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  • Writer's pictureThiago Assuncao de Faria

Olawunmi Sanusi - Tech Curious child becomes a Tech Educator

Presenting Olawunmi Sanusi, a Tech Educator whose path is as intricate as the digital landscapes she crafts. From a Nigerian home filled with the buzz of electronics to the vast horizons of Computer Engineering, Olawunmi's early days were marked by a magnetic pull toward technology. This innate spark, amplified by her family's encouragement, carved her journey into the heart of the tech world.

Olawumni sitting on a movie director chair wearing a shirt from her brand "The Tech Oga"
The queen @Olawunmi and her brand "TheTechOga"

Olawunmi unravels her evolution from a tech-curious child to a respected IT Specialist and Tech Educator in her exclusive chat for the Lovelace Series. From her playful experiments with electronics to her strategic prowess in e-commerce management, her ascent is awe-inspiring.

Olawunmi's tale vividly illustrates the tenacity of women in tech, especially in environments where challenges loom large. Her narrative emphasizes the value of mentorship, adaptability, and a quest for knowledge. Whether she's reflecting on her educator role, her encounters with gender dynamics, or her ambitions for "TheTechOga", Olawunmi's perspectives are both refreshing and visionary.

For those contemplating a dive into tech, Olawunmi's wisdom shines brightly: Chart your course, harness the strength of your tribe, and remember that standing tall often means standing on the wisdom of pioneers. Delve into the full interview to journey alongside Olawunmi Sanusi and discover her dreams for a brighter, more inclusive tech future.

Q) Can you share a bit about your background and your current role?

From being a young girl who was very enthusiastic about tech and all it brings, studying Computer Engineering, and being an Electronic engineer briefly.

I’ve now taken a deep dive into the world of digital strategy and e-commerce management, and I’m currently a Tech educator and an IT Specialist.

As a Tech-educator, I teach & guide people on how to be tech-savvy and how to use digital tools for their businesses, organization, and individual productivity.

Q) How did you first become interested in technology, and what led you to your current role?

My interest in tech developed before I even realized it. My Dad was into building & construction, so I grew up having a lot of handy tools around me. This allowed me to get my hands dirty by tearing down old electronics and learning all about electrical connections and house wiring systems. And all these I did for fun as a teenager.

Before I turned 10 years old, my siblings enrolled at an ICT training center for a computer appreciation program, and I always tagged along. Eventually, I became a trainer's favorite, and that's how I learned to use a computer when I was 8 years old, and I fell in love with tech.

I got to practice a lot when we got a computer system at home, and I had my first email address at 10, named after a character in Harry Potter, lol.

My tech career officially kicked off just after I started my study course in Computer Engineering at the University of Benin, Nigeria (this was me following my strong desire to know more about computers).

I stayed back in school during the holidays after my 1st year to start a coding/robotics club, where we built a lot of cool projects. I was so into electronics till my final year when I partnered with my coursemate to design a Head-Gesture-controlled Robotic car.

However, doing hardware consistently in Nigeria became very hard and expensive. I faced some challenges sourcing components & equipment required for projects, and eventually, it was no longer sustainable for me, so I pivoted from Embedded systems engineering to IT.

I became skilled in website design and digital strategy and gained specific IT knowledge, leading to my current IT Specialist and Tech Educator role.

Q) What main challenges have you faced in your career, and how have you overcome them?

One of my biggest challenges has been choosing a niche and letting go of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). I constantly had to deal with this because I was exposed very early to Tech with little or no proper guidance and wanted to learn everything. I am a smart and fast learner, so I quickly mastered every skill I could learn.

Overcoming FOMO wasn't easy, so I asked questions, did research, and sought proper guidance, and this has helped me create a career growth curve and made me pursue "Tech Education".

Another challenge I constantly face is "imposter syndrome". I questioned whether I was skillful enough or had learned enough to implement projects or apply for job roles.

Being the only lady in my tech group back then constantly put me on the edge.

I know this will be a challenge we all face, and it's unavoidable as we grow, but as a woman in tech, knowing there is a gender gap, I've learned that what really matters is know what you can do, know what you can bring to the table, master it, own it and be loud about it, it will eventually silence the fears.

Q) Who or what has been the most significant influence or support in your tech journey?

First of all, my family. If I hadn't been exposed to or didn't have access to the equipment, the ICT training I snuck into because of my siblings, or the computer system at home, I would not have had any interest in tech.

My friends in school- nothing pushes you like having a community of people who love and are passionate about tech. When we talked, I always had someone I could get the right resources from for every learning curve.

Q) How have you seen diversity and inclusion evolve in the tech industry throughout your career?

Oh yes, back in 2017 & 2018, before my final year in school, I could count the number of girls interested in anything tech. A few years later, things are not as they were anymore and have changed drastically for the better.

Many groups and organizations now do a lot of sensitization, training, and scholarships to have more women in the field. For example, GDG (Google Developer Group), Google Digital Skills for Africa, WTM (WomenTechMaker), and AWS Cloud-up for Her are some of the initiatives I and those around me have benefited from. And there are lots more out there.

Olawunmi smiling.

Q) How do you manage the work-life balance in the tech industry?

I've just been able to find what works for me. Sometimes, work is my life. Other times, my life is my life. I've just learned to separate things over time. I know when to take breaks, unwind, and reboot appropriately, and this helps me be more productive.

Q) What skills are most important in today's tech world?

Communication and adaptability are 2 skills I believe are essential for continuous growth and excellence in the tech world.

Communication because tech is about solving problems. If you are in the business of solving problems, you have to talk to people/users to know what they want to provide effective solutions.

Adaptability because the tech space is very fast-paced, it keeps evolving, and new technologies keep coming up. So, you have to learn, unlearn, and relearn constantly.

Q) Can you share a project or accomplishment you consider the most significant in your career?

Helping over 150 people start their careers in tech with guidance has been my most significant accomplishment yet.

And I look forward to doing that for a thousand more!

Q) What are your future goals, and where do you see the tech industry heading in the next few years?

As a Tech educator, I am focusing on my brand, "TheTechOga", a social enterprise set to bridge the digital divide through training and making tech education accessible to almost everyone.

We will have several tech education outreaches for teenagers and young adults from next year, starting with "A Robot for Every Child" followed by other projects.

Q) What advice would you give other women considering a tech career?

Anyone can learn tech and have a career in Tech. Being a woman shouldn't be an excuse. As you start, seek guidance and ask for help. It's easier to get to the top on the shoulders of those who have gone ahead of you.

Just like Sir Isaac Newton said: "If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants".

Q) Let's continue the flow... who would you like to read on the Lovelace Series?

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Martha Ogoh
Martha Ogoh
Sep 20, 2023


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