The Obiex Block: I Started Coding In Secondary School Just For The Joy Of Creating Things

Ifedili Onyegbu is a software engineer working with his own Web3 and Blockchain company. In this episode of The Obiex Block, he speaks to us about his dream to build the tech ecosystem in southeastern Nigeria, the Web3 product he co-created to help users interact effectively with blockchain, and...

The Obiex Block: I Started Coding In Secondary School Just For The Joy Of Creating Things
The Obiex Block is a bi-monthly series where we interview people in Crypto, Blockchain, and Web 3.

Ifedili Onyegbu is a software engineer working with his own Web3 and Blockchain company. In this episode of The Obiex Block, he speaks to us about his dream to build the tech ecosystem in southeastern Nigeria, the Web3 product he co-created to help users interact effectively with blockchain, and how he started coding from a very young age, among a whole lot of other interesting things.

Let’s get to know you! Please introduce yourself.

Hey, I'm Ifedili Onyegbu, a Software Engineer based in Nigeria. I specialise in blockchain and backend development. I'm into art, love creativity, and enjoy building things.

Hi Ifedili, it’s a pleasure having you on the Obiex Block. And I must say that I love art and creativity too!

Thank you! I’m glad to be here. And that’s great about you loving art and creativity. I call them the beautiful essence of humanity.

I totally agree with that. So, tell me, what do you do for a living?

I am a Software Engineer who is actively involved in boosting the tech ecosystem in Enugu. I do this by building the tech community in Enugu. I'm also co-founding a company called Audix, a Web3 product focused on safeguarding users in the blockchain space.

Oh, that sounds really interesting! Can you tell me more about that?

Oh, sure! So, at Audix, we provide on-chain analysis to help people safely interact with cryptocurrencies. Our goal is to make blockchain accessible and secure for everyone. We simplify the process of evaluating cryptocurrencies for safety and risk, making it accessible to everyone, even if you're not an expert.

That’s a wonderful venture. Why did you become a software developer, though? Was it your passion for writing code, or you just needed a means to secure the bag?

I became a software engineer because I was passionate about it from a young age. Back in secondary school, I started coding just for the joy of creating things. Money wasn't my initial motivation because I didn’t even know that there was a lot of money in coding—I saw coding as a kind of magic where I could bring my ideas to life. As I got more serious, I discovered the value of the skill and the potential for good income. Now, it's a mix of 60% passion and 40% about the financial opportunities it offers.

I get that. You always need that monetary motivation to keep the passion burning.

Precisely! A guy has got to pay bills, right?

Absolutely right. So, I understand your coding passion, but why did you decide to work for a crypto-affiliated company?

I love exploring new things, and in either 2020 or 2021, a friend introduced me to the crypto world. The whole concept was fresh and intriguing. The idea of learning something completely new hooked me, so I decided to dive in. I started pushing myself to work for crypto-related companies to immerse myself further. One thing about being part of a new space is that it allows you to be a pioneer and create amazing things. That is one of the biggest drives that motivated me to jump on the crypto bandwagon.

And now you are not just an active player in a crypto company but a co-founder creating blockchain solutions. Being in this space, you must have some views on cryptocurrency. Care to share?

I think cryptocurrency is a game-changer in finance. It's made a lot of things possible that were previously difficult. In the past, getting paid or transferring money required creating an account, risking potential issues with banks blocking your money, and all that. Now, you just share your wallet address for easy transactions, which is convenient. However, it's crucial to note that with great convenience also comes significant security risks. Despite the risks, I appreciate how crypto simplifies financial processes.

I don’t disagree with that.

What about blockchain? Can you tell us what you understand by the term?

Blockchain, basically, is an electronic book that keeps track of real-world activities. What I mean by an electronic book is that I see blockchain as a novel with multiple authors. Each author’s entry needs agreement from all others, to ensure accuracy. And there’s a system that checks and verifies this. To relate it to finance, if I claim to send money, the system verifies, and all authors must agree before recording it in the book.

That’s a very practical and well-simplified definition.

Well, I’ve had a lot of practice.

How so? Have you ever had to give a full lecture on crypto just because you told someone where you worked?

Yeah, it happens a lot. Since I speak at events, even non-tech ones, when I mention crypto and where I work, people start asking me to tell them more about it. It's a tricky topic because even as a tech person, explaining the blockchain requires some technical knowledge. You need to grasp why we use it and the issues it addresses before understanding how it works. I try to simplify it with non-tech terms, but it's tough. People often nod along, but I can tell they're not fully getting it.

Haha… I’ve used that technique a number of times. It happens when you realise that you won’t still get it no matter how the other person explains it, so you just have to pretend like you get it so they stop talking.

How do you think I recognise it in others too? I do it myself. Game recognises game.

No be lie. You sure look like you are doing great in your field. But you must have some contributors. What are the best and worst pieces of advice you have ever received about your career?

One bad advice I got was that the best way to grow in my career was to isolate myself and spend hours coding alone. That didn't work well at all. I realised I needed a community for better learning and growth. Making friends and joining tech communities pushed me to achieve more than I could on my own.

And the great advice you received…

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is a quote, actually, that reads, "Solve complex problems with simple solutions." Breaking down big issues into smaller parts and using straightforward solutions is key – no need to overcomplicate things.

Right? Life is already as complicated as it is.


How about we talk about money now?

I always like talking about money, so bring it on.

That makes both of us. So, what is the biggest money move you have ever made in crypto?

I haven't made my biggest money move in crypto yet. Let's keep that spot empty for now, and I'll fill it in next year.

Ouu, fingers crossed for you. But, still on money, how has your present lifestyle influenced your financial habits?

Since diving into my tech career professionally, I've noticed a big shift in my financial habits. The demands of working in the tech industry are very tasking and demanding, leaving me with limited personal time. To optimise that time, I outsource tasks like cooking and cleaning, allowing me to focus on work and self-care like resting or hanging out with friends. While this has increased my expenses, it's a deliberate choice to enhance my work-life balance and well-being. So, it’s for a good cause.

So it’s a case of more expenses but better comfort.

Yes, but I’m equally working, so I have a continuous source to generate these expenses as well.

And that, right there, is a really big flex.

I know, right? It is one of the many things that am grateful for.

It’s worth it. Now, onto our final question: what do you find most exciting about your job?

What excites me most about my job is the constant exposure to new people, cultures, and environments. I love working on innovative projects and trying things I haven't done before. The tech industry, in particular, keeps me on my toes with its rapid changes and constant evolution. Being part of this dynamic environment, engaging with diverse communities, and exploring the latest trends are what really thrill me.