Funsho Ajayi- Beating the odds by putting your best foot forward

This is the final article in the #ExperienceKippa series- a limited series that follows the inspiring journey of our first internship cohort.

When Funsho submitted his application for an internship at Kippa, a form glitch meant he saw that 900 other people had submitted applications for the same role. Against impossible odds, this accountant-turned-programmer was selected. Here is his #ExperienceKippa story.

Studying Accounting to stand out

I was born in Lagos and have lived in Lagos for most of my life. The only time I had to leave was for University in Ondo State. Adekunle Ajasin University. I studied accounting because even though I met the criteria for the Science class I didn't want to follow the crowd and I hated Physics. So I went to Commercial class and decided to study accounting.

Finding Tech

I discovered programming in my first year while doing CSC (Computer Science) 101. The teacher was really good and I fell in love with the idea of writing code and seeing it come to life. Plus I had a small laptop then so I could practice and learn.

Accounting was still there and I had accounting exams to pass so that subdued my passion. And my laptop died. So I had to pause my learning.

The Blessing of ASUU Strike

The ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities)  strike provided the opportunity to reignite my passion. Before that, I almost gave up on tech. I just wanted to get my ICAN and maybe my kids will work in tech while I furthered my accounting education.

But I decided to keep learning new things every day. PHP, Python, React… until  I had to leave it for a while to write my final exams and graduate.

Finding Kippa

It is amazing how I discovered Kippa. Immediately I spiral-bonded my project. I checked the Google Developers Club group for my school. I saw a link for a front-end developer intern. And I needed an internship at that point.

The form has a glitch because when I submitted instead of the normal response, I saw that 900 other people had submitted it. At that point, I almost lost hope because of the number and strength of applicants.

A few days later, I woke up to a call from Kennedy with some questions. He asked me why I wanted to join and work in a fintech.  Three days later I got the offer and I was so happy.

Expectations vs Reality

I was excited to see the codebase of a fintech. How it worked when people need to move money. That was why I was really curious. When I came, I didn't join GitHub until like three weeks later. So no I did not join and start cranking code immediately.

When I joined, my manager was more of a mobile engineer. I had more experience in web, so I had to learn a new language and build an app. I was given a test that took new engineers three days but it took me two weeks because I was learning a new language

Advice for future applicants

Put your best foot forward and be optimistic.
You will never stop learning. When I was coming in, I thought I knew stuff. But when I came in, I learnt a lot of new things. So the mindset when coming in is to believe you know nothing because you will learn a thousand things!

Solomon Nzere

Solomon Nzere