Treasure is a 17 year-old Front End Developer with a special interest in UI Implementation and Interaction Design. Even without having her own personal computer, she has worked on over 30 projects and still counting. She spoke with Rubies Technologies about her involvement in tech, the challenges, and her aspirations. Excerpts
Can we know you?
My name is Treasure Ajefu, I am a Front End Developer from Lagos. I finished Secondary School last year at Iba Housing Estate Secondary School and since then I have been doing a lot of stuff
How did you get into coding?
I got into coding when I was in JSS2 was when our teacher said Code Lagos will be coming to our school, though they didn’t come but he brought scratch to us but we never got to see them and many didn’t actually get interested so I was the only one who would go to the computer lab and play around with scratch and that is how I started. After a while, I stopped because they transferred the teacher that allow us to use the computer lab and that was how scratch died down. It was when I was in SS2 that I started learning Python with the same Code Lagos again but we didn’t see them, it was our teacher who told us. We started learning the basics of Python, he would give us some tasks to do. We didn’t really go far, it was only variables and when I wanted to start an exam, I stopped. I continue learning on my own until I was able to become grounded in Python to some extent. Then I wanted to build something that I will be able to see the results in form of a web page because I am a design or interface-oriented person. So I started learning the basics of HTML/CSS on my own so I focused on YouTube looking for courses I could find. I got serious in front-end development in 2021 that was when I put more effort into building some particular project.
In October, I started 30 days of code where I created projects every day and since then I’ve been trying my best to improve my skills.
What are some of the project you’ve worked on?
Since I am more of design and interface oriented, most of what I have been doing are on UI implementation and interaction design. I have cloned the Hulu web page, I have done some designs about 30 or more and part of it are in my portfolio. I have been trying to be strong in that design and interaction so I can move on to products that people can really see.
How do you get support?
I believe community help developers especially the ones that are just coming up to develop their skills. For example, I am in a community called Gen Z Techie, it is a community of teenagers that are into tech and for me, that drive of seeing other kids that are my age-mate doing things also moves me to do more. Also, there are some developers I know personally that have been there for me ever since I started and it has been an inspiration to do more.
What are the challenges you are facing?
The first thing is being a female in tech especially in Nigeria because not many females are in tech and if they are they are not much of my age group. On Twitter, you might be seeing people building projects but hardly will you see ones that are females. Even when I am, talking in some of my WhatsApp community because they don’t know my gender, they say “thank you brother”, thinking that I am a male in tech because this person knows so much in tech; he has to be a male. Secondly, ever since I started, I’ve never had a laptop on my own. I’ve been using my brother’s laptop; sometimes I had to sleep early so I can wake up around 1 am to use his laptop.
Other challenges are electricity which is common to everyone and the age barrier. There was an hackathon I wanted to join last month but looking at the terms and conditions that the age is from 18 and I’m not up to 18 yet, I couldn’t go. There are certain opportunities you get but with particular terms and condition and even with the issue of banks, to receive payment you need to be 18 years to BVN and the kids’ accounts is mostly not convenient.
How were you able to combine school and coding?
I am the kind of person that doesn’t really have issues with school work. I am one of those students who don’t read much and pass exams and I was always doing my best and having good results. Although there was a time my parents and teachers had to restrict me from coding because they think I’m coding and I am not having time but then, even without a laptop, I had some editors on my phone which I use to code though not so interesting or smooth like a laptop
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I will be a first-class Front End Engineer, building interactive programs.
How many programming languages do you know?
Which seems challenging?
What is the problem Nigeria is facing that you can solve?
I have a project I have been wanting to work on and it’s how people buy phones and devices. For example, someone that doesn’t know about tech or phone devices can just go to Computer Village or Alaba and anything those guys tell them to buy is what they buy and they don’t really know what they are buying. I want to create a website that gathers information from an API about phones and devices. Basically how it works is divided into two sections, the first section is about those who have the knowledge about devices but don’t know the price range or a particular device that suits their circumstance and the second section is about people who don’t know much about devices but they have money but don’t want to waste the money they have. It’s basically bringing technology to the hands of people who are not fully technologically oriented
What advice do you have for Teenagers that want to go into tech?
It is never easy, it might be that you don’t have what it takes to dive into tech but whatever you have, just start with it because if you continue waiting for the time when you’ll have the equipment to start, you may never start.
Also don’t compare yourself with other teens because currently in Nigeria, there are plenty of teenagers that are already doing great things. Some might be older than you and some might be younger than you, if you continue to compare yourself to those teenagers that are doing great things, you might not do anything at all. You just have to find what you are good at and focus on what you’re good at and who knows you might even be better than those teenagers you’re comparing yourself to.
Do you have a Mentor?
I don’t have one particular person, there are groups of people or companies that I look up to
The Rubies Technologies Kids spotlight is the initiative of our organisation to showcase young ones going great works in the tech field but need more visibility. Do you know any kid that is going great stuff in the tech field and you want us to feature him/her? Kindly contact Rubies Technologies firstname.lastname@example.org
You can contact and see Treasure’s projects here