I wrote my first software in 1988. I was 12 and had just been gifted a programmable calculator by a benevolent guy who was dating one of my sisters. The trusty TI-82 calculator provided my first incursion into the tech world. I spent countless sleepless nights exploring the wonders and mysteries of this computing powerhouse with an incredible 28KB RAM (yes, 28KB) and an unbelievably smooth FORTRAN interpreter.
Let me backtrack a little bit. I was a young kid in a really small town in Southwest Nigeria. We had a total of one TV station that only operated between 4:30 pm and 10 pm, and didn’t even have a local library. I had obviously never seen a computer prior to the arrival of this glorious TI-82.
I quickly fell in love with its graphing abilities. I drew and redrew sine curves, binomial distributions, and polynomial functions. Graphing was fun until I discovered that this computing marvel could also develop fully functional programs. And I was pleasantly surprised to find that its operating manual included basic programming lessons which I used to learn TI-BASIC and FORTRAN.
My first project was the game Tic-Tac-Toe. It was implemented with a series of if-then-else loops and accepted “1” and “3” as inputs since I didn’t know how to converts strings (X and O) to numbers for the win/lose computations.
That calculator eventually stopped working and with it went my access to computers. I ended up studying mechanical engineering in college and have gone on to work in consulting, advertising, and finance.
But I retained my love for technology and continued to code occasionally despite my busy schedule.
About two years ago, I started a tech development firm in Lagos, Nigeria. We took projects from clients across the world and built technology that has been used and deployed in Europe, North America and across Africa.
Sometime last year, we got into the Microsoft BizSpark program (https://bizspark.microsoft.com/) and started specializing in the .NET framework. We became a .NET dev firm but have recently started exploring Python/Django.
In the process of developing software for global businesses, we have developed tech competencies that are at par with the rest of the world. We have also developed enterprise-level security protocols, UI/UX skills, and market sensitivities that have prepared us to build our own products.
Earlier this year, we transition to a mono-product software startup with global aspirations. We focused on building, testing, and implementing our own flagship product targetted at the global enterprise market.
We know the enterprise market and have built a product that we believe will change strategy implementation forever. We will launch our flagship product shortly and hope to rewrite the template for African startups.