Nkonye is a real inspiration to women aspiring to be web developers. A great web developer, She is the founder of Web development Company, Obanya. We interview Nkonye, and we believe you’ll be inspired and learn from her wealth of experience
WTN: Let’s meet you.
My name is Nkonye Obanya-Oyewusi. I live in London, UK. I’m a web developer/entrepreneur. I’m female, one of the few in the business, even in the Western world.
WTN: What inspired you to go into web development and when did you start?
Nkonye: I studied Computer Science at The University of Reading, UK. My final year project at the time was on latest trends in multi-media, just as the ‘dotcoms’ were booming. Up till then, I had no idea what I wanted to do after university. Having completed the project, which was an early e-Learning system, I knew where I wanted to go.
WTN: How has the market been so far in the UK?
Nkonye: market in the UK at the moment is quite competitive. In recent years, a lot of companies have outsourced web development to India because of the lower salaries demanded by web developers there. Salaries in the UK have since dropped.
WTN: What are the challenges you face as a web developer?
Nkonye: In general, user ignorance about the power of web development. Most people know what a website is, but do not realize that every piece of software they have bought can be web-based and embedded into their sites, thus saving them money. Most people also think web projects are very easy to do and tend to tell us how to do our job (laugh).
WTN: What are the challenges you face as a female web developer?
Nkonye: In the UK, by law, one can not discriminate against woman. I find that men in the UK are usually impressed with good female web developers, though initially, you might have to prove you are up to the task. In Nigeria, I see a lot more discrimination, in terms of the lack of awareness of the female developers out there.
The biggest and most important challenges female developers face is juggling family with work. Self-employment is a good way to go, provided you have a good support mechanism. I’m very lucky, my husband has always been there for me and is my rock. I can’t do this without his support.
WTN: What project(s) have you worked on and what are you currently working on?
Nkonye: I’ve worked on a large variety of projects, most notably for the European Commission in Brussels, the UK Cabinet Office, the UK National Health Service and the UK the Department of Work and Pensions.
WTN: What is your view of the web development market in Nigeria and the UK?
Nkonye: I think the market has reached a plateau in the UK, but there is a lot of scope for fantastic work in Nigeria if Nigerians allow it to be done.
WTN: Where do you see tech market in Nigeria in the next 3-5 years?
Nkonye: There is a lot of potential for fantastic growth. There is no reason Nigeria should not rival India. However, Nigeria needs to get rid of certain thought processes that hinder positive development. There is a lot the women can offer that is not even tapped into.
WTN: What do you think we really need in this country?
Nkonye: More awareness about what web development is and what the potential for it is. More innovative solutions. The average mechanic or market woman can have web-based software that helps their jobs, which they can access on their mobile phones. Web development should start bringing technology to everybody.
WTN: Do you have anyone you currently mentor?
Nkonye: A brilliant young student, Olamide Ogundipe, who I see doing fantastic things in the near future. He also works for O’Banya. If O’Banya is successful, it is partly due to him.
WTN: What words for you have for upcoming web developers?
Nkonye: Do not enter web development unless it is your passion. This means working long hours, sometimes away from your family and lots of challenges.
WTN: What words for you have for upcoming female web developers?
Go for it!! You will be in a unique position in the industry and will have ample opportunity to prove yourself. Most of all, work VERY hard, there is no substitute. In the end, you reap the rewards.
WTN: Your Advice for WebtrendsNG?
Nkonye: Wow! I don’t think I’m well placed to give you any advice. I feel you are doing a good thing with raising awareness of the industry. Keep up the good work.
So, Nigerian Ladies, Go conquer the tech world. If Nkoye can do it, I bet you can!
Know of other Nigerian Ladies doing great in the Web Industry? Let us know.