Editor's note: Sylvester Martins, a tech enthusiast based in Lagos, writes on the how young Nigerians who have a knack for technology can join a tech hub funded fully by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Many of the world’s most significant technological breakthroughs came about as a result of collaboration between talented people.
No man is an island. Two heads are better than one. Collaboration is key. Teamwork makes the dream work.
They especially ring true in the tech world where progress is achieved in partnership and cooperation.
This is why hubs fulfil such a vital function in the space. Hubs bring together like-minded people and foster practical learning, vital collaboration as well as healthy competition.
No wonder the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) under the stewardship of its director-general, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi has in the past one year of his assumption of office gave tech hubs a pride of place in his programmes.
Three Special Purpose IT Hubs have been deployed in the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), and Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna respectively. In furtherance of his resolve to spur IT development for teeming youths across the country, 2000 laptops were provided to institutions across all geopolitical zones. As if that is not enough, NITDA held an online innovation challenge titled “Nigeria’s COVID-19 Innovation Challenge” where three winners emerged, winning cash prizes of N1m, N750.000, N500.000 respectively.
Apart from NITDA’s tech hubs in the aforementioned institutions, the federal government is also investing in tech hubs across the six geo-political zones. Not many know the benefits of joining a tech hub. Here are a few reasons why you should:
1. Energy Is Infectious
Tech hubs can be some of the most high energy places in the world and if you are in one, some of that energy will certainly rub off on you.
Hubs are similar to beehives. Everyone is there to work and everyone is in go mode.
From ideation sessions in the conference rooms to heated intellectual disagreements by the water dispenser, the mental exercise is constant.
Being in an environment like this will give you lots of creative energy to play off of.
2. They Are Great Places To Network
Chances are that you will meet a future collaborator, client, vendor, employer or employee at a hub.
Through consistent interaction with your hub members, you will be able to form friendships and forge alliances through which you can earn money, referrals or both.
3. Share Problems. Solve Problems
Your greatest asset at your hub is not the dependable WiFi or the constant electricity.
It is the fellow professional sitting across from you. It is the experienced programmer sitting beside you. It is the talented graphic designer you bump into on your way in every morning.
Being part of a hub allows you to pick the brains of your peers to share as well as gain valuable insight from multiple perspectives
4. Expand Your Horizon
Working in the midst of diversely skilled professionals can only rub off positively on you. Observing what other specialists do, how they do it and why they do it will help you develop an appreciation for what they do and an understanding of what they need.
Not only will this help you become a better team player, it will also help you become a better team manager and a better contractor to your clients.
Consequently, you will develop into a more well-rounded professional and business person.
5. Get Exposed to New Opportunities And Learn New Skills
Learning takes several forms in the hub. You could learn from your peers’ mistakes, benefit from the guidance from more experienced hub members or receive training from hub facilitators.
NITDA Information Technology hubs are equipped with the networking and computing devices necessary for the production of state-of-the-art Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) production machines. At their centres, you will receive practical training in the production of PCB devices and other valuable skills.
It is the new global money-spinner and if you are a tech enthusiast like me, you will hurry now to make hay while the sun shines!
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