Rasheed Ibrahim Akande, founder of Geegstack Academy and Team Lead at Brandblocx. He is also a Mechanical Engineering student of the University of Ibadan (UI).
Geegstack Academy is a software engineering school that teaches individuals with prior or zero coding experience the skill sets they need to become a hirable software developer or develop their tech solution.
While, Brandblocx help businesses scale through modern technological solutions and help young inventors build and sell their ideas.
Speaking in an interview with The Muslim Voice NG. Rasheed, shares insights about his journey as an entrepreneur and experiences as a tech guru.
MV: Let us know who is Rasheed Ibrahim Akande.
RA: I am a Muslim; of course, that’s most important, a software developer turned Techpreneur (founder and DOS at Geegstack Academy and Team Lead at Brandblocx), a mechanical engineering student and writer.
MV: How did start your tech career?
RA: It’s actually a long story. I will say I started accidentally. It happened when I completed my secondary school education in 2018 and I was waiting for admission. So my dad took me to University of Ibadan to learn about computer. What he actually had in mind was typesetting, photocopying and those skills. But fortunately we met with his friend who is a developer and he recommended that he took me to UI senior webmaster, who’s a Muslim. So that was when it all started.
MV: What trends are you seeing in technology for 2022?
RA: Hmm. What I see in tech, in 2022.. I think generally tech is moving towards AI. We’re gradually moving to that era, just that it’s still not very accepted and it’s costly to set up. But I see tech going towards AI and maybe Virtual Realty.
MV: What qualities does anyone need to become a technologist?
RA: What one needs to become a technologist? Nothing really special than you need in other fields, just that technology requires more of those attributes. I’m talking about attributes like consistency, curiosity, grit and being a life long learner. If you’re going into tech, you need to be always ready to learn new ideas because it’s an evolving field.
MV: What did you see and understand about digital marketing when you started?
RA: Well, I’m not a digital marketer and I’ve never done it for people. But because I have businesses, I need to do it for myself. It’s basically about selling digitally. Like instead of fixing posters around, sharing handbills and others physically, you’re now doing it in the digital way using the media where your sellers are believed to be found.
MV: How can tech beginners survive the rollercoaster challenges in Nigeria?
RA: You see this, I’ve heard people say you cannot plan in Nigeria, Nigeria will plan you. Very funny. But if we look at it, it’s somehow true. The challenges beginners face is accessing resources like device, power and data subscriptions. I think it starts with believing that trying to grow in Nigeria itself, especially when you’re not financially buoyant, is a challenge and it’s not going to be easy, so you need to make your mind whether they’re ready for it or not. Now when you’ve decided you’re ready, you’ll have to compromise some things. For instance, you might need to be up at night to use your PC if that’s when you have power or sometimes do night subscription to download some modules. It just comes with lots of sacrifice if you don’t have much, and you should be ready for it.
MV: What is design thinking to you?
RA: It’s simply about having the consumers of a product in mind while developing a solution. That’s what I understand it to be in short.
MV: Tell me your best programming language(s)?
MV: What business side of tech is most preferable to you?
RA: I’ll say the automated tech business that requires little of human effort after development. Like the one that works mostly on its own. I’m talking about Startups like payment gateways, premium apps and others you just develop and go sit down somewhere while money rolls in. Lol.
MV: What requires of before solving tech related problems?
RA: Of course, understanding the root of the problem. Then, the right skill sets to solve it and the resource to let people know about the solution.
MV: To you, which tool is the best between CorelDraw and Photoshop?
RA: I’m not a graphic designer. Although I’ve used Photoshop, I haven’t tried Corel draw. So I can’t really say.
MV: As a web developer, tell me about notable deals missed or mistakes made?
RA: I can’t remember missing any deal. Like have an agreement to work on a project and then the client says no after? I don’t have any record of that.
MV: What was the hardest project you ever worked on? Why was it difficult? If it is an application/algorithm can you explain how it works?
RA: That’s an international eCommerce website, I did when I was working for a company in Singapore. What made it challenging was that I had to reverse-engineer the code base. A developer had worked on it, but he did a messy job and it gave me a hard time to get things back.
MV: From your experience so far as a trainer, can anyone do tech?
RA: No, anyone can’t do tech. Only people with grit and patience that can be consistent can do tech.
MV: What are the most important skills and qualities that a junior front end developer should have?
MV: How did you spend your free time?
RA: I can’t really remember the last time I had a free time. At least in the past five months, I’ve always had a deadline to meet. But other things I do outside of working are writing and reading.