Humans Of Tech

The Journey Of Never Giving Up

Sunday, December 3, 2023


Bonnie's journey in the world of technical writing is a testament to the power of perseverance and passion. His unwavering determination and relentless pursuit of knowledge have made him a sought-after technical writer, inspiring aspiring writers and individuals seeking to forge their own paths in life. He talks with us about the challenges he faced, the hurdles he overcame, and the lessons he learned along the way, from being a mechanical engineering dropout to charging $200 for his first ever online article to now building a technical writing agency. Bonnie shares with us his amazing journey filled with challenges, triumphs, and invaluable insights.

His story reminds us that with perseverance, a willingness to embrace challenges, and a passion for our craft, we can achieve our dreams and make a lasting impact on the world.

This blog was written by Vishal Singh based on the conversation Bonnie had on our Twitter space. The podcast is available on Spotify and on our Youtube channel.

Bonnie youtube podcast

Q1 Could you give us a rundown of your daily routine?

B - I maintain a consistent morning routine that begins at 7 am. After waking up, I brush my teeth, engage in a workout, take a shower, and then enjoy a cup of coffee while planning my day. My daily tasks involve creating content for my Twitter or working on client projects. Currently, I've been engrossed in launching our new tech content marketing agency, a project that has occupied my time for the past 30 days. Prior to our meeting, I was refining our webpage to showcase our successful client projects. So, this is basically how my day looks like.

Q2 Can you provide insights into your formative years and experiences during childhood?

B - I wasn’t very serious about life, my childhood was very chaotic. Most people don’t know this but I grew up with my grandmother so back when I was 5 years old is when I joined school and my lack of seriousness was evident as I repeated nursery school three times. I was known to misplace my books and bags, demonstrating my general lack of focus. However, in 2004, after repeating multiple classes, I experienced a turning point. I developed a newfound dedication to my studies, becoming a top student in my class. This marked a significant shift from my earlier carefree demeanor. As a five-year-old, I was always playful and adventurous, often getting injured or breaking things. So yeah I was quite chaotic as a kid.

Q3 What was your first introduction to coding?

B - I was born and raised in Kenya. After completing high school, I applied to various universities for different courses. Many students at the time were unsure of what they wanted to pursue as a career, and many sought advice from parents, teachers, and friends. I was one of those students who chose a popular course. I had good grades and was eligible to apply for an engineering course, but my father encouraged me to pursue mechanical engineering. I enrolled in mechanical engineering, and the first year of the program was exciting because I had always imagined that engineering was about building cool things, working with cars, and using other cool technologies.

However, when I arrived at the university and began attending classes, I realized that my expectations were completely wrong. It was all about studying theories and preparing for exams just to pass them. There was nothing cool to build or anything interesting to learn because it was all just theory and exams. I recall being introduced to the C++ programming language in my first semester of my first year. The funny thing is that we were taught this programming language on the board in the classroom without ever attending a computer lab, and we even took the exams on paper without ever running the program on a computer. That's when I realized that nothing much interesting was happening here. Our class lecturers went on strike for three months, demanding a salary increase. As a result, we had to complete the entire four-month syllabus in one month because we only had one month left before the start of the next semester.

Engineering classes are notoriously difficult due to the abundance of complex topics, and I had to make a decision about my future. At the time, an international organization called IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - opened a branch at our college. They had partnered with IBM and were offering courses in cybersecurity, business intelligence, and other topics. I came across their event on campus because there was nothing else to do in school due to the strike. When I joined this event, we were introduced to cybersecurity and business intelligence, and I found these topics quite interesting. That was the first time I was introduced to tech, and I found it very fascinating. I then had two options: either participate or watch it happen. That's when I decided to get into tech.

After that, I started researching how to get into tech, and I found out that the best way was to learn how to code. I told my parents that I wanted to learn how to code, and they agreed. My engineering course was a five-year program, and I had already completed one year of coursework. I asked myself if I should wait until I finished the degree, put it under my bed or hang it somewhere, and then try doing what I want, or if I should just start doing what I want right now. After much consideration, I decided that there was no point in me staying in school, wasting my time just to finish the degree and then go do what I wanted to do after that. I decided that I would drop out of college, but I didn't tell my parents. I told them that I was deferring my course for a year instead. Our college offered the option to defer studies for one year and then continue the course after one year. The reason I gave them was that the lecturers were on strike, so it was pointless for me to go to college anyway. I told them that it would be better for me to defer my college for one year until the situation at college normalizes, and in the meantime, I could gain other skills like learning to code. I could then rejoin the college after one year, although I knew in my heart that I would never do so. Thankfully, my parents agreed to my decision.

I moved to a different city for my new campus and enrolled in a four-month coding bootcamp. This marked the beginning of my incredible coding journey.


Q4 How did you translate your newfound coding skills into opportunities after the bootcamp you attended?

B - When I first joined the bootcamp, there were about 13 students. We started by learning the basics of front-end development, including HTML and CSS. Then, we moved on to back-end development, learning languages like PHP. We also learned how to use Android Studio to develop mobile applications. At the end of the four-month bootcamp, we were required to create a project to showcase our skills. The panel judges evaluated our projects and awarded certifications accordingly. Out of the 13 original students, only three of us were able to attend all the classes, complete the bootcamp, and present our projects. My project was a room rentals app that made it easier for people to find places to rent. I saw that house hunting can be a real struggle for people, so I wanted to create a solution to this problem.

Upon completing the four-month bootcamp, I decided not to return home or pursue other opportunities immediately. Instead, the three of us who presented our final projects made the decision to continue attending classes to further develop our projects and enhance our skills. This period of intense dedication involved coding from 8 am to 6 pm every day, watching tutorials, and taking online courses. I recognized that four months were insufficient to prepare me for a job or to build a successful project. I knew that I needed to acquire more skills, gain more experience, and improve my abilities through additional effort. With the project I presented, I decided to create a website and eventually launch it as a business. I began working on the website, which featured an HTML, CSS, and JavaScript frontend and a Django backend. It was a full-stack website where users could list vacant houses or apartments for rent and potential renters could browse and book available rentals. This project was a significant undertaking, but I was determined to succeed. I worked tirelessly to refine the website's design, functionality, and user experience. I also focused on learning more about marketing and promotion strategies to ensure that my website would reach a wide audience and attract potential users.

After months of dedicated work, I finally launched my website. I was excited to see how it would perform and whether it would be well-received by users. I eagerly awaited feedback and suggestions, always striving to improve the platform and make it a valuable resource for both renters and property owners.

While I was diligently working on my project, an unfortunate incident occurred. So I was working on my project and I lent my laptop to a high school friend who was also learning to code, but he never returned it and disappeared and I had made the grave mistake of not backing up my work either locally or on GitHub, resulting in the loss of my three months of dedicated effort. This situation was particularly challenging as I had already dropped out of engineering college and had no alternative plan. It was the lowest point in my life, filled with pain and despair. Imagine having dropped out of university without your parents' knowledge, pouring your heart and soul into a project that was supposed to be your breakthrough, and then losing everything in an instant. The prospect of building a business upon the success of this website and eventually revealing my decision to my parents crumbled in a matter of moments, leaving me feeling utterly depressed and contemplating giving up. I even considered confessing the truth to my parents and immediately enrolling back in college. It was a truly dark period, but thankfully, I did not succumb to suicidal thoughts. Despite the overwhelming fear and confusion that gripped me, I knew I needed to take action. After three weeks of inaction, I decided to return to the bootcamp, where I had access to computers. I began the daunting task of rebuilding the entire project from scratch.

After many weeks of relentless effort, my website was finally ready for launch. I enthusiastically set about finding individuals from the rental-related department to collaborate on posting vacant houses on our website. However, it took a while to find suitable collaborators and establish a working relationship. By the time everything was set up, my one-year deadline had passed, and my parents were insistent on my returning to college. This was the moment I had to reveal my true intentions. I confessed that my goal for the past year was to learn to code, build a business like a website, and use it as leverage to convince them that I couldn't go back to school. Unfortunately, I didn't have anything tangible to show for my efforts by the end of the year. Despite my lack of tangible progress, I was adamant about not returning to college. I presented my parents with my website and outlined my vision for the future. With no other option, they agreed to support me. They provided me with some funds to register the business, which I promptly did. My next step was to reach out to property owners and landlords, persuading them to list their rental properties on our website. I immersed myself in this endeavor, but I soon realized that building a successful business required significant investments in marketing and other aspects. My parents were hesitant to risk considerable sums on an uncertain venture, leaving me to navigate this challenge alone.

Without adequate financial backing, the business struggled to gain traction, a setback that occurred in 2019. As 2020 approached, I was exploring various methods of raising funds for my business, one of which was through manual labor jobs. As I mentioned earlier, in 2020, I didn't have a laptop due to it being stolen by a high school friend. Consequently, I was actively seeking coding-related jobs, internships, and opportunities. In March 2020, I secured a paid internship. However, before I could begin the internship, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, leading to widespread lockdowns, which prevented me from attending the internship that had been finalized. This presented another setback, as I had viewed this internship as an opportunity to save money while simultaneously working on my business on the side. Unfortunately, this plan fell through, and I found myself stuck at home like everyone else, with not much to occupy my time.

In May 2020, I began searching for activities to keep me busy, which led me to social media. I started engaging with people on Twitter, but I wasn't creating high-quality content at the time. I was simply enjoying myself on Twitter, sharing memes and interacting with others. This served as a form of escape for me, and it was during this period that I realized the power of social media. As my account grew, I received numerous likes and engagements. I continued this for about three months, and then, when my parents expressed their concerns about my future plans, as my earlier rental project had not materialized into anything fruitful, I decided to show them the numerous freelancing emails I received from Upwork from clients seeking my services. I explained that if I had a laptop, I could work on these projects and earn money from freelance gigs. My parents were very supportive, and they bought me a new laptop. At that point, it had been almost a year since I had last worked on my own personal laptop. I re-established everything, created a new portfolio, and began working on projects that I could showcase to potential clients to secure opportunities and demonstrate my skills. I consistently worked on my projects and reached out to potential clients. Since I had a substantial Twitter following, I looked for individuals with unattractive websites and businesses that lacked websites. I would then reach out to them and inquire about the possibility of collaborating with me. I would build a project, post a screenshot, or share information about what I was working on on Twitter, which helped attract potential clients. However, I was unable to convert these leads into paying clients, which left me feeling discouraged. I was on the verge of giving up as I struggled to make things work, but I persevered because I knew I had to make it happen. Therefore, I decided to take on any work that could help me generate income, including manual labor jobs that paid me $6 per day. My plan was to work these jobs during the day and then use the money to purchase data bundles or data so that I could code, conduct research, and watch tutorials. This was my routine for the first three months of 2021.

During this time, I was able to purchase my domain name,, and construct a portfolio website to showcase my work. I was focused on establishing a freelancing business, and it dawned on me that while clients were approaching me, I lacked the ability to effectively market my services. I realized that I needed to establish a brand and demonstrate to clients that the websites I create would not only convert but also increase and generate business revenue for them. I began conducting research on this topic in April and May 2021.


In May 2021, an uncle of mine who resided in a different city informed me that he was launching a new business and required someone to manage its operations due to his full-time employment. This opportunity presented itself, and it was a refreshing change for me after being stuck at home for the past year and a half. As the saying goes, everything at home is free except for peace of mind. Additionally, I faced societal pressure following my decision to drop out of engineering school. Everyone knows that upon completing an engineering degree, one typically secures a good job. However, I had dropped out, and everyone had high hopes for me, but they had all given up. The pressure was overwhelming, and it was depressing on multiple levels. I was simply seeking any opportunity that would allow me to leave home, even if it meant living on the streets. This opportunity that came my way was a blessing from heaven. I still vividly recall that day, May 28, 2021, when I left home and headed to my uncle's place to manage his business. Concurrently, I continued working on my freelancing endeavors.

In June 2021, I recognized the importance of garnering clients for my freelancing business. To achieve this, I understood the need to generate traffic to my portfolio website. I identified social media, particularly Twitter, as a potent tool for driving this traffic. Consequently, I initiated a content creation strategy focused on web development. Over the next three months, I shared insights into my projects, offered coding tips, and actively engaged in the Twitter community. This effort bore fruit as my account gained momentum, allowing me to establish valuable connections with tech enthusiasts from various countries.

Shortly after this period, I received a direct message from someone expressing their admiration for my Twitter content. They inquired about my interest in writing for their tech blog, offering a compensation of 200to200 to 300 per article. Ironically, I had not written any technical articles up to that point as I was solely focused on securing freelancing clients and landing my first opportunity. In essence, technical writing chose me rather than me choosing it.

Q5 Can you describe the moment you realized you had secured your first client?

B - It felt surreal to land my first client. After all the struggles I had faced, including financial hardship, it was hard to believe that this was actually happening. When I received the opportunity, I was added to the company's Slack channel, and we began working on the article. My background in coding and experience building my own projects proved valuable. Having learned both front-end and back-end development, I could build a website from scratch to deployment. For this first opportunity, the company needed someone to write about visualizing Stripe data in PostgreSQL. Stripe is a software for managing databases, allowing users to view tables and run SQL queries. As I was familiar with PostgreSQL, I was able to navigate the different aspects of the writing process seamlessly.

Interestingly, before my first client reached out to me, I had begun writing about my own story, sharing my experience of dropping out of engineering school and pursuing a career in tech. This writing practice proved beneficial as I delved into my first client writing opportunity. Initially, I was offered 200 dollars per article, with the possibility of increasing to $300 per article over time. Writing the article required significant effort, and even after submission, there were revisions and refinements before it was published. However, earning that first 200 dollars was a monumental moment, marking my first online income. Emotions flooded back as I realized that after three years of dedicated learning and project building, I had finally begun earning money online. The 200 dollars was a substantial amount for me, and I couldn't believe it was real. I used the money to purchase new clothes, shoes, and other necessities, and I even moved to the capital city. This money was a turning point, completely transforming my life.

From then on, I began receiving more technical writing opportunities. Interestingly, I never applied for any of these opportunities; the clients reached out to me directly. The struggle I faced in landing my first opportunity was replaced by a surge of clients, a steady stream of income, and a completely transformed life. This is how I landed my first opportunity, and the difference between being broke and suddenly having a multitude of clients is unimaginable. It was a remarkable transformation that literally happened overnight, and since earning my first dollar online, I have never gone broke. I am now able to cover all my expenses without any worries.


Q6 How many articles have you written for how many clients to date?

B - I have written over 20+ articles for various clients to date. At one point, I found myself juggling over five clients simultaneously, which became overwhelming, time-consuming, and ultimately not enjoyable, even with the financial rewards. I reached a turning point where I decided to prioritize high-paying clients that offered promising growth opportunities. I phased out work for clients with lower compensation and focused solely on those that offered higher pay and growth potential. One such company is Lambda Test, where I have been writing since 2022 and have produced the majority of my articles. In total, I have written over 20+ articles to date.

Q7 For aspiring technical writers, what advice would you offer? Additionally, could you share your research and article polishing strategies? How do you approach research before writing and how do you refine your work once it’s completed?

B - Upon receiving a topic from a client, I either embark on thorough research or, if they provide a suggested topic, I delve into that area. The first step is to conduct an extensive Google search, exploring relevant articles that address the topic. This initial research phase helps me gain a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter, enabling me to identify the key points to cover and determine the most effective way to present the information. Consulting previously written articles on the same topic proves invaluable in this process.

Once I have a firm grasp of the topic, I create a detailed outline, which serves as a roadmap for the article's structure. I then submit this outline to the client for their feedback and approval. Once the outline receives the green light, I commence writing the first draft. At this stage, the focus is on filling in the content without getting bogged down by grammar or stylistic issues. The first draft serves as a foundation upon which I build the final version.

To ensure consistency and quality, I adhere to a style guide that outlines specific guidelines for writing articles for clients. This guide emphasizes the importance of a compelling introduction that answers three essential questions: what problem is being addressed, what solution is being offered, and what will the reader learn? A captivating introduction effectively hooks the reader, ensuring they continue reading. The majority of the articles I produce are tutorials, which fall into three main categories: explainers, how-to guides, and step-by-step tutorials. Explainers provide a comprehensive overview of a topic, covering the fundamental concepts in a clear and concise manner. How-to guides offer practical instructions on accomplishing a specific task, while step-by-step tutorials break down complex procedures into manageable steps.


After completing the first draft, I share it with the client for their review and feedback. This collaborative approach ensures that the article meets their expectations and aligns with their vision. Once the client's feedback has been incorporated, I meticulously edit and polish the article, refining the grammar, syntax, and overall flow. The final step involves sending the revised article to the client for a final review. If any additional changes are requested, I promptly address them. Once the client is satisfied with the final version, the article is ready for publication.

This comprehensive process outlines the steps I follow when working on client articles, ensuring that each piece is well-researched, informative, and engaging. Progressing step by step, I delved into technical writing, creating content that resonated with many. My writing proved helpful, guiding individuals into technical writing careers and opening doors to learning and earning opportunities. This prompted me to embark on writing a technical writing ebook, a comprehensive guide encompassing everything from introductions to technical writing to writing articles and acquiring clients. I recognized that before transitioning to the next level, I needed to create this resource for the technical writing community. Interestingly, this is not my first foray into the technical writing agency realm. Earlier this year, I co-founded an agency with a friend, but it didn't align with my expectations due to various factors. I also felt I wasn't quite ready to transition from being a technical writer to managing an agency. Additionally, I still felt compelled to explore more technical writing before making the switch.

Recognizing the need to contribute to the community, I set out to write an ebook covering all aspects of technical writing, from introductions to writing articles and acquiring clients. I knew this was a necessary step before transitioning to the next stage of my career. Upon publishing the ebook a few weeks ago, I felt the time was ripe to move to the next level – establishing a tech business.

When I entered the technical writing field, it was a relatively niche area with limited discussions and awareness. Two years later, the landscape has changed considerably, with numerous individuals creating content and pursuing technical writing careers. This newfound popularity brought about a sense of no longer fitting into the space I had helped cultivate. With the ebook's publication, I felt I had fulfilled my obligation to the technical writing community and, as an individual technical writer, had reached a plateau.

The experience with the agency I co-founded provided valuable insights into establishing and running a successful agency. Armed with this knowledge and my accumulated experience, I felt confident in taking the next step in my career – launching a tech marketing agency. My technical writing background, coupled with my desire to learn marketing, content distribution, and promotion, fueled my ambition to build a profitable business. As a technical writer, my income is directly tied to my active work. I am driven to establish a business that generates revenue even without my constant involvement.

My goal for this technical writing agency is to create a thriving environment that provides employment opportunities for technical writers. Additionally, I want to empower the individuals I've helped discover and learn about technical writing by offering them opportunities to utilize their skills and earn a living. This agency represents the next chapter in my technical writing journey, akin to transitioning from a junior to a senior developer. It's an exciting step forward, elevating me from a junior technical writer to a senior position in the field.

Q8 What lessons has your journey of perseverance taught you? What advice would you offer on what to do and what to avoid in your career?

B - My key takeaway is to follow your instincts and pursue your passions, even if it seems daunting at first. The journey may not be easy, and you may face discouragement from others. However, don't let their doubts deter you. Remember, if people aren't calling you crazy, you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough. Don't feel pressured to conform to societal norms. I never wanted to live a life dictated by expectations, and that's why I chose my own path. Forge ahead, even if it's scary and many people don't support you. Have faith in yourself and believe that things will work out in the end. Don't fear starting over if you face setbacks. With each failure, you gain valuable experience that will propel you forward. Remember, hard work and patience are essential. As long as you're on the right track, know what you want, and have a plan to achieve it, the time it takes to reach your goals is irrelevant. Focus on your objectives, persevere, and don't give up.