#Borderless: How switching from Finance to Software Engineering has changed Nnamdi's life.
The last article addressed how to send money to the US from Nigeria. Today is all about Nnamdi, a Sendcash user who works remotely for a US company and gets paid via Sendcash. He talks about his switch from Finance to Software Engineering, how working remotely for a US company has changed his lifestyle and a lot more.
Hi Nnamdi, tell us a bit about yourself and how you got to know about Sendcash
My name is Ernest Nnamdi, I am a software developer for Munchkinlabs. I heard about Sendcash or more correctly put, I was told about Sendcash by a friend when I disclosed how frustrated I was looking for a platform through which I could accept payment from the US. I wanted a seamless service that'll ensure that the money sent from San Diego will hit my account in Lagos Nigeria in under 48hrs.
What's a typical day at work like for you?
My day usually starts at 6pm (WAT) due to the time difference. I think that's 10am Pacific time. I'll be sticking with Nigerian time.
On Monday, we have an all-hands meeting by 7pm. Other days, I check my calendar to see if I have a department meeting or if I have to jump on a call to help out a colleague. After that, I go to bed. Things are slightly different on Tuesdays because I have weekly stand-up by 2am.
I do most of my work during the day. As a Backend Developer, I had expected to do a lot of server-side development. Well, that's not happening yet. Since I joined, I've been working on cloud infrastructure. I have also been writing a lot of React, which is funny because remember I said I was a Backend Developer?
Wearing multiple hats is a reality I'm getting used to.
What would you say are the perks and challenges of this job?
Perks? Let's see. Well, I'm paid in crypto and my data budget is sent as USD. That way, I'm always protected from the volatility of Naira. I also have amazing colleagues through whom I’ve actually learnt what the term "amazing culture" means in reality. Learning on the job is also greatly encouraged (remember me writing react?), diversity is also not just encouraged but cherished. I was made part of the technical recruiting team.
As for challenges, I love "on-site" roles as I am someone that thrives when working with people. I don't enjoy remote work as much as others I guess.
That’s cool. How did you get into Software engineering?
I got into software development fully during the pandemic. Prior to that, it was a hobby and I was about to resume as an investment banker before the lockdown.
Making that career change from finance to tech is the biggest decision I've had to make and every day I'm convinced I made the right decision. Not because I didn't love finance lol. I just loved software engineering more.
Enjoying it so far?
Some days, it's really exciting and I'm happy with it. Some days, I think I should've stayed in the corporate world working with spreadsheets.
But all in all, Tech is incredibly exciting, the learning never stops and my specialization is fluid. Might end up being a DevOps engineer in the future.
LMAO. Tell me about those days that make you feel you should have stayed in the corporate world
The first time I felt this way was during a technical interview. Lmao, I felt so dumb. While in finance, I was never scared of interviews. But here I was at an interview, I had no idea what to do. I was told to build an API with some requirements and I realized I didn't know jack. Then came the rejections and ghosting when applying for jobs.
Ouch. Sorry about that.
While working as a developer I felt that way whenever I was hit with a new framework or I had a serious bug I couldn't fix. Something I hold dear is what Prosper (@unicodeveloper) said: "Never underestimate your ability to figure things out".
For example, I was casually given my first task to use a tool called AWS Amplify. Prior to then, I had no idea what the AWS console looked like. It felt overwhelming. Now, I'm writing an article on Amplify lol. I thank God for Twitter sha.
*Inserts fire emoji*
Lots of people are helping you without knowing it. Also, I've made amazing friends. I spend some of my free time reading developer stories. For example, their year in review, backstory etc. Those stories motivated me to a great extent.
Living in Nigeria while earning in dollars (or crypto) is a lot of people's “God, When”.
How would you say this has affected your general lifestyle?
Initially, I thought I'd be smart when it came to money but Omo. When I received my first salary, I spent so much money that week that I felt cold at night.
I am a gadget person and my current laptop is a Windows PC. I'm not saving towards a MacBook even though I badly want one. I just made a resolution that my first MacBook will come from a company. But yes, my life has generally improved. I travel impromptu, eat out a lot, I feel like there's no beach in Lagos I've not been to. Joined a culinary school. More importantly, I get to pay my mom. I also got her to stop working at a factory. The woman deserves to rest, she covered my education single-handedly. I bought cryptocurrencies too. Hodling till thy kingdom come
Really love this for you! You mentioned telling your friend about your troubles transferring money earlier.
Yes. That’s how I heard about Sendcash.
What role would you say Sendcash has played in helping you get paid easily?
When I was told about Sendcash I decided to give it a try. The fact that there wasn't a signup process sold me instantly. But then, I was still a bit sceptical. And so was the sender.
He did a test transaction and then started hounding me for a response. So I prayed that Sendcash would be that platform for me that just worked. I was really tired of searching.
Being readily available via Twitter DMs made me doff my hat to the company customer service because it gave this level of assurance. So when the transaction pulled through I was really happy (and bought shawarma with all the money lol). The sender said he found the process really simple and made jokes about their own financial institutions.
The next transaction followed in a similar way. Sendcash overperformed because before getting to know about it I’ve always had to wait for a long time for transactions to pull through. I was also getting updates in my DM. Omo. Una Sabi this thing abeg.
Proud moment! Thanks.
Looking forward to the next payment by this month-end. That's my data money and only 60-70% goes into data. The rest fuels my shawarma and Pepsi addiction
Lol. Trust us to come through again.
Many Nigerians want to land international remote jobs. Tell me about how you got this job and how you negotiated your pay.
Well, I'll have to thank Adora Nwodo. I follow her YouTube channel a lot and found her videos about how to get remote jobs. I got the most interviews from jobs (remote and Nigerian) that I applied for on Indeed. My current role however is from AngelList.
I applied, did the culture interview, then the technical interview and got an offer.
As for pay, it's a startup so they're giving equity alongside pay.
It was a funny conversation because once again my finance degree came in handy. As for the salary, I didn't really negotiate it. I just went with it.
What does the future look like for you career-wise? Would you like to grow in your current role/company or try out new things?
Trying out new frontiers definitely (don't tell my boss about this lol)
LMAO. Your secret is safe.
Like I said earlier, I would love to explore backend development properly. That involves doing actual server-side development.
Also as I said before, my specialization is fluid. I'm doing a bit of front-end (react) but I don't think I enjoy frontend development that much so it's definitely between backend development and DevOps( I've actually not started learning anything in this regard but I love the role).
My dream role is a Backend development role at a Nigerian startup. I want to work from an office and hopefully the culture there will be just as amazing.
In summary, I'm keeping my choices open.
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This is awesome and inspiring