Each month, we sit down with a member of our community to talk about their work, their experience working out of CapitalSquare, and to just generally let the world know how awesome they are.!
This month, our spotlight is on Unwana Essien, front end developer and the brains behind AFixOfTrix.
Who: Unwana Essien
What he does: Front end web development and digital art
Working from CapitalSquare since: June 2017
Hi, Unwana! Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, My name is Unwana Essien. I am a newbie front-end web developer. My greatest passion is creating stuff with computers. That can be anything from graphic design to creating simulation programs. I am interested in the roles VR (virtual reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) will play in web and human interaction.
I graduated from Northland Christian School, Houston in 2008. In 2014, I graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in chemical engineering.
Did you always want to become a developer? What influenced your choice
When I chose a major, I tried to pick the safest option. At that time chemical or petroleum engineering seemed like great choices because the world ran on oil and I was decent at mathematics and chemistry. I went with chemical because it was the broader of the two. Also, my parents are engineers.
After graduating from college I was unable to find a job. So I did some soul searching and asked myself what I would like to do even if I wasn't getting paid for it. In high school, I won awards for computer aided design and digital art. In college, my favorite courses and projects were ones that required computation. I did very well in those areas and they didn't require as much effort as understanding Schrodinger’s cat.
I researched where the all my strong points met and ended up somewhere around software development— at that point my coding journey began. After learning the basics of programming and doing more research, I focused my efforts on web development and have been at it ever since.
How long have you been doing this now?
I have been coding for about a year now. I started learning Java in June 2016. I switched to web development around August 2016. I'm not an expert yet, but I have come a long way. From learning how to print "hello world" in Java, to building complex components with react. I am also part of an international community of people who are learning to code together.
What are your long-term goals (say the next 5 years)?
In the next 5 years, I hope to be a senior developer working on ground breaking projects or running my own start-up.
What has been your biggest lesson as a developer? What would you do differently if you had to start over?
My biggest lesson so far has been that practice leads to perfection. Normally, I prefer to read and study about something before trying it. In web development, however, you learn much faster attempting projects you don’t really know how to achieve and asking a lot of questions. My developer journey has also been a humbling experience in the sense that I've come to realize how much I don't know about the web but also how much the regular person doesn’t know.
Are there any developers whose work you admire locally and outside of Nigeria?
I admire the guys behind Paystack. They were able to identify a huge problem here in Nigeria and create an effective solution. Their technology is top notch, so is their user experience. Their existence proves the potential that lies in the Nigerian tech industry. In my journey as a web developer I hope to be as effective when providing solutions.
Are there any of your works you’re particularly proud of? Why?
My favorite work has got to be giggle-bot. It’s a simple slack bot that when initiated, tells jokes. Its my favorite because it’s the first application I have built with a team.
You can find it here: https://github.com/afixoftrix/giggle-bot
What are you currently working on? Any interesting new projects you’d like to share with us?
I am currently working on an app called HuddleHunt. It’s an airbnb-like project, only difference is we are connecting people to workspaces instead of housing space.
Tell us one fun fact about you 😊
I'm a Chelsea fan.
What do you do for fun? How do you unwind?
Webtoons, YouTube or Hearthstone.
What do you like about CapitalSquare?
CapitalSquare has a really friendly community. I like events that are hosted by CapitalSquare. I find them informative, inspirational, and fun.
What keeps you going when things get challenging?
The fact that I need to be self-sufficient is probably my biggest motivator. I get a high when something I’ve created works. If the world wasn't run by money, that feeling would be enough to keep me motivated. The support of friends and family also keeps me running.
Thank you for your time, Unwana. It's been awesome chatting with you
That's all, folks! You can get in touch with Unwana via:
Website: afixoftrix.com (Work-in-progress)