NBA AFRICA Triple Double Accelerator. Secure investment for your start up today. Apply Now!


The Value of Mentorship and Community in Tech: A Gold Fellow’s Experience

Passionate about software development and driven to solve global problems, Kenya-born Derrick Ampire is making remarkable strides in his career. With a background in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nairobi, Derrick's fascination with software development propelled him to join the ALX Software Engineering programme. Since graduating in 2022, he has become a Technical Mentor at ALX, fuelling the passions of other budding software engineers. Derrick's achievements have paved the way for his tech career, culminating in his prestigious selection as a member of The ROOM Gold Fellowship—a career accelerator for accomplished ALX tech graduates. In this spotlight interview, he shares his ALX journey, audacious goals, and how the Gold Fellowship is empowering his pursuits in the tech industry.

What key skills did you acquire as an ALX learner?

In addition to the technical skills I gained from the Software Engineering programme, I also gained proficiency in backend development, problem solving, and essential project management strategies, enabling me to manage projects from start to finish.

What are some of your key responsibilities as an ALX SE Technical Mentor?

My role is to support current learners in the programme. This involves facilitating live coding sessions, responding to learner queries on software programming (C, Python, and Javascript) and ensuring an enhanced student experience. Ultimately, I’m a custodian of the ALX SE programme and curriculum, and I strive to constantly improve the overall student satisfaction. 

What are your career aspirations and goals as a tech professional?

While I love and enjoy what I’m doing now, in the future, I hope to become a tech entrepreneur with a business that addresses Africa's most persistent issues in the areas of health or education.

Who are your role models in the tech space?

I’m greatly inspired by Elon Musk and Bill Gates.

What benefits do you anticipate from being a Gold Fellow?

I would say there are three main things – access to flexible and conducive workspaces, access to networking opportunities and tech events, and most importantly, the opportunity to engage with our mentors, who we call Pathfinders. In the past, mentorship has helped me avoid pitfalls and exposed me to world-class career advice that I might not previously have had access to. So having full-time access to a Pathfinder, who is skilled at coaching me to achieving and exceeding my goals is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I’m truly grateful for. 

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

Professional communities like this one offer the opportunity to interact with like-minded individuals and industry experts, igniting an insatiable hunger for continuous improvement. This drive for growth is especially essential in the constantly evolving tech space.

The ROOM Gold Fellowship is an exceptional talent experience designed to support the top 5-10% of ALX tech graduates. With exclusive access to a workspace, a dedicated Pathfinder, and opportunities for lifelong learning, it empowers ALX tech graduates and propels their career growth. Apply today to one of ALX’s world-class programmes so that you can gain entry into the Gold Fellowship.

Ready to get started?

Gain in-demand job skills