How I found a mentor in Cloud Computing

I am currently doing a Masters in Advanced Software Systems. It’s now only two weeks into the Semester, my first Semester. One of my units is Cloud Computing, in which I have gotten a mentor. I graduated in 2018 for my undergraduate degree which was in ‘Telecommunications and Information Technology’.

I did my first Industrial attachment, in a Telecommunications Firm, which dealt with Fiber Optics. It was both a hilarious and eye opening opportunity. We got accepted with my best friend and quiet frankly we were super excited. This is because we had really ‘tarmacked’ for an Industrial attachment. Up to date, I can’t explain why it was such a challenge for us to land opportunities in the ‘big’ companies we had been eyeing. I think it’s the popular saying of ‘Vitu kwa ground ni different!’. This is a Swahili plus English Slung popular in Kenya. It goes to say that what actually happens in reality is far different and worse from how it may appear elsewhere, for example on Social media, hearsay or personal expectations.

On the first day of the attachment, we really didn’t quite know what to expect at the workplace. We hadn’t done our homework as well in terms of researching in details what the company was about. It wasn’t also clearly communicated to us our Job Description. We were simply desperate and time was running out for the attachment. So when we received the call to show up for work the following day, we hopped in with both legs. Being the girls we are, we went wearing office attire, skirts and heels, only for the boss to Inform us that we will be wearing overalls, boots, helmets and reflectors. To be clear; I have nothing against them.

Nonetheless, he took us with him on the first day, with our ‘office attire’, into the Toyota Probox and off we went. We spent the whole day repairing optic fibers at different stations, we went to connect the optical fiber at a company in the airport and later at a residential home. It was a whole day without food or a break, even getting a toilet break was a hustle because most of the stations were in the middle of nowhere.  Did I mention that everyone we met asked our boss why he had come with Sales and Marketing personnel to the field?

After the first couple of days, it was as though we concurrently made up our minds that we weren’t cut out for this. I left the company, not with any hopes of finding another opportunity because at that point even missing an industrial attachment opportunity wasn’t scaring me enough.

From this experience, Telecommunication and I said our goodbyes. I chose to stick to the Information Technology part. Working behind a computer in a space that had easy access to the washroom became my new resolution.
Following this resolution, I decided to do a short course in Mobile & Software Development in addition to my Bachelor’s degree. In this course, I met a friend, Eunice Allela.

First forward to now, I am doing my master’s, one of the Units for the Semester is Cloud Computing. My friend Allela works at Google as a Google Developer Relations Community Manager. We are both in a WhatsApp group called Technovation Girls 2020 (story for another day).

Mentorship on Cloud Computing

I saw this message from the WhatsApp group and was particularly interested because Chuka Ofili is a Cloud Developer Expert in Google. I am fairly green in Cloud Computing and here was a chance to get a first hand interaction with an expert in the field. Obviously I jumped on to the meeting without second-guessing myself. Impromptu kind of situation, I hadn’t planned for it because I hadn’t known about it prior.

My curiosity also gave me an added push to click the link and join. I listened in on the conversation, Chuka allowed the participants to ask their questions. This for me was quite different because I had expected a presentation, yet here we were, the floor open for questions, more questions and open interactions. I actively listened to the responses he gave and how he tackled the different questions. It was evident that the benefit of his audience from the interaction was at the center of his heart. He had prowess that left me astounded. The answers would benefit not only the person who asked but the rest of the audience all together.

One of the statements that captured my attention was when he highlighted the importance of mentorship and suggested it to one of the participants. It drew me in and I decided that it was then time for me to ask my questions. My questions were, Why Cloud Computing, His journey into Cloud Computing, the Future of Cloud Computing, Research topics that I could possibly explore for my Thesis and if he would be willing to walk me through since he had mentioned about mentorship.

I was delighted that he would find time for me notwithstanding his busy schedule. On top of this, Chuka went on to suggest platforms I could make use of in the meantime, qwiklabs to be specific.
It will be such an honor to learn from one of the best in the field. I admire that he is keen on giving back to the Community and holding the hands of other people in the process. I will share more regards the journey in due time.

Mentorship on Cloud Computing

If you and I decided to be the change that we want to see, the World would definitely become a better place.

How to find a mentor for a career in tech.

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  1. […] Get as much work experience as possible. Especially during long vacations from school. When you are free without coursework. This is a great time that you can maximally utilize. Apply to internships. And explore as much variety as possible. You can explore different companies during different vacations. At least every academic year has a long break. Plan for this. If you have enough time to allow you to have a part time job during your coursework, go for it. Work exposure certainly helps us have a feel of our future work places. You can also adjust accordingly upon realizing that you are maybe interested in something else. […]

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