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I caught up with Kolawole Taiwo,  the Operations Coordinator at MSN Academy. He tells me what the future holds for the software development industry.
MSN Academy provides. innovative, cutting-edge technological training for Nigerians who are passionate about building a career in Software Development.
1. What are your thoughts about software development in Nigeria?
The Software Development industry in Nigeria has grown over time. As far as I could remember, acquiring the skills weren’t as easy as it is now. Constant power supply and internet access were expensive commodities which were not easily accessible but now there are hubs which provide internet facility where a community of developers and engineers meet and collaborate either for free or at a very affordable fee. I think the situation has quite improved generally.
2. What would be your advice for someone who wants to become a software developer?
Software Development or any other tech or I.T related professions do not require a special skill to learn. What I do tell people is that passion will constantly get you to seek new knowledge and be committed by heart and mind. While passion will drive you to learn a skill, you need to be motivated and committed. The commitment will keep you going when everything else fails. People can either be intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. Whichever it is, something must drive you. So yes, you need three things to excel; Passion, Motivation, and Commitment.
In addition to those, you also need to find a mentor or a community of aspiring Software Developers or even professionals who can guide you.
3. Do you think there is a shortage of developers in Nigeria? if yes’ what are the reasons?
There is a shortage of developers in Nigeria. The cause spans from inadequately equipped training institutions to the inability to access contents and materials and also a community to collaborate with.
4. What are you doing about this? Do you have an academy for software developers?
In 2016, we saw that there was dearth of skills among Nigerians most especially the graduates and students. In Nigeria, there is a myth that one can only be successful until you go to university. While there are people who are successful as graduates, the labor market is currently saturated and a bunch of university or higher institution students don’t either know why they are there and are there because their parents want them to.
In 2014, Mrs. Okonjo Iweala mentioned that 1.8 million Nigerian graduates enter into the job market yearly and this is expected to increase in coming years. Sahara reporters in a survey say that 45% of Nigerian graduates are unemployed and that there is a need to ramp up training institutions.
We have an Academy where we provide innovative cutting-edge technological training for Nigerians who are passionate about building a career in Software Development.
The Academy is a combination of a Bootcamp, Community, and Hub.
5. How does this Software Academy run?
The Academy is a 4-months full-time intensive commitment which is designed to turn Nigerians who are passionate about building a career in Software Developer into world-class solutions providers.
Our vision is to change Nigeria, through technology one innovation at a time. Our mission is to make building a career in Software Development affordable thereby bringing up innovators and creating opportunities through the genius that we breed.
At the Academy, Students gets to learn any programming language they want, get mentored by seasoned professionals; our mentors have more than 2 years experience as Software Developers and Engineers and have to build cool stuff to show for it. They also get to build projects that solve a problem in the society and also learn soft skills.
We believe that a combination of technical and soft skills and our core values makes our students world-class solutions providers. Our Core Values are Passion, Innovation, Integrity, and Teamwork.
Upon programme completion, our students must have contributed to an open source project, built a project that solves a problem in the society, pass an external assessment before you can be certified.
Students will be awarded a certificate of programme completion and also a recommendation letter recommending them for work in any company.
At the Academy, we provide a serene and conducive environment for learning and collaboration. We provide unlimited wireless internet access to students for conducting research and honing their skills. The Academy can be used for organizing meetups and events.
We are currently accepting applications and the application closes on Sunday, June 17, 2018. Visit www.msnacad.com/apply to apply. The application is open to everyone and we do not have any qualification requirements.
6. Your final words for the government. Are they not doing what they are supposed to be doing to enhance software development in Nigeria?
We need to start changing the narrative from what the government can do to what we can do to change the society around us. Obviously, the government has failed us.
We started the Academy to change Nigeria leveraging technology. The Government can help by providing an enabling environment for tech startups and constant power supply. Laws that are favorable to investors will also go a long way in attracting investors into the country.

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