After graduating from Binghamton University, Daniel Adeyanju joined an online food-ordering company as their first employee. He headed operations, handling the day-to-day logistics of the early stage startup, but he felt himself being drawn to the engineering aspects of the company. He had always been interested in computers, having dabbled in coding as a child, self-teaching himself the basics from books and websites.
After taking a few Computer Science classes to build his foundation, he decided to dive headfirst into his coding education by joining Flatiron School’s Mobile Dev Corps, an intensive program designed in partnership with the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline to train New Yorkers to become production-ready mobile developers.
Adeyanju recently spoke with us about his background, his experience at Flatiron School, and his new role at Macys.com
What inspired you to learn to code?
I’m inspired by code’s ability to change the world. Smart people can come together with an idea and turn it into reality through code and literally upend an entire industry. I’m most passionate about how code can be used to make the world a better place for everyone. I really like companies like HandUp (which allows for direct donations to homeless people), GreatPositive (an online fundraising tool for nonprofits), and Crisis Text Hotline that help scale positive good.
What brought you to Flatiron School and our Mobile Dev Corps program?
I’d heard about the Flatiron School a while ago, and had seen a friend from high school attend Flatiron School and get a job at the New York Times and then Tumblr. I decided to start taking CS courses after work. However, I soon realized that between working full-time and taking theoretical classes, I wasn’t learning practical coding skills, so I applied for Flatiron School to get the experience I needed.
What was your favorite part of the Flatiron School and Mobile Dev Corps experience?
The community was what I valued most about Flatiron School. I was surrounded by an awesome group of people who all made the same decision to leave their jobs and sacrifice their time to invest in a huge career change. Everyone was willing to help each other out, which is something you don’t often see in an academic environment. Through Flatiron, I made lifelong friends with similar interests and drive.
What did you find to be the biggest challenge of learning to program?
Getting used to not knowing what to do. Software engineering requires constant learning, discovery, and humility. I might not know how to solve a problem right away, but I’ll certainly figure it out!
Tell me about your role and the work you’re doing now. What’s a specific project you recently worked on? What’s your favorite part of what you’re doing now?
I’m currently at Macys.com in San Francisco, leveraging my iOS knowledge. I just helped build a prototype for a Today Widget (the tiny apps that appear in your iPhone Notification Center’s “Today” view). I learned a lot about building a new feature within a larger system, from concept to shippable product. Working with other developers is always a rewarding experience, because you can learn so much from the knowledge they’ve accumulated, as well as improve your own ability to explain technical concepts. Macys.com is an awesome place to work, because it’s in an industry that is rapidly changing—and it has had to change with it. As the third-largest online department store, they’ve worked hard to infuse innovation into their DNA by employing lean methodologies company-wide.
Have did your previous job at the food startup inform your approach to your current work?
Working at a startup in an operations role taught me how to zoom in and out of focus. Zooming out allows you to see the big picture and how everything connects, while you have to zoom in to solve problems in the component part. Being able to think about how a business works and how to build a product for a customer has been invaluable to me as a technologist.
Care to share a tip for others hoping to learn to code?
If you’re looking to code, it’s most important that you have a strong reason that you can hold onto even when things get tough. Find what you like about coding and/or think about things you want to build. Having those things in mind have kept me motivated even when I’m stuck on a difficult problem.
Interested in learning to code and moving into a fulfilling tech career like Daniel? Get started today on Learn.co.