The Gold Fellowship: Where Career Excellence Is the Norm - ALX
Jilks Smith - ALX SE graduate and member of The ROOM Gold Fellowship

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.

What are some of your key responsibilities at Cellulant?

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 were some of the highlights of the ALX Software Engineering programme for you?

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.

What were some of the key skills you acquired during your training at ALX?

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.

What is your dream job as a Software Engineer?

ALX Software Engineering learner working on his laptop at a live coding session in Kigali, Rwanda
ALX Software Engineering learners at a live coding session in Kigali, Rwanda

I aspire to be a Google Developer Expert for Kotlin and Android.

Who are your role models in the tech space?

My role models are Linus Torvalds (Finnish Software Engineer), Bright Gameli (Ghanaian Cyber Security expert) and Juma Allan (Kenyan Android Engineer).

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I have ever received was to keep learning new technologies and to always practise my craft – building and writing code.

What does it mean to you to be a Gold Fellow and be part of this top tech community?

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. 

What are some of the important benefits of being a Gold Fellow for you?

ALX SE alum Jilks Smith posing for a picture with Cyber Security genius Bright Gameli at a Gold Fellowship event
Jilks with Bright Gameli, Cyber Security Engineer and Researcher and co-founder of AfricaHackon

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!

Why do you think it’s important to belong to professional communities such as the Gold Fellowship?

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.

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