Nini Olorunoje

I have a non-traditional career path, as I transitioned to tech from working as a project manager for nearly ten years in media/entertainment. I had always been fascinated by technology, but thought a career was out of my reach. I am now a Site Reliability Engineer for a large cloud provider, Oracle, and doing my Masters in Computer Science with Cyber Security. When I am not spending my days up in the cloud,  I am passionate about helping  and advocating for women like me to get into tech and thrive in their area of choice.

My advice is that you can do anything you set your heart to. There are so many career opportunities within STEM, and it can be overwhelming at first. I would say firstly, figure out what area of technology you enjoy the most. If you are a career transitioner like me, think about any transferable skills you have and where your skills could best fit. Next, I would look for resources within that field. I joined tech communities, YouTube, Code Academy and found free bootcamps.
I transitioned by joining a free bootcamp by Sky called Get into Tech, the bootcamp was a free course aimed at women who were interested in careers in software development. Th course taught us frontend, backend and DevOps skills. It was here, that I realised I enjoyed working with cloud technologies and sparked my interest in DevOps/ SRE. The bootcamp, came with an opportunity to apply for a full-time role at Sky. I also took some additional bootcamps/ courses with Code First Girls, Coding Black Females, Seidea and Tech Talent Academy. I utilised all the free resources, that were available to me.
I have been involved in a variety of project from data migrations, security initiatives, product launches and new region builds.
I am proud of successfully making my career transition and helping launch Women In Reliability at Sky. My co-chair has now successfully launched the initiative with the US counterparts and I am so proud at how the idea has grown. I am also proud at seeing more women thrive in careers within the SRE space.
A normal day at work starts with a stand-up with my team, we discuss team updates, what we will be working on that day and if we have any blockers. After that stand up, I will work on any tickets/ projects I have been assigned. Most of my meetings tend to be towards the afternoon, as my team is global so try to find meeting times that work for all regions. I sometimes have an on-call rotation, so I have to be on standby for any incidents.
My favourite part of my job is working on a global product that is used by millions of customers. I also enjoy learning new technologies and being a part of successful product rollouts.
I don’t believe in calling things a setback, as I truly believe everything happens for a reason and to lead you to where you are meant to be. I was made redundant once and it was in that phase, that motivated me to make the leap and chase my dream of a STEM career. If I wasn’t made redundant, I probably would have still been scared to take the leap of faith.
I was working on a project at Sky when I came across one of their career promo videos showcasing women in tech at Sky. I remember one woman in particular mentioning she did the Get into Tech scheme, it was my first time hearing about the scheme and it was also my first time hearing about someone switching careers to tech. It was her clip that made me know that it was possible and I could do it too.

In my free time I love to travel, watch Nollywood movies and spend time with my loved ones. I also try to work out at least 3 x 4 a week with a mix of reformer Pilates and the Nike Training app, as it helps with my mental clarity.

When I first moved to my STEM role, I experienced imposter syndrome a lot. I felt like I didn’t know the technologies well and I struggled to pick up programming. I also was among a lot of eople that studied computer science and Engineering and it felt like they were picking up the topics quickly. I dealt with it, by learning to focus on my own journey and remind myself of how far I have come. I also leaned on my community. I had a fellow woman that also transitioned, and she became my biggest rock. We would cheer each other on and remind each other that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.
STEM careers impact a variety of areas in our lives. Growing up as a young girl , I didn’t know I would have a role that would directly impact creating, sustaining new technologies that helps aid in all our lived. Being a woman in STEM is exciting, it is humbling to know I have direct impact on things that I work on, things I help create. I got to learn and be on the forefront of new technologies and new improvements that make everyday life simple.
My biggest strength is that I always try, if it’s learning a new skill, working on a new project or working with a new team. I will always give it a try. I believe the feeling of regret is worse than the feeling of failure, so I always give every opportunity a go. This also ties in to my weakness, as I can take on too many things and get burnt out. It’s very important to find a healthy balance.
I share my passion for tech within my community, my social media and also try to share any opportunities I come across. I also try to help people that reach out to me anyway I can.

Find your tribe, there are times you may wish to give up or think you can’t make it. But your community will help uplift you and keep you going. It’s about progress and not perfection, so never feel down about “not getting it”. It’s a journey, you have got this!

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