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Saturday, 01 April 2023 07:05

Started coding at age 6, Agboola Joshua, the youngest certified cloud practitioner in Africa

Agboola Joshua is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Joshfortech. At age 6, Joshua started coding and building competence in several programming languages. Recently, the 13-year-old was named the youngest certified cloud practitioner in Africa. In this interview, the young techy opens up on life, achievements, and current projects. TRIBUNE reports.

You started coding at age 6. How has the journey been so far?

Yes, my first introduction to coding was at 6 years when my parents sent me to a summer computer school. When I was 7, they enrolled me for tech classes at CCHub. It was there I learned how to code from scratch. Three years later, I got a scholarship to study Software Engineering at Semicolon. Today I am proficient in a number of programming languages and frameworks. More recently, I became certified by Amazon as an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. It has been an exciting journey of learning, acquiring skills, and putting the skills to use. The opportunity that programming provides for me to be able to create solutions and solve problems inspires my tech pursuit.

As a tech enthusiast, what were the major things you set out to achieve when you started?

As I did mention, it was more of a passion. It all started with the curiosity of a child that then turned into passion. So, I am actually pursuing my passion, not just a career. One thing I set out to do early was to create awareness on the need to empower young people with tech skills in their early life. That is why I call myself a “future skills activist”. That said, my dream is to build several world-class tech businesses and Fintech businesses that will be generating income by providing technology-based ideas to solve the world’s many problems. I particularly aspire

In 2020, you went viral for your feat in the industry. How has the prominence shaped your passion for tech?

An adage says “We stand tall and we see far because we are standing on the shoulders of giants”. That describes my experience. The visibility created has made many friends and followers for me, opened doors and opportunities, facilitated my winning of a couple of awards, and generated more media attention for me. I won the MTN Hackathon for my work on Kagukar, and the Indomie Heroes award in the intellectual category, aside from other awards. This attention has also put me on my toes to be a constant learner and value creator in the tech industry.

Do you mind telling us more about ‘Kagukar’?

Kagukar is a learning assistant or study buddy that uses the power of artificial intelligence. It works as an interactive, voice-activated robot that helps students.

One of my motivations for creating this app was to provide a very useful learning aid and companion to blind students in Nigeria who are disadvantaged because of their sight disability. With the help of Kagukar, blind students will now be able to study full classes and curriculums on their own. I believe Kagukar will light up the world of blind students and close the gap for them. I initiated work on this application in an MTN coding booth camp, after winning the first position in the MTN mPulse hackathon in 2020. However, I need support to move forward from where I am, hasten the development milestones of the application, and take it to completion.

Are there any projects you are currently working?

I am currently working on KagukarV2 and also working to help improve the user experience while using Kagukar.

As a young techy, who are the people that inspired your feats?

My Chief Tech mentors are my parents. My dad, Bayo Agboola, leads the team and my mum, Henrietta Agboola is his assistant. As great mentors, they coach me to bring out the best in me. For instance, my dad was the one that challenged me to sit for the AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification and I took it on.

I have also been blessed to meet Sam Immanuel of Semicolon who mentored me helped me with a scholarship to study Software Development. I am equally grateful for technical mentors like Tobi Agboola, Victor Olateju, Kelechi Okoroafor, and Nonso Okoroafor from Semicolon. I’m thankful for having these people in my life.

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