Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of my Tech story. If you're new here, my name is Alice Kanjejo, and thank you so much for tuning in.

Before we begin the episode, I just want to thank you guys so much for the love that we've received so far. It's been an reception so far with our launch, and I'm very, very excited to see the potential that this podcast has. So make sure you, like, share, subscribe, tell a friend to tell a friend.

It really helped grow and reach the audiences that we want this podcast to reach, as well as help scale the African tech industry, help be part of the revolution, rather. Without further ado, as you can see, we do have another lovely guest here in studio today. Hello.

Right beside me we have Gabriel Mbugua, aka Gabi as we like to call him. Who. Are you ready for your intro? You know, sometimes people are apparently surprised to hear about their accomplishments and it's their own story.

Let's actually hear what so meet Gabby. He's a highly experienced software engineer with experience in Java app development, kotlin Android app development, and Flutter app development. Are these all the development? You could say so.

Sorry. Saddle flex here. Gabby is also skilled in DevOps engineering and has led many successful backend engineering projects.

He has a strong track record of building top performing applications and systems that meet and exceed client expectations. With a passion for innovation and a dedication to excellence, gabby is a valuable asset to any team that he is involved with, and I can fully vouch for that because he also works alongside me at Honeycoin. And without further ado, Gabriel, welcome to that my tech story.

Thank you. Thank you for having me. What do you feel about an? I think I feel like you've understood you should have given us numbers.

How many? What you've done. I guess we'll get into that when you're sharing your story. Exactly.

Oh, nice. Are you ready to share your story? Yeah. I feel like you were nervous before we came in here.

A little bit. A little bit. But devs are not normally people in the limelight.

Actually, you're normally one of the people who normally hits and I tell him, part of my job, I'm in marketing, and part of my job is to annoy these people to come and shoot videos. And when it's his turn, he is not particularly excited, but it normally comes out. Well.

I think I've made you more receptive to being in front of the camera. Exactly. At least I've contributed to your PR journey, getting me out there.

Yeah. So Gabriel, this is a very exciting episode that I think previously we had Dominic and you were sitting in for the session, actually, when we had him. And Dominic, if you've not listened to already, is our product lead, or has been a chief product officer for several within his career path or career life.

And now he's also worked closely alongside Gabriel. You should check out Dominic's videos, by the way. And so these two powerhouses being the first two people know, help bring my tech story baby to life.

Yeah. You guys are your big deals. Thank you.

You don't think so? I think we do a lot somewhere. But you think you do a lot of stuff. You do do a lot of stuff, and that's amazing.

Wow. Where do we begin with your story? Where do you want to begin? Where did your tech journey begin? I guess I can talk about how I've always been a nerd, so I've just always been into that stuff. And that's something that you've been slowly just understanding as not even just talking about tech stuff, just even things like my interests.

It's true. I think you actualize I don't know if you guys have watched Big Band Theory. Oh, no.

I don't know. Key, low key, except that maybe you're a bit more fancier, maybe you're dressing and but deep down, I feel like if you've watched Big Bang, you're really those guys. And I've never met people like that in real life until I met Gabriel.

I'll take that as a compliment. Yeah, just take it as it is. It's not a bad thing.

I'll take it. So, yeah, I think I've just always been someone who really liked anything tech related. But I would say the thing that made me get into all this was gaming.

Like, as a kid, just growing up. And that was actually my dad who got me into that. Really? Yeah.

I think when I was really young okay, I'm not that old, but I'm still young. But when I was really, really young, my dad got a computer, which was rare. I remember we were the only guys in the estate with a computer.

Exactly. And now my dad had this when you were how old, roughly? Maybe like, seven, eight. Oh, wow.

Okay. Exactly. So my dad got one of those, and then we used to just play games together, me and him.

Yeah. So I think that was the start when I was that age, and then just growing up, getting deeper and more and more into it. And then when I was around maybe 1415, I said, Why don't I just try build my own game? In fact, that was in my initial dream.

I wanted to be a game developer. But it hit me pretty quick why it takes years for a game to be made with millions of dollars invested in huge teams. Yeah, because there's actually a stat that the gaming industry is worth more than the music and movie industry combined.

I need to start knowing more about the look at it. But I did try and make my own games. I remember me and actually my little brother, we started trying to make some games on Blender.

Your little brother as well. He's also techie. I don't know if he's just copying me.

Okay, I won't say he's copying me, but he's also trying to copy our siblings because everything they did was cool for some reason, at least for me. He's basically on the same path, he could say, because even right now, he's also doing computer science. Oh, I love that.

Okay, so that's how we started. We just made some games, and then I think I really got into it, even though it was a basic game. I don't remember that game we used to play on our phones.

You'd have a red ball that would jump around. So that was one of the games I made bounce. Yeah, that one.

Oh, wow. Was it successful? Like, was it working? I just made it for myself, but yes, it was. And I was so proud.

Should have been a proud moment. Yeah, I was so proud. I think I made everyone in the house come see the game that I made.

Exactly. And then I think my mom now saw that I really like this tech stuff and got me into a course at Ihub when I was 16. So when I was 16, she got me into an Android development course, which is why you've seen a lot of app development.

App development in my that's why you are very defensive on this. Android for life. Defends android with his life.

Exactly. One thing. Just know the honeycoin.

You'll always have a voice. People are android. Okay.

Yeah. So I had 16, got into Android Expound on what Ihub is, so that more context. At the time, it was just like I would define it back then, at least.

I know it was like a dev house, but they also used to have classes and stuff where they would teach people how to code, and they just had different courses. Okay. So I came there, and it was serious Impostor Syndrome, considering everyone around me was 20 plus in Uni.

So we're going doing introduction was quick. Yeah, I stuck through it, but it was really hard, especially since I just didn't have the foundations that a lot of people in the team had in the cohort had at the time. Yeah, but I got through it.

And then there was like a hiatus after that because high school just took over. Exactly. So for like, two years, I didn't really code after that.

And then now I went to Uni Strathmore University to do computer science, and that's where now I was really challenged to stick through one thing, because so far I've mentioned I did gaming, Android development, but everything I did was I'll do it until it stopped being fun. Wow. Exactly.

You stopped developing games because to make better games, it took learning physics and math and all those things. So it now became challenging for Android development. It required a huge amount of logic and at least for me at the time, and so I just dropped those things.

But now I'm in university and I think that I was just going through the motions, just going through my classes until around 2nd, 3rd year. I started meeting a lot of people who were my classmates but were incredibly skilled in terms of development. Like they just knew how to code on a level I didn't and just shadowing them.

I learned how they were hobbyists. So to make it in this dev game, I quickly learnt it can't just be something you do, like a nine to five. It needs to be almost your life.

Exactly. You have to love. So now the way I would spend time, recreationally gaming or watching series, I would also need to spend that time coding.

Wow. So you really need to be into this, first of all. Maybe even a homebody.

Exactly. Now you understand. Okay.

Yeah. Because sometimes you're seeing Gabriel, you're going online on Slack because we work virtually sometimes 02:00 A.m., 03:00 A.m..

He's there at any time. I think he's coding. Same thing with our other engineers, I'm assuming.

Yeah, all of us. Wow. You need to really know to make it in the game.

Exactly. You need to dedicate a big chunk of your life. It needs to be just something you need to love.

Love to do, basically. So now I started basically developing that love, I'd say around third year. And then I also stopped putting myself in this box where and I feel like a lot of people have this problem when you're in university.

It's like we've all compartmentalized our lives where from this to this time, I'll go to high school, this to this time, absolutely. University, this to this time job. But now I was getting a lot of people were breaking that mentality by before even second year.

People have jobs, so they're doing school and they are working and they're the same age as me. Exactly. That was also me, to say the least.

For me, I think it's the moment of discovery because everyone has to have that AHA moment of damn, we are no longer primary. And then, okay, then high school, then it's vibes. I think somewhere in Uni, at least it should be clicking, like, oh, fuck, what do I want to do? This is an individual decision.

Exactly. I'm really happy I was one of those people again, me, after high school, I started my YouTube. That's my journey in.

This is not my first rodeo. Remember in your graduation when your dad was discovering you had multiple jobs? From second year, I had a job. Third year another job.

Like, me. I was one of those people I'm always happy to and I think my classmates would also and my collectors would look at me like, wow, you're doing a lot. And to me was like, am I? Because it's just my YouTube.

But you're picking up skills as you go. Exactly. I mean, now I'm a video editor.

Now I'm a sound editor. I started my podcast in second year. My first ever podcast.

That's another story for another day. And now I'm a podcaster, and I know how I have connections in studios. So, yeah, I think doing what you love, you don't do it realizing that you're actually gathering skills.

And that's great for I need to apply for a job. And those things you were doing before contribute to you getting your first job. Because I think there's that mentality that maybe you have again, that pipeline of now you finish uni and then I'm supposed to get a job.

And it doesn't just come from there looking for experience. You need to create experience for yourself. That's also what will set you apart.

Because by the time you're done with Uni, your four years and now all your peers, now you're the only one amongst a few with two, three years of experience. Exactly. Those who started coding at, I don't know, ten.

Exactly. Yeah. You're going to computer engineering school and you're like, this guy.

This guy was uni was a huge place where I just got that love for coding. So if you watched Dom's episode, he was also talking about not even doing it for money. Because I remember my first, I would say real job, I used to go to town, and I was basically working for free now as a Flutter developer.

Before that, I had just been doing Android development. So I got really good at that, which was a pain Android Java development. I won't get into much about that, but it's incredibly terrible if you ask me.

But I got good at it. And then now I got a job as building apps, but using a different framework called Flutter. Now, that's also something else I learned in my journey, is just being adaptable.

You can't be somebody who is not willing to change and adapt to your environment. You can't just hold on to one thing. One thing? Yeah.

Because initially I was now afraid, should I even take this job because I own money good in this. But the guy, you could say almost mentored me. I think in my journey I've had multiple different mentors, and even now I would say, I still have a mentor.

So he took me in. I was basically working for free. There was promise of money, but I didn't really care.

And I was really exerting myself. And then after that, I got an internship that was a bit better after as well. I worked with someone who he used to be someone who worked at Unilever, so one of these big companies, and then branched off and made his own app.

And he was incredibly knowledgeable, and there was so much I didn't know, but I would put in the hours I'd work, I was always available. And that really impressed him. And he wanted to keep hiring.

Exactly. In fact, he told me as soon as you're done with uni? What part of uni is this? This is third year. Fourth year.

Just before I started. Fourth year now. Okay.

Yeah. So he told me, as soon as you're done, you'll have a job here. Yeah.

So now I'm in my fourth year of uni. And now, even though I've been coding a lot, now I would say this is my fourth year, is when I had this Eureka moment, which was differentiating coding from problem solving. Because I would say a good programmer isn't somebody who's just good at coding, it's somebody who's good at problem solving.

And I think I wasn't that good at problem solving until fourth year. And it was actually because you get more into that. What do you mean by problem solving instead of coding? Problem solving? I feel like I'm trying to see the best way I could do it.

It's like if you're learning a language like Spanish or something, you're just learning disjointed words. But now I'd say now somebody who's a good programmer is able to use those words to now produce something out of it. So have a conversation in Spanish.

So it's different. Someone who can just say gracias is completely different from somebody who can go and to their markets, who can go to their markets and have a whole conversation. Looking at coding as a tool, not the end goal, which is something that a mind shift that I needed to get better at.

And I actually learned that from the founder of Honeycoin. So where we work right now. Back then, I don't think he hadn't yet started Honeycoin, but I met him in church just like Dom had, and we were talking with him and I'm like, this guy is 17.

At the time, I think I was, what, 1920? And I felt like I should be basically instilling into him because I'm ahead, but he was significantly ahead. No, till today. Yeah, he's david is Elon Musk to classify him as a genius.

Exactly. So I remember we were talking with him and he was just saying so many different things, and then I was like, I could learn a lot from him. So I remember we got on calls and then he introduced me to certain tools that took me through basically now this process where I eventually learnt how to become a good problem solver.

Okay, right. Just with the point that you just talked about, I really like the fact that you had a willingness to learn. You know, there are people who have an attitude towards this person's younger than me, so they probably don't know something that they're going to teach me.

Exactly. But I think that willingness to be like, okay, wow, this guy is 17 and so much experience, and I'm willing to learn and not have that ego of now I probably still know better than this guy. There's only a few things that he can learn from me, but I think that's something that some people really overlook.

The people who are younger are not as knowledgeable or are not you need to go through the hierarchy for you to tell me anything, which is a very big problem, I'd say, in a lot of the traditional industries. And that's what I think. I was also trying to explain that that's what I really like about the tech industry.

Can you code doesn't matter how old you are exactly. The hierarchy doesn't matter. Can you market? Are you a good product person? And that's also something that I really like within the company that we work in.

And I think that mentality is being broken in this digital remote age exactly. Because the skills and the experience and what you've achieved is what speaks. It's not exactly my age or I look, I love that.

Continue. Yeah. So I remember we would get on calls, and he would help me out.

And then now, basically after that, I went on continuing on my own journey over there. And then I remember at second semester of my fourth year, me and my friend, my classmate, and she's still my friend till now, we just saw a job application for Safaricom. This was during COVID So we were doing working at home, so we had a lot of free time, and so me and her just said, you know what? Let's just apply for the laws and see what happens.

Exactly. And then, okay, we have been called, but both of us had actually been working, so we had experience before that. Sorry.

Before you proceed, I think for those who may be listening and don't know what Safaricom is, in case you're not part of the Kenyan audience, it's one of the big tech companies that we have in Kenya right now. So. Yeah, I think they're SIM card.

Okay. They're a telecommunications communications company. Okay, just to give a bit more.

So Safaricom, just like you've explained, was a dream for a young developer like myself. It was a dream for probably a lot of people at that time. Your classmates even didn't even probably think that Safaricom was like an end goal.

End goal. Not your first it's not your first job. That was something we were asked a lot when we eventually got in.

We were just that was applied. You went for the interviews. Initially, we just applied, thinking I remember we said, Will we even get it? I mean, worst case, we'll learn something.

Worst absolutely. Worst case, we'll learn something. Best case, we get a job.

So might as well just try it. So we applied. Then we got an interview day.

And actually, it was first a coding interview. Oh, both of you got yeah, we both got that. And then now, before this, I was telling you, my founder introduced me to a couple of tools.

One of the tools were actually this coding interview test things. So I got really good. We used to do them with her.

We would be doing in our free time, we'll just start doing all those coding questions, as many as we could. So by the time Safaricom sent us a coding interview, we just wiped the floor. It was too easy.

Exactly. So we passed, but we still kept on saying, we don't know. We probably still wouldn't get this.

And then now we got a call for an interview. Now what's? Virtual virtual interview. Because it's COVID days.

Yeah. So we got on a virtual interview, and then they just asked us about problem solving. How would we go about it? Just basic now problem solving skills, which are things we had been learning.

Then we said, yeah, we're probably not going to get this. We got on a call after jeez, we use Discord a lot. We got on a call on Discord and we just talked.

That's also another very naughty thing. Let me just say that, but continue. Yeah, I wouldn't even lie.

Yeah, discord is pretty naughty. I wouldn't even lie there. But yeah, we got on Discord, and we were just talking about how we're not going to get this.

And then we got calls from HR, the HR lady who interviewed us, and said, you did a fantastic job. We'll let you know tomorrow if you got it. This isn't to tell you you've gotten it, but we just want to tell you you've done a really good job.

Wow. So that was a huge boost. And even if I didn't get the job after, I would have been happy.

You would have known because I really did my best, and I did better than I even expected. Was giving you the results that you really desired. Yeah.

And then we got a call the next day, and we both got the job. Wow. Yeah.

We both got into the company together, which was really nice because I also didn't feel on my own. I had someone who in every way we were on the same level in terms of age skill, you could say, was this still forthya moment? This is still fourth year. Exactly.

First of all, I'm really proud of you for being able to do that. Still in uni your first job. Okay.

Not first job. Paying job. Yes.

Was in a big tech company, because that's not a story that is very common, especially in the African market. Normally it's okay. You already know you're going to go through, like, you know how in form one or first year of high school, you're a mono again.

And then there's maybe some form of bullying. You're doing cut work, same thing. Okay.

Now you're first year, you kind of feel that thing again. So that's the same expectation in the job market. Okay.

You're going to get in and then get a job or something. You ten k, and then you grow in hierarchy. In ten years is when you're going to get this but I like that such an opportunity was created for people like him.

That's, again, one thing I really like about tech, because I know abroad it's a different story. It's easier for students to be able to get into good, big, well known companies straight from Uni as compared to in Kenya or in Africa, where you're just really, literally expected, even your parents expect, okay, now when you go, they're just getting ready to struggle for like, five years and then find your way. What was your family's reaction or the people around you when they were in Uni? I didn't even think they believed it.

My dad was in shock, but they were also really proud. But my dad also was just, okay, make sure you have this insurance. He is now setting me up.

I'm just thinking about, I have a job at Safaricom. I was just in a lot of shock, but excitement. Insane excitement.

Yeah. So now we had to learn how to balance school and work life, which was surprisingly not that I had, but to be fair, COVID. Exactly.

I think COVID was really good. COVID has had its positives in the nicest way possible. Don't get canceled.

Not the first 2nd episode of the podcast was a terrible experience. But working from home was a really good thing that came out of it. Yeah.

And we're still in that space right now. Yeah. So we started now just trying to see how we could balance.

But I won't lie, and it's okay for this to be the case, but one thing will suffer. There will be place times where work will be majority and school will be less and vice versa. And that's okay.

You don't have to put yourself on this impossible standard of balance. Initially, everything initially, I didn't feel that. I felt like I should have a perfect balance with everything.

I very much relate because I got this job as well, still in Uni. So balancing both. And I think you just say this weekend is for school.

Yeah, exactly. You know, there's nothing but also having a really understanding manager very essential because I had someone who I could explain to this is like exam period. I haven't yet gotten enough leave days because I just joined, and then three months later, I'm doing exams.

Is it possible if I'll just be available for maybe a fewer hours or maybe work into the so that was something that we learned, and then we kept working in Safaricom. It was pretty good. But something that we actually kept being asked that you kind of hinted at is, are you sure you guys got in? Do you have parents who are in Safaricom? And we had to basically be like, no.

Because people are saying, do you know how long we tarmac to get here? Because a lot of people it took a while. People are really bitter about you coming in and getting a job. That took them years to get, but just doesn't mean that I was better because it could also be the situation.

But yeah, it's also feeling like you have that to prove to prove yourself even more. It's true. You do have to prove yourself even more, especially in companies that are big right now.

We work in a smallish company compared to now. There's so many people, and probably so many people trying to get into the hierarchy of growing into the next role. And ten of you are competing for the same.

Yeah, exactly. Now you being the youngest, you being there, not expecting it from you. Exactly.

So to some extent, that also did feel like an uphill battle. But now, after about a year of being there, is when you could say those types of problems in the job is when they started making just weighing down on me. So I think it was an amazing opportunity to start with.

I did learn a lot because that's when I picked up the DevOps engineering, because prior to that, it was just Android development and also some iOS, but mainly Android. Yeah. So that's when I got into DevOps and I was exposed to a host of other things.

But at the same time, being in a corporate is very limiting, especially when, in my opinion, you're young, you can afford to take the risks, you can afford to have pressure, stress, have some stress every now and then just so that you can also get some skills. So it felt to some extent where you're not growing. It's kind of like you stunted and now at that point, you're just working for the paycheck.

What does not growing mean for a developer? I would say you're not in a state where you're constantly learning, and not only constantly learning, but constantly implementing what you've learned. So, yes, we tried especially I was really trying my best to still keep up with all the new technologies in terms of Android development and even just try and test them out on my own. But if you don't have a project that this is life or death, I have to work on this, you have to deliver this.

I find myself struggling to be consistent with. So if you're not in a state where you're learning and implementing what you're learning in a way that can actually make an impact, you're likely not going to grow. I don't think you're growing, personally speaking.

So that was now a space where I started, now reconsidering. Maybe I need to look for another job. But at the same time, I felt like in Kenya, this is the highest that you can really reach.

Probably going to think you're crazy for leaving. Exactly. My dad did think I was crazy for some time.

He was saying, hey, I'm going to work for a startup. Insurance, pension, those other things. Yeah.

His biggest concern were things like insurance and pension and stuff. What was your. Biggest concern.

My biggest concern was I loved coding and I stopped loving to code. It didn't feel like something I enjoyed doing anymore. It became so monotonous.

My biggest concern was also I am overfitting, you could say. It's like if you build something right now, maybe you have a chair for a specific thing that can't be used for anything else. I felt like I was becoming only useful in one specific context, making it way more difficult to market myself anywhere else.

Because my skills can only be applied in Safaricom, in this specific department, in this specific role. So, yeah, I started now also money was a concern. After some time, I started seeing Life Is Now getting a bit this thing I was celebrating about in Atugonga.

So the money that was being paid at the time started to feel a lot less. I also started taking on some responsibilities in terms of investments. And I was trying to see like that's also when I was learning, hey, you need money to make money, I started also now opening myself up to see now we're in this state where you can work remotely anywhere.

Let me just start looking at jobs in other countries and see if they allow me, because I still love being in Kenya. I love the people. So I didn't want to move, but I still wanted to see if I could get the pay that these guys in other countries and I was seeing people are being paid ten times.

That's when you start to realize yeah, I think sometimes sorry for interrupting you. When you get your first job, you're like, this is exactly and then you do a deep dive into what the industry is paying, or what maybe you should be earning, or maybe what growth is going to look like financially. And you're like, this as big as I thought it was.

And now you now have a goal. It's like, okay, this is now what I need to work towards. Obviously, I don't think money should be your end all be all, because you will constantly be chasing that.

There'll never be a figure that's satisfying. So it's better to just be at a place you love, but at the same time go get your money. Exactly.

You need the bag. Exactly. You need to get that bread.

So, yeah, Sonai became aggressive in terms of seeing what the market in these countries, just the international market, what skills are they looking for? They weren't looking for a lot of the skills that I had. So I started learning a lot of stuff on the side. And this one also now started talking again with our founder and we just started talking about mainly crypto.

So crypto and blockchain technology. You always had a connection with cryptocurrency as well? No, that's actually a fairly recent thing. I'll say maybe two, three years is when I got into although I remember me and my brother keep talking about this when we were like 1450.

When I was 14, we did. We mined ethereum. I think we even had like 20 then.

What happened? We don't even know where that computer is. We could be millionaires right now. You're those secret millionaires.

There's so much pain when we remember that. But I didn't understand much about crypto until just recently. I can't even get it.

It's gone. That's the most painful memory, people. You are sharing your tech story and how your Janet success? Meanwhile, I have money dormant somewhere.

Yeah. So now we started talking and now, I thought the most high paying jobs, at least in this current place that I'm seeing, maybe AI right now, especially because of Chat GPT, but at the time, it was blockchain developer in particular, Solidity, which is for ethereum. So I started learning that David, our founder, was also like, in that space.

He wasn't learning, but he already knew. Exactly. I remember Tsunami and my friend who we were with in Safaricom, we actually now started talking to Dave and he would be saying things like, he just, have you ever had a conversation someone, and you're just saying, I need to go and search everything he said after, I just need to get through it now.

So just shaking your head, saying, yeah, but going and then doing the extra to find out these things. So, yeah, I think now that's also where he saw maybe my willingness to learn. I need to ask him what he saw.

But I remember now, him and Dom, the head of product, came and reached out with an offer that I could not refuse. And at the time, I was still afraid because I'm still coming from that mentality of job security. Is everything.

Absolutely. You're in a big company. Just even the name, the name itself carries something.

So even though my dad was not down for this, I took it. I took the opportunity. Now he is.

Now he's good. Now he's happy. Exactly.

Now he's happy with everything. But initially it was something that was a very scary experience for me because I had to really you had to make a choice. Exactly.

Yeah. So am I going to be in the place where I'm secure, but my career, I'm not going to be happy with where I'm at, even though I'll have external people looking at me like, wow, you're doing a good job. So I got in here and now it was a completely different space when I was in Safaricom.

And I hope my former manager doesn't see this, but sometimes I would get in Netflix game none. So it just became now learning a lot, making a lot of mistakes. Also, because now in a company where there's so many people, it's like you have think of it as like you have an assembly line.

This person does this, this person does this. But now in a startup, you are the assembly line. You are the whole line.

Exactly. You do all the things so I think now that's where I got just challenged consistently growing. Best place to be at the beginning of your career.

I agree. I think I just needed to test corporate so I know this is not where I want to be so that when I'm back to no I would definitely not go back. It's so amazing to see your work also make a building.

Exactly. Are amazing and the ideas that so many people have in this industry and the people you end up meeting yeah you could have an idea right now and next week somebody can in another country is using your idea. That's just such an amazing yeah big companies, they're great but your impact is like a spec of what your impact can be when you're in a smaller startup scaling company rather than a company that's already scaled and reached it.

I feel like also scaling marketing wise is different compared when you do it in a startup compared to now. Okay now you're in agency okay you see this TikTok then you have to come and then your manager claims that we have this idea. Oh my God.

Yeah, sorry. Yeah. So you got into your startup yeah.

So now this is where we are and I'm loving it. I'm loving the amount of just I feel like I've become this past year being at Honeycoin I would say I've learnt so much more. It took me to a whole new level.

You're coding all the time. Yeah, I'm constantly so you could even say technically this year could be in terms of time spent coding is probably my past two, three years. Wow.

So I've learned a lot. I'm also just learning to be more than a developer because we all don't want to code until the day we die. You also want to eventually start your own thing or at least just have an idea that you bring to fruition and I think that's also something I'm learning as I'm here.

I'm working with a product lead marketer, I'm front end engineers. I'm working with now also the CEO so I get to see so many parts that make a business successful. It's not just the code exactly.

I think coders can get into their space like just your desk, your coding just vibes and you don't even care how they're now there to market whatever you've built or who will use it. Your family. Yeah, I think I really also like that touch, that element of getting to know what every single person does in the team and how it's also impacting.

And it's not just your code. I think it also gives you that sense of you're actually building for something valuable. That is, for a solution, that you're building the solution.

But now you also get to see the impact of the solution that you've created. Exactly. Yeah I would say that's where my journey is for where I want to go in the future.

Like, I've just given a hint about that right now. I would say I just want to be someone who's learning constantly so that I don't think you should ever stop learning. But eventually now being able to put position myself into a place where I'm ready to succeed in my own thing.

Okay. I love that, honestly. Given what you've just given us, what do you think about your journey in general? Are you proud of yourself? Just generally? What do you think about your story? I think I already asked on this as well.

What does success look like for you? I think, but you already said building your own product. Give us a bit of insight on what you think about the journey that you've been on. I think the journey I've been on is the biggest thing.

I would say it's just been a whole process of learning and unlearning. I think it's just been all a mental thing at the end of the day because I feel like you could easily apply this to any person in any career field in the sense of getting past the mental barriers that we have put up in our own selves or maybe learnt from society. That's what I would say my journey has been, and I think there's a lot more mental barriers to overcome.

But yeah, I would say that's what my journey is. I wish I could have started a bit earlier, but I'm also happy that I at least started. I don't know why people keep saying this, because there are people who are coding when they are nine.

Hey, you're busy over there? You start recording at 14. It's the break that maybe you shouldn't have taken. That's true, that's true.

The break where I stopped for like two years. But yeah, I wish I would have learned more, but I don't also hold that over my own head. I'm happy with you're still young and there's still so much room for you.

You still have learnt way more than a lot of people your age and the opportunities that have presented themselves to you. You've taken full advantage of that and you've been able to take every opportunity that you've had positively and just learn to the experience. And I think that's as much as you're a coder, I think personality also carries throughout the journey that you're on because that willingness to learn, that the mentorships that you create, the relationships that you have, it's beyond just the code.

Yes, I think your personality also contributes to the success that you've currently reached as for now. And it's only going to keep getting better. Thank you for the kind words.

I'm happy for you. I think I'm going to ask you a few closing questions. I think that was an amazing story.

Thank you. Yeah. Just going to ask four final questions.

Short, sweet answers just to close off the episode. We're going to be doing this with all our guests. So the first one that I'm going to ask you is, what is one word to describe the journey to get to where you are today and why? One word? I'd say consistency.

Why? Because I think something that I am really glad my younger self did without even knowing is just keep on trying. Even if you're not good at it. It comes with just keep on trying.

Keep on trying. It reminds me of this. I can't even remember the name of that idea, but this idea that just small incremental changes if you're doing 1% might not feel like a lot, but 1% over a year and then three years and four years can completely change the trajectory.

Exactly. Small things that you end up doing, the small 1% by Friday, 1% every day it's 5%, and then in a month it's already exactly. Yeah.

So I remember building so many projects. There's this thing for, you could say it's like a portfolio for programmers. It's called GitHub, where we put all our code.

I remember I've made like 1520 different apps almost every three or four months. And how I would do that was I would go on Upwork. I don't know if you've heard of Upwork.

Yeah. And I would see the jobs people wanted. Like people would say, I want this app built, maybe a library app that does this and this.

And I would go and build that whole thing, the front end, at least in 2 hours. Then I'd come and apply for the job. I still didn't get any of those jobs, by the way, but that type of journey.

Yeah, exactly. That keep on trying over and over. I love that.

Okay, the next question that I have for you is what advice would you give someone who is aspiring to get to where you are today? I just say take that step. That first step. Don't also set high and lofty goals for yourself saying that you want to build the next Facebook and you've never written a line of code.

It's just take some time. Just keep on doing small, small things if that's your goal. At the very least, just learn something now.

Figure out how you're going to get exactly so that you can actually break it down to steps that you can actually achieve. Yeah, okay. Do you have any regrets or something that you wish you would have done differently? Apart from starting like you mentioned or not taking the break? Any regrets? I don't think I wouldn't say the only regret maybe I would have is not coding more when I could yeah.

If I could spend more time when I was younger doing this. Okay. Not when I was younger.

Even in those two, three years. That time, I'm telling you, I was getting on Netflix while in Safaricom. It's good to have rest, but at the same time, I could have spent more time doing my own.

Yeah. Last one. Give us a powerful parting shot.

How do you want to end your episode on your tech story? Okay. A powerful parting shot when you ask. Okay, give us a parting shot.

Let me not I would say to give you pressure, I would say one. Thank you for having me in the podcast. I've really appreciated just talking about my journey, and I hope anyone who's listening to this and is in any is maybe on a similar path as me.

You could just take what I've learned and apply it in your own space. It doesn't even have to be in the same career, but just breaking those mental barriers down, know, making something of yourself without don't be afraid. Just do it.

Just do it. Like Nike said. Yes.

Oh, thank you so much, Gabrielle. I think that was such an inspiring story, and I'm pretty sure any developer who's aspiring to be like, you listening to this right now. If I was a dev right now in, I don't know, high school, I'd definitely be getting on to the next I'd be inspired to start coding right now.

Going good now. And yeah. Thank you for also agreeing to become one of my guests.

I know you and Dom, who was our first guest, really, just when I was pitching this idea to you guys, you full on supported me and said, yes, we will be very willing to be part of the journey and share your story, be one of the first people to share your story. So I'm very grateful for that, and I cannot wait to see how your journey proceeds beyond this. I think success is returning the stars for you.

Thank you. Yeah. I'll be back with more with more what has progressed.

Yes. Thank you so much for you listeners for tuning in and just for listening this far. I hope you've picked up a thing or two that you can apply into your own life.

Make sure to, like, share, subscribe, and follow. If you're listening from Spotify, we are on all the major listening platforms. You can catch us there beyond that.

And if you're listening on the podcast listening platforms, we are also on YouTube. So if you want to see who Gabriel is in the flesh, go on and head over on YouTube or follow us on social media at my tech story, where we share a lot more content beyond just the podcast. My name is Alice Kanjajo, your lovely host, and I cannot wait to keep sharing amazing stories or people to come on over and share their amazing stories.

Our guests. Honestly, I'm living here, feeling very inspired in my own industry in itself, just listening to what other people are doing out there. And if you feel you also have a story that you definitely can share that is worth sharing, that is inspiring to people who may be in the tech industry, maybe not in the tech industry, but something that you feel will be relevant to this podcast.

Feel free to reach out to us on email. Everything is linked in the description as well. Yes, thank you once again and guys, I will see you in the next one.

The next one is going to be a very interesting one. I'm not going to preempt the guests are, but just know it's going to be a good one. So I'll see you guys then.


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