Similarities Between Football and Technology

If you can be a good football player, you can be a great software engineer.

Chuma S. Okoro

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Flashback to 2014, I was a top competitor for my football team at Brooklyn Technical High School. I played both sides of the ball at center on the offensive line, and defensive end on the defensive line. In the middle of our game against Canarsie High School, my thumb got injured. The young warrior in me thought, “ain’t no way I’m gonna let this ruin my game,” because up until that point I was playing very well. So to finish the game, I got my finger taped up and we ended up winning. It was only after, when I went to the hospital, that I found out my thumb had gotten dislocated and fractured. They recommended I put a cast on and sit out for the rest of the season; I was devastated. I spent the rest of the season in practice and on the sidelines as a pseudo coach and water boy. This gave me plenty of time to think about what was next.

I still thought it would be possible to get a football scholarship with my junior and senior season so I spent a bunch of time speaking with college coaches. On the upside, I was able to get a few partial scholarships at D2 and D3 colleges so I could play football. On the downside, it meant I would need to take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. I still wanted to do it, but luckily (in retrospect) my parents refused to co-sign the loans. Because of this, I ended up going to a Brooklyn College that was more affordable. I always knew I liked using computers, so I figured I would try to major in something that would let me learn more about them. This led to my major in Computer Science and it was great! For most of my early classes in the major, I got A’s and loved it.

With my success in the technology industry, I can’t help but think that there may be some linkage between tech and my first major interest and success, football. After a bit of thinking, I came up with 3 solid commonalities between the two. With the benefit of hindsight, I truly do believe the following tenets of football made me successful when getting into the tech industry.

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Chuma S. Okoro

Sr. Software Engineer @ Bloomberg. I love talking about technology and business. Every article has my opinion backed by my experience, education, and research.