Microverse students are from more than 100 countries around the world and work incredibly hard to become global software developers. From making sacrifices to be able to support themselves throughout the program, to spending 1000+ hours learning, they’re committed to improving their lives.
This week, we’re delighted to highlight one of our current students, who decided to change her career in order to pursue software development, all while raising her 2-year old son. Mupa M'mbetsa Nzaphila is originally from Nairobi, Kenya and is now living in Munich, Germany. She shared with us her story of becoming a software developer, her favorite programming languages, advice for getting started, and more. Read on to learn more about Mupa!
Early Life and Deciding to Become a Software Developer
When asked about her background Mupa shared how she was born and raised in Nairobi, but recently moved to Munich with her family. Mupa went to school in Nairobi and shortly after graduating from high school, began working as a graphic designer. “Times were tough at home back then, so I had to start working after I completed high school,” said Mupa.
A few years later, she began to pursue a course at the Institute of Advanced Technology to learn Web Design and started doing some projects. However, shortly after, she had to stop pursuing it due to the demands of her graphic design job. In 2019, Mupa decided it was finally time to make a career change and quit her job. She then fully focused on pursuing her dream of becoming a Full Stack Developer.
Mupa’s Software Developer Journey
Initially, she began to learn with online resources including FreeCodeCamp and Udemy. Mupa also learned with Pluralsight through the Google Africa Developer Scholarship Program. Towards the end of that program, someone shared a link for Microverse in one of the Slack channels.
“I remember thinking, this could not have come at a better time.”
She really liked the idea of building more real-life projects that would add value to her portfolio and found the concept of remote pair programming a particularly interesting way to learn.
So Mupa decided to join Microverse in January 2020 to upskill, and said, “it was the best decision I have ever made.”
Her Microverse Experience
When asked about her Microverse experience, Mupa said her favorite part is her coding partners and standup team. She noted that she always looks forward to mornings and evenings when she meets with her standup team to talk, do challenges, and review one another's code.
“I have met so many amazing students from different cultures, from around the world. Aside from the content structured by Microverse, I have learned so much from my coding partners.”
Mupa also mentioned that while there is a lot of great online content out there, and anyone can - in theory - learn alone, it's very easy to lose motivation or get distracted by things due to a lack of accountability. Although she said learning full time was not easy at first, and that there are still times when she wakes up not in the mood to learn, she knows she is accountable to her coding partner, so always puts in the work.
Mupa’s Favorite Learnings So Far
She also said she enjoys using Ruby's Framework Ruby on Rails, especially when it came to building her Desktop Social Media Web App for connecting movie fans. Another thing Mupa has enjoyed is the increase in confidence she’s felt from sharing her thought process while working on a project with others and collaborating on ideas.
Apart from the technical expertise, Mupa said Microverse has also stood out due to the inclusion of professional skills in the curriculum. She noted how this has helped her improve her soft skills and avoid mistakes that are often made when setting up profiles on Github, Linkedin, and Twitter, as well as when writing resumes and creating portfolios.
Being a Woman Who Codes
At 32, Mupa has already moved with her family to a new continent and pursued a career change, all while taking care of her 2-year-old son. “I am thankful for the support I get from those close to me, especially my husband” she said. And even though just 27.5% of software developers worldwide are women, Mupa said her experience as a female developer has been great so far. Despite the fact that studying full time hasn’t always been easy for Mupa, she believes with every new responsibility, comes new challenges.
“The main thing that keeps me motivated is my passion for what I do. Also, I get inspired by surrounding myself with people who have the same interests.”
And she does just that. Mupa is a member of several communities including; Women Who Code, TechWomen, Women of GADS, SheCodeAfrica and the Micro-Women community at Microverse. She also makes an effort to attend meetups - whenever possible - to grow her understanding across a broad range of technology topics. She uses those opportunities to connect with others and help each other determine where to leverage the skills they’ve learned throughout their software developer journeys.
Advice for Aspiring Software Developers
Upon being asked to share her advice for aspiring software developers, this is what Mupa said;
“When it comes to software development; upskilling, self-learning, and personal development are major parts of your career.”
She suggested starting out by going through some free online resources, like the ones mentioned above in order to determine if software development is really the career you want to pursue. Once you’ve decided it is, she recommends joining a program that truly focuses on nurturing your career. “I highly recommend Microverse because it focuses on all that - including interview preparation - to help you prepare for your job search,” said Mupa.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s clear from Mupa’s advice that perseverance, holding yourself accountable, and continuing to upskill, are all essential in your journey to becoming a software developer. You can view Mupa's portfolio here and connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter. And if you're unsure about learning to code as you have no experience, read Maria's experience of becoming a software developer with no technical background.
To date, Microverse has enrolled full-time students from 100+ countries, received applications from more than 200 countries, grown to a team from 12 countries, and helped our alumni from around the world land life-changing jobs.
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