Company Culture

In anticipation of International Women’s Day in March 2024 and celebration of women in tech, we had an exciting chat with Abiola Akande, a WordPress Developer at Studio14. Abiola shares insights on how she began her journey in tech as an unpaid WordPress Developer Intern at a small startup she reached out to on LinkedIn. Continue reading.

Q: How did you get started as a woman in tech industry?

Before embarking on my tech journey, my background was in Psychology; I graduated from the University of Lagos and was a serial entrepreneur in the food and logistics sector. 

In pursuit of achieving my business goals for 2019, I sought the expertise of a friend who happened to be a front-end developer. However, when he quoted a high fee for creating a website that would effectively showcase my business, I became uninterested as I was only a small business owner. 

Determined to find a solution, I turned to Google to explore the possibility of learning how to build a website myself. Immersing myself in online resources, I learned the tools used and consumed numerous YouTube tutorials to grasp website development. Initially thinking it was straightforward, I spent almost two months building half a page for my food business website. 

Realising the complexity of the task, I approached my developer friend once again to share my challenges. Surprisingly, he was impressed by my determination and suggested that I continue my learning journey. Ironically, the twist in the story is that I never completed my initial food website. Nonetheless, the experience fueled my passion for technology and opened new doors in my entrepreneurial journey.

“How I accidentally became a WordPress Developer” - Q & A with Abiola Akande  - Women in Tech

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career as a WordPress Developer?

As I expanded my knowledge, I invested in various courses to learn more. Upon completion, I learned software stacks and programming languages relevant to my current proficiency level. Later, I realised It was time to transition to tech and leverage my expertise. I started through strategic networking. I connected with a friend who worked as a backend developer. He recognised the demand for female backend and WordPress developers and encouraged me to explore opportunities in that field. 

The prospect of working with WordPress was particularly appealing, offering the autonomy to oversee the entire website development process and manage content. This presented an exciting avenue to hone my skills further. In addition, I immersed myself in PHP, the programming language powering WordPress, enhancing my capabilities to create customised solutions.

Q: What does a typical workday look like for you as a WordPress Developer?

My typical workday is a blend of coding sessions, standup meetings, and synchronising with my team members to update progress on assigned tasks. The day starts with a dedicated morning exercise routine, setting the tone for productivity. The first half is dedicated to WordPress projects and functions, ensuring efficient project management.

A significant portion of my day is reserved for continuous learning, addressing, and overcoming challenging bugs –  I always feel fulfilled when I overcome them *winks. After my lunchtime in the afternoon, Evenings are for winding down and planning for the next day’s tasks. A short nap rejuvenates my focus if the day has been particularly demanding. Additionally, I make time for a gym session to maintain physical and mental well-being. 

“How I accidentally became a WordPress Developer” - Q & A with Abiola Akande  - Women in Tech

Q: Have you faced any challenges as a woman in tech field, and how did you overcome them? 

Yes, a lot! But I thrive on them! When I communicate my professional interests, there’s often a subtle scepticism that only fades when my work speaks for itself. Addressing doubts becomes more complex when one adds the layer of being a female developer. I’ve encountered instances where individuals doubted my ability to excel in software development merely because of my gender!

I overcame them through dedicated effort and a relentless commitment to learning. I consistently emphasise that I am in a continual learning process, and I have no intention of slowing down.   I keep learning new stacks and mastering various functions within my field. I am never afraid to say no to learning and self-development as long as I become the best at what I do.

Q: Do specific experiences or moments stand out in your journey so far?

Yes, I had a 3-months PHP learning marathon with a group of people, and I was chosen as one of the best in that boot camp. It was sleepless nights of tears and hard work, but I am so glad I sacrificed those days.

Q: Who are some women in tech that inspire you, and why?

Adora Nwodo is a software engineer at Microsoft; Ada Oyom is the co-founder of She Code Africa; and Odunayo Eweniyi is the co-founder of Piggyvest. These accomplished female professionals serve as a testament to overcoming prevalent stereotypes faced by women in the tech industry.

Their journey reflects resilience and the undeniable impact of hard work and dedication. 

Q: What advice do you have for women aspiring to transition into tech?

Approach every experience as a valuable learning opportunity. Enjoy your growth, even in your initial baby steps. The significance of your efforts will become evident in due time.

If you want to transition into a tech career, find the passion!! While financial considerations are valid, many individuals pursuing this path tend to lose interest early on when confronted with the necessary sacrifices for career advancement. It is imperative to genuinely love what you do; this passion will be a driving force in the long term.

Abiola Akande believes no man is an island and everyone needs a mentor in navigating career paths, emphasising that collaboration and guidance are integral to success. It’s important to discover your passions, identify role models, and invite them to share their wisdom with you, making your professional journey smoother.

Abiola is particularly supportive of women pursuing careers in technology, expressing anticipation for the rise of more female WordPress Developers and women in the tech industry.

For more insights into our efforts to cultivate a diverse work culture and inspire inclusion, send an email to daniel[at]