In recent years, the tech industry has become one of the most vibrant and fastest growing industries in Nigeria. With the growing number of developers, designers and startups, it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. One of the people driving the growth of the Nigerian tech eco system is serial creator and software developer, Timi Ajiboye popularly known as “Timigod”.
Timi Ajiboye is a 25-year-old software developer and the founder of BuyCoins Africa [formerly known as Bitkoin Africa], an online platform that makes it easy to buy and sell cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin & Bitcoin Cash. Apart from being the leader at BuyCoins, Timi is also a big contributor to the open source community and has worked on numerous projects, some of which include Muslimscondemn, Twinder, Workstation, Eat.Drink.Bot, Timeline Expert, to name a few.
I had a chat with Timi about his life as a developer and his work at BuyCoins. Here’s what he had to say:
What does tech mean to you?
Timi Ajiboye: I have always been interested in computers and technology generally. As I was a child I was inspired by Jimmy Neutron and Dexter’s inventions. I guess tech to me is really just a tool that enables me
What was your journey into the world of technology like / How did you get into tech?
I was always one of those kids who used to decouple and try to assemble things around the house from small household appliances to toy cars etc. I was the guy to call for any tech related issue around the house.
I got into programming after I saw my uncle writing code in visual basic. I decided to learn visual basic and later on PHP. I started searching for more knowledge online and everything basically kicked off from there.
You seem to be a Jack of all trades what frameworks and languages do you use?
Hmm I’m never really sure how to answer when people ask this question. I can currently use Ruby on rails, Nodejs, React-redux, graphQL. I don’t think the framework or language you use matters that much. For me, I tend to use whichever tools are best suited to achieve or complete whatever project I’m working on.
I was initially known as an Android developer, then a backend developer and later on for Ruby on rails. I think it’s more about the developer and what he/she can do with it.
Apart from being a developer and general tech enthusiast, you seem to also be a feminist/share similar views with feminists. Can you speak more about that?
I consider myself a feminist. But there are lot of feminists I respect that say men can’t really be feminists, so it’s tricky. I’m an advocate for everyone everyone having equal rights and opportunities. I feel like I might not be able to relate to issues of racism and being black in America or the issues transgender people face but gender inequality is an issue that exists and is widespread in my environment. It’s the one I can see in offices, when I go out in the street or hangout with friends etc.
I have been in meetings where women have made suggestions that were not acknowledged until a man raised the same suggestion. A couple of friends and I made a medium page called “Mensplainr” to discuss issues surrounding gender inequality.
Looking at your work with DAV and Buycoins (formerly Bitkoin Africa), it shows that you have a keen interest in blockchain. How did you get into blockchain?
I first got into blockchain technology sometime in 2017. I think blockchain is an interesting piece of technology. One that has numerous applications.
Congratulations on doing $2m in transaction volume on Buycoins in January. That’s a lot. How does it feel and How did you achieve that?
It feels good… even though it feels like a lot, there’s still a lot that can be done especially when we look at what we plan to achieve and the possibilities of what we can achieve. The team has worked hard on this so it’s definitely a welcome improvement and we hope to see an increase in transaction volume soon
I think the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency will definitely continue to grow in Nigeria and Africa. Especially the use of cryptocurrency like bitcoin, ethereum etc. Fintech has been been the most efficient application of tech in Nigeria.
What are the challenges you faced as a young developer and what do you think can be done to make it better/easier?
I think the major issues are electricity and access to learning materials. Andela is doing a great job but they can’t do it alone. We need more Andelas and the government has to make a conscious effort to facilitate growth in the tech industry.
You’ve worked on a lot of different free projects like
I’m a bit more busy now with BuyCoins but when I find some free time I work on a couple of open source projects and write articles on things I’m interested in. I’m also working on a comic… I like to say graphic novel because it sounds cooler. I’ve actually had the story in my head for a while now I just need time to bring it to life.