Ire Aderinokun is the first female google developer expert in Nigeria , user interface designer, and also co-founder, Chief Operating Officer and VP Engineering of Helicarrier, a company building cryptocurrency infrastructure for Africa.
Her passion for technology started when she was 13 , she built her first website, a Neopets fansite, in which she mastered her first basic HTML codes. However, she did not consider it a career path.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol, she pursued a master’s degree in law at the same university. While studying law, she took a design course at Codeacademy due to her interest in computer science.
She said, “I rediscovered it while I was getting my master’s degree that was when I understood what computer science was all about so, I decided to try and teach myself to see if I could get into it. I did some online courses and read blogs and things like that, and then I started off doing freelance for a while before I began working for an actual company.”
Her platform’s mission is “to financially connect the African, anywhere they are in the world,” she said. Her functions include leading the front-end team, managing operations and overseeing a bit of the business and finance side, making sure that her company is compliant with regulations, among others.
The Nigerian tech guru also runs a blog called bitsofco.de, where she offers coding advice to fellow programmers. Also, she runs a tiny scholarship scheme to allow Nigerian women to take an Udacity Nanodegree in a technology-related profession of their choice.
“I don’t listen to music that often, I mostly listen to podcasts so I’d recommend ATP (Accidental Tech Podcast). Cortex is another one I enjoy, and Somehow I Manage which is a podcast about the TV show ‘The Office,’” she said.
For young Nigerian women who want to be like her, she advised them to weigh their career options and tailor their studies towards that in order to make their degrees relevant.
Using herself as an example, she noted: “I would say, I wish I started this a bit earlier because I ended up going to school for five years and getting two degrees for things that I don’t actively use. I won’t say I didn’t need to do them, but maybe if I was more aware, I might have been able to make a better-informed decision.”