Desiree Craig: From Coding to a Career in Product Management
Desiree Craig is passionate about leveraging technology to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
She’s a Product Manager at Andela and her superpowers include “product management, experience design, strategy planning, leadership and problem-solving.” Before Andela, she was Head of Product at Co-creation Hub Nigeria (CcHUB).
As one of the women featured in Techcabal’s Tech Women Lagos, a portrait series and exhibition of fifty inspiring women in technology, Desiree tells her story:
The experience that led her to technology
A short course, based on her mother’s recommendation, during her gap year, was the ‘accident’ that led her to technology. She wrote her first application in Java and “there was no turning back”.
She also gained experience early on, having interned for one year at a Media/Advertising firm where she worked as their first in-house developer.
Apart from curiosity which Desiree believes has given her an edge in her career, her upbringing and parents’ backing have helped her as a woman in technology. “My parents raised us to believe we could do anything we put our minds to. There was nothing out of reach. I wasn’t aware there were certain things you could ‘not do’ or aspire to because you were female.”
For young women considering a career in technology
“There are lots of options to consider in technology – explore them!”
Desiree is interested in how we interact with technology as humans, “especially in a world where technology is fast becoming ubiquitous”. In University, she found courses that were not related to core software development most interesting, and modules like Internet Culture & Psychology and Pervasive Computing influenced her decision to consider other paths outside being a developer.