How I Started Coding

Ugochukwu Nkwocha, Founder/CEO 9jacodekids Academy

By Ugochukwu Nkwocha

I learnt how to code as an adult, in fact as a Masters degree student. I have a background in Electrical/Electronics Engineering and my first attempt at coding was in 2nd year at the University of Port Harcourt. We were taught Fortran 77 and I failed it. I carried the course over and managed to get a D in 3rd year.

I developed this fear for coding and tried to avoid it at all cost. While choosing the course I wanted to study for my MSc in the UK, I specifically went through the course outline to ensure that coding wasn’t involved.

Little did I know that they had cleverly concealed it with a different course name.
My first week in Uni, we were given a project to design and code a Web Based Library Management system. I almost fainted. This was pure coding and the lecturer made it clear that he believed we all had some basic coding skills.

While my class mates were having a good time, I struggled, had sleepless nights trying to read books on programming, watching YouTube videos, until I had a breakthrough. I made one out of the two ‘As’ in that course and finally graduated as the best student in my department with all ‘As’. During that period I saw how powerful learning to code could be and how it could literally empower anyone to create anything they wanted. Mere ideas in your head could become valuable products that people will be willing to pay money for. Facebook was just an idea in Mark’s head until he gave it life through coding.

On my return home I set up 9jacodekids Academy with the vision of setting up a coding centre in every Nigerian city.

Did you know that less than 1% of African children leave school with basic coding skills. We are just 3 years old and so far have taught over 1500 kids how to code. We are changing that narrative.

The future is bright for us and your kids too. Coding changed my life, it can change your kids life.

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