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Employee Spotlight: Okungbowa Godspower on his journey from janitor to a Frontend Developer in training

5 Mins read

Behind every great company, are even greater people.

At Cowrywise, we believe in this philosophy – which drives our people strategy and our ambition to democratize access to investment opportunities. This philosophy and mission has remained unchanged over the years and guided how we employ, engage, and empower our people through an intentional people and culture policy.

In 2022, LinkedIn named us one of the best startups to work with – consistent with our drive to build the best place to work. Our people and culture policy is layered with guides that encourage employees to pursue other interests, personal and career development strategies, and other benefits. Across the Engineering, Design, Growth, Customer Experience, Data, Product, and other essential personnel, we understand the intersection between our people and our mission and we have built our people strategy to empower them for life at Cowrywise and beyond.

We had a chat with Godspower, ‘GP’ as he’s fondly called. He joined us in 2020 as a janitor and has since then, picked up an interest in Frontend engineering, focusing on learning JavaScript and React, while pursuing a degree in Business Administration at the University of Lagos.

Hello Godspower. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Okungbowa Godspower, but most people call me GP. I joined the facility maintenance team at Cowrywise in 2020. While working here, I started to develop an interest in tech. My interest was fueled by encouragement from members of staff here at Cowrywise, and I started to write some bits of code before eventually getting enrolled in a Frontend Development course at ALX in 2023.

What’s your role at Cowrywise? And what part of our mission do you connect with? 💙

Officially, I’m on the facilities maintenance team where I am saddled to keep things clean and running smoothly. The Cowrywise mission of empowering people to take charge of their finances, and also democratize wealth are the parts that resonate with me the most. I strongly believe in the overall vision of the company, and how technology can play a big role in helping people reach their financial goals.

What is your day-to-day like?

My days are usually pretty busy! Every morning, I fulfill my responsibilities of ensuring that the office is clean and ready to take in employees for work engagements and also ensuring that I am available throughout work hours for any tasks I need to handle. 

In my free time, I dedicate a few hours to learning to write code. It’s been challenging but definitely rewarding!

Based on your role, do you ever feel left out?

Not at all! Regardless of the team you work with, or your function at Cowrywise, it has been very evident that everyone is and has always been on the same page. We all share the goal of helping the company succeed, and there’s a lot of accord for different people’s talents and interests.

How has working at Cowrywise inspired you? What kind of resources have you taken advantage of within the company?

The people at Cowrywise have been very inspiring! I have been here for about four years now. In all of these years, I have seen these people grow, (career-wise, financially, family-wise, etc), opening my eyes to what’s possible with having a decent career as theirs, I’m grateful for this exposure, and discovery through Cowrywise.

I’m so grateful for the access, support, and mentorship I receive from Senior Engineers at the Company! 😃

What inspired you to venture into Frontend engineering?

The engineers at Cowrywise truly inspired me. Their passion and success motivated me to pursue a career in Frontend Engineering. The field itself is exciting and offers a lot of opportunities for growth and development. 💯

What tools are you familiar with?

At the moment, I’m focusing on the core frontend development tools like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I’m also getting comfortable with frameworks like React to build user interfaces. I’m also exploring tools like (Git) for version control.

How long did this take you to learn?

Honestly, it’s an ongoing process. Software Engineering is a vast field, and there’s always something new to learn. But I’ve been making steady progress. There are days when it feels like everything is clicking, and others when I feel a bit lost. 😂 The key is to stay persistent and not get discouraged.

How did you feel when you wrote your first line of code?

I never saw this question coming, but yeah, I felt like a mini-god 😂. My heart was filled with so much joy.

Do you ever feel like the odds are stacked against you? And how do you motivate yourself to overcome such challenges?

Well, there have been challenges. Learning to write code can be tough, especially when you’re doing this alongside other responsibilities. Sometimes you hit roadblocks and it feels like you’re not making any progress. On days like this, I take a deep breath and I remind myself of my goals. I think about the impact I want to make, and that rekindles my motivation. The supportive environment here at Cowrywise helps a lot too. Knowing that there are people who believe in me and want to see me succeed has also been another source of motivation and encouragement.

Did the company think your interests would distract you from your core role?

Not at all. In fact, the company gifted me my very first laptop when I started to write code, which has been of great help to my pursuit of knowledge. Talk about a great perk! 👌🏼

How has Cowrywise helped you advance your pursuits?

As I mentioned earlier, Cowrywise’s support has been incredible. I have been provided with access to free internet, as much as I need, which saved me a ton of money while learning. This allowed me to focus on my studies without worrying about additional expenses.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In five years, I see myself as a confident, knowledgeable, and very skilled Frontend Engineer, ideally contributing to Cowrywise’s success as a part of the Engineering team. 💙

What’s the best advice you can give someone looking to get into tech, regardless of their current role?

The best advice I can give is; to first identify what part of tech suits you best, identify your strengths, double down on your choice of career selection, stay curious, be persistent, and leverage the resources available online. You do not have to become an Engineer to work in tech, find what works best for you! Lastly, do not be discouraged by challenges, celebrate small wins, and find a community of learners for support, like the Cowrywise Campus Ambassadors’ Community.

Cowrywise Ambassadors'

What’s the next step for you?

My next step is to continue expanding my knowledge of Frontend Engineering, by focusing on mastering specific frameworks like React. I’m also looking for opportunities to contribute to open-source projects to gain practical experience. Ultimately, I hope to showcase my skills and transition into a Frontend Engineering role at Cowrywise. 💪🏽

Are you looking to transition to tech? We wrote a guide featuring industry leaders like Akintunde Sultan (HackSultan); Co-Founder of AltSchool Africa, Anoma Moyinoluwa; Data Analyst at Bloomberg LP and Founder of Women in Data Africa, Ibukun Amosu; Tech Influencer and Gift Arku; Product Marketer at Smile ID on the most optimal steps to take to kick off a tech career.

Click this link to download the guide


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