EYRIENET.COM: CONNECTING PROFESSIONALS, FACILAITATING PROJECT SUCCESS – UGONNA OKOLI, FOUNDER EYRINET.COM
It was John C. Maxwell, a leadership legend, who wrote, “Teamwork gives you the best opportunity to turn your vision into reality.” Unfortunately, many people with a vision or project to execute hardly get the team members they needed since they are divided by states, countries and continents. But Ugonna Okoli, a final year student of computer science, bridges the gap by introducing EYRIENET.COM a site that connect professionals from all around the world where they can create a forum and contribute to facilitate successful completion of their projects. JOSEPH DINWOKE of BROJID.COM sat with him to tap from his experience in achieving this feat and get details on how this site can facilities your academic and professional pursuits. Here is our conversation….
May we meet you?
I am Okoli Ugonna, a final year student of computer science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Of all the courses you could do as a science student, why did you choose computer science?
Right from time, I have this inner passion for technology but I didn’t know where exactly, whether it’s engineering or some other area of science. But as time went on, I saw that mu passion is narrowed down to computer science.
In computer science, where exactly is your area of interest?
Computer science is broad and I have had change of interest from one area to another though I started with computer graphics and animations. But as time passed I became interested in web design and development after that I got interested in mobile app development but right now, I have very strong interest in user interface and use experience part of computer.
Every fresher usually have unusual experience coming into a new environment.
So, what was your experience like in UNN.
My experience was kind of one who was in a way big ocean not knowing where to go. With passion in studying computer science but did not really know where to start from due to lack of orientation.
Many computer science students I have come in contact with are fond of doing one project or another. Someone I know built a mobile app that enables its users to read the Bible in three major Nigeria Language and plus pigdn. Were you involved in any such?
Yes. When I developed my skills, I got involved in personal projects. Earlier on, I started with web development, but right now there is a project I am working on which I believe in so much. It’s a web application. It’s kind of social network that connects undergraduates and graduates and professionals from every field of study and from every campus in every country.
What inspired your building eyrienet.com?
The inspiration came as simple fact that as students who really want to go far in whatever they are doing apart from reading to pass a course, needs a platform to connect with people of like mind.
Eryinet is a platform where undergraduates can meet with professionals in creating and managing their project and relating to their classmates as a way of socializing with them.
It actually gives you instant connection, once you register, it instantly connects you with your classmates – people who are studying your course both people at higher and lower levels.
Did you experience any challenge trying to pursue this vision?
Yea. There were a lot of challenges faced. The common one is the one most people face in this part of the world which is challenge of power supply. The next is having internet access because this kind of project is built for the web and you need to connect to the web at every point in time to get information, upload stuffs and connect with people.
Where I stay, you rearly get power supply. It’s kind of rationalized power distribution.
What about financial challenge? How were you able to raise the capital required for hosting your site?
By the grace of God, I do portraits for people and so the financial aspect of it was not really easy but based on the work I do – drawing portrait for people and doing other creative work – I was able to raise money for buying the hosting account and domain name.
Have you experienced any discouragement trying to build this site?
Yes. Most of them are from within – personal belief. Just the feeling that this thing might not really go far.
How were you able to surmount the challenge of your belief trying to keep you down?
Definitely, you must encounter discouragements but what will keep you going is what you believe. I believe in the project – eyrienet.com! Even though, those discouragements will come, you should keep doing what you are doing. One way or the other, help will come from somewhere that will catapult you somewhere you never dreamt of. Everything starts small.
What is unique about eyrienet.com?
It connects professionals irrespective of their time of graduation. Once you register and your classmates register also, it automatically connects you.
You may have a project that you are working on as a student either personal, B.Sc or M.Sc and you need professionals. All you do is create an account on eyrinet.com to create a forum where you invite professionals, share files and resources to facilitate the success of your project. It also gives you a platform to follow up news of what is happening in other campuses. It also creates a platform for creating election campaign where people can vote. It also offers private messaging functionalities.
Do I have to pay to access all these features?
At present, you don’t have to pay anything. It’s open source; free of charge.
Do you have any plan to make it mobile?
Yes. We have developed an android version of the site. It’s an android app and is available on Google play store for free download.
When did you fall in love?
Silence…with a quizzical look he blurted:
If I may ask, fall in love with what?
Blushing, the reporter clarified…Fall in love with a human being….human lady.
I have never been and am not in one.
Personally, there is nothing wrong with it but I believe that once I get engaged in such thing, it will limit my time. Most of my life I spend it brainstorming. Most of the creative things I come up with are found in quiet time. I don’t think such things can be achieved when you are tied with someone else – thinking about someone all the time.
Though I have female friends who are close but having a closer person is really not my priority now because I am still looking at what is ahead. That one will come at the right time.