From a Shy Rookie to a Tech Leader: The Story of Daniel Dohou

Patience Salami

If you are coy but think of doing hard things, a serial learner but people-shy, then get in and read the story of Daniel Dohou. Most times, personal development requires grit and determination even if our personalities and other challenges get in the way. The inspiring story of Daniel is what every young and aspiring tech leader should read to set their foot on the upward pedal to become a global success.

Daniel was born and raised by his parents in the suburbs of Lagos, Nigeria. Even though he is the first child, he was born with an eye defect that made him struggle with confidence and could not provide the required leadership for his sibling. “I found it very hard to speak up even when being cheated, and that is because of my shy and introverted nature. I had a major challenge growing up as I was dealing with an acute eye defect.”

However, Daniel always had a deep interest in tech but was unsure of which path to follow and thrive in. He continued to spend his introverted time with gadgets and solving puzzles. He followed his passion and fanned it to flame with his diligence so much that his neighbour noticed his drive and registered him for some developer Scholarship programs. “I struggled with these programmes and applied to three different ones, but I failed.” Daniel was devasted by the rejection letters, but he never gave up. “I kept faith and a positive attitude during my several applications. I was confident of a silver lining simmering through the dark clouds. Thankfully, my friend told me about the ALX Accelerator programme. I spent a whole night on their website, and I was thrilled by the several courses available to learners. The learning platform looked simplified yet contemporary, the fellowship looked active and energetic, and the reviews were great. I applied for the Remote Software Engineering program.”

Daniel is a current ALX SE learner while pursuing his undergraduate studies at the University of Lagos Akoka. Since he was admitted to the ALX programme, he has been exposed to skills beyond hard-core tech skills. He is learning soft skills that are improving his taciturn personality and enjoying a transformation into a true leader. “At ALX SE, I learned, and I am still learning lot of skills, such as Problem-Solving Skills, Critical Thinking, Community Building, Consistency, Commitment, and Discipline, among others,” he said. Thanks to the integrated teaching methods, Daniel is learning to be an assertive, entrepreneurial, responsible, and ethical software engineering expert. “Everything I have learned from the ALX SE program has taught me to be consistently disciplined, open to growth mentally, humbly making connections, with a growth mindset, and ensuring that I maintain my grit as I help others to keep their flames burning too.”

Brimming with the confidence of his life, Daniel has now founded two tech consortiums – Algorithmia SE, a software engineering outfit focused on providing premium solutions to complex engineering problems, and Learnopolia a portfolio project. In addition, he secured a job offer as a System Engineer at a reputable tech company. He attributes this feat to the motivation he secures from the learning community at ALX. “My journey in the tech world has taken a good turn since joining the ALX community.  They encourage you to network and create a strong bond with other learners who inspire you to grow. While learning Backend development, Developer Operations, Technical Writing, Code Efficiency, and testing, I experienced a shift from being a rookie to a problem solver. This was the beginning of Algorithmia SE.”

Today, Daniel is a rising star in his community. He is assembling a team of other young tech enthusiasts from low-income backgrounds to work on his newly found projects.”The most exciting project I am currently working on, while I’m still in the ALX SE program, is the Algorithmia SE. It is an open-source GitHub organization aimed at building ground-breaking solutions to real-world problems, especially for Africa. Currently in its growing stage, we are working on more projects.”

When he is not learning or working on his project, Daniel spends time identifying and educating youths in his community on the need to enroll in the ALX accelerator programme. He boldly discusses how much the programme has influenced him. He advises potential enrollees to be positive as nothing good comes easy. “My learning experience was never smooth. I always had a lot of imposter syndrome, because I constantly compare myself to the prodigies in the tech space. But then, I got to understand that, when you find what works for you, and you make sure that you do not grow alone in the ALX SE program, you will complete the program, and get to infinity and beyond!

From a shy and confused teen, Daniel wears a coat of many colours – he is an employed Systems Engineer, and a tech business owner and seeks to be a full stack Developer, focusing majorly on backend Development, and one day, become a Google Developer Expert too. “I am excited at the limitless possibilities, solutions, and timelines that can be created, by the advent of AI, IoT, and Software Engineering. Africa has such potential, and we’re building the next big global thing!”

•Patience Salami is a tech-driven global marketing and communications leader with extensive experience in international development, telecommunications, FMCG and financial institutions. She holds a postgraduate degree from the Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, and a professional degree and membership of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, United Kingdom.

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