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6 Things Akah Harvey Wish You Know Before Starting Out As A Mobile App Developer in Cameroon

So you want to be a mobile app developer in Cameroon? Or maybe you are still undecided about your programming career path.

Akah Harvey is here to help. He’s Director of Engineering at SevenGPS and Android App Development Instructor here at Seven Academy.

Akah is also an Udacity Certified Android Developer, 25Under25 Internet Society winner, and an Open-Classrooms Android Mentor just to name a few.

He’s the brain behind VouriInc. Connect with him on LinkedIn here. Twitter: @HarveyAkah

In this post, see the six things Akah wishes you know before starting a career as a developer in Cameroon. 

You don’t want to make the same mistakes he has seen aspiring mobile app developers in Cameroon make. Rather, you want to see how to avoid these common pitfalls and find the fastest path to success.

OK then! Let’s break this down.

6 Mistakes Akah Wish You Avoid as an Aspiring Mobile App Developer in Cameroon

Mistake #1: Not belonging to a community

The Google Developers Group and the Facebook Developer Cycle in Buea and Douala are great tech communities to join. While there, find mentors and be humble as you learn from their experiences. A mentor will help you with career advice, opinions, and more.

Moreover, communities like these will expose you to Tech Events and Hackathons.  

Mistake #2: Trying to learn everything

To have an idea of how broad programming is, check out this Wikipedia page that intends to list all programming languages in existence. That number stands at 700+.

Narrow down your list. Check out this video that makes a detailed visual report of the top 15 languages (2004 - 2019).  

A language or combination of languages or frameworks will dictate your career path: front-end developer, back-end developer, software engineer, database developer, etc. Decide what kind of developer you want to be, then learn all the technologies and skillsets needed for that particular position.

In our Android App program here at Seven Academy, we put a lot of emphasis on JAVA and Kotlin. Kotlin is a great fit for developing Android applications, bringing all of the advantages of a modern language to the Android platform without introducing any new restrictions. 

Mistake #3: Thinking you must have a math or computer science background to get into programming

A computer science or mathematical background is a plus. There are many fundamentals that you’ll easily grasp because of this science background.

However, in your career you’ll find “superstar” programmers from liberal arts and social sciences doing fine in programming.

That’s why I also look for passion and motivation in aspiring developers. Both qualities can bring out potential in people in different ways.

Moreover, a school like Seven Academy is a great developer community to belong to. We encourage collaboration among students. Our school administration supports and promotes student initiatives like that of Awa Donacien

Mistake #4: Not knowing how to ask for help

Even the smartest engineers need help. But how to ask for help is a skill you should develop. Because there’s a right way to ask for help.  Over communicate details that you see. Explain exactly what you think should be happening. Describe exactly what is actually happening. Then give a reason why you think it should be working differently. Do this and you’ll get the best feedback.

Mistake #5 Studying programming like you’re studying for a test

It’s true that during your capstone exams here at Seven Academy, you don’t have access to the internet.

That notwithstanding,  the worst mistake is to study by memorizing code. You really don’t need to. There is Google.

It is better to study smart and not hard. Identify patterns and make sure to write the code. Until you write and run codes, no matter the number of hours you spend reading a JavaScript for Dummies handbook, you'll be surprised by how little you can actually do.

Mistake #6: Give up

Learning how to code is going to frustrate the hell out of you if it's your first time. The only motivation you should have is what lies ahead.

Get inspiration from what other Cameroonians have done. Checkout Vouriinc, Njorku, dikalo, Oyesavings, Heetch, GiftedMom, Feem, Dohone, Bproo

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