As technology accelerates, its ability to uplift many young people and society, in general, grows daily. Software Engineering can be the key to unlocking the potential of our technological age for personal development and the social good. How you may ask? Meet Stella Waithera – in today’s blog post she shares her journey from learning how to code, working on world-class projects, and her passion for social impact, and how she leverages her skills to solve problems facing our continent today. Enjoy the read!
Name – Stella Waithera
Job Title – Founder and digital skills trainer
Company – AfricanTechGirl Organization
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a multi-faceted woman in tech I say this because I double up as a Software Developer, Digital Skills Instructor, and Philanthropist. I’m 29 years old and I live in Kiambu, Nairobi Kenya. For a living, I work as the Founder and digital skills trainer at AfricanTechGirl Org – where we impart programming skills to children and teenagers. I also work as a consultant software developer at Kayana Create.
What do you do at your place of work?
At AfricanTechGirl I create systems and curricula that empower and educate the African child with skills in STEM from the age of 7 -17 years. At Kayana I build software solutions that serve business needs.
What made you consider a Software Engineering Course at Moringa?
It was a combination of initiatives I had already started on my own as well as a recommendation from a friend. Before joining Moringa I was pursuing a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science at JKUAT and I had done some online courses in programming by Andela. A good friend who was a student at that time in Moringa urged me to consider applying as a MasterCard Scholarship participant in Moringa school like she had and that was my introduction to Software Engineering and Moringa school.
How was your experience at Moringa?
It was awesome. It changed my life for the better in areas such as how I manage my time, my mentality, how I handle challenges, how I learn, how I ask for support, and most importantly, how I practice grit.
How was the learning model from what you had been exposed to?
It was revolutionary and practical which I appreciated. I also learned how to learn. Since then I have upskilled in various skills successfully and effectively. I am actually about to start my Masters soon and that learning model played a major role in getting me here.
How has your career trajectory been since you completed your training?
I started my career two months after I joined Moringa. Because of the Mastercard Scholarship, I was able to focus on learning and it was at a time when schools were on lockdown due to Covid-19. Moringa had swiftly incorporated remote learning and as I was upskilling, many students across the country lacked such an opportunity. I then thought of how I could give back to the community and that’s when I started training programming for individuals aged 7 – 17 years online. I was able to successfully train 50 kids from different parts of Africa such as Ghana, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe in the first open call. With that, AfricanTechGirl came into being. In my Software Engineering journey, I have worked with a global team in Dubai and now I’m working in Kenya as a developer at Kayana Create. My next goal is to learn and incorporate Data Science. In conclusion, my career trajectory has been growing in different tech skills through upskilling and practice.
How did Moringa help you in getting into your career?
What advice would you give anyone who wants to join or transition to tech?
Tech has amazing opportunities that require consistent effort and time to become excellent. It is helpful to find a community and a network of developers you can learn from and grow with since this journey can be isolating. Lastly, find activities that make you feel alive and mentally refreshed since tech uses up a lot of your brainpower.
Apart from coding, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy nature walks, being around my friends, and spending time with my mother.
Are you open to tech mentorship? How can one reach you?