How a chance meeting with Twitter bosses landed a Nigerian developer his dream job

Lagos, Nigeria CNN  — 

A Nigerian software developer has landed a job at Twitter following a chance meeting with the company’s executives during a visit to the country last week.

Dara Oladosu met Jack Dorsey, who was on a “listening and learning tour” in Africa with other Twitter executives and met with members of Nigeria’s tech community and business executives.

One of their first stops was a meeting with tech publishers where Oladosu’s app, Quoted Replies, a Twitter-based bot that helps users collate quoted replies to tweets was discussed.

Oladosu was not on the initial invite list for the event held at TechpointNG but a last minute invitation ensured he got to meet the Twitter bosses.

“Titi…the person that interviewed me for the Techpoint articles got me a pass to the event Jack was at. She asked if I could make it there and coincidentally I was on leave at work at the time so I made it before the event ended,” Oladosu told CNN.

Impressed by his work, Dorsey and his team including Kayvon Beykpour, Product Lead and co-founder of Periscope, Parag Agrawal, Chief Technology Officer, and Mike Montano, Engineering Team Lead invited him to join them.

“Someone from the audience was talking about the bot when I got to the event. So, when the person finished, Titi introduced me as the developer who built it. I got the microphone and explained what Quoted Replies was about and how I built it,” Oladosu said.

In a video from the event, Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s Product Lead said the team is willing to implement Quoted Replies on Twitter as a feature and would like Oladosu to join the team to work on it.

“Thank you for building that bot… We need to do it and I will love for you to maybe consider joining the company and help us,” Beykpour said in the video.

For Oladosu, the job offer is a dream come true.

“Twitter is one of my dream places to work because I have a lot of ideas that I’d like to implement,” he said.

“I have checked their career page multiple times in the past looking for opportunities. This is like giving me what I want on a platter of gold,” he added.

Now, he says he wants to work with the Twitter team build a native quoted replies feature. “A native feature means that you won’t need to use the bot anymore. You’d just have options on the app or on the website to view quoted replies,” he said.

Twitter declined to comment on the job offer, when contacted by CNN.

In December 2018, Dara Oladosu built the Quoted Replies bot

Oladosu, 27, built his now-viral bot in 2018, allowing users to track all the quoted responses to their tweets.

Oladosu who currently works with Facebook-backed tech development company, Andela, says he was inspired to create Quoted Replies when he realized people were interested in a platform to aggregate quoted comments to their tweets.

“I stumbled on the fact that I could use the search bar to locate quoted tweets… I started to research how to create a bot to do this so that I wouldn’t have to show people how to do it all the time. I wanted them to be able to use it without coming to me,” he told CNN.

In 2015, Twitter revealed its “retweet with a comment” feature where users can directly quote tweets with comments.

Oladosu says he got the bot running in December 2018 but had to make a lot of modifications to it because Twitter initially marked it as a spam bot.

It eventually became popular in July 2019, and according to him, in October, the bot got 46.2 million impressions. CNN has been unable to independently verify this figure.

Quoted Replies also has an Android and IOS app built by Oladosu’s friends – Hamza Fetuga and Abdulhafeez Sagaya.

Oladosu says he is excited about building on his already existing work with Quoted Replies with the Twitter team. “I feel overwhelmed. I have a lot of ideas they could potentially implement down the road too,” he said.