I am hoping this experience will open me up to investing in the future of Africa by creating various technology solutions focused on the African market.

Are there any African tech developments/news that you find exciting/interesting? I try to keep up with what is going on especially with the wave of entrepreneurs and tech that is being established in countries within Africa.  It is just exciting to see the breadth of work being done and the recognitions.