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How to learn programming in Nigeria

Learn programming in Nigeria

Do you intend to learn programming in Nigeria, but you don’t know where to start from.  Well, worry no more. In this post, I’m going to reveal to you all the important information you need to know to learn programming in Nigeria. You’ll get to know the basics of programming, the different jobs available for programmers, few of the most popular languages to learn and where you can learn them in Nigeria.

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First, let’s start off by explaining what a computer programmer does. 

A programmer is someone who writes code that tells a computer or some other device what to do.

As a computer programmer, basically, you’re telling a computer how to do something. It’s either you’re creating something based on someone else’s design or you’re designing your own programs or software.

This video explains it better.

I am not a programmer but I have some basic knowledge of what it entails. I have friends who are programmers and I know how serious minded they always are whenever they are coding. 

You, no doubt, might have heard that programming can be quite hard to learn and intimidating. That’s true, I’m not going to lie. Yet, you probably still decided you want to learn this fascinating skill. And I can assure you that you made a great choice to learn programming in Nigeria.

Why did I say that?

Because programmers are paid well in Nigeria. Take software developers for example. In a recently conducted survey by techpoint.africa, about 52% earn between ₦150,000 – ₦500,000 per month while 39% earn below ₦150,000 monthly. That’s not all. 

In Andela, an African company that trains Africans to become world class software developers, a software developer receives from ₦2.95 million to ₦3.21 million per year. That’s a very remarkable sum of money if you ask me. And that can give you some motivation to become a programmer in Nigeria.  

So what and what is involved in learning programming in Nigeria. Let’s get to it. 

How to learn programming in Nigeria

There are some things to know before learning programming in Nigeria. Learning to code is not an easy task. In fact, it requires a major commitment and determination to learn it and be competent at it. So first, you have to understand why you want to learn programming, what field you want to go into and what type of programming languages you want to learn. 

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There is an increasing number of people that want to learn programming in Nigeria every year. So many youths are getting involved in digital marketing and stuffs that require coding (e.g web development) these days and it is a good thing. 

Step 1: Why you want to learn Programming

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So the first and foremost step is to sit down and think deeply. Ask yourself ‘ Why do I really want to learn programming?’ If you have a firm reason for your choice to learn the skill, then it can go a long way in keeping you focused towards your goal to learn programming in Nigeria.

Having a vivid reason for learning programming in Nigeria is important because it’s a factor that helps to determine the type of programming language that’s right for you to learn. Do you want to learn programming because it’s a pretty cool skill with a huge demand in Nigeria? Do you intend to turn it into a career. Or you have an idea or project you want to bring to life? You’ve got to have an answer. 

Step 2: What field you want to go into

There are various types of programming, you can choose to learn. It all depends on the type of programmer you want to be. Below are the main types of programmers you can find anywhere

Software Programmers 

The definition is simple. Software programmers are responsible for creating software. So if you become a software programmer, you’re basically going to be creating software through coding.

Mobile App developer

There’s no phone in the world today that doesn’t have a mobile app. Infact, the demand for mobile apps will continue to increase. A mobile developer creates software for mobile devices and technology in general. It can be for Android, Apple or Windows products. 

Web developer

A web developer is a programmer who specializes in the development of World Wide Web applications using a client–server model. Through coding, they can take a web design – which has been created by either a client or a designer – and turn it into a website. 

There are still other types of programming jobs out there. It’s not just limited to the three I mentioned above. 

Step 3: What type of programming languages you want to learn

I believe by now you’ve decided on why you really want to learn programming and the type of programmer you want to be. The next step is to know the programming languages relevant to the programming job you want to do and learn them. For example, if you intend to become a mobile app programmer in Nigeria, then you have to start with learning Java or Swift. 

There are up to 7 popular programming languages. However, I’ll list and explain the major ones. 

Python

If you intend to become a software developer, then Python is a good choice of programming language to learn. Python is one of the most flexible and popular programming languages in the world. And in case you don’t know, Python is also used in some emerging technologies like artificial intelligence.

CSS/HTML

HTML and CSS are good choice of programming language for front-end web development. A front end developer is someone who works on a website specifically the side that you see when you come to that website. These two amazing languages are used together to create engaging, well designed web pages. 

Java

Java is another flexible and popular language in the world. It is best suited for you if you want to learn programming in Nigeria. It is quite simple to learn, it reads like English, and it is a favorite among beginners. It is used for everything from Android mobile app development to back-end web app development.

JavaScript

This is a good choice if you intend to be a web app developer. Like  HTML and CSS, it’s also used in front end web development. That’s not all. JavaScript is also implemented in robotics. If you really want to go in depth into programming, then it’s important you include javaScript among the programming languages you learn. 

Some other programming languages you can learn are swift, solidity and ruby. 

Where to learn programming in Nigeria

Andela

Andela is an african company that develops and trains Africans to become software developers. In Andela, you get paid while you’re learning computer programming. That;s very interesting. But that’s not all.

You can be accepted to learn programming in Andela even if you have no prior knowledge of programming. This is how it works. To enable first time applicants come to terms with software programming, they are offered a home study course that helps them understand the basics of it. 

The duration of stay in Andela is 4 years. The cost of training ($15,000) and it takes 2 years to pay back, so if you intend to leave before 2 years is up, a contract is drawn up to deduct the balance. If you leave after 18 months you only owe 1/4th and after 2 years (24 months), you owe nothing and are free to go.

Switch

Like Andela, Switch trains people to be programmers. What makes them different from Andela is that their training which is called the Switch fellowship runs for 1 year and 3 months — 3 months of intensive training. After that, a 12-month placement in companies where fellows further their skills and build portfolios while getting paid.

Unlike Andela, the Switch fellowship is meant for people who have a considerable knowledge of coding. Also, Admission into the Switch Academy for the 3-month intensive training is free, you only have to be smart and be able to show you have good basic knowledge of coding.

Projaro

If you base in Abuja, then you should make an effort to visit Projaro. Projaro is a startup located in Abuja that recruits and trains software engineers to become “world class” in their first year through projects, tutorials, webinars and workshops. They also admit applicants with a basic knowledge of programming.

The selection criteria after application involved successful applicants passing through a week-long boot camp which will be the final decider.

Moat Academy

In Lagos, you’ll find the Most Academy. Moat Academy train developers to inculcate globally acceptable best practices.

The training period is short; a 10-week intensive bootcamp which involves project-based tutorials. However, Participants have to work 7 straight hours everyday and devote to an extra 4 hours at home.

Sevocoder

Sevcoder is an initiative of nHub and located in Jos. The initiative is mainly targeted at secondary school students and enrols its applicants solely from secondary schools in Jos. Sevcoder teaches children and young adults how to code and aims to produce 2,000 developers from Plateau state in a few years time. 

If you’re interested in Sevocoder, contact nHub.

Self learning

So I’ve listed 5 places one can learn programming in Nigeria but one discouraging factor about them is that most of them exempt people who want to learn programming without any prior knowledge. This means that if you don’t have good prior knowledge of any programming language, you might not be selected. So what can you do if you fall into this category. You simply have to learn the basics on your own.

Don’t be surprised. You really can learn on your own without leaving the comfort of your home or paying any money to anyone. You only need a computer (preferably a laptop) and an internet connection

You can learn basic programming from these sites;

W3 Schools

Udemy

Codeacademy

Khan Academy

Udacity

Be Patient and practice a lot

I’m gonna say it again; learning programming in Nigeria isn’t easy, but it is achievable, only if you give yourself time and put more effort to practice what you learn. You have to practice a lot

That’s right but don’t panic, I’ve got you covered here on what you need to do to actualize your goal to learn programming in Nigeria. So this is how you gonna do it. You’ve got to practice writing codes from the day you start learning. First step is to download a code editor. Whatever you learn, practice it by writing some of those codes yourself. Devote some time in doing this daily. Practice is the Key.

Yet, it’s important you have this in mind. Focus on one language at a time. Finish learning one, practice more on it before moving to another programming language. 

Conclusion

That’s it. I’m confident by now you you know everything you need to learn programming in Nigeria. 

It’s never dependent on age. Whether you’re 18, 25 or even 40, if your focused, consistent and practice what you learn, nothing stops you from learning programming.

So, don’t waste any more time. Kickstart the process to learn programming in Nigeria.

 

 

About the Author: Johnson Ndubuisi

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