Devylawyer's Blog

Devylawyer's Blog

From Law to Microsoft LEAP Apprenticeship Program

From Law to Microsoft LEAP Apprenticeship Program

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In September 2019, I received a congratulatory email that I was selected as an apprentice for the 1st Microsoft LEAP apprenticeship program in Nigeria. The Microsoft LEAP (Engineering Accerelation) program combines traditional classroom learning with hands-on engineering projects. The first thing I did was to go to the office bathroom to do a victory dance. Some days later, I received another email that contained more details about the programme outline. I was madly excited about this new phase of my life. Before Microsoft LEAP, I worked at a law firm and practised law after my call to the Nigerian bar in 2017. One of my year resolutions for 2019 was to end the year working in a technical role. So I picked up HTML, CSS and JavaScript and practised using FreeCodeCamp and some online resources. My cohort was for Technical Support Engineering. The interview process was pretty straightforward with both written and oral sessions.

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The first cohort had 10 ladies whom I have been fortunate to learn with, from and get inspired by their stories. Some of whom I met during the Microsoft LEAP Hackathon in June 2019. While sharing stories on our first day, I realized we were from different backgrounds. On the first day, we talked about what our technical skills were and our expectations of the classroom training at Tek Experts Nigeria( a Microsoft partner company)office and host. Classes commenced on the first week with an introduction to cloud computing, IaaS(Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS(Platform as a Service), Saas(Software as a Service) and Microsoft Azure.

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The first 4 weeks consisted of training with a major focus on Microsoft technologies such as Azure, Azure DevOps, PowerShell and Office 365. A typical day during this period was check-in by 8:00 am and head to the breakout room for breakfast and interact with engineers at Tek-Experts asking questions about what they do for Tek-Experts. The morning session began at 9:00 am till 12:00 pm then a lunch break that lasted for an hour. The afternoon session consisted of labs and ending with a kahoot quiz on what we had learnt earlier. I liked participating in the quizzes because it helped in making sure I learnt that day. At some point, the training felt overwhelming for me because there were so many things to know under Azure including Virtual Machines, Subnetting, Azure automation, Virtual Networking, Load balancing and so much more. However, I was able to overcome this by asking questions and practising on the Azure portal. The final week had us working on a class project where we had to work in teams of 5 ladies each. We were given a task to build a web application which we had to deploy to an Azure Virtual Machine or Container. Also, we were to automate the process using Azure Automation Runbook. It was challenging but we were able to build the project which we presented and demoed on our last day on training in the presence of the Tek Experts leadership team and our Microsoft LEAP program manager. On our final classroom day, we met fellow LEAPers at Sunnyvale California where we talked and shared our experiences in the program.

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Group picture with Sunnyvale and Nigeria cohorts.Image for post

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We were assigned mentors from the Microsoft Nigeria team, US team and the Tek Experts team whom we could talk to about our careers and the path we would decide to go at the end of our 16 weeks at Microsoft LEAP. I had the opportunity to meet the leadership team of Microsoft Nigeria, Microsoft African Development Centre and Tek Experts at the Meet and Greet session held at Microsoft Nigeria office.

In parting words, this program has imparted, exposed and challenged me beyond what I knew before LEAP and made me appreciate the joys of learning. Also, I believe that I have it within me to achieve anything provided I do the hard work and I am consistent. I am grateful for the opportunities, the access to Microsoft and Microsoft LEAP network and above all grateful that this programme exists for persons like me who come from non-technical backgrounds.

#microsoft#azure#software-engineering
 
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