Tech bro use to be exclusively only people who own or work in tech companies and had offices mostly in Silicon Valley. But in the turn of the last decade and the rise of Lagos as a hub for tech start-ups, the tech bros landed on our shores here in Nigeria.
Not in the Silicon Valley all of a sudden packed up and moved all their offices to Nigeria type of way. But in terms of the ethos of the Silicon Valley culture and their T-shirt wearing CEOs.
In this article, we’re going to share with you tips that can help you become a renowned tech bro in Nigeria, within the shortest possible time.
(N.B: These tips were shared by Tech bros with a considerable number of hands-on experience. So, you can take their words for what they are worth.)
How to get into the tech industry
One of the easiest ways to get a job in the tech industry is by learning to code. Adeola Adeyemo, who works as a frontend engineer, said that tech companies are always looking for UI/UX designers and that’s how he got his start.
“Join a boot camp, take a course. Intentionality is key. Six months to a year, you should be good enough to start applying for jobs.” he said.
But while this might be the fastest way to become a tech bro, it is hardly the only option available, especially if you have no interest in learning to code. Tenn Zipa, who has worked in the communications department for many Lagos based tech companies, say that there are other ways to join the cool boys club of tech bros.
“You could be in HR, marketing or comms department,” he said.
In the crypto space, it’s a bit more mundane. Being an industry that was birthed on Twitter only a few years ago, AfroBubble co-founder, Venn Oputa said it has a lot to do with being vocal on Twitter.
“Invest in crypto, Talk about it a lot, Talk about NFTs, and be actively building in the space,” he said.
Seun LanLege, a blockchain engineer, adds that crypto, it’s more about being a part of the community on Twitter.
“The thing about crypto is that it’s about the community first. You have to be a part of the culture in a way. Follow influential people in the space. Understand the inside of the tech. It makes you attractive.”
Why should you be a tech bro?
The tech industry has solidified itself as one of the fastest-growing industries in recent times. They are emblematic of the modern social media scrolling culture, making their first millions before they turn 25 (at least that’s what they say), pivoting over and over again.
Latching on to millennial jungles (PiggyVest once sent a newsletter telling its customers to “better stay in your house” on Black Friday) as an intrinsic part of their brand, or maybe the brand itself. They have relaxation rooms and in some cases an office gym (with treadmills and dumbbells).
This has added to why it has become one of the most exciting careers Gen Zers aspire to after wanting to be influencers.
“It opens you to the global market. You can work for any company in the world if you can prove that you can do what they want you to do. It elevates you from the Nigerian economy,” Adeola Adeyemo said.
“It’s hard for someone that is working for a tech company to go for a traditional system. HR is working towards ensuring that you are satisfied. Your voice is heard. The general idea of how work culture should be. You just blend in,” he added.
What to expect as a tech bro
But it hasn’t been all roses even for tech bros, working in Nigerian tech companies. Erratic government policies that affect business policies at their companies, and being accosted by police officers as suspected fraudsters now and again shake up their lives.
“Sometimes people see you as one superhuman and most times a yahoo boy,” Ola, who now works as a software engineer but learnt to code watching YouTube tutorial videos, said of his experience in Nigeria.
“If you can build something that will be worthwhile in a couple of years,” Venn Oputa said, “just build. Don’t think a lot about what the country is saying… Nigeria can’t stop you from building in space. No country can stop you. Just build regardless.”
He adds that there are many coins in circulation, but only a few are truly worthwhile. “A lot of it is (expletive). Very few cryptocurrencies will outlast the market. 80% of what is being built is just an idea that won’t pass anywhere, but like the remaining 20% will be the future.”
Seun Lanlege said that the crypto space is still very new and niche, adding that there are very few social events in the community since many people work from home:
“It’s terrible because there is no social sphere about crypto.” He also said that the rise and fall of the price of crypto can be emotionally unsettling. “The market plays with your emotion. Your entire asset is on a digital platform. Your entire wealth is in the space.”
But this sentiment is not indicative of the entire community, of tech-savvy Nigerian youth. “There is a sense of superiority attached to it.” Tenn Zipa said. “We see other roles as inferior.” He also added that you must have your work cut out for you, and not fall prey to the glamorization of tech bros on Twitter.
“People glamorize it, but don’t understand the amount of work you actually put into it,” he said.
How to stay motivated
But even with the upside of working as a tech bro, the burn-out that comes with working in any industry can still catch up with you. To cope with this, tech bros revert to rituals to start their day and keep them motivated for work.
For Venn Oputa, it’s a bottle of beer. “It’s very important,” he said, adding that, “I move with the flow, wake up and get through the day.”
The unstable internet doesn’t help matters, either. Zipa Tenn starts his day praying “for the server and internet to work well that day,” so he gets his work done and on time.
“I go to the gym, work myself out, have a bath, a cup of coffee and start my meeting,” Seun Lanlege said. “I don’t need any other motivation other than the work.”
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