Bami of Tunga is a developer community advocate who promotes and supports the growth and development of developers and females in tech. She works to bring developers together, foster collaboration and communication, and help community members to connect with each other and with relevant resources.
“I just want to say tech is not difficult, my darling. It seems because you think it’s only about coding, but you don’t necessarily need to code to be a tech Queen.”- Bami of Tunga.
In 2019, Slashdata told us that the world has statistics of over 18.9 million software developers and the world would soon be populated with developers reaching 45 million in 2030.
Hence, you would all agree that a developer’s best friend is a community advocate. And this is precisely what and who Bami of Tunga represents, as she has taken community building for developers and females in tech as a major goal and drive.
If passion is a person, then 28 years old Atinuke Oluwabamikemi Kayode, preferably Bami, is a perfect case study, as we learn about her tech experience and explore her song of growth in the tech space.
Bami manages three different communities, running with clear objectives and producing fantastic results... Oh yes! That’s Bami! Bami, the advocate! Bami of Tunga!
Atinuke Oluwabamikemi Kayode is the Developer Community Manager at Tunga, a Community Manager at Layer5, and a Frontend Lead at SheCodeAfrica.
“The idea of never stop learning, relearn, unlearn and relearn stays with me.”- Bami of Tunga
Just like every pretty and smart Nigerian babe, oh yeah! Bami would have loved to study any medical-related course but was offered computer science at Oyo State College of Agriculture.
Disappointed at the events, she went to school with no valid interest in tech. She just wanted to get a degree to not waste her parent’s investment on her tuition. After all, she was told, Computer science is all about typing on computers and laptops.
So she finished her first two years of Ordinary National Diploma (OND) without a glimpse of what is happening in the tech space. While waiting to forge ahead with her Higher National Diploma(HND) program, Bami took up training in fashion design.
“Tinuke, what kind of language do you write?” in November 2019, while wrapping up her HND program, one of her lecturers asked her.
Bami stated that it shocked her because she never discussed any desire to learn programming languages with anybody, not even now when she was about to graduate. Programming languages? What would she be doing with them?
She graduated in January 2020 as the best female student in her department, putting her as one of the top 4 students in the department.
Bami’s tech journey
A miracle happened! While waiting for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps one year-program observed by a fresh Nigerian graduate, the pandemic started, which she described as good for her. The pandemic outbreak forced many people like Bami to stay at home.
In February 2020, a friend invited her to a conference (Open Source Festival). This conference began Bami’s little miracle; she met brilliant minds and made new friends who inspired her so much.
Then, her passion for tech was birthed. She started with youtube videos and consumed so many PDFs while trying to find her footing in tech.
Sometimes in May 2020, she was encouraged to apply for the She Code Africa, a non-governmental organisation, a tech community for ladies irrespective of colour or age. The three months mentorship program, which started in June, was all Bami needed to learn and be part of a community.
It was an interesting 3 months of adventure, learning Python and Technical Writing. SheCodeAfrica comes with writing articles every week. Bami stumbled a lot with writing during this period, but she became a Master after three months and published 12 articles…. you know that feeling; it was a sweet win for her.
The open-source community
Bami joined the Open Source project, a community that gives room for developers, designers and writers, a platform where anyone can contribute to a project, learn and improve one’s skills or knowledge.
So she started contributing to the Open Source project. It was here, she first started to find her voice in the tech community, her idea was recognised, and she could also bank on others’ perspectives.
Gradually, she joined other tech communities, such as Layer 5 and Eddie Jaoude communities, where she acquired many skills and contributed to activities in the communities.
However, Bami has been playing the community manager role without even acknowledging it until September 2021, when the CEO at Layer5 reached out to her for a position as the community manager, which coincided with the period she applied for a role at SheCodeAfrica as the Frontend Lead.
“I manage and build a community. I learn publicly and give back to the community through technical content and public speaking.”- Bami of Tunga.
Developers, Tech companies and founders build products. Bami is building too. Building a community for community managers in Africa, she began by volunteering for communities that gave her the privilege while she was still job hunting.
In January 2022, the thought of building this ideal community made perfect sense to her. She started by hosting Twitter Spaces, where she invited seasoned folks in the industry, such as Cecelia from Cypress.io, Aniedi from Google, Dabit from Edge and Node, Anita from ApacheAPISIX, and many others to give more insights with the help of her co-host, Shebuel.
She got her job on Twitter one month after she started hosting Twitter Space. Hence, Bami of Tunga! Tunga is her prominent place of employment, while other communities such as SheCodeAfrica and Layer5 are volunteering roles.
At Tunga, she is a Developer Community Manager. Tunga is a staff augmentation firm that works with African software developers. They have helped 150+ companies worldwide with IT staffing, software outsourcing, and a Developer Community of over 800 Developers across Africa. In addition, the company helps African Developers land their international roles.
At Layer5, she is a Community Manager. Layer5 is a Cloud-Native Management of Developer-defined infrastructure. An Open Source-first Community of Cloud Engineers.
A Frontend Lead at SheCodeAfrica. SheCodeAfrica is a non-profit organisation aiming to build a community that embodies technical growth, networking, mentorship, and visibility amongst all career roles in Technology.
The 8 months of uncertainty
Bami stated that there won’t be a Bami who was ready to give back and contribute to the community if she had not faced her fears, embracing the new Bami resurfacing after surviving the burnout and depression phase that lasted for 8 months.
Shortly after finding her new love in the tech space, intrigued by what the open source community and every other tech community is doing, our Bami became tired; the fear of rejection and not being enough plagued her for a long time.
She started hiding, avoiding everyone in the tech space; even a break from social media was not enough. This feeling of not wanting to do anything with the tech space became deeper and more painful. She could not just help it.
The burnout and identity crises phase began in November 2020, and she started attempting to reconcile and acknowledge that she was the only help she needed.
By April 2021, she got an invite to a Google Developers Circle Ogbomosho workshop in partnership with Women Techmakers in celebration of International Women’s day 2021. This workshop was an eye-opener for her, as she was able to reaffirm again that she’s the biggest fan of herself and the ever-present Cheerleader that Atinuke Oluwabamikemi Kayode needed.
And there was Ruth from SheCodeAfrica; she reached out to Ruth, and Ruth could relate to her struggles and fears. This dear friend was a great help to her during this dark moment, but one major thing stuck out, she was the first and best Physician she could get and afford for herself. She outlined her purposes and why she ventured into tech at the onset.
Bami launched herself into a 50 days code challenge; she put so much enthusiasm into it that she returned to her social circles, reaching out to folks in the tech space, most especially members of the Open-Source community she belonged to. Then, of course, Bami started doing what Bami does, engaging and contributing to the community.
We got acquainted with Bami of Tunga and learned a few things about her journey into tech, her state of mind, and how she has grown so far via a quick interview.
Q: “Bami, where do you see yourself?”
A: “I see myself in the tech space as a problem solver and more of a community builder. This is because I know my success story wouldn’t be complete without community, so
I am building communities and bringing more ladies to the tech space.”
Q: “What are your plans and goals?”
A: “I am still planning to work with organisations with communities like Google, Reddit, and amazing others and the dream to build a community for community managers across Africa is still very much alive and real to me.”
Q: “Bami, what are your challenges as you navigate the tech space?”
A: “For me, my greatest challenges are insufficient time, a stable network and power supply…and yeah, there’s always a lot of criticism from people who just don’t understand what I get to do on the laptop for hours, but well, despite this and any to come I have made up my mind to keep pushing forward.”
Q: “So, many have concluded that tech is not just the new oil, but a better oil. What will the tech industry’s outlook be like in years to come?”
A: “Indeed, the future is tech; not just the tech industries, but also other organisations will need technical skills to survive.”
Q: “What are the best ways to reach you?”
A: “The best way to reach me is via Twitter @Oluwabamikemi.”
Bami believed that the need for a community is real and essential for the growth and transformation of individuals and organisations. Community helps to give a sense of belonging and a major development phase.
One thing that has helped with her community management career is her consistency and the need to be true to herself and her dreams.