Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Every week I interview leading developers in the tech ecosystem and share their stories and advice in tech.

Please share with friends and communities if you find this interview helpful.

Today we will be having Paul Stephen Edache as our guest.

Please Can you please tell us a little about yourself?

Firstly I will like to say a big thank you to Alhassan Joshua for nurturing a platform like this, and your impact in building a community for developers in Lokoja. I am Paul Stephen Edache popularly called 'Counselor Stephen.' I am a full-stack cross-platform developer, an avid greenhorn who is passionate about building a deciphering problems with code. for more: counsellerdev.com

What's your favorite music and who is your favorite artist? In the world of harmonious and tuneful melodies, i have fallen in love with the gaiter Vocal brand. While growing up, my settings banned me from listening to secular songs, I am not saying it's terrible listening to one. These settings have incited a whole lot of ravages in my entire existence, let me crack this as a joke. I don't know song grouping or classification, whether it's R&B, Blues or Reggae except when told. But that is not an expensive travesty. Oh! Gaiter Vocal Band: That's a full band of singers with mellifluous songsters. They've been my favorite till date.

What are your hobbies?

Aside from programming, My love for mother earth made me unearth pleasure in exploring my environs (Travelling). I love surfing the web most times, looking our for new opportunities and giving training to men-tees. Deep affection grew up in reading narratives; i'm becoming more immersed at reviving my writing skills.

However, I am bad at watching and keeping tracks of movies, playing tournaments, engaging in sports activities.

Do you have a mentor in Tech?

While i stood to lay a foundation in tech, an overwhelming impression of meeting the right mentor grieves me. So i decided to take anyone who corrects or debug each bug found on my code as a mentor. This is to help me deepen my understanding of what i'm developing or writing. However, as the adventure went on and on.. I came across the ICT DG of Plateau State (Daser David) who runs a hub. The first technological hub in the northern part of the country. In Tech, he's my mentor.

When and how did you get started into programming?

I got to discern my artery into programming while in 'CSC 102' class ostensibly 2016/2017. My lecturer asked a question regarding algorithms implementation in visual basics, which i stood up to answer. My lecturer was shocked afterwards and requested the class to give me around of applause. BOOM!!! i started feeling like a tech geek. I went further to flip through the course so that i can fulfill the request of taking a tutorial class during our free moment.

But before now in 2013, after my Junior WAEC (West African Examination Counsel), i told my dad i want to learn computer, and he enrolled me in a computer business center where they do evidently nothing relating to programming or teaching of algorithms.

What tools or technology gave you a tough time learning?

Microsoft Azure and Heroku gave me tough times, especially when my program gets to the deployment phase.

What first website/app (product) did you build, how long did it take you, and how did you achieve it? The first Project i ever built and showcase happily was the 'Human Resource Management System' in 2017. A project assigned to group 8 students on CSC312 &CSC315 by Mr. Ogbuju. This project took me a few days ti develop because aside demos and some dirty works, i was able to achieve this through the demos I've played around with earlier.

The first time I saw you speak publicly was at a meetup organized by 'Nigeria Association of Computer Science' in lokoja. How and when did you venture into public speaking?

Public speaking has been part of me precisely from my boyhood stage. At the early stance of my life in the church, where i lead my mates in the children church into singing choruses and studying the scriptures. My parents gave me room to express myself both at home (Devotions) and in public (Evangelism). These were tremendous challenges for me as i had battled through adolescence with a speech deficiency.

Similarly, I have been facing the crowd all through my days of pedagogy. During my primary school days, I was the Assistant head boy. Came to be social prefect in my early years in college, and while I was about rounding up, I was made the college head boy. These duties gave me confidence without having to be shy to stand on existing protocols in the society.

In your journey in Tech, has anyone ever made you feel inferior or unqualified most especially when in the midst of 'Gurus'(Professionals)?

Inferior, Yeah! Most times, i inflict myself with feelings of this kind. At the early stage of this development, lots of people made mockeries with my missteps. Then I began to appreciate them for whatever treat I occurred to confer. These actions boosted my illiterate spirit into doing research and trying new technological inventions.

At what point did you feel you were job ready in your journey in Tech?

During my internship, i worked on some personal front-end projects, which i pitched to my instructors. There was a disproportionate show of exuberance amidst them at that moment, i started feeling like a nerd. With this little feats, I was given a project to work on, this was to circumvent my efforts to act smartly while taking up a project. The project lasted for about a month. took me nights and days to maintain the greenery as that was a priority. At first i was asked to design the UI which i did using 'Figma' (a web app used for design). Then boom! i was told to write tech front-end code, as if that wasn't enough I was notified that building it's back-end alongside will be a whole a lot of stack, so i had to do it. I wasn't an expert then, but taking up this challenge boost my morale.

What's your favorite quote? My favorite quote is 'In whatsoever thing you do, try to make the world a better place than you met it'.

What advice do you have for beginners and even those who want to venture into tech?

Beginners don't have to fret or worry. Get on your feet, purposefully build your vitality, your locomotive spirit should be fed on daily. If you don't do this, procrastination will catch up with you before you could realize it the energy, time and resources you planned to invest in your coding skills will all be lost. However, it will interest me to let you know that these coding skills are not in the hands of anyone. It's in your hands, you have the few resources at your disposal to learn with. Don't wait until you purchase an 'Apple Laptop' and installing and the right and useful environment before you start. There should be this inner anger in you that ginger you to do further research about your field. Furthermore, don't run away from someone who wants to mentor you.

This series 'Standing on the shoulder of Giants' is all about talking to the awesome leading developers in tech. it is tasked with the goal that developers especially the "newbies" will come to know that the difficult and challenging experiences they face is not peculiar or unique to them alone, and that every leading developer you look up to and aspire to be like at some point started just like you. If determination and hard work can get them there, you can also get there. Also, bringing leading developers close to newbies and bridging the gap between leading senior developers and those just starting out in Tech through their stories.

Did you find Paul Stephen Edache's story helpful and inspiring? write down your thoughts in the comment section below and don't forget to share this interview.

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