It's over a year since I was selected to be the DSC lead of my campus and I would say it has been an amazing experience. It was full of so many ups and downs. One journey I would love to share with everyone.
Being a DSC Lead was something i've always wanted to be ever since when I was opportuned to be a core team member for the 2019/20 session. I remember giving my first talk on our info session titled Dev101 - introduction to software engineering and I will say I did pretty well for a debut.
I found the link to apply while I was randomly scrolling through a group on whatsapp, so I decided to reach out to the then lead of our campus so I could get a referral code. I applied using the code with the confidence that I would definitely get selected. I felt I had the community experience which many of my fellow candidates didn't have, especially after being an executive of IEEE OAU and also a core team member of DSC OAU before then.
The next time I heard from Google was on the 8th of August, 2020 when I got a reminder from Auwal stating that I was yet to set a date for my interview, turns out I missed the email sent to me weeks back (6th July) telling me to schedule an interview. I was only able to schedule my interview to one day which was the day I got the reminder, I scheduled it for sometime in the afternoon with no chance to prepare.
The interview process was smooth, I shared to the interviewer how I planned helping the community, shared my technical experience and answered a couple of questions I was asked. I was told I would get a response within weeks so I began to wait.
One random Tuesday, I woke up and told myself "lemme check my email for my congratuations mail" like I was some foreseer or something. Turns out I was correct, on the 18th of August 2020, I was selected by Google to lead the DSC chapter of my campus. This came shortly before I got my first foreign remote job. It was a month of joy I would say.
The onboarding process was the first thing I experienced, it was wonderful. I and hundreds of other leads were onboarded on what DSC was about and what we could do to help the community grow. I was very busy during these times so I struggled to attend all the onboarding calls. I also had another onboarding session with the ex DSC Lead of my campus Oluwaleke Fakorede (Hashcode) who took his time to share me some necessary things I would need to get started.
The first task I had in my hands was to select my core team. We were all home due to the Corona pandemic so it was quite a hard thing to do considering I could only select from my small circle of friends and acquintances.
I opened a document and listed several fields in software development and some necessary things I would need to get the community rolling.
- Data Science and Machine Learning
- Event Planning
- Graphics designing
- Project management
It was on this basis I used to select ny core team members.
- Olamide Samuel (my favorite man, Front-end engineer too)
- Bunmi Akinremi (Data science and Machine Learning)
- Clinton Oyelami (Basically because of his experience with SparkHub)
- Emah Blessing (has a niche for community building and also a project manager)
- Felix Ayoola (I have a lot to say about him, might have to describe him specially)
- Grace Omojola (Data science and machine learning)
- Israel Akintunde (Front-end)
- Omilo Samuel (Mobile, and also to help with publicity)
- Precious Okafor (mainly to help with publicity)
- Tosin Ogunfowote (He also has a niche for community building and event planning, he is also a front end engineer)
- Zainab Jimoh (Mobile engineer, more on why I selected her would be stated below)
These were my core team members, they are the ones who drove the DSC vehicle with me.
I have special reasons for selecting each people and I would state why.
Olamide Samuel (Goldin), selected him mainly because he is my favorite man. This man has made impact on so many coursemates and having him on the team would be nothing but an addition of value.
Bunmi Akinremi has experience with community building on campus, also I needed a good number of females on the team so as to be able to pull more females to our programs.
Clinton Oyelami, I have always known Clinton with SparkHub and I felt his addition would go a long way.
Emah Blessing, She is one of the last people to join the team. I met Blessing as a law student but she has always loved attending and helping to organize tech events. Great input.
Felix Ayoola, Well. Immediately I got the congratulations email, I knew there were two people joining my team. Olamide Samuel and Felix. He was the second person I messaged to join the team and I was glad he accepted. Felix is a many in one person. He knows how to publicize, he is a graphic designer, data science enthusiast and also a UI/UX designer. He also loves community building. You need to listen to him speak when we are talking about community related topics. Wonderful addition. Easily the most impactful person on the team. Every design that came from DSC was designed by him.
Grace Omojola, I noticed she was very influential in the AI community in OAU. I also selected her because I needed a good amount of wonderful females on the team.
Israel Akintunde, I remember he was among the previous core team and I felt he would be a great addition to the team. spoiler alert, he is a flux engineer.
Omilo Samuel, I felt it would be a good thing if I made students who were new to campus communities see how communities are run from the inside. I also selected him so he could help pull attention and traffic from his own network.
Precious Okafor, she is a fresher student. I added her to the team to help pull traffic especially for females.
Tosin Ogunfowote, he is one of the few people you would always see in every event you attend in OAU. He has always been known for helping to organize events. One notable event he helped to organize is Wordcamp Ife, it was a success.
Zainab Jimoh, She is the lead of SCA OAU (She Code Africa). She is also a mobile engineer. I selected her because I needed the experience of someone who leads a community especially when the community is a female community. Also because I needed a good amount of wonderful females on the team.
This team really helped make my job easier and I would say it was a great team.
First Virtual Event
The first event we held was our Info Session which held on the 7th of November.
We got several engineers who were either students or alumni of OAU to speak to us on how to get started in several fields in software development. Blessing Emah helped facilitate the session and it was a success with 212 attendees and 94 check-ins.
The issues I had trying to set up this event was the fact that some speakers pulled out on the last hour and we had to find other speakers with urgency. One other challenge was trying to get female speakers as all the ones I reached out to rejected mainly because they had a busy schedule. We were able to get one female speaker with the help of the ex DSC Lead (Hashcode) who was of great help during the organizing of the event.
We also struggled with getting people to check-in to the virtual session. The platform made available to us by Google was a platform students weren't really familiar with.
Second Virtual Event
The next session we had was "Get Into Game Development" which held on the 5th of December.
We got two game developers to come guide us on how to get started with Game Development. This was something we did because of a Game Jam that was coming up in 2021 and we discovered very litte people knew how to get into the game development world. This also ended in a success with 130 attendees and 66 check-ins.
One Issue I had with organizing this event was publicity, this time, it was quite difficult to get people's attention for reasons I did not understand. We could only get a few number of people interested.
Third Virtual Event
The next event we held was titled "Career Opportunities in FAANG" which held on the 30th of January.
This event wasn't planned initially and it turned out to be the most successful we held.
I initially reached out to Kanyinsola because I needed advice on my Google internship interview (i failed it sha), he then proposed that he would love to speak to students on how to get into Google. He was initially talking about speaking to about 10-20 students but then we got 273 attendees and 124 check-ins.
Other Activities DSC OAU Carried Out
I and my core team members had plans for a long list of other events and activities but then we weren't able to because we individually got busy with personal things. One thing we planned doing was an Article Drive where we would convince members to write articles about different things. We also planned working on group projects but we weren't able to pull that.
One great win we were able to bag was our collaboration with Datacamp, We got free scholarship to any course on datacamp. This helped a lot of DSC OAU Members improve their skills on Data Sciene and Machine learning.
Another thing we were able to do was our mentorship program. SCA OAU and DSC OAU came together to start a mentorship program. We got people to register to become mentors and also got people to register to be mentored.
We got 62 applications to be a mentor and 168 applications for people who wanted to be mentored. We selected 31 mentors in total and 71 mentees for the program.
The difficult part was the selection, we had to select mentors we were sure would do well as mentors using the details they submitted which included Github profiles, Resumes or linkedin profile links. Many people applied with resumes below par or empty linkedin profiles so we had to let their application pass. I remember sitting on my chair on a saturday from 8am till 5pm selecting mentors and mentees, sending them emails and also adding them to different slack channels.
The mentorship program also had a couple of blockers, I discovered that many people don't check their emails regularly as I found myself calling several mentors and mentees personally asking them to check their emails. I wonder why people don't check their emails in 2021.
I wasn't able to make as much impact as I wanted to mainly because of the pandemic forced us to do everything virtually and also I personally got really busy with a lot of things (Country tough you know, mans gotta eat).
- 3 Successful Virtual Events
- Helped publicized the Google Get Ahead Program
- Datacamp Scholarship
- Mentorship Program (Thanks to SCA too)
I take my leave and I wish the new lead success.
I also want to use this means to congratulate our new lead, Grace Omojola who was a core team member during my tenure. I know she would do better than I was able to.