Hello Joshua, Can you tell me about yourself?
My name is Joshua Agboola. I’m a 10-year old future skills activist, CEO of Joshfortech. We provide web solutions and mobile app solutions to solve business problems. I also run a YouTube channel called Joshfortech where I teach children coding skills and anything digital and simplify it in a way that a 5-year-old or 6 years old can understand. My friends call me “FroshJosh” because I’m always coming up with fresh ideas.
How did you start doing what you are doing?
I started when I was 6 years old at Genius Academy. So, the guys there were older than me; 13-year-olds, 14-year-old, 12-year-olds, and they made remarks such as, “This boy can’t cope in class” but when I was done they were surprised and amazed at what a kid my age was able to do. When I was 7, I went to CCHub to learn scratch coding. On one fateful day, I met this white guy that came to our class. Everybody wanted to take pictures with him. I asked in my heart, was he an actor or a musician because people crowded around him for pictures and he obliged for a photo with the big guys in front of him? Because the guys were taller and bigger than me, I was pushed to the back and didn’t appear in the picture. When I got home, I saw the picture and told my dad about this white guy. He exclaimed, “Gosh Josh! That was Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook! You didn’t even take a selfie with him?” I told him I didn’t know and I was like thinking, who is this guy? This experience was very motivating for me.
Great. Do you go to school like every other child? If so, how do you combine classes with the skills you’re learning?
Yes. I go to school 2 days a week and I go to my coding classes or my entrepreneurship classes 3 days a week. Some people don’t feel that good about it. They want me to go to school more. My parents had to do a long search before they could find a school that understands my needs. But I have to balance the two.
Tell us about your best friend.
My best friend is David Orimisan. Also, my family members are my friends. I and David became friends from our nursery 2, later on, he had to leave our school because he couldn’t pay school fees. Well, that was like the worst time of my life. David was a nice person. We have a perfect relationship with each other though we sometimes got angry with each other and we fell apart. After David left the school, I made a new friend called Samuel or Samu Samu. I call him Samu because he is funny. We play with each other often, and though we get angry with each other sometimes, we always overcome it. We also had to part ways because of secondary school.
How many times a week do you put into developing your skill?
Almost every time, every day. Sometimes when I have my break, I practice coding. When I come back home, I practice coding so it’s just like every time. At other times I spend some time researching tech topics on YouTube, and that is how I develop my skills and learn some new things.
How does your family respond to your growth in this field, and how much of support have they been to you?
My family members are awesome. My brother, my sister, my daddy, my mother; they are awesome. So my dad makes sure I’m up to date in tech by buying me books and videos and paying for coding classes, and sometimes I’m like, “God why why why why “, but it’s about him building my focus and that way building my future. My mum prepares me and tells me “You have to do this, you have to do that. She makes sure I’m ready for my speeches. My sister and even my little brother are always encouraging me. My sister helps me and revises with me. Most of what I have achieved is because of my parents.
How does knowing how to code, and write and speak help you relate with a friend and being a good pupil, student?
Coding has taught me patience and persistence and this has helped me in my studies because I’m not afraid to take on challenges. Also, because I am in the midst of adults in my coding class at Semicolon, it has made me more mature. This helps me in relating well with other students, with my teachers and school staff. But I must confess that I sometimes get irritated with the language or behavior of some of my classmates because they sound or behave so childish.
Do you think other children should learn and develop skills outside their classroom activities? If so, why?
The reason why I believe they should is because the 4th industrial revolution is a certain change that is coming in the future and if they don’t build the relevant skills, they will be left out in the future because there will mainly be digital jobs, for example, animation, software engineering, cybersecurity and so on. So they need to learn technology; start from the basics then move to the intermediate and the advanced. Because the future is coming and the future is here and I don’t want them to be left out so I encourage them to develop relevant skills outside what is taught in the classroom.
Have you faced any difficulties while learning these skills? If so, how did you overcome it?
Yes. I have one day that I felt like discarding my computer and quitting coding forever because of a bug I couldn’t resolve in my code. I was like, this pressure is too much. My code didn’t work, I spent 2 hours working on that thing and it didn’t work and it was very painful for me. But I told myself, “if you have gotten this far, you can go farther”. I try encouraging myself by telling myself, “Joshua you can do this. Just try it again and again and again till you get it and you’ll succeed and prosper.
Okay. That’s nice. So tell us about your role model and why you choose him or her.
Oh, wow. That’s a very important question. My role model is Bill Gates because this guy is one tech guy that has one of the biggest companies in the world and I love his company because we use its products almost every day. We use his operating system on the laptop or desktop. We also use it for tablets and phones. Gates is also my role model because of his investments in Africa. He has invested millions of dollars in curing malaria. Assuming Bill Gates didn’t do that, more people in Nigeria would have been dying from this very dangerous disease. Also, though he is very rich, he doesn’t act proud.
That’s great. So how do you think you can use your skill to help other people especially children of your age?
I mentioned earlier that I recently started a YouTube channel called Joshfortech where I teach people coding skills in a fun and easy to learn the way. I want to make coding as simple as possible such that even a 5-year-old can understand what I am teaching. I have a few video tutorials now but hope to upload more soon. I am also working on a health care app that can help people with their health. So you put in your disease into this app, and it will show you how to work on your health.
Awesome. So, how much do you enjoy what you’re doing?
Okay. I enjoy it. I code a lot and coding is just plain fun. It’s like telling the computer what to do and that’s amazing to me. Making the computer to obey you, and it’s lovely, especially when my code works. It always feels great to create things and solve problems by coding. But when it doesn’t work, I just lie down on my bed and I’m like why why why.
So what words do you have for parents who have kids like you?
The word is that you should encourage your children. Encourage them to be found of tech, to prepare for the 4th revolution, to be ready for the new era. Demand from the schools to teach them technology skills in school, teach them about the 4th industrial revolution, tell them about the trends so that they won’t be left out. And I pray your kids will be good, nice and be empowered with skills for the future.
What’s your advice for children your age out there?
That’s one of the most important questions I’ve got in the course of our discussion and here is it… My brother started coding when he was 4 years old and has improved his skills by believing in himself and putting in more work into coding. So my advice is that you can do it. That’s one of my watchwords, “you can do it”. Ask your parents to enroll you in a tech school, and to pay for it. It’s not just about your parents, you too can help yourself in preparing for your future success by being sure you focus on what you are learning. That way, you won’t be left out in the future.
In the next five years, who will Joshua be?
Oh, that’s a nice question. I’ll be earning a big salary. I’m dreaming of jobs and projects where I will earn more than 200 thousand dollars. That’s a lot of money I’ll be earning. I’ll also build my company because I have excitement for tech and I’ll be generating a lot of money from my business. I believe things are going to work out fine and I’m going to be a millionaire by that time. My dreams are big but I know I can achieve them because I know when I put my work and heart to it, it’s going to work out fine.