If you lived in the world a century ago, women in STEM would have been a laughable idea. In many cases, it may have been a taboo. As time went on, people decided that maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to let women dabble into STEM. There was a twist to this, however. Some people started seeing women in STEM as women who wanted to be men. They saw them as women who weren’t beautiful enough to marry or bear children. So, people resented them and discouraged those they loved from venturing into STEM.
Luckily, we don’t live in that world anymore. Although many people are still not used to the idea of women in STEM, women in STEM is one narrative that has come to stay. We have seen that women can take up STEM roles and execute them perfectly. It doesn’t make them men or affect any other areas of their lives. Despite this, there is still a huge gender gap in STEM. Some people are refusing to let go of those archaic beliefs maybe because they don’t know any better or they are not exposed. So, I have made it my mission to shine the light on women who are conquering the STEM world flawlessly.
In this piece, we will be meeting with Feyisayo Famakinde, a young DevOps engineer who transitioned from the English language to tech. Her story is a thrilling adventure one that will inspire you and spur you on to stop procrastinating and kick start your career in tech.
Sit back, grab a glass of juice and enjoy this fascinating conversation.
1. Can we meet you?
Hi everyone, I am Feyisayo Famakinde, a 26 years old budding DevOps Engineer based in Lagos. I like to say budding because I just started this career and I feel I still have so much to learn.
2. What was your university education like?
Oh. I studied English Language at the prestigious (If you like to disagree) Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife, Osun state. My university education was a journey I used that expression because of how everything turned out, I was a little unserious or maybe distracted/unfocused so my first two years were not that great academically or socially because really, I wasn’t doing anything, I just didn’t study. Now that I think about it, it was probably a problem with motivation because I didn’t choose English language but picked law instead but as Nigeria would have it, I got in for English and just free-rolled it. I got serious in my 3rd year because I was afraid of failure – I was told that was the toughest year so in the bid to not carry over a course I buckled up – but really when I got into our courses, I actually liked the knowledge being passed through.
3. How has the journey in a STEM career been like?
From my previous story you would know by now that I didn’t study a STEM course in the university so you are probably wondering how I got into this, it was a little bit of curiosity and finding better career prospects I saw an ad for the 2020 Google/ALC/Andela Cloud Engineer Scholarship and applied then got into the program, we were told to study with some Pluralsight courses and I got so confused because of the terminology used so I decided to do a brush-up course to understand better and I believe my brush up course helped because I went on to win a voucher for the google associate cloud engineer exam which I wrote and passed then there the journey started.
Do I have any regrets? Right now? none at all.. The stability and the great compensation for what I do have been fulfilling.
4. Many people think STEM courses are a no-go area for girls, what do you have to say about this?
I think that’s a stereotype that is invalid maybe it would have been relevant in the days when women were not expected to be independent or problem-solving. STEM is open to anyone. It is basically learning and anybody can learn once you are focused and interested in the subject or topic.
5. What has helped you to attain success?
Resilience. Hitting a wall and never backing down, sometimes it gets frustrating but then the challenge becomes a high that gets you fulfilled every time.
6. What are some of the challenges you have encountered in this chosen path? How did you approach them?
One challenge is the never-ending flow of knowledge oh there are many things to learn you have to keep learning and because DevOps is vested with various tools you have to learn them. A great way I have approached this through is something I picked from the Reddit DevOps community – you need community people – is to know the basics of what you do permit me to get technical a bit, in DevOps, you are always going to need automation, networking and containerization knowledge be good at those and when you come across tools you can use them until you leave them.
7. What one thing did you wish you could have done differently?
I wish I got into this Career early. I don’t usually spend time regretting but I wish I got into this during my service year because I talked about getting into tech a lot but it took me a solid year before deciding on what to do exactly.
8. What advice would you give your younger self?
The future will take care of itself just learn Self-love and believe that you can always handle whatever the future brings.
9. How can you encourage young girls to study STEM courses?
Well, I am in it, I once believed I couldn’t do anything technical, I just felt that was how I was created but look at me doing things today. If you want to get into STEM, believe you can excel in it. There is absolutely nothing that is insurmountable in this path. It is extremely rewarding both intrinsically and financially, there is a great network of support also so I can assure you that you are never alone.
It has been interesting chatting with Feyisayo about transitioning to tech, her experience so far, challenges as a woman in STEM, and what she thinks about other women getting into Stem. I am sure you have learned a lot. A line I wish you would never forget from this interview is: If you want to get into STEM, believe you can excel in it. There is absolutely nothing that is insurmountable in this path. So, if you want to join women like Feyisayo there Is no better time than now. There are resources available and a large network you can leverage. You will never be alone.
To connect with Feyisayo, reach out to her on any of the following platforms:
Instagram – www.instagram.com/thefeyifamakinde
Twitter – www.twitter.com/mselle_tonya
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/famakinde.anthonia