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Embracing swift solutions fuels my dedication to WordPress website development — Guardian Woman — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

Okiemute Fole Ernest, widely recognised as “tech-savvy” in the tech community, is a seasoned WordPress website developer with over four years of hands-on experience. Her journey in the digital realm goes beyond mastering the technical intricacies of web development; it reflects a passionate commitment to empowering others.
In addition to her role as a developer, Okiemute is the founder of “Ladies Can Tech,” a pioneering initiative aimed at narrowing the gender gap in the tech industry. Through mentorship and training, she tirelessly works to nurture the talents of young women, contributing to a more diverse and inclusive tech landscape.
Fueled by a passion for education and a vision of a more accessible digital future, Okiemute established the “Website Development Academy” (WEBA). This academy serves as a haven for aspiring developers, providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in web development. Notably, Okiemute has personally guided over 20 individuals, both online and offline, teaching them how to build websites without writing a single line of code.
Okiemute’s journey is a testament to the power of passion, determination and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Her portfolio includes collaborations with various brands, ranging from NGOs to international corporations and students from within and outside the country. This underscores her commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the digital age.
Beyond being a WordPress website developer, Okiemute is a visionary dedicated to empowering individuals to explore the vast potential of the digital realm. Her work with “Ladies Can Tech” and the “Website Development Academy” is a testament to her commitment to shaping the future of tech, one empowered individual at a time. Married and based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Okiemute is a true inspiration for those seeking to make their mark in the digital world. In this interview, she shares her inspiring story with ESTHER IJEWERE.

The pivotal moment that sparked my specialisation in WordPress website development
In 2017, I tried learning how to build websites and in my quest for the right knowledge, I stumbled on numerous ways of building websites, but the simplicity and ease of understanding that WordPress brought my way was worth sticking with. I embrace anything that enables me to get things done faster and that’s one major reason I decided to specialise fully in WordPress website development. I mean, why should I have to labour for months and even years before I can set up a functional website when a good knowledge of WordPress will get it done within a few hours?

The evolution and impact of “Ladies Can Tech” in bridging the gender gap in tech
During my stay in the hostel and after school, I noticed most ladies weren’t involved with anything called tech, so this prompted me to come up with a plan to help ladies navigate through tech by providing them with the basic skills needed to get started. We do this with the plan of “One lady at a time.” Each month, we offer free tech support to one lady who is having difficulty in getting into the tech space.
So far, we have barristers who are now tech gurus, female students who can now fend for themselves with the simple skills we rendered and joyfully spreading tech knowledge. This initiative aims to let every girl child know that they can be technology-inclined like the males they see and hear of in tech fields. We haven’t done much this year because of other activities that took place, but we will be back fully by January 2024.

The inspiration behind “Website Development Academy” (WEBA) and its vision for shaping aspiring developers’ futures
I learnt the basics of website development within six weeks and since then, it has been a life changer. The level of respect I command by just introducing myself as a website developer is one thing I won’t trade for anything. Most especially, being able to set up different types of websites without coding has been the juicy part of it all. All these motivated me to set up the WEBA platform. I wanted people to know that it is possible to build any type of website without learning PHP, JavaScript, Python and the rest.
I wanted them to know that it is possible with the right coach + mindset who isn’t just after your registration fee but also your success.
So far, we have students from different parts of the country and across the globe learning every single day how to set up different types of websites. Sincerely, it gives me so much fulfillment when they share their wins with me.

Navigating challenges and successes in global projects and student engagements
I often collaborate with my students to guide them in achieving specific goals on their various website projects. One particularly rewarding project this year was the pro-bono development of the TWCC WEBSITE, where I also took charge of the designs after the initial designer withdrew from the team.
Delivering both projects within a short timeframe challenged me, but the positive response from visitors brought immense joy. The referrals and mentions that followed were truly humbling, although there have been instances where I had to step back from projects that didn’t align with the brand I was building.

Three women who inspire and influence her
Sincerely, one of the women who has inspired me from afar is Esther Ijewere. She must be surprised to read this, but she has inspired me. I got to know her through Worital- a publishing company based in Nigeria. Since then, I have followed her daily affirmations and the wisdom she dishes out on her timeline. I had the opportunity of working with her and it has been one of the rewarding moments of my journey.
Secondly, Naijabrandchick is another woman who inspires me in this industry. I just love her guts and how she has positioned herself as an authority, against all odds.
Lastly is TRICIABIZ. It was through her constant updates on Instagram that I learned how to monetise my knowledge. I have taken up several of her courses and it has always been value-packed. All three women have shown me that women can achieve anything they set their minds to. I may not be at their level right now but I am certain I am no longer where I used to be.

Overcoming challenges as a visionary in the tech field
A significant hurdle I encounter revolves around individuals who undervalue the intellect, skills and expertise I bring to the table. This challenge is particularly pronounced when facing those who believe knowledge should not be monetised. The presence of an entitlement mentality can be toxic, but I am steadfast in the understanding that my knowledge may not be suitable for everyone.
My mission is clear: I aim to cultivate a community of individuals who appreciate and respect the time and expertise of others. In doing so, I strive to foster an environment where the value of knowledge is acknowledged and celebrated.

The impact of mentorship at “Ladies Can Tech” and WEBA, according to a visionary in the field
The significance of mentorship in personal and professional growth cannot be overstated. In my journey, mentorship has been a pivotal element, particularly in my pursuit of expertise in website development. Struggling independently for a year, I found my breakthrough in 2018 when I connected with my mentor. Within six weeks of mentorship, I not only acquired the fundamentals but also received invaluable support. Mentorship streamlines the journey, propelling you from Point A to Point C, and bypassing the obstacles that typically arise at Point B.
At the academy, I encounter questions from aspiring developers, and having navigated similar challenges, I can provide direct answers without the need for extensive Google searches or hours of YouTube tutorials.
This exemplifies the essence of mentorship – a direct path to knowledge and guidance. I firmly believe that anyone aspiring to excel, be it in tech or any other field, requires the guidance and support of a mentor to navigate the complexities and reach their fullest potential.

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