Teen brothers from Nigeria taught themselves how to code and started with Codecademy

Osine and Anesi went from replicating their schools website as students in Nigeria, to building their own browser and making a name for themselves in the tech industry!

Osine and Anesi code because they “enjoy the thrill of creating something new that works in the digital world.” They started their company BluDoors, creatively inspired by Microsofts “Window’s.” As teenagers, aged 12 and 14, they decided to learn to code and started their coding journey with Codecademy. They learned HTML and CSS and then moved into some more challenging languages like Java.

They decided that the best way to “really learn programming is to create something (start a project).” They used their knowledge from Codecademy to build projects which also aided in their learning process. They are wise well beyond their years, and when we asked them about resiliency towards the difficulties of learning to code, they had some great advice:

“Difficulty is just an illusion. Everything is easy once given time. You shouldn’t get discouraged because you didn’t get it the first or second time. Just keep trying and you will get the hang of it.” They also referenced one of their favorite quotes from Woody Allen: “80 percent of success is just showing up.”

Well, we’re inspired! Coding can be hard, that’s why we tried to make Codecademy as easy as possible to help anyone become successful without getting in the way.

Now, these young software engineers from Nigeria are building things to fix problems for themselves and their communities. They paired their love of computers and passion for coding, since a young age, with issues they were experiencing in Nigeria. They “saw a problem and decided to do something about it.” The brothers were running into issues using Chrome, so together, they built a better browser called Crocodile Browser! They are still working on very ambitious projects and hope to move to America to study at a University in the future.

We were able to ask them a few questions about their coding journey with Codecademy and beyond.

How and why did you get started with coding?

Anesi joined the website design club at school and started learning about the different ways to make a website. After cloning his school’s website, he decided to get serious, started learning with Codecademy and delved more deeply into HTML and CSS before moving on to more traditional programming languages. Osine’s story is really similar. Around the same time, he found HTML and CSS really interesting so he made a few web pages before going onto other projects. We code because we enjoy the thrill of creating something new that works in the digital world.

What were your goals when starting to code and how did you keep motivated?

Our main goal was to create a game . We also wanted to create something that would be really useful in the world ( We didn’t know what that would be at the time ). We kept ourselves motivated by taking baby steps and working on really small projects to build up our confidence. We continued this method of taking baby steps even when we started working on bigger projects. We always had a goal that we were working towards that kept us really motivated.

What was the most challenging part of learning how to code and how did you rise above those challenges?

We found learning all the syntaxes for different languages really difficult because we weren’t used to them. Java has been the most difficult language that we’ve learnt thus far . We overcame most of our challenges by simply working hard and breaking the work down into different modules.

Which resources would you recommend to folks just starting out?

We recommend Codecademy, and youtube videos . Books are also good depending on the publisher . Stack Overflow would be useful to anyone who already knows the basics and maybe even a beginner. We then started creating our own projects with knowledge from Codecademy and by watching a lot of Youtube videos and reading a lot of books. We decided that the only way really learn programming is to create something through projects. It can be said that we started our own projects as part of the learning process, and we are still learning!

What advice would you have for folks who are just thinking of getting started?

Difficulty is just an illusion. Everything is easy once given time. This is something we said to ourselves when it started getting difficult. You shouldn’t get discouraged because you didn’t get it the first or second time. Just keep trying and you will get the hang of it. And finally remember that “80 percent of success is just showing up” — Woody Allen

How did you get to where you are now? What did you do after Codecademy?

We got to our current level by simply working hard on different mini-projects. We practiced in the right way and we eventually got better. After using Codecademy, we went on to using different online learning resources to boost our knowledge and understanding of any language that we wanted to learn. We still go back to Codecademy once in awhile to learn some more languages. We also built the Android web browser called Crocodile Browser for the phones that have low memory. It currently has over 100,000 downloads.

Which steps would you recommend for folks who want to find jobs after Codecademy?

Put your personal projects on GitHub. Join communities like the Codecademy forum community or Stack Overflow and don’t be afraid to do something that is challenging. If you see a problem don’t wait for someone else to fix that problem just do it and that might help you get your dream job. We also recommend coding everyday to build up your confidence levels.

We are excited to follow their journey and see more from these young men in the future.