Jilks Smith is an ALX Software Engineering graduate currently working at Cellulant in Nairobi as an Android Software Engineer. With a BSc in Mechatronic Engineering and 4 years experience in the tech field, Jilks aspires to be a Google Developer Expert for Kotlin and Android.
He shares insights into his tech journey and more interestingly – his experience as a member of the newly launched, exclusive community of top tech professionals – The ROOM Gold Fellowship.
I’m an Android Software Engineer at Cellulant, where I’m responsible for maintaining and updating the Android application, Tingg (formerly Mula). I work on the addition of new features to the app and also support the development of the Tingg application on iOS.
What stood out the most to me was the fast paced and highly comprehensive curriculum. I also enjoyed the focus on developing skills relevant for today’s tech industry, and how the programme grooms you to be able to solve complex, real world problems.
In my time at ALX, I acquired technical skills in Python and C programming languages, and learned about frameworks such as Flask, database technologies such as SQL, SQLAlchemy, DevOps operations and version control. I also picked up soft skills such as efficient oral and written communication, active listening and networking.
I aspire to be a Google Developer Expert for Kotlin and Android.
My role models are Linus Torvalds (Finnish Software Engineer), Bright Gameli (Ghanaian Cyber Security expert) and Juma Allan (Kenyan Android Engineer).
The best advice I have ever received was to keep learning new technologies and to always practise my craft – building and writing code.
Being a Gold Fellow means that someone was impressed by how much work I have put in, and they believe that I have the potential to positively impact the community. It’s a reminder to continue to push myself to grow in my craft and career, and set a good example for other individuals who are interested in pursuing a similar path.
Some of the biggest benefits for me are having a Career Pathfinder and having access to working spaces that enable productivity, creativity and networking with new individuals. I’m enjoying the experience so far, especially working with a Pathfinder. Having a mentor to guide me has made me more self accountable and provided me with key insights on how to navigate the tech space. I also get to enjoy a cup of coffee in the KOFISI office spaces sometimes, and that is always refreshing!
Professional networks provide avenues to meet the right people. They can open doors to interactions with potential employers, investors and clients. Beyond that, the professional community exposes you to an environment where success, career growth and building profitable businesses are not only common, but also the norm.
The ROOM Gold Fellowship is an opportunity for successful graduates of ALX tech programmes to take their career growth to new heights. Find out more about this top tech community, offering a range of impactful benefits available to Gold Fellows.