Turning Lemons into Lemonade: Reflecting on the Challenges and Opportunities of 2022.

Paul Stephen Edache
10 min readJan 1, 2023

In all my remarkable events, you’d hear me say “It’s not bragging if it’s based on facts, also Accomplishments do not speak for themselves” more reason why I am sharing my 2022 year review with you.

I felt reluctant to share this year’s review because I lack the self-motivation to write. Howbeit, you have it. I wrote about 2020, 2021, and now 2022.

As the year began, I found myself overwhelmed with feelings of depression and despair. Family issues, and the constant questioning and doubt from others, with suggestions that perhaps I had not truly attended school, instead gone “by proxy” and why is he yet to go for NYSC with his peers. had taken a heavy toll on my mental health.

These hurtful comments and accusations had even led me to consider suicide as a way to escape the pain. It was a dark and difficult time, but I am determined to overcome these challenges and emerge stronger than ever before.

Despite not having any credentials or formal notice, I attended an interview on January 18th and ended up being selected for the job out of 11 applicants. The interviewer asked about my credentials, but I candidly admitted that I didn’t have any and wasn’t formally informed to bring them. Despite this, they asked me a few questions and exchanged contacts with me before I left. Just two days later, I was invited to a meeting with HR, where I was offered the job and asked to resume on the 2nd of February.

On the 10th of February, I had the incredible opportunity to join the Financial Services Innovators (FSI) team as a Volunteer Community Manager. I was thrilled to be onboard and to join their mission of building, supporting, and growing a collaborative and innovative ecosystem in the financial services industry.

Screen Grab of the Mail.

As a part of the team, I had the chance to work on exciting projects like planning virtual and physical hackathons, as well as onboarding tertiary students to the campus ambassador program. It was a truly rewarding experience, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a dynamic and forward-thinking team.

A young Otondo

As I look back on March, I can’t help but smile at the memories of my time at the NYSC Orientation Camp, Nsit Atai. I had such a great time in Akwa Ibom, and one of the highlights was being chosen as the King of my platoon for the cultural day.

I relished the opportunity to sit among the kings and give orders to my platoon, even if it was only for a few hours. Another memorable moment was when the governor of the state visited the orientation camp with a team of kitchen chefs who brought delicious meals. Of course, I couldn’t resist the temptation to stand in line and get my share of the food. It was all such a fun and memorable experience.

Community Builder Onboarding Swags from AWS

I was honored to be selected by Slick to spearhead the launching of the AkolagTech Campus Ambassador Program, which was designed to support students with the technical tools and hands-on experience they need to succeed in their chosen fields in tech.

Working with a dedicated team of three, we were able to bring the AkolagTech program to over 14+ tertiary institutions across Nigeria, reaching countless students and helping them to achieve their goals in the tech industry. It was a rewarding and exciting project to be a part of, and I am proud of the impact that we were able to make.

Groupie with Professor Francisca Onaolapo Oladipo in 2021

I am thrilled to announce that my final year undergraduate project, “Process Automation for instant procurement of crypto currencies,” was published in the International Journal of Advance Research in Computer and Communication Engineering.

Certificate of Publication

I received my certificate in May 2022 and I couldn’t have done it without the mentorship and guidance of my project supervisor, Professor Francisca Onaolapo Oladipo. And the best part? She has since been appointed as the Vice Chancellor of Thomas Akinwumi University. I am truly grateful for her support and guidance throughout my undergraduate program at Federal University Lokoja.”

A quick hint, I pioneered the Google Developer Student Club at Federal University Lokoja. Upon graduation in 2021, I pioneered the Google Developer Group Lokoja. I was busy paving the way for the future and the development of a conducive ecosystem for software developers in Kogi State.

Google IO Extended Groupie

One of my proudest achievements was hosting our first in-person event, “Google IO Extended,” on July 2nd, post-Covid. It was a chance for me to share my expertise and give out branded swags to the attendees.

But amidst all this excitement, (breakfast reach me) I was also forced to confront some difficult personal issues. As I reflected on my love life, I was overwhelmed by how heartbroken and shattered I felt. I cried, but eventually I knew I had to move on. Even though I had been involved with a toxic person, I made sure to distance myself from their negativity and work on healing myself. It was a challenging time, but ultimately it made me stronger and more resilient.

My Crowdsource Influencer’s Profile Slide.

Being selected for the Google Crowdsource Influencers program in the middle of the year has been a highlight of my career, and I have enjoyed every moment of my journey as a contributor to open source project.

NACOS Electoral Committee members and the Outgoing National President.

As the serving North Central Coordinator for the Nigeria Association of Computing Students, I had the privilege of overseeing the transition of leadership to a new set of executives. I was appointed as the Secretary of the Electoral Committee and tasked with supervising, conducting, and handing over the reins to the best qualified candidate.

A Pose with Oracle Community Manager

The election took place during the National NACOS Conference at Chrisland University in Abeokuta, and I had an amazing time traveling from Abuja to Abeokuta and hosting the conference.

Visit to the Olumo Rock Tourist Complex

It was a successful event, with talented candidates emerging from the six geographical zones as the new executives of the association.

Playing “Ayo” with one of the I4G Community Lead

On my last full day in Abeokuta, I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Olumo rock and spoke live at two radio stations (Splash FM and Sweet FM), sharing my passion for tech with the community. It was a truly memorable and rewarding experience, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity.

As a gold facilitator of the Google #IamRemarkable workshop, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to promote and facilitate the workshop during the #IamRemarkable Week in September. This Google initiative empowers everyone, especially underrepresented groups, to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond. On the 24th of September, my team and I hosted the first ever #FailConference, and it was aired live on AIT.

October was a busy and exciting month for me, as I had the opportunity to join a team of leads in the North Central region to host the Google Developer Festival (DevFest) in Abuja. The event, which was held at Merit House and attracted over 500 attendees, was a chance for me to make new friends and connections in the tech industry.

Unfortunately, I had a difficult client this year who paid significantly less than expected and caused me a lot of stress and frustration. I made a mistake by jumping into a project without properly setting up the necessary agreements, which resulted in me having to pay back the initial investment even after using all of the funds to develop and deploy the complete solution. It was a tough lesson, but I learned from it and will make sure to be more thorough in the future.

After facing these challenges and setbacks, I made the decision to take the legal route and register my own company, “BineOps Innovation Technology Limited,” with the corporate affairs commission. It was a big step, but it was worth it to have the protection and security of being a registered business.

Unfortunately, I also ended up making a few enemies due to the limited supply of Google crowdsource swags that I was able to share. Despite this small hiccup, the DevFest was a successful and memorable event, and I am grateful for the chance to be a part of it.

Still riding high on the energy and excitement of the Google DevFest in other cities, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to host the first ever DevFest in Lokoja with the help of my team and remarkable volunteers.

DevFest Lokoja 2022 Groupie

The event, which took place on November 19th at the Federal University Lokoja’s multipurpose hall, was a resounding success, with over 250 signups and a hall filled with remarkable speakers from diverse fields in tech, sponsors, attendees, and volunteers.

Shots taken during #IamRemarkable Session at DevFest Keffi

November was a special month for me, not only because it was the month of my birth, but also because I had my first airplane experience, flying from Abuja to Lagos for the first time to attend the Google Community Summit for Sub-Saharan Africa. The four-day summit, which was held in conjunction with the Google DevFest Lagos, was an exciting and educational experience.

SSA Summit Groupie

Upon arriving at the hotel, I struck up a friendly conversation with the receptionist, who was surprised to learn that my birthday was the following day. Little did I know that this chance encounter would lead to an unforgettable birthday celebration. On the second day, which was my actual birthday, a series of interesting events took place that made it a truly special day, I will be sharing some:

  • It was the first day of the summit, and as if that wasn’t exciting enough, it was also my birthday!
  • Somehow, news of my birthday had made its way to Ada, who promptly announced it to the team. To my surprise, everyone stood up and sang and clapped for me. Throughout that day, I was referred to me as the “Birthday Boy”.
  • My birthday was filled with love and well wishes from my family, friends, and other loved ones. I received countless messages, prayers, and kind words, which made me feel truly special and loved.
  • During the summit, I had the chance to meet the wonderful Roxie, who shared a common interest with me. When she saw my birthday Wishlist on my status, she asked if I was looking for a physical Bible. When I said I was, she surprised me with the most thoughtful birthday gift: a brand new Bible. It was the best present I could have asked for, and I am so thankful to Roxie for her kindness and generosity. (#Roxie4President)
  • As if the birthday celebration at the summit wasn’t enough, I received a phone call from one of the receptionists at the Sheraton hotel, who sang me a heartfelt rendition of “Happy Birthday” and informed me that a box of cake was on its way to my room.

For more than 12 months, I have been a volunteer with the Nigeria Startup Act team and the experience has been nothing short of amazing. I was thrilled to return to Abuja from my trip to Lagos and be recognized for my contributions with a certificate of recognition during the volunteers hangout.

Closing up, I travelled more this year, read 10+ books, wrote 5+ tech articles on Hashnode, spoke at 35+ tech events, volunteered for more than 10+ organizations and above all — I skilled up. I made lemonade out of the lemons, I got this year.

Despite any challenges or setbacks that may have come my way this year, I remained focused and determined to make the most out of every situation. When faced with obstacles, I took a proactive approach and found ways to turn them into opportunities. Through hard work and resilience, I was able to turn even the most difficult situations into positive outcomes. It has been a year of growth and resilience, and I am proud of everything I have accomplished

I have also actively sought out opportunities for growth and development, including participating in fellowships, conferences & volunteering. I am committed and open to continuing my learning and improving my skills in order to be a valuable asset.

Looking ahead to the year 2023!!!

--

--

Paul Stephen Edache

Software Developer | GDG Organizer | #IamRemarkable Facilitator