How a Runway Model is Learning to Code Apps for Women’s Health Problems

Breaking stereotypes, challenging the status quo: Amisum’s Story.

When we think of software engineers, we usually imagine people who fell in love with computers at a young age or a computer geek writing long codes all day. But, how likely would you picture a runway and fashion model coding apps? Here is a story of a young renowned Ghanaian fashion model who also doubles as a software engineer.

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Gloria Amisum Atebiya

Amisum is a runway model and an app developer at Codetrain. She is working on an app that seeks to address women’s health issues. As a female app developer coming from a non-tech background, I believe her story will inspire many people.

As a model, Amisum has worked with notable brands such as MTN, Nestle, ATL etc.

Tell me a bit about yourself

I am Gloria Amisum Atebiya. I have a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from GIMPA. I am also a trainee mobile app developer at Codetrain and a runway model. I am passionate about using technology to address health and social issues pertaining to women.

What inspired you to learn how to code?

A few months after my national service I was in my room thinking “what’s next for me?”. I asked myself what are things that I think are difficult to learn or the things I want to learn but I feel I can’t because it is too complex and coding was on top of that list.

I went online immediately and I searched for coding schools in Ghana after reading through the search engine suggestions I found Codetrain. What made me choose Codetrain was the flexible teaching hours, the practical aspect of the course and the idea of using the newly acquired skills to work on real projects that address social problems.

What challenges did you initially face when you started the training?

Challenges uhmm…getting a lot of bugs( a bug is a coding error in a computer program) in my code and slow internet connection when I was doing some of my assignments online. One other personal challenge I encountered was having to wake up in the morning and go to class and study something I still thought was complex. One thing that helped me overcome this personal challenge was saying to myself “I’m excited to code, I’m excited to go to class” before I stepped out. And also, Codetrain has a very fun and exciting atmosphere and ambiance which is a big motivation to learn.

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You spoke about being passionate about women’s health issues and using technology to tackle them. How has your time at Codetrain helped you achieve that? being at Codetrain has helped me achieve that dream. As you rightly know, lots of ladies find it difficult accessing restrooms within the city. In fact, There were many times I had to hold my urine until I went home because I couldn’t find a restroom close-by. And this we know is harmful to one’s health. In order to address this issue, I’m working on a mobile app called ‘PeePoint’.

PeePoint is an app that directs women to the nearest public restroom. I want people to be able to get access to washrooms with one click. In sub-Saharan Africa, 74% of women are employed in lower-paying jobs, however women’s health remains a pressing issue. I believe that solving women’s health issues goes a long way to empower women economically.

How has your Codetrain experience been?

Codetrain has a friendly learning environment. The teaching fellows are dedicated, approachable and always encouraging students to do the best. Sometimes students are rewarded with sweets or candies for completing their assignments ( says this with a giggle).

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Amisum with her colleagues at Codetrain

I’m quite intrigued about you also being a model…share with us this part of you.

I have been modeling for a couple of years. It is a fun and interesting industry to be in. I love and enjoy every bit of it and I make sure it doesn’t conflict with coding. I have done campaigns for brands such MTN Ghana, Printex Ghana, First Atlantic Bank, Akosombo Textiles Limited, Kwarleyz Residence, Número Uno, Nestle Ghana, Telande world..etc I appeared on fuse ODG music video “new African woman”

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What advice do you have for young ladies that want to learn how to code apps?

In today’s modern world, being able to code apps presents a huge opportunity to solve some of our most pressing problems, create huge amounts of wealth as well as jobs and this presents a great opportunity for women to be empowered. That is why I would encourage more ladies to go into learning how to code and I believe that once they are able to challenge themselves and push themselves to the limit, they can become successful.

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Codetrain trains world class software developers in Ghana and matches them to employment opportunities.

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