Meet the Mentors: How I Found My Way into Coding

Author headshot of Terver Aosu, CareerFoundry mentor.

Our instructor community of mentors and tutors is at the core of CareerFoundry. Here, we get to chat to Terver, to learn more the twists and turns along his path to becoming one of the instructors on our Full-Stack Web Development Program.

How and when did you start making the switch to becoming a coder?

Before I embarked on my university journey, I was already immersed in the world of hardware: fixing computers for clients and indulging in the intricacies of building and repairing PCs. The process of swapping damaged components, installing software, and upgrading operating systems fascinated me deeply, and I found myself constantly in awe of the engineering marvels behind computer systems.

When it came time to choose my field of study, I opted for mechanical engineering, drawn by my childhood fascination with machinery and mechanical systems. However, my passion for computers continued to burn brightly, and during my second year at university I realized that I could also create software for these machines. Discovering that I could communicate with computers through programming languages marked a pivotal moment in my life, sparking immense excitement and curiosity.

This is where my journey into the realm of programming began. I started by diving into various YouTube tutorial videos, eager to learn the fundamentals of web development. Through trial and error, I gradually mastered the basics of HTML and CSS, eventually piecing together my very first website. The sense of accomplishment and pride I felt upon completing this project was unparalleled, and it served as a catalyst for my transition into the world of software development.

With each line of code I wrote, I became more deeply entrenched in the world of programming. By the time I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, my path was clear—I was destined to pursue a career as a software developer, fueled by an unrelenting passion for technology and innovation.

What kind of obstacles did you have to overcome in making the change?

Initially, I pursued coding as a hobby without envisioning it as a potential career path. While studying mechanical engineering in school, I found coding to be enjoyable, but I lacked guidance on how to turn it into a profession. 

Without a structured learning plan, I found myself lost in what I later recognized as “tutorial hell.” Spending years navigating through various online tutorials without a mentor or support system proved to be both daunting and time-consuming. It took me nearly five years to realize the importance of mentorship and guidance in the learning process.

Balancing my passion for coding with my academic commitments was another significant challenge. With the rigorous workload of university studies, finding time for extracurricular activities posed a constant struggle. Especially during my final year, when I had to prioritize completing my thesis and exams, I had to take a hiatus from coding to focus on my academic responsibilities.

Upon graduating, I was determined to pursue a career in coding, but I still had much to learn before entering the industry professionally. Juggling between work and learning became my new norm as I needed to earn a living while honing my coding skills. Despite the challenges, I remained motivated by my passion for coding and the desire to build a career in the field. Each obstacle I faced served as a valuable lesson, reinforcing my commitment to continuous learning and growth.

Did you have any mentors or guidance on your journey to becoming a developer?

During my journey to becoming a developer, I initially lacked the guidance of a mentor or support system. This absence of direction proved to be a significant obstacle, prolonging my learning process and impeding my progress. However, after years of struggling to navigate the complexities of coding independently, I discovered a coding bootcamp that provided the structure, guidance, and mentorship I desperately needed. 

The impact of joining the bootcamp was profound. In just one year, I achieved more progress in my learning journey than I had in the previous five years of self-directed study. The structured curriculum, hands-on projects, and access to experienced mentors were instrumental in accelerating my development as a software developer. It was truly a transformative experience that propelled me closer to my career goals.

Additionally, during this time, I became acquainted with the local tech community. Prior to this discovery, I was unaware of the existence of a supportive network of aspiring and seasoned developers. Engaging with this community provided me with invaluable opportunities for collaboration, learning, and mentorship.

Although such resources were scarce in the earlier stages of my journey, the emergence of supportive communities has since become a cornerstone of the developer ecosystem, facilitating knowledge-sharing and fostering growth among its members.

coding mentors are useful sounding boards

You’re now a mentor and instructor yourself. What kind of benefits do you get out of mentoring junior developers and career-changers?

As a mentor and instructor, I derive numerous benefits from guiding junior developers and career-changers. Here are four of them I’ve found:


One significant aspect is the fulfillment derived from knowing that I’m contributing positively to someone else’s journey. Having experienced the challenges of learning without a support system myself, I understand the importance of mentorship in overcoming obstacles and fostering growth. The Ubuntu philosophy, encapsulating the idea that “I am because we are,” resonates deeply with me, serving as motivation to pay forward the support I received during my own development.

Skill refinement

Teaching others reinforces my understanding of various topics and concepts, leading to a deeper mastery of the subject matter. Additionally, mentoring enhances leadership skills. Guiding and coaching individuals through challenges fosters leadership qualities and has a positive impact on career advancement.

Personal growth and development

Over the years of mentoring, I’ve honed my communication skills, learned to empathize with others, and adapted my teaching approach to accommodate diverse learning needs. This continual growth journey has been immensely rewarding.

Networking opportunities

Through interactions with mentees and fellow mentors, I’ve expanded my professional network and gained access to new opportunities.

Overall, mentoring enriches both my professional and personal life, reinforcing the belief that collective growth benefits everyone involved.

Which tools or technologies do you think are going to be of the most benefit to those learning to code in 2024?

Generative AI

If I were to mention just one tool or technology that will make the most impact and bring the most benefit to anyone learning to code in 2024, that will probably be generative AI. 

Powered by machine learning algorithms, this has revolutionized various industries, including software development. By enabling computers to generate code, design assets, and even entire applications autonomously, generative AI promises to streamline the development process and unlock new possibilities for innovation. Aspiring developers who familiarize themselves with generative AI tools and techniques can gain a competitive edge in the job market and accelerate their productivity.


Additionally, Python continues to be a foundational language for aspiring developers due to its simplicity, readability, and extensive libraries for data science, web development, and artificial intelligence. With the increasing demand for AI developers across industries, proficiency in Python is highly sought-after by employers seeking to harness the power of machine learning and data analytics.


Moreover, JavaScript remains a cornerstone technology for web development, with its versatility and cross-platform support making it indispensable for building interactive and responsive web applications. Aspiring developers who master JavaScript frameworks like React, Angular, and Vue.js can create dynamic user experiences.

Additionally, knowledge of Node.js and other JavaScript backend frameworks ensures relevance in the rapidly evolving field of software development.

IDEs and VCS

In addition to specific programming languages and frameworks, aspiring developers can benefit greatly from mastering essential tools and technologies such as Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) and Version Control Systems (VCS). IDEs like Visual Studio Code and JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA offer powerful features for code editing, debugging, and project management, while VCS platforms like Git enable collaboration and version control in team-based coding projects.

Overall, staying adaptable and keeping up with the latest trends is crucial in the ever-evolving coding landscape. By continuously learning and adapting to new tools, technologies, and methodologies, aspiring developers can position themselves for success in 2024 and beyond.

You’ve been learning how to work with generative AI and prompt engineering. Do you think it’s going to become a must-learn for coders?

Learning to interact with generative AI has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me, representing a significant investment in both my personal growth and career advancement.

The benefits I’ve gained from integrating generative AI into my workflow are huge. It’s greatly increased my productivity at work, allowing me to accomplish tasks in a fraction of the time it would’ve taken previously. It’s also prompted me to reassess my problem-solving approach, leading to the discovery of innovative solutions and the adoption of novel methodologies.

In contemplating the future relevance of generative AI, I’m convinced that it will emerge as a fundamental skill for aspiring coders. Already, its widespread adoption within various industries underscores its significance as a must-learn technology. As more companies integrate generative AI into their internal processes, proficiency in this area will become a prerequisite for jobseekers.

The ability to leverage generative AI effectively will not only enhance one’s employability but also position individuals as leaders in the rapidly evolving landscape of technology and innovation.

You’re quite involved with the tech community in Nigeria and organizing conferences and meetups there. How is the community there?

The tech community in Nigeria has experienced significant growth and development over the past few years. When I initially embarked on my learning journey, the community was not as prominent as it is today. However, there has been a remarkable transformation, with the community now being vibrant both offline and online. Offline, thanks to the establishment of Google Developer Groups in various institutions of higher learning, and online, particularly on Twitter (now called X), where tech enthusiasts actively engage in discussions and share knowledge.

Today, you can visit any city in Nigeria and find tech meetups and events to attend. This growing community has sparked a newfound interest in technology among young Nigerians. Many individuals have discovered their passion for tech through the community, which serves as both a catalyst and a support system for their growth. Personally, my development as a developer owes much to my active involvement in the Nigerian tech community.

On top of that, the establishment of numerous tech hubs across the country has further fueled the growth of the community. These hubs not only provide physical spaces for collaboration and innovation but also foster the formation of communities around them. As the community expands, so does the startup ecosystem, with many successful startups emerging and contributing to the community’s growth.

These startups often give back to the community by supporting aspiring developers, thereby creating a cycle of knowledge sharing and empowerment within the Nigerian tech ecosystem.


Now that you know the importance of a coding mentor, you can find someone who will help you through the industry to a career that best suits you. As you advance in your career, one day you’ll get the chance to pay it forward.

As you know by now, CareerFoundry offers step-by-step mentor support in our Web Development Program. How does it work? Well, you’ll be paired with both a mentor and tutor—experts in the field—who give precise guidance within 24 hours.

They have intimate knowledge of the course as well as the course material and are ready to guide you through it. They look over your coursework to help you with individual exercises while making sure that you’re on the right path for your career. Most importantly, they’ll meet you where you’re at with empathy, patience, and expertise.

If you’d like to learn more about our software engineering offering, why not have a chat with one of our program advisors?

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