Aug. 10, 2021

#24: The dream of becoming a hacker and escaping the traditional 9-5 ft. Samuel Bartels


My guest for this episode is Samuel Bartels. Sam and I talk about what is was like trying to learn how to code in Ghana, the reason why he's worked remotely for various companies outside of doing a traditional 9-5 at a tech company, and we get into balancing staying in a job for a steady income and eventually transitioning into doing something we're passionate about. 

Here is a snapshot of a few things we talked about…

Introduction [0:00]

What Got Him Interested in The World of Computer Science [01:45] 

Why He Was Not Exposed to Internet Back in 2013 [10:13]

What Makes Code Enjoyable for Him? [11:25]

What Was it Like Working Remotely with Different Countries? [12:16]

What He Means by People Who Make the Most Noise Get Promoted [15:20]

Has He Worked on Any Particular Project or Technology He Wants to Use? [19:50] 

Why Having a 9 to 5 Isn't for Him [24:05]

How Can People Get Out of The Comfortable Positions to Try Out Their Passion Projects? [27:25]

Key Takeaways...

(Show notes from our interview have been edited for clarity and brevity.)

  • “When I was a kid, I mean, I love computers, I seen those hackers, I mean, writing ones and zeros, on TV and in movies. It's also great for me…”
  • So, there were this man, a neighbor, who had one of those PCs, I definitely needed to do some job for him before he even allowed me to touch a keyboard back then. I used to do that just to feel what keyboard felt like…
  • An NGO came from the UK or Europe, who came here to Ghana, to do humanitarian work. It was related to teaching people how to code... 
  • I was told that the registration for the program had passed but I knew I would get in, because I was so determined. The program was supposed to kick off at 9am. I went there at 6:30, actually I got there around 3 AM.
  • Then, I started getting introduced to meetups, YouTube, Google, which I didn’t know about before. 
  • “I love to code, I love to, I mean, do stuff and see my stuff being used by people…”
  • I enjoy coding, there’s an internal drive, that says you have to keep on, you have to because if I look at where I was before, and now I have access to a lot of technologies that years ago, I never had access to.
  • One of the stuff that I always look out for back then was freedom. Going to 9 to 5 was not my thing. 
  • I wanted to work on very interesting technologies, and something that is going to give me some sort of very comfortable living., which was not possible in my country. 
  • “I've structured my career in such a way that I can be a global brand and not a local brand. So, it was a personal decision…”
  • “So I want to be able to compete internationally, meet new people work with teammates from all over the world at the same time and earn good money…”
  • So your promotion in the company depends on the amount of noise you make. Your promotion is going to depend on perception.
  • “I came across LinkedIn, and LinkedIn has been where I've had met all the companies, I've worked at…”
  • “The only challenge that I've faced so far is language barrier, that I've worked with people who speak French, I work with people who speak Portuguese, and other languages…”
  • As long as it is paying well, so you have to go for the manifest, then you go for the passion.
  • One of the stuff I learned at later stages, sometimes you have to go for the money first, and not a passion…
  • “At the end of the day, passion must make you an income…”
  • If you look at a project and see that it is going to collapse, it is not realistic in this type of economy or is not realistic in this type of ecosystem, so don't venture.
  • The only pride to me is like you have to build stuff, work on stuff that a lot of people are going to use.
  • Why I personally think people don't challenge themselves is because once people want to get into a job and the salary is really good, you might feel reluctant or willing to challenge yourself to go out there and get different things done.
  • No matter how much money you earn, there is a bigger offer out there in the world waiting for you.
  • Sometimes you also have to know to look that the world is too big to stay in your small zone and feel like you're a superstar in your small zone.
  • What helped me to leave my comfort zone was imagining the world, like only me being in the world, how am I going to survive?
  • “The other thing that I've done that pushed me was utilizing, I mean, social media, especially LinkedIn…”
  • “I had this perception; I had this mindset that I have to be an international person and not a local person…”
  • So to compete internationally, I have to have to find ways of getting that kind of visibility…
  • No matter what you do, the final decision lies on the person who needs to take that action to say, Okay, look, this is what I want…
  • “What has benefited me is LinkedIn, throughout, I've learned so much in a short period of time on LinkedIn than maybe even the university would have ever taught me…”
  • “So, I would advise that if you are somebody who's trying to break into the corporate world, please utilize LinkedIn most…”

Where to Find Samuel Bartels

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samuelbartels20/  

Transcript

Samuel Bartels  0:06  
I used to go to this man who was a neighbor, I, you know, I was definitely you need to do some job for him before he even allows you to touch the keyboard. And then. So I used to do those who asked just to have a feel of how people will look like. And I remember one day a man used to give me time and tell me, if you touch one keyboard, you have to do this work for me, if you have to fetch water for me, or you have to do something else, you have to do all those kind of stuff just to get access to a PC back then, because there was there was literally I mean, pieces were not really, technology was not really advanced back then in mind.

Kimmiko James  0:41  
If you're currently in the United States, and I've been here your entire life, it's probably been easy for you to access technology, and the internet pretty quickly and efficiently. Though, in Ghana, things were different for Sam years ago, he had a strong interest in code and literal hacking, and would do anything to get into the technology space. Despite the obstacles and lack of resources available to him at the time. Sam currently works as a software engineer across various companies remotely, doing the things he loves most. Let's get into it. Hello, and welcome back to the black enterprise network, the podcast that shares the stories of black professionals in tech and entrepreneurship. And this episode, Sam and I talk about what it was like trying to learn how to code in Ghana. The reason why he's worked remotely for various companies outside of doing the traditional nine to five. And we even get into balancing what it means to stay in a job for a steady income, and maybe eventually transitioning into doing something we're passionate about.

Samuel Bartels  1:43  
When I was a kid, I mean, I love computers, I seen those hackers, I mean, writing ones and zeros, on on TV and in movies. It's also great for me, were great for me seeing them doing amazing things. And I thought it was realistic back then I said, This is what I want it to be. Because anytime I want those movies, and I mean, you see people hackers, they have to take like five seconds or three seconds to get stuff done. It was so fascinating. Very fascinating. I mean, back then, Cody schools in my country was a big challenge, were a big challenge. And it was very, very expensive, because it was not attended back then in my country. You know, it was not a thing. There were a couple of organizations like nit, I think they also have a branch in India. And nit, I don't know the full meaning do but we call them an IIT, they were the largest it training facility here in my country back then. And so most of the most of parents, when they when they are kids graduate from high school, they allow them to go to when study Monday, which was Microsoft Office that was very much popular. And so they allow their kids to go and study Microsoft Office back then. So once you graduate, most parent would, I mean, would love to have your kids enrolled at nit. But there was, I mean, some sort of limitations, or some sort of restrictions. And those restrictions were that one, it was very expensive back then. And I couldn't afford about warehouse Metro and couldn't afford, I couldn't afford as well when I was a kid. So what I did was find someone who had a cathode ray cathode ray tube pieces, you know, back then we used to have the TCC, long haired cathode ray tube. So there was no option where you have to buy the whole system unit, or the whole pieces assembled for you in advance. So you have to buy the parts bit by bit and come and assemble them yourself. So there were this man, who I mean a neighbor, who had one of those pieces I used to go to this month with a neighbor, I you know, I was definitely you need to do some job for him before he even allows you to touch a keyboard back then. So I used to do those who asked just to have a feel of how people really look like. And I remember one the man used to give me time and tell me, if you touch one keyboard, you have to do this for me. If you have to fetch water for me, or you have to do something else. Yeah, I mean, you have to do all those kind of stuff guys to get access to a PC back then. Because there was there was literally I mean, PCs were not really, technology was not really advanced back then in my country. And And so getting access to PCs was very expensive, very expensive. And then there was one time how I got into programming was there's I mean, I just want I really wanted to become a software developer. I didn't know anything like software development back then. Because I know there was no point all they say is that you are an IT person. And if you're an IT person, you are you know who I regard us as a very intelligent human, you know, abandon my country. I regard as a very intelligent human. So once people hear at a, this is the it man, even if you know only how to touch a keyboard. And I mean, and you have touch a keyboard for somebody to see, anytime there was an issue somewhere, they are going to come to you and say, Look, I knew an IT specialist somewhere. But then you only know what 30 but nothing else tooling architecture keyword. And then this NGO came back from, I think the UK, also from Europe. We came here to Ghana, to come and do the humanitarian work. And so the humanitarian work was related to teaching people how to code when a friend got to hear the news. And he came back and told me, it was on on Thursday. Yeah, my friend told me the news on Thursday, by then registration had already passed, is already passed. And the program is supposed to kick off on Monday at the University of Ghana campus. I mean, going into that, and it was not my thing, because I could not afford it. I couldn't afford it. My period, nobody could afford it. Even with a cell or a study had we can't afford nit. It was very expensive, very expensive. And so when my friend Tony told me that, look, this NGO research NGO, we are going to have computer classes at the University of Ghana campus. And so really, I didn't even know where to invest of Ghana was where the companies are located. So I asked him, can you give me direction today to the campus? He said, Yes.

I said, Okay, no problem. You know, when he gave me the formula, that registration as part I said, No, don't worry me, I'll get in even ingratiation as far as I did definitely get in, because I was so determined to get into programming. So to determine. And so it was on Monday, or Monday, the program was supposed to kick off at 9am. I went there at 628, I got there around three 3am. I remember vividly, I let I go down to the campus at three good AM, because, you know, I knew the the environment, I find myself, I knew that some of the students are definitely going to come late. And then one, if I go there, and I see that I see them very early, nobody is going to ask me to go out when the students come in. And so by then when they are doing their check in stuff, they are not going to check the people that are inside already that are going to check the people that are now entering. Don't go there. I mean, I saw there are a bunch of companies showed me where you're supposed to have an engineering department. I sat there for a long time. So it was at 7am. towers when the guards came and opened the door. They asked me, Are you a student here? I must tell you, I said yes, I wasn't. But I wanted to get in. So this was my only chance. I cannot leave my house at 3am. And you suck me back. It's not possible. You know, literally cannot sack me at when I have left my house at 3am. Just because I wanted computer classes. We used to call them computer classes just because I wanted computer classes. You cannot succeed. I got in became the medical pinedo St. amant. open a door. I will help you to arrange someone to stop there are things I wish I would have started there. Then you can Udoh I got in some of the I think it was about vacation. So some of the the teaching assistants and stuff they came in. And then ask them, where is the it whatever they are going to have. And 32 he told me Oh, this is it. I'm even going there. You can follow him. He asked me Are you a student? I said yeah, I was a student by the end. You know, I just wanted to get in. Because I was so you got to be a programmer. And this is my only best bet. You know, to be to have a chance to be a developer. This is my best day. So finally open a door went in. I sat down. The people came I started teaching this my journey started. So since then I picked up meetups. I didn't know what meetups were back then. I didn't know. So I picked up and started going online YouTube. I didn't even know what YouTube by then was. I didn't know Korra back then. Because I was no history into it. You know? So after the program, when I started getting used to a lot of stuff like Google, I didn't even know what search engines and stuff were. Because it was not attending my country. And so after the program that was when my whole adventure in tech began, you know, sure I've worked in a lot of stuff will a lot of stuff in tech after was started exploring, going to meet us meeting new people. And now so my my journey actually started and this is how far I've come

Kimmiko James  9:45  
again 2013 doesn't seem as distant but it's still eight years ago. So it is this that but it's it's just crazy to think that laptops weren't really a big thing back then. Like you literally just were kind of describing old desks. Obviously, you had to put together which people do that now, don't get me wrong, but I don't think he was at the power level like you've seen with these gaming PCs. And also the like the same with Google and YouTube. That wasn't a big thing back then. And Ghana.

Samuel Bartels  10:13  
Yeah, probably might have been a big thing back here in Ghana. But to me, it wasn't a big thing, because I was not exposed to the internet. You know, probably maybe a lot of people might have known that. Okay, there was a tool called YouTube. But I didn't, you know, I didn't. So mainly because I was not exposed to the internet. And I didn't know all this kind of stuff. Because, you know, back then, like I said, owning a PC was an achievement. A lot of people dreamt of owning PCs, but he couldn't, you know, but that was not in 2013. You know, like, he like he did a surprise, but there was some advice. Yeah. But I was like, 2013 was when I mean, I had my fair, somebody came to me and said, Sam, can you do this for me? Can you do the OSI for me, you know, but the journey to get into 2013 is what I've actually literally described to you how the whole process came about. And so from 2005, up was, it wasn't a thing, even after 2013 is not the 2010 2011, it wasn't really a team, I think people are still living, where they have to assemble the pieces themselves and buy the pieces and have to assemble them. I remember, my first PC that I touched a professional PC that I touched was the pension PC, what makes

Kimmiko James  11:25  
code enjoyable for you, because you know, I've seen your GitHub, I've seen your personal website, and you're just very passionate about the projects and technologies that I personally wouldn't be able to keep up with. So what makes it so enjoyable for you,

Samuel Bartels  11:39  
I love to code, I love to I mean, do stuff and see to stop being used by people. So it is something that I enjoy doing. Somebody might be in in in it, but might never enjoy coding malade less a branch into a different stuff to different area. So there are different areas in it. But what I enjoy doing is coding, I enjoy coding is an internal standards an internal drive, that is we didn't mean that, look, you have to you have to keep on you have to. Because if I look at where I was before, and now I have access to a lot of technologies that years

Kimmiko James  12:16  
ago, I never had access to. I mean, it is amazing. So to me it is it is a kind of a drive that keeps me going. I cannot explain what drive it is do. But I just enjoyed what it's been like for you working at different companies and different countries, because of your LinkedIn and your personal website. Like you've worked in Ghana, you've worked in El Salvador, Germany, United States, what is that like working in different countries? or working remotely with different countries?

Samuel Bartels  12:46  
Yeah, so for me, one, one of the stuff that I always look out for back then was freedom. You know, freedom, then is one of the stuff that I tend to look out for years ago. I mean, I used to work in a guardian, The Guardian, I mean, get a call system. And it was really great. But I realized that I mean, how do you call it all the time having to go to that nine, five, was somehow not my thing. You know, it was somehow not my thing, I needed some kind of freedom. You know, I wouldn't say who freedom. But I need some kind of a way where you don't have to put me in a confined area. I mean, most people ask me the same question like, why, how are you able to get Remote Jobs and work for all these different companies is because I made it a point that look aside, monetary value, put it aside. But if I'm meeting the same people, your monetary value could be one of the stuff. It could also be that I mean, I want to work on very interesting technologies, you know, so I want to be that I want to work on a very interesting technologies. And I want to be able to also work and some money, which is going to give me some sort of very comfortable living. And I realized that I couldn't find it, I might find it in my country too. But it's going to take some years, maybe some many, many years to be able to achieve that. And also, most of the big technologies we use are from the western part of the world, or from the western part of the world. And so it is good. And for me that after structure myself, I've structured my career in such a way that I can be a global brand and not a local brand. So it was a personal decision. I look at my maybe five years or six years, how is it going to look like for me, if I stay in this type of economy? I'm not saying the economy's bad, but you realize that I mean, most of the stuff that we are using are from the west. So I want to be able to compete internationally, meet new people work with teammates from all over the world at the same time and good money. Don't get me in that kind of confinement, where I have to be strictly adhering to time even If it was nine to five, I would have been happy. But most of us can testify that it's not nine to five. One of the stuff I didn't like, personally, was that I have to, I have to make noise in the corporate world, you have to make noise every day, you have to make noise. So your promotion in the company depends on the amount of noise

Kimmiko James  15:20  
you make. Do you mean like the level of production of work you put out, or just the noise in which you constantly have to be contributing? When it comes to like speaking in meetings? Like what do you mean by noise?

Samuel Bartels  15:33  
Okay, so what I mean by noise, is that you really go for meetings, you have to be the one to be speaking, most of the times asking questions, trying to impress somebody. This is what I mean by non shoo in. I mean, in a corporate setting, trust me, sorry, but I mean, your boss's line, you also have to lie. Everybody has to be a liar. And no, no. So it's like, you have to be impressing your own byline. Even if it's not, you, you have to say this through number two, your boss also have to impress his boss, that it is true, even if it's not true, as well, as our end of the day, their entire setup is that everybody's making noise line, they're more busy, you are even kalavantin around the premise shows that you are the busiest I mean, so like, you have to give them some kind of possession, you have to give them some kind of possession. Sure promotion is going to depend on perception. This was the second your promotion is going to depend on how people perceive you. Even if you aren't, you can be the best engineer. But if people don't perceive you, to qualify for promotion, you are not going to qualify for promotion. And so the people that mostly usually sorry, but as I said to me, that is most of the stuff that I've been through, we have to put out I'm mostly mostly been promoted are people that are politically sound, what I mean by political style is like, they make a lot of nice living, if they are doing nothing, they still make a lot of noise, trying to impress the bosses, they should I look, I know API's. This is API API says API is that, that not everybody can be the same. There are some people who who love to live and be quiet and just deliver and would definitely communicate very well with you. But a corporate setting is not so what's not so funny. Here, it was. So it was sad that I mean, you have to make noise to impress somebody louder all the time. And then you might even say things are not true, you know, just impressed. And I didn't want that. I wanted that kind of freedom. You know, that kind of stuff where I do, I didn't have to be going through all this stuff that I've mentioned. But I can literally sit in the comfort of my home, the more I go to wherever I want to go to even be anywhere I want to be, and still work and deliver the job that you want me to deliver. This is the kind of person I am if you put me in line who I will suffocate and die. So don't put me they don't put me in that hole. Give me the chance to be where I want to be and do the work for you and deliver that. That is that is my type of person. And so I came across LinkedIn. And LinkedIn has been where I've had, I mean, all the companies I've worked at it's true LinkedIn that I go to meet them. And so I learned a lot. I mean, I meet people like yourself who write very good content, I look at what is good. And I take it and apply it to my answer. You realize that if years ago, I only had some funny picture on my LinkedIn profile. But today somebody came I said, you have to put a professional picture. So I go back and I smile. And I I put you down. You know, this is this has been a journey. For me. It's been very interesting. doli doli challenge I've faced so far is language barrier, that I've worked with people who speak French, I work with people who speak Portuguese, and other languages. But I mean, it's been very challenging. You could literally speak like, Come, go, come show go to construct. A full sentence is hard.

Kimmiko James  19:01  
While it was very, very hard. Hey, guys, Pardon the Interruption, but I just wanted to take a minute to talk about the new black enterprise network podcast website. If you've ever been curious about what a guest looks like, or what their social media links are, then we have detailed guest profiles for each episode. And there's also detailed show notes with time markers in case you wanted to find a specific point or piece of advice that listening to the entire episode. There's also readable episode transcriptions. And also the website allows you to easily sync questions and feedback if you want to get in contact. Just don't that the website will be updated on a weekly basis. So if you don't see something done already, then it will be done soon. Check it out at collect enterprise network.fm. So yeah, you you say that you have this flexibility that you want, you know, working for these different companies and these different countries, right, but have you ever truly found one that you know you're building the product you want to build And the technologies you want to use, like, have you ever found that yet? Or are you just going your own way with your your own thing?

Samuel Bartels  20:07  
I have, and I haven't with some of them are some very interesting, but you know, what can you do? There are times I mean, you can just forego such opportunities as well, upon here there are times you have to forego opportunities. But I mean, sometimes you also have to consider, how long is it going to take you to? I mean, to come across such an opportunity? Again, how long is it going to take you to come across that opportunity? Again, you just have to say, Okay, why not? In atomizers, this is not affiliate I want to work on but I mean, as long as it is pay war is paying well, so you have to go for for the manifest, then you go for the passion. One of the stuff I learned at later stages, sometimes you have to go for the money first, and not a passion. Because if you really know the kind of economy and start you find yourself, then there are times you have to make drastic decisions today, look, you're not smarter, this is not a prudent thing I want to work on, but at least it is going to you've got to put food on the table. Yes, for some time, until you make some income, and then afterwards, so you are you're driving with passion is not just income, but do it passion is there to work on stuff, but at least at the end of the day, passengers must make you an income, right. And so you make the income. And then I mean, you literally go for passion, maybe somebody yet to come, I don't mind I'm not working on things that are probably I would say, look, I want to write my own code. But I mean, maybe some years to come, I might want to work on that. I mean, I think once I've got in a very good living, I can come back and work on a team that I'm very passionate about myself, you have to keep on going to pay the bills and as liceu you you have to go through these chains to to keep working on stuff even if you're not in even if you're not passionate about this kind of stuff. You have to work on them. You know,

Kimmiko James  21:58  
that's not uncommon. I feel like a lot of people in tech come from that perspective. But you know, that offer letters sitting on your desk 100k plus probably even more depending on what role you're applying to it's like why wouldn't I take like passion you know, that can come later but in this very moment my first engineering first second or engineering job that pays this much Yeah, everyone's gonna think income first but I feel like it's really hard to get to a point because like you said you have to keep going but after a while in my opinion, I think the money starts to mean less the less passionate you are like you know, maybe the first few years things are great honeymoon phase of making that much money. But after a while, maybe it just it's just it doesn't feel the same. I don't know if that's how you fell or not. But that's how I've kind of seen from people if I don't care about it, it's just the money doesn't mean anything to me.

Samuel Bartels  22:57  
Yeah, definitely. Right. I mean, there are times you also have to put up a new look that look I don't know maybe this project could have a future you already assigned to that. I mean, I get a lot of people come to me and say Sam Can you can you do this thing for me demand might be good, but you look at a project and you look this project is gonna collapse it is not realistic this type of economy or is not realistic in this type of ecosystem. So don't don't venture I mean because something you build is going to collapse in ns five or ns two years or three years. You might make the money but you never feel proud as an engineer yourself. You know, you're never going to feel proud because as an engineer, one of your biggest achievement is thinking that I mean you build being used by millions of people you know used by 1000s of people this is this is a pride you you get as an engineer, the only pride to me is like you have to build stuff working on stuff that I mean a lot of people are going to use and yeah once you move to maybe somewhere in the past and somebody is using your your to your okay that you you've you know you're talking about it to you feel so proud about it. So proud. I love this is this is what I do.

Kimmiko James  24:05  
Following up on that specific blog post on you know why having a nine to five isn't for you. You specifically pointed out that it's very easy for people to get comfortable in a job position in which they don't challenge themselves to start side projects or pursue their passion. So my first question for you would be why why do you think that is?

Samuel Bartels  24:25  
Why I personally think people don't challenge themselves is because once people want to get into a job now one and a salary is really good, really, really good. You might you might feel reluctant and are willing to challenge yourself to go out there and get a different thing done. And so because their salaries all the time coming, you know it is coming every day every month or every week depend on whichever agreement you have with your company is definitely going to be coming. I will say the lazy spirit begins to pop into you and tie into to you. And so you become so comfortable at your area, wherever you are the situation you find yourself, you become very, very comfortable. And that doesn't challenge you to see, look, there is a better thing outside down here, there's a button outside down here. And so people get into jobs, and probably they are receiving a salary that they never received before you lose some sense of focus, in a sense that I mean, you become so comfortable, very, very comfortable. To the extent that you don't really, you don't really want to shake yourself because you're not bothered about what is good, what is our day, you close your ears to what is our day, you know, and a lot of people like that there are a lot of a lot of developers that are lied on any part of the world. I mean, to me, it is a big mistake. Because no matter how much money you earn, there is a bigger offer out there in the world waiting for you. And until you sit yourself a little bit, you are never going to see that offer day, you know, that offer at least in the part of the world. So this is why I said people become very lazy several years baraza truth, very comfortable. very lazy, very comfortable, when they are any style that they've never had before and all their life.

Kimmiko James  26:18  
I think it just takes people some time to know when it's time for something different. Like I've met so many amazing people in the industry that like you said, they just spend so much time in their first starting job in tech, like in the US, oh my gosh, that makes so much money a month doing tech. And yeah, I've had people that have stayed for five years. And then they started a company or known and met people that they stay in their job for 1015 years, and they started companies and it's been pretty good for them. So that's just my pushback, like it takes people time to just take a step back and realize, is there more for me, like you said, and other times, it's just, you know, not everybody's got the, what I call the crazy entrepreneur mindset, like, it's not something that you're born with, I would say, but not everybody has it. And yeah, you know, people are just different. But my last question in regards to that would just be how do you think people can get out of this comfortable position? Or rather, how can they at least work their way into trying out their passion projects? Or side hustles? Oh, so

Samuel Bartels  27:25  
I'm going to share what I have done? To answer your question, I'm going to utterly frame it around what I what has helped me to do that to leave my comfort zone and go fishing myself, instead of somebody fishing for me, it is good for somebody to fish for you. But sometimes you also have to know to look at what is too big to stay in your small zoom and feel like you're a superstar in your small zone. What has helped me especially living in Ghana, working remotely. So like I said, aside the nine to five star, which was a big issue for me, and the freedom to go to be able to work wherever I want to and do the stuff that I enjoy doing, and not being restricted or confined in one particular area. Do one thing that I that I did that helped me to live my comfort zone. I mean, imagining imagining the world, like only me being in the world, how am I going to survive? I imagine in only me being in the world moving around in the world, how am I going to be able to survive? What is going to be my survival mechanism, this mentality or this mindset is, is what actually gives me the drive. So the other thing that I've done that pushed me was utilizing, I mean, social media, especially LinkedIn, utilizing it, I could not have gone or gotten here or lent so much. In my professional life. If I had not gone on to social media, you know, one thing that I learned was that nobody is going to know me, nobody is going to see me, nobody's going to see my work. Nobody is ever going to know I exist. I can be the best developer. But until I get a kind of disability, nobody is ever going to know that I exist. So one thing that I always told myself was, I must have a good life. You know, I must have a good life. And also, I must be able to work not just in my local zoom party internationally, I had this perception, I had this mindset that I have to be an international person and not a local person. And so to be an international person, there was a lot of stuff that I needed to do. One of those times was, I mean, finding ways that are people who are not part of the world could see me and notice me because I realized that no Look, when I sell for Google when I go on Google and I said for Salah We have developers, or salary or software engineers, or DevOps engineers. And I compare them with, I mean, the salary that I was adding back here in my country, I realized that no Look, I might even be doing, I might even have a better skill set. But I'm being paid less, what how can I be paid more, so that I can get the revenue, I need the money, I need to live the kind of good life that I want, the kind of good life my family need. And so I cannot, I literally cannot have that here. If I cannot compete internationally. So I will go on LinkedIn on salary.com. And the life and indeed, and I'll check for the salary of developers in other part of the world. And I tell myself, look, this is a salary that belongs to me, but why they pay me the salary, you call this money there is for me, so I must literally go and get the money. Because if I look at that money, almost like sometimes some of them $195,000 a year, $300,000 per year. So to compete internationally, I mean, I have to have to find ways of getting that kind of visibility, you know, so I'll say does that drive? You know, it's a tried and tried to have a better life. It's something I decided for myself, nobody could change me. I don't think anybody could change another human being, yes, influences might be there. But no matter what you do, the final decision lies on the person who needs to take that action to say, Okay, look, this is what I want. And this is what this is how this is the path I must follow, to totally get that kind of stuff, you know, professional decision, an internal drive at the heart, and within me that look, I'm living comfortably here, and in good money here. But I think there is a better life out there in the world, if I can put myself on the global scale, because I was an only low cost you kill the local school is gonna give me was giving me good money. It was giving me I mean, the good life that I needed. But I realized that I mean, there was much more that I could get I could, I could have a better life much, much better live than I had.

What has benefited me is LinkedIn, throughout, I've learned so much in a short period of time on LinkedIn, than maybe even the university would have ever taught me.

Kimmiko James  32:36  
Yeah, like, again, anybody listening, you probably seen a common theme of most of my episodes. Most people, most of the guests have said that LinkedIn has just been so beneficial when it comes to putting yourself out there sharing your work, and just connecting with people and getting good advice. So thanks for sharing that. Sam. I'll only leave you with where can people learn more about you? And yeah, where can they connect with you?

Samuel Bartels  33:01  
Oh, for me, I'm, I'm always on LinkedIn, LinkedIn, I'm not a social media platform. You're gonna find me on Facebook. So Facebook is not my thing. So I would advise that if you are somebody who's trying to break into the corporate world, please utilize LinkedIn most.

Kimmiko James  33:14  
Thank you for listening to this episode of The Black enterprise network podcast. I would love to have more people join our recently launched Facebook group that I created for the podcast. This is essentially another black tech community for us to just network, get advice from each other in terms of career business, anything? I'm happy to answer any questions as well. I'd love to have you in there. So the link will be in the episode show notes. Join me in the next episode in which I'm joined by Tiffany Rix, founder and CEO of hack where we talk about how she got into cybersecurity and her founder experiences as well. I'll see you that