Female Backend Developer, Moyin Shares Her Journey as a Woman in tech
A brief introduction about you.
So my name is Moyin, I graduated from Babcock University and I studied computer science. I'm a Software Developer currently backend engineering with Stanbic IBTC bank, their IT department. So I write code basically. Yeah
How did you get into development?
I think I knew about coding for the first time in 100 level. So, when I was taught C (programming language) in the first semester it was quite hard. Maybe because I resumed late or because the person teaching wasn't just invested in it. It was hard because I had to cram in order to pass the exam. So 100 level coding was sort of a struggle, and then we entered 200 level. I think the lecturer was more invested in it so he was better. But even at that I still had phobia from 100 level and I think that’s why a lot of ladies might not be into it. I just felt this thing was too stressful. However, in my third year, we did Industrial training/Internship, and I was trying to get an IT placement but it wasn’t forthcoming. I remember that I spoke to one of my classmates and he said he was taking a training instead of a regular work placement. I still remember what made me decide to train; So I went to work at one office and it was the government secretariat. I don't know if you've worked with the government, but you know the lazy vibes you get? I went there regularly and one of the many times, I saw a woman eating at work and that was it for me. I went home and told my dad I was going for the training even though I had to pay. So that’s how I started.
How did you start working at Stanbic IBTC?
Actually, It was a referral. I was working in another bank and It wasn't so long that I got into the bank right so I was randomly chatting with my friend who had been at Stanbic for a while, I was randomly asking how it feels being female on her team and working in a bank because I was the only female on my team. So she asked me what language I code in and I told her it was Java, and she went on to say her company was looking for a female backend developer, I told her I was in and that was it!
So it’s been Fintech all along?
Yeah, I've been in fintech since 2019
So has that been deliberate and are you sticking to fintech?
I mean, Fintech is cool but I don’t think that I’m that invested in it. It’s not a criterion for me. I think as you grow in your career, your desires for where you want to work begins to change. At a point, I was like "let me just get into somewhere that will give me experience" and that was what made me get my first job, so I was thankful for that. At another point, I just wanted to get somewhere that paid me better. So, I mean, there have been periods where I got into a place just for the experience or just for the money but for me now, I think I can get a system running right. So I don't necessarily need a company's experience to build a system or write code. I think I'm now leaning more towards doing some DevOps stuff. I want to start working with node balancers, the cloud, basically systems and all that. It's more than just writing code, it's about how the systems work and how do you get them to work, how you scale systems basically. It's not just about code.
So, what’s a typical day like at work?
Okay so, I wake up then we have a standup meeting where we talk about what we did yesterday, what we’re doing for that day, and all of that. We have PIs( Program Increments) because we are agile, so basically, after your meeting you get on your task. That's really it. There are days when you're building and brainstorming, and then there are days where you're probably just maintaining stuff or just attending to someone. So typically, many days I'm just building and some few days I'm probably solving problems for people using the existing systems. In summary, I'm either building or putting out fire.
What do you think your most important skill is?
I think it's my ability to convince people to be honest. So I can probably make you think I know better than I do, right, and so yeah I think that's it. Okay, networking, and then my ability to convince people so I'll just convince you to take a chance on me at least.
Do you get the Imposter syndrome when you’re trying to convince people?
I mean, I don't know, I used to be the type of person that thought I didn't need to study as long as it was a Java role. I mean I've done a couple of interviews, right, and I didn't really study for them because I assumed theywere probably going to ask me something I had worked with, and off the top of my head I can answer them. But I had a not-so-good interview recently, and then I started getting scared of having any other interviews because it just feels like there is so much to study/learn. So there are days where I feel like I know what I'm doing and I'm good at it, and there are days I struggle. I think it's normal.
What's something that you wish you knew before you became a backend engineer?
I think I would like to have read more, Like more than just coding. To read enough to understand all those concepts.
What do you dislike most about your job?
I don't know if it's about my job because the job itself isn't annoying but what I dislike the most about development is ironically the same thing I like the most, It’s when I have to battle with bugs, yesterday I spent almost 14 hours dealing with certain bugs. As I said, it's also the thing I like most because once I get it, I always feel like it was worth it. So, it’s a love-hate relationship.
What tasks do you dislike most?
Probably support. I mean it can be exhausting, but it’s something you cannot avoid.
Do you think that being a woman has had any effect on your journey so far?
Yes actually, I was lucky to have been a recipient of many of these women-in-tech programs. I think one of them even got me a job in 2019, it wasn't only that, but it was one of the things that added to it.
What do you think about the gender gap in the tech industry?
Well, if you're on the outside you might assume that these people are not trying to recruit ladies. Right, I mean, like I said the place I was before now, they actually sought out to recruit only ladies so when I was even leaving, it was painful because they wanted more ladies on the team. Companies are actually trying to do this gender balance thing where they also trying to get some ladies to come, and like I said it was easy for me to get in because they were looking for a lady at that time. And I fit into what they wanted. So I really think the problem might be that women are not applying enough and maybe they don’t have enough skills. I would love to have more females on my team to gist with. I generally think it’s about skills and confidence.
Coming from a computer science background, is there something about Computer Science that discourages ladies?
To be honest I don't think it is CS. I believe the problem is deeper. Like women were taught to lean towards the easier or less challenging things. I don’t mean other jobs are easy but women grew up learning that they can do other things so that’s my guess. I also think because a lot of women were not doing it, other women stayed away.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
I would have told myself to get into tech earlier. Probably spend more time learning because it’s not hard.
This is amazing, thank you for sharing your story