Why ALX?

Why ALX?

after two years of working experience on the web, why start all over?

For the past two years, I have worked on being better at building interfaces on the web. This has involved me upskilling in my frontend knowledge, learning more on backend services and using the MERN stack to build fullstack web applications.

During the last two years, I have built apps; PWAs, React SPA applications, your normal "HTML/CSS" websites. I have created both the frontend and the backend parts of different web applications, worked on authentication and file management on databases, all these while practising on my interface building skills through replicating Frontend Mentor designs.

I became a web developer. Interesting.

This series, for which this is an introductory article, is a documentary of my next step towards being a better developer, my next step towards becoming a solid programmer. This is me deciding to become a software engineer, welcome to my ALX Journey!

Choosing ALX

As a developer with a non-technical background from college, I have always wanted to get a better understanding of the fundamentals of software engineering (and some parts of computer science). Working on tasks that required an excellent understanding of data structures and algorithms was also instrumental in pointing out my ignorance in these topics, and oh I hate being ignorant in matters I am interested in.

I made up my mind; I was going to drop my internship (which majorly involved web development) and learn more on these SE concepts. The problem quickly became where I would learn from.

I had a good idea of what I wanted to learn, with the major ones including:

  • Data Structures,

  • Algorithms (and the Big O Notation),

  • Object-Oriented Programming,

  • Operating Systems (especially Linux),

  • and The Software Development Life Cycle.

And with little-to-zero ideas on where to learn them from, especially since I really wanted a place where I could learn on-site, man was confused. I couldn't afford to start a CS degree spontaneously, neither did I want to fully self-study by following YouTube videos (and other online materials.) I wanted a structured program, with physical meetups in between. And after researching for a while, I decided to ask for help by contacting a friend.

queue in the ALX Curriculum

He sent this curriculum to me, and that was my first direct contact with ALX. Even though I had been hearing about the program from random Twitter rants and tribulations, I never thought the program was this in-depth. Like, who starts a SE course with learning C and bash scripting?? (screaming in frustrated student)

Anyway, after some clarifications on the commitment required to complete the program and checking how close the ALX hub at Lagos was to where I presently am, I decided to apply for the program.

Cohort 19, What are your goals?

At the moment, I am a student of the ALX SE program, in Cohort 19 of the Lagos hub. The reasons that lead to my decision to apply for the program remain my goals as I proceed as an ALX student.

For clarity, my main focus in my studies at ALX are towards:

  1. Knowledge of key software and computer science concepts that will help build my foundations as a software engineer.

  2. In-person meetups and collaborative projects where I build applications/programs among a diverse group of student engineers.

  3. A recognizable Software Engineering diploma from a respected institution.

These are my major goals for the duration of the program (as of now), and I look forward to being further frustrated and tested towards achieving them as an ALX student.

Conclusion, what to expect?

As I struggle strive to keep learning my CS fundamentals through the ALX SE program, I want to try document my progress (and retrogressions) in this series. Every last Sunday of the month, starting September 24th, there will be a new addition to the series that talks on my progress in the course and on the new things I have learnt during that month.

I can't promise that the articles will be interesting, but I do promise to be consistent in sharing them. And yea, that's a wrap on this🫶🏾.

The ALG Ecosystem (ALX been part of it)

The ALG Ecosystem. ALX been part of this impressive network is a major reason I find the program so impressive (apart from the curriculum of course ^_^)