Motunrayo Koyejo on how her love for learning led her to Back-end engineering

Motunrayo got to know about engineering when her friend complained a lot about “bugs”.

Motunrayo Koyejo on how her love for learning led her to Back-end engineering


What do you do at Brass?

I am a Backend Engineer. I build APIs, in simple terms, I’m responsible for building the structure of our software application. I also help in resolving support issues.

Your first degree was in Economics, how did you end up as an engineer?

I have always been a finance person and I also like to teach. I decided to get a double major in Economics and Education. I actually stumbled on coding in my final year. I had a friend who was learning how to code and would always complain about his code not working and getting “bugs”. I was curious about the whole process and told him to teach me. When I finished school, I was unsure about when we will be called for NYSC as I attended a federal school, I had two options, either stay at home and up-skill with the new coding thing I was learning or look out for internships in finance. I applied for a few internships but they were all too far from my house so I decided to continue learning at home.

While learning at home, My brother bought me a new laptop and paid for courses I took online but that’s not still how I ended up as an engineer.

What happened next?

I had so many learning resources and found that I was learning everything, it was difficult to know where to start from. I attended a conference on Data Science/Machine Learning and then decided to specialise in it. I found resources online and also joined AISaturday classes. While learning, I practiced with public data sets from Zindi and Kaggle. I later got tired of dummy data and started looking for opportunities to practice the skills I have learned but found it difficult. While interviewing, I realised a lot of companies that look for data scientists here in Nigeria actually need data analysts as they do not have the required infrastructure to support DS/ML. I got an internship after a while but I ended up working as an analyst. Then Covid happened.

How did Covid alter your decisions?

It was during the lock-down I pivoted to backend engineering. We started working from home, I had enough extra time to try out other new things. My friends and I slowly moved from DS/ML to Backend Development. I kept learning and trying to build new stuff till I got my first engineering job at Brass.

How would you describe what you do at Brass to a five-year-old?

I make it easy for your mum and dad to receive payments from their customers

Describe Brass in one word

Incubator. It is a good place to start small. You can start as an intern and in a few months, the growth would be exponential.

What is the best piece of advice you have received here?

When I started working at Brass, I was afraid of making mistakes. I was focused on making my work look perfect but, I learned that I can always own up to my mistakes. I also learnt that not making any push or seeking for help because I wanted to be perfect will hinder my growth as I won’t get any feedback.

What sets Brass apart from other places you have worked?

Asides from the fact that this is where I got my first Engineering role, it is easy to reach out to anyone in the company. If I need anyone across any team, I can always reach out. If they can’t help, they will point you in the right direction. Everyone is willing to help no matter how busy they are. You are rest assured that everyone has your best interest at heart.

What Pillar of Culture at Brass do you resonate with and why?

Respect. We have a flat structure. Everyone respects each other. From team lead to interns, everyone’s ideas are fair and treated equally.

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