Inspiring the next generation of IEEE Young Professionals in Nigeria and Africa.
July 25, 2016
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Engr. Abdullateef Aliyu is an IEEE Young Professional and a deeply passionate volunteer who is always looking to inspire others. He recently attended the Programmers Club Seminar at NTN University. We bring you his inspirational speech to other students and young professionals in Nigeria.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to be here today at this boot camp organized by the NTNU Programmers Club of this great university known for innovation and research excellences. Despite short notice, I took this as an honour to address wonderful intellectuals that are here present.

The objectives of this boot camp that focuses on student to build strong foundation on programming, general exposure to digital computing as well as learning basic entrepreneurial skills is highly commendable and  important especially now when the Nigeria economy is badly affected by the global slump in the oil price. Global trends have shown that one of the most credible alternatives to grow the economy is the ICT sector. This is because ICT can sustainably empower youths, create room for innovations, enhance productivity in other sector and create jobs.

Currently, the contribution of ICT to Nigeria’s GDP is about 10.58 percent and this figure can only increase to about 20 percent by 2020 if young intellectuals like you help the government in achieving this figure.

Broadband penetration in our great country is also low, approximately 19.2 Tbps Submarine cable capacities landed in Lagos Nigeria from Europe that include WASC, Main One, GLO-1, ACE and SAT-3 but less than 10% of these total capacity is utilized in Nigeria. This point to the fact that the Nigeria market in ICT is huge with more work to be done for the country to become one of the biggest markets globally. Furthermore, it implies that there is more work to be done by all branches of engineering. From the civil and structural engineer that design and implement desired infrastructure, to the network engineer that ensure quality of service is delivered to consumer, to the coding genius that ensure that Interoperability  platform between various institutes work seamlessly and to the regulatory body that ensures fair playing ground for all participant.

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Recently, Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic venture led a $24 Million investment in Adela, a start-up that recruits and trains software engineers in Nigeria for global IT giants like Google and Microsoft. This also indicates that there are opportunities for youth in the ICT world. With knowledge acquired from this boot camp and hard work, it is certain that we are taking the gradual steps in the right direction. I hereby urge all participants to stay focus and seek clarifications on complex issues, who knows, the next Mark Zuckerberg may just be here in this room.

As a young intellect of this great university with interest in programming, I will like to share with you few advantages of choosing a career in software engineering:

  1. The pay is comparably high in most countries. In Google for example, a programmer can earn the high end which is about $550K salary, $100K in cash bonus and $200K in stocks, so about $850K per year. Senior software engineers at Google make an average total compensation of $210K, this is really huge
  2. Acquired Skills are Transferable. Programming languages are universal, irrespective of the country, place of work ones and Zeros translation are same.  You can move company, country or even field, and still have the necessary skills to find a good job.
  3. You can work anywhere. Working from home is a dream for most, but as a programmer you can do much more that just working from home. You can be on the go travelling various countries and can still work efficiently. All that is required is the personal computer and internet connection to work.
  4. Comfort in Work Environment. If you don’t end up working from home, then at least with a job in IT you will always have a comfortable working environment
  5. Constant learning curve. Working in the IT industry requires constant innovation, thus, difficult to master your field as a lot of invention happens daily. Working as a software developer means that you have to always add to your knowledge

Logistics are trivial:

  1. Product(s) can be shipped over the Internet
  2. You customers can be in any country
  • Teams can work remotely
  1. Only a computer is required to work with
  2. Warehousing is not required
  3. Complex supply chain is not required
  • Software are not goods that might rot

While time is of the essence, I strongly recommend the following:

Explore the SNS Space: You all should explore the SNS spaces to collaborate with peers of similar interest in the field of engineering. IEEE Collabratec can be of help as it is an integrated online community where technology professionals can network, collaborate, and create—all in one central hub.

Formation of IEEE Student Branch: IEEE- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. is the world’s largest technical professional association for electrical engineering, computing and communication technology professionals. IEEE started 130 years ago in US, today IEEE has spread to 160 countries of the world with over 425,000 technology and engineering professionals united by a common desire to continuously learn, interact, collaborate, and innovate .

Subscribe and maximize the use of IEEE Explore: IEEE Xplore digital library provides access to IEEE journals, transactions, letters, magazines and conference proceedings, IET journals and conference proceedings, IEEE Standards and IEEE educational courses. IEEE technical publication still remains the most cited.

Take advantages of IEEE Awards and Contest in the IEEE: as a student member you can be winner of any of the following:

  1. IEEE Student Paper Contest ($800, trip) – http://ieeer8.org/category/student-activities/awards-and-contests/student-paper-contest/
  2. IEEE Xtreme 24-Hr Programming Contest (Oct, trips,iPad) –http://ieee.org/membership_services/membership/students/competitions/xtreme/index.html
  3. Scholarships, Grants and Fellowships (up to $24,000) –http://www.ieee.org/membership_services/membership/students/awards/index.html#sect1
  4. IEEE Student Web Site Contest (April 22, $1000) – http://www.ieeer8.org/student-activities/deadline-for-ieee-student-web-site-contest/
  5. And others

Be an expert with Computer.org: As a member of IEEE computer society, you have access to free resources and professional development is made easy asCertification programsonline training with books,courses & videoswebinars, and conferences, that will help you gain the competitive advantage you need to set you apart from the competitor are provided.

Design based on user requirement: user feel much more comfortable with less is more concept. Software product with ease of navigation, affordance attribute and beautiful design without performed poorly design and difficult to navigate software in market. The knowledge of interaction design (IxD) is very vital for designers as it help with creating physical (non-digital) products, covering the ideology of how a user may interact with products.

Finally permit me to close with these Quotes:

Always dream big and prepare yourself for the bigger picture-anonymous

It always seems impossible until it’s done- Nelson Mandela

 

About Abdullateef

Abdullateef has over a decade of experience working in information technology (IT) /Telecommunication industry focusing on providing broadband services to the urban and rural areas in Nigeria and across West Africa; he currently heads the infrastructure roll-out and deployment department in Phase 3 telecom. Abdullateef is an experienced Project Management Professional (PMP) from Project Management Institute with a B.Eng. (Electrical Engineering) from Bayero University Kano, a Master of information and communication technology from Northern University of Malaysia, and a certified Business analysis professional. He comes with competence and hands-on experience spanning network operations management, process re-engineering, project/program management, service assurance, technical leadership that include and not limited to GPON, fiber optics deployment for terrestrial and Aerial, DWDM, Microwave, Broadband and IP/MPLS. Previous positions held includes Head, Enterprise department, Regional head of Operation at Suburban System, Manager of business solutions at Suburban Systems, and Research assistant at SerindIT Malaysia. As part of professional development, he acquired Diploma in Telecommunication Management from U.S. Telecommunication Training Institute (USTTI), a Diploma in Managing effectively in a changing telecommunication environment from Atlas institute, CU, boulder, U.S.A, and Six Sigma –White, Yellow and Green Belt. Abdullateef is a member of PMI, IEEE, NIEEE, NSE, NIM, and COREN.

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