My Google Africa Developer Scholarship/Andela Learning Community 4.0 Journey (Cloud Computing)

“…I know before the end of 2020, I will be a certified Cloud Engineer. I am currently doing my one year compulsory NYSC service in Lagos State and I am taking a course on Cloud Computing from The University of Illinois — yeah! I am in deep. To be honest, I still don’t know if I should stick to Google Cloud Platform or I should switch to Amazon Web Service or Microsoft Azure. But one thing is sure, I found a ground to stand, and I am grateful to Andela Nigeria, Google Cloud, Pluralsight and every other individual that made this ground solid for the last 6 months…”

Some months ago on this platform — March to be precised — I tried summarizing what the rest of the year was going to be for me. I knew I had the record for highest fail rate for prediction, but then the months that preceded that month proved beyond doubts that I suck! Now the year is coming to an end and I can’t help but be thankful for the unplanned, life changing events that happened; one of which is ALC4.0 Google Africa Developer Scholarship. Stay with me…

Before writing my final exams in the university, I had promised myself that I was going to take six (6) months off to get acquainted to the 21st century world and the new decade that was upon us. Then I concluded my final exams in the university in October, 2018. After which I had to wait for four months before I could defend my project (Title: Design and Modeling of Wireless Power Transfer). During this period, I had forgotten about the promise I made to myself, so my love for politics took over. The period was election period and I was quite involved in most of the political strategies and speech writing for candidates; these old men avoided debates, debates I worked my ass off on… Sha, with the elections over and candidates going back to being politicians, I switched to freelance writing. I wrote product release strategies, whitepapers, PhD thesis… name it all. Let’s just say I was a full time content developer working full time (onsite) and also remotely. But then, I still owed myself a promise.

April, 2019. I was doing my clearance in the University while I was working on a project for a client. The project was a suicide mission; I was to critique World Economic Forum’s Future of Work 2018 report as regards to Africa. Who does that? WE ARE TALKING ABOUT WEF HERE! THEY’VE GOT DATA — BIG DATA!! I’VE GOT data — GLO DATA!

Anyways, I took the job because I loved the idea and the pay was quite good. Unknowingly to me, it was the start of a new thought system. In order to write a good critique, I had to study the report back to back, and the more I studied, the more the words, ‘Cloud Computing’ became a thing. I decided to research about these words and I somehow ended coming across ALC4.0 by Andela. I involuntarily registered to be on the Cloud Path and few days after, I got the mail below;

The first email

Apparently, 128,000 Africans registered for the program and the criteria for making it to the first phase of the project were quite easy. So, I fulfilled them and about a month later, I was shortlisted to be among the 30,000 in Phase 1.

30,000!

The date the email came was somewhat funny. I was suppose to go for my compulsory NYSC service in June but for whatsoever reason God can only explain, WE decided to finally give myself the 6 months of re-skilling that I promised myself. My zeal to up-skill and my little romance with WEF’s Future of Works got me enmeshed in a quest to learn a new and sustainable skill. At first, it was to train to be an ML Engineer, but along came the email as shown above and I said to myself, “We… die… here…”

The journey was going to be a long one, and to rid myself of all possible distractions, I stopped all my gigs on freelancing sites; I kept some opened to be able to pay for food and data but let’s just say I stopped being a content developer. I also started a Cassava farm but that is another story for the day.

I joined the Slack channel as instructed and subsequent groups were created on WhatsApp and Telegram by well meaning learners. To make it to Phase 2, I had to watch 8 Hours of Google Cloud video contents on Pluralsight, and score proficient on the Skill test. But then it took me over a month to understand just 4 hours of the contents.

I had made friends who just wanted to fulfill the requirements but on my own side, I went offtrack from the second month. I registered for courses on bash Scripting, got gifted a course on Docker Containerization and Kubernetes, started learning Python scripting and of course, I made Google and Youtube my best friend in order to understand the basic concepts on which Cloud Computing is built on; VPCs, IPs, VMs, Serverless Computing, Microservices et al.

During the course of the program, Andela organized physical and online meetups that were almost two weeks apart. The first two physical meetups I attended didn’t offer much on my learning path so I decided to stick to Online meetup. However, the physical meetups got me new friends that played important roles in the whole journey.

As part of the scholarship, scholars on the Cloud learning path were given voucher to about 26 hands-on-lab on Qwiklabs. But sometime in August, I got a one month free subscription on Qwiklabs from Google. It was a perfect timing as I went ahead to finish a total of 107 Labs that month; that is over 90hours of sitting down in front of my Laptop. I also got to write articles on this platform, read here.

107 Labs, 10 Quests!

“…I also joined Cloud groups on Telegrams and participated in Google Cloud Challenges, one of which was Cloud Hero 2019 Challenge where I came out as 15th on the global ranking.”

While I was utilizing my one month free subs on Qwiklabs, I continued with my courses on Bash scripting and Docker/Kubernetes. Need I say I made it to Phase 2 and Pluralsight had given us over 100hours of contents on Google Cloud Platform to study. Of course, I continued learning but along the line, I found myself falling for Kubernetes, Serverless Computing and Microservices Software Architecture. So I started streamlining my contents to these services. Before I knew it, I started writing deployment configurations and deploying them using Google Deployment Manager. I got to learn about TerraForm and Jenkins from Google Cloud’s Youtube Videos and for good two weeks, I was learning about these tools. I also joined Cloud groups on Telegrams and participated in Google Cloud Challenges, one of which was Cloud Hero 2019 Challenge where I came out as 15th on the global ranking.

I agree, some people are not humans

In the process of learning all these, I had little to no idea that I was learning CI/CD tools. But then in September, I got talking to one of the learners who wasn’t new in the Software field and he mentioned something about DevOps and Automation — keyword; DevOps. I got interested in it and the week that followed, I got a course on Git Versioning, coupled with a book that one of the mentors in Edo State (Ebuka Peter) gifted us. Yeah! I was a rebel…

But then let’s not get enmeshed in my rebellious tendencies as this is becoming too long. So, at the start of the program, there were 128,000 learners, and the different phases were;

Phase One: 30,000 learners

Phase Two: 11,000 learners

Project Phase: 4,200 learners

Certification Phase: 1,000 learners

Well, I made it to the Project Phase. This story would have been a happily ever after, but then you remember the NYSC compulsory service I had to postpone for six months? Well, the next batch came earlier than I expected and so, I couldn’t meet up with the competitiveness of the Project phase. Yeah! I didn’t make it to the certification stage. But that is by the way, I submitted a Resume to a company few weeks ago and the title below my name screamed out loud; Cloud Architect *_*.

I would have shared the success mail anyways. So have a look!

So Momodu, What Next?

As earlier established, I suck atpredicting upcoming events. But then I know before the end of 2020, I will be a certified Cloud Engineer. I am currently doing my one year compulsory NYSCservice in Lagos State and I am currently taking a course on Cloud Computing from The University of Illinois — yeah! To be honest, I still don’t know if I should stick to Google Cloud Platform or I should switch to AWS or Azure. But one thing is sure, I found a ground to stand, and I am grateful to Andela Nigeria, Google Cloud, Pluralsight and every other individual that made this ground solid for the last 6 months. If you have read till this point, thank you too!

The Final Meetup at Andel Epic Tower, Lagos. Yes, I am the focus here.

Cloud Architect | DevOps Evangelist | CKA, CKAD | I mostly write things in here so I can read them again when I get lost — eventually.