Interview with Tieubou Melaine

By Awanto Margaret - November 13, 2018

Today's interview is with Tieubou Melaine, an Application Development Analyst at Accenture and founder of Lamel Code: A YouTube channel aimed at teaching and motivating girls/ persons without a STEM background to build careers in tech by learning to code. Melaine holds a BSc. in Accounting from the University of Buea Cameroon, and a Master's in Economics and Management from the Catholic University of Milan (Italy) where she presently lives.
How Did You Become A Programmer? Was it Something You'd Always Dreamed Of?
From dreaming to become a medical doctor, to business studies then landing in tech as a developer is my life 😊.
Growing up I had this strong desire to be a medical doctor and even did studies in that direction. Fast-forward to the university when I decided to do accounting with the aim of being a Chartered accountant. I did not even know what programming was about, talk less of being interested in the field. I was determined to become a chartered accountant and any other profession was completely nonexistent.

The tech world opened to me in 2015 when I arrived Italy, living with a brother who was passionate about tech, I had no choice than to fall in love with the field so that we could speak the same language.  I started learning how to develop web pages using CSS and html on Codecademy while pursuing my Masters at the university. After graduating, I was still convinced I wanted a job in the business field when I got an opportunity (internship) at Accenture as a java developer (The girl didn’t even know what Java was … 😊) and that is when my real code story began.

How Would You Describe Your Life As A Programmer?
That thing you have never thought of, never dreamed of... then it happens, and you feel is one of those things you had missed to dream about 😊
Ohhh!! My life as a programmer! I don’t know if I will find the right words to express that but let me try. I just love this job and most especially my team.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to discover what it really is. I start work at 9:00 and finish at 6pm. I work with a team of developers on clients’ projects using backend technologies, but I hope to become full stack in the nearest future. Being a fresher, collaboration is a necessity and I can sometimes be considered a pester. However, I’m not always enthusiastic about my job, especially when it takes me two hours to find a stupid bug!

What Inspired You To Start Your YouTube Channel Lamel Code?
When I started programming, I started looking for an active female programmer with whom I could identify, connect and who could eventually serve as a mentor but found none. I watched hundreds of coding videos on YouTube but came across very few done by women and none by African women.  That is where Lamel Code drew inspirationMy mission is to connect with young girls, help them dream big and teach them how to use technology to transform these dreams into reality.

What Do You Think Is The Future Of Tech In Cameroon?
“L’impossible n’est pas Camerounais”
Looking at the present statistics related to digital in Cameroon, I will say we have a long way to go but I remain optimistic. Tech is fast growing in the South West region (Silicon Mountain) and community organizations are equally training youths in that aspect. With these, we can only be optimistic.  

So Far, Do You Have Any Favorite Programming Language(s)?
I don’t have any favorite programming language yet. As of now, I’ve worked only on projects which mainly deals with java and pl SQL.

What Does Melaine Do For Fun?
I love dancing, listening to music (especially Naija hits) and traveling.  I don’t know if it’s fun, but I have fun recording videos.

We want to say a big thank you to Melaine for taking the time to interview with us. Her transition from business to the tech industry is truly inspirational as it proves with determination, anyone can do it. You can find out more about on her Youtube channel Lamel Code.

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