Alimi Eyitayo is a Graduate of Computer Engineering and a social engineering professional with over 12 years of experience in the field of information technology. She is an international speaker and an education advocate. Her quest for knowledge motivated her to embark on virtual reality research which was published as the first virtual reality research work in Africa which she demystifies in TEDx talks and other presentations. She’s a Software Engineer that chooses to build people – especially women in technology – over building products. She’s a Cloud Solutions Architect at IBM, and you can connect with her on LinkedIn.
What is the R community like in Nigeria?
The R community in Nigeria is growing steadily. The R-Ladies Lagos user group was founded in September 2019. Sponsorship support is a challenge as well as R language acceptability. There are larger data communities already in existence, and we have to help most people understand why they should use R.
In the past year, did you have to change your techniques to connect and collaborate with members? For example, did you use GitHub, video conferencing, online discussion groups more? Can these techniques be used to make your group more inclusive to people that are unable to attend physical events in the future?
In the past, we have arranged for virtual connections and events but that also has been challenging. Some of our community members have the challenge of staying focused at home because of the house chores while others need access to the Internet to remain consistent over time. When COVID happened it presented us with even greater challenges – economic change, local and global lockdown, and some other incidents created a very tough situation for physical – and often time – virtual connectivity. There are also some internal challenges with a diversity – women-focused – group like ours. Owing to this feedback, a hybrid-seasonal event will give optimum support.
Can you tell us about one recent presentation or speaker that was especially interesting and what was the topic and why was it so interesting?
We had the Data Science Nigeria team come to one of our events at a university campus to speak on “Getting started with data science.” This event was interesting because we had the opportunity to access the student community, and it came as an opportunity to get newbies started with Data Science using the R language
What trends do you see in R language affecting your organization over the next year?
I see more women tending towards data visualization and statistical implementation. As a technology community, more effort, support, and training from the community will sprout more interest. Women are interested in emerging technologies but adequate training and support will move them from interest to implementation.
Do you know of any data journalism efforts by your members? If not, are there particular data journalism projects that you’ve seen in the last year that you feel had a positive impact on society?
None that I am aware of but as a member of the WHO infodemic exercises, that is one impact project I have been a part of as it helps people – software engineers and journalists – come together to work on projects and technologies that help flag misinformation while also providing professional journalistic views and reporting.
Of the Active Working Groups, which is your favorite? Why is it your favorite?
The R Community Diversity and Inclusion. I’ve been directly involved in 3 user conferences and twice served on the community diversity and inclusion team. This is my favorite because It directly touches the humans working on the technology. Although this community diversity and inclusion working group in the R foundation has a lot of improvement to do, the fact that it touches the lives of people is something I’m really happy about.
When is your next event? Please give details!
We currently do not have an event scheduled. The community is currently on break and our next event will be scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.