MY FIRST SLICE OF THE TECH PIE
My journey as a Techie started in the “manger” of Ampersand Technologies Limited. This may not seem as a big deal to you but as a newbie in those days I was eager-almost impatient to know how to apply my coding skills. More so, I wanted to be a part of this tech family. It was my second experience as an intern in a reputable company but the first internship in a tech company. I instantly fell in love with the structure of coding and learnt new things as well. I can tell you for a fact that tech isn’t just about coding. It involves a whole lot and includes basic things we least consider in our day to day lives.
Ampersand was a year old when I joined in. At that time they had products such as popcorn, wedlocker and car care ,of which the latest product was Car Care. I had the privilege of being part of the startup stages of Car Care. Car Care is an app built to make life easier for car users. It is an app that helps you access mechanic services, drivers license and car insurance all in the comfort of your home or office without the struggle of going to the various companies to get them.
The company was being housed in the MEST incubator at East-Legon in those days. The founders were trained and nurtured at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST). The team consisted of four persons who are the co-founders, and I was the fifth (intern; and the first intern); today ampersand has a growing number of teammates. The CEO in the person of Lady Omega, CTO-Joel Armah, CPO-Drew and CMO-Godwin Abenbire, which I favouritely called them uncles. Ampersand is a Software company that is committed to changing society through technology by building products that improve behaviors and encourage efficiency.
My basic expectation was to learn how to just code and produce a website but I ended up learning more to codes than just website knowledge and being equipped with managerial tools to handle such establishments’. My first month began with Lady Omega introducing me to a planned guide on the activities I would undertake during the internship period. The activities included refresher knowledge courses on HTML, Java Script and some CSS languages using codecademy. Lady Omega also taught me the ins and outs of the topic IDEATION; which involves entrepreneurs writing down proposals on problems identified, solutions (immediate and future) and how beneficial it is to entrepreneurs and society. I had series of assignments on that topic and did a presentation at the end of the month on that topic. I was also tasked to make a long data collection list on cars and their brands and specs to refresh the system concerning car care app as well as data on insurance. During the rest of the internship period, I had the opportunity to follow Lady Omega to client meetings, visit banks to make transactions on behalf of ampersand and visited other government authority organisations like GRA and SSNIT.
The most exciting times for me was when we had the opportunity to go out to tech fairs to market and pitch about Car Care. In these times, I had to learn a lot and equip myself especially with the knowledge of car care. I learnt a lot about the use of social media as well as other management activities. Our first tech fair was at the Accra International conference center. The program was a mobile and ICT expo held annually. The theme for the year we attended (2016) was DIGITAL ECONOMY, UNTAPPED RESOURCE FOR ACCELERATED ECONOMIC GROWTH. This event was an interesting one for me I learnt the pros and cons of social media during this event and also learnt how to market a product as an exhibitor.
Another event that gave us the opportunity to pitch car care was another exhibition in Adenta. This was also mind blowing experience in pitching car care to others.
My first slice of the tech pie was an interesting one. I can say for a fact today that all these activities and encounters had an impact in my life and I am happy to say my dream of learning how to code became a reality. Lady Omega mentored me in so many ways. Being with Ampersand has set me on the path of self-discovery and has boosted my ego to achieve what I aim in achieving. I pray that as God gives us more years to come there would be much greater impact in the tech pie for everyone to have a share and be full.