I was going through my network on LinkedIn one day when I came across the profile of this young brilliant geek. Without wasting time, I messaged him and requested that he share his experience and growth process as a techie. I was convinced that his experience will help to inspire some other people to develop interest in the growing tech ecosystem.
Lawrence Agbani, is one of the youngest geeks around with an uncommon fervor for tech and upbringing of other techies. Immediately he replied my message and indicated his interest, I drafted some questions and sent to his mail since I know it is going to be a quick one. He was able to send a reply as quick as he could and shared some insights into his personal life as a techie and how he grew to become one.
Lawrence graduated from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri and didn’t major in CS or any similar course. He studied Soil Science and Technology and graduated in 2016. In my mail, I asked him how he developed interest in tech, he simply said curiosity. Lawrence’s interest in tech was due to his curiosity about how he was able to interact with games, apps and so on. In his words:
“I can’t say which it was really, but I believe it was both, with one leading to the other. I
grew up with the love for technology right from when I can remember. There was this
great “curiosity” as to what made the players in the ‘brick games’ and ‘game boys’ of
our time to respond to buttons on the devices, and why the scroll bars of GSM
phones then responded to button clicks on the device, and how these apps were built
to interact with me. Later on, even if I didn’t really have access to these devices and
all, I still went as far as using friends’ devices to experiment and further developed the
Furthermore, he revealed the challenges he faced in his undergraduate days in his efforts to combine tech activities with his studies. Asides the test, classes and assignments he missed, one of such occasions was when he had to handle training sessions at a two weeks coding camp few weeks to his final project defense. There was the need to tidy up his project work and prepare for the defense, with the assistance of his supervisor, someone he described as understanding, he was able to communicate remotely with him and did all that was required before the project defense. For him, the ability to successfully combine tech with his studies and excel in both was due to the help he received from God, ability to multi-task and manage time properly.
While on campus, he was a Microsoft Student Partner and led the Microsoft Student Tech Community in FUTO through thick and thin alongside other team members (Onyema Kizito and Adaobi Okorafor-Nwosu). When asked how best he can describe the growth of tech and techies while on campus in FUTO, Lawrence was quick to respond that the environment is not too friendly and as a result most techies are self-trained. However, he believes the tech community is growing gradually and will surely become big someday. As a MSP, Lawrence was able to mentor beginners by organizing meet-ups at weekends and other days to train them on Microsoft technologies, provide networking platform for developers and prepare them for competitions. He was able to achieve this with the commitment and determination of his team members with each one of them focusing on different technologies.
From the time Lawrence picked an interest in tech to now, he has been able to develop himself and has provided technical support for tech startups. He currently works with e-commerce giant, Konga as a Software Engineer where he deals majorly with how Konga uses Microsoft technologies for her services.
For him one of the benefits he got from his dedication towards the grooming of beginners is that teaching people programming has helped him to improve himself greatly. In 2014, he sat for a Microsoft certification exam and earned a Microsoft Technology Associate certification. Also in the same year, he won the NASA space
apps challenge in 2014 with team Nixit, the team he said had two of his mentors as members.
Lawrence believes that Nigeria has great software developers, and an awesome market. He describes tech as the future for Nigeria seeing the way it is already shaping how businesses are transacted using different technological tools.
As a parting word, this fantastic software Engineer who recently was a guest at Akure Techup alongside another brilliant geek, Usman Abiola wants beginners to work hard to improve their skills using numerous online materials. He said:
“Mostly for the beginners, pray, and work really hard to improve your skills using
numerous free materials online so that your prayers can actually get answered. Also
look for and follow people already doing great in your career path with great curiosity
and remember to always ask the right questions. Lastly, remember that the aim is not
just to be a software developer, but to be a world class one.”