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During Women’s Month, we here at Hooligan Development want to profile our ladies in hopes of inspiring future women to join in this rapidly evolving industry.

As it stands, only 23% of tech jobs are held by women in South Africa – out of 236 000 ICT (tech) roles, women occupy 56 000 of them. This number needs a boost and to help us get there we interviewed our female Hooligans to find how they got started and what they envision for the future, in hopes that others will pick up the baton.

 

What do you do every day?

MN At the moment I am on the Android QA testing team on the Discovery Project. We test the app and look for/help resolve bugs before the app gets deployed to users. 

EP – My day usually starts looking at what needs to be done that day. I have a few meetings a day and other than that just work on my tasks, developing new features or fixing bugs.

LT – Website development, technical queries on websites and domains, graphic design

VF – Before work, I am a mother of two who needs to get them up and fed early in the morning before I leave for work so that they can start their school day off with a full tummy and a smile on their face. When I get to work, I do a little bit of everything, I am Personal Assistant to both Directors, which includes acting as a point of first contact for employees, clients and suppliers, dealing with correspondence and taking phone calls. I update our resource schedules, deal with contractual agreements. I am also the Scrum Master whom does check-ins with my fellow team mates to see if there is anything that I can help them with or do for them to make their work/day easier.

In essence I am the coffee that keeps you going 😊

How did you get into the tech space?

MN – I was offered an Account Manager position at a data centre management company in 2018, and quite enjoyed working in the Enterprise space, so I’m still here!

EP – Getting into the tech space was a bit of a coincidence for me. I have always wanted to do something creative and innovative. Problem solving is sometimes that I was always naturally good at, and after talking to a few people that were already in the tech space I decided to try it out and see where it takes me.

LT – I started working in online marketing and migrated into technical and design of online and offline elements

VF – I started working in the admin section and slowly started doing some content management for online platforms.

 

What was your most interesting job?

MN When I was still in the legal field, I was a Paralegal/Legal advisor for a legal insurance company. I worked with all the criminal, bad debt and family cases. There are some very interesting characters out there – people get arrested for doing the strangest things. I always wondered where people found the time to get up to all the things they got arrested for.

EP – Every project that I’ve worked on had some challenges and some not so interesting parts. So, it all depends on the task you work on. Starting on a new project or learning a new language or framework is always when things get more interesting.

LT – I had to create a shop with extreme choices and variables and it so happened to be over the festive season. Everything that could go right happened, but so too everything that could go wrong…

VF – Working as the Personal assistant to an Ocularist. When I first started working for her, I did not even know what or who an Ocularist is, she makes artificial eyes for patients that have lost their eyes due to illness, accidents or just by being born that way. The work she does and how it effects the lives of the patients that she works with is amazing to watch.

 

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

MN – You’ll never be happy with anything in life if you’re not happy with yourself – happiness is an inside job.

EP – Keep swimming! In times when things seem hopeless, giving something your final best shot is always going to pay off. Just keep going. You never know what’s waiting for you behind the corner.

LT – Direction, not intention, determines your destination. Decide on the desired destination, get your direction in line, and never, ever give up.

VF – Never go to sleep angry with someone.
Rather take the time to talk out your differences then to ignore it and let it grow out of control, and possibly be the one thing that holds you back in life.

 

What advice would you give to women looking to break into the field of computer technology?

MN – It looks like a very male-dominant space, but they’re more willing to help than you think. It’s not just a man’s world!

EP – I would encourage them to have an open mind. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. There are so many positive and encouraging people in the industry, so let’s focus on that. And if you do come across someone who’s going to think less of you just because of your gender that speaks more about them.

LT – Women are often more technically minded than what society make us believe. Believe in your ability to code, believe that your ability is equal to some of the best men out there, and don’t lower your own expectations according to those of older industry-believed norms.

VF – Take things head on!! It might seem like a man’s industry but don’t let that hold you back, stand up and speak for what you want in life!! You can do more than you think.

 

What are your thoughts on the next transformation in the tech industry?

MN – I’m very curious to see how AI develops. I attended a presentation where they were talking about AI and advertising in-store in a large chain store in SA some time ago, and the presenter mentioned that companies should find ways for employees and AI to work together to minimize job losses. So I’m very curious to see how companies can set up AI to automate certain tasks and how that will affect future employment.

EP – My personal opinion is that things are moving a bit too fast, and that there are certain risks to it.

LT – AI is coming, and it scares the living daylights out of me, because I don’t feel that the true impact of AI was considered from the very onset of the development thereof.  These super computers will have the ability to out-think, out-smart, out-run and outlive the human race and I don’t find any comfort in knowing all of this.That said, looking at our roles within the development industry, this will create an opportunity for us to move our businesses into consulting roles as opposed the implementing members.  Further to this, it will allow us to start becoming creative again in the way in which we develop, plan and deploy.

VF – To be honest there are so many new things popping up , that I cannot keep up with everything. I know AI has taken a huge step forward and is the new latest craze but personally I don’t keep in touch with the latest news … Life is just too busy at the moment

 

Is there any particular problem you believe technology can help address in our society today?

MN – Education. Access to technology for education is still slow in third world countries, but as the technology advances & becomes cheaper, it will be easier for governments to give rural schools better access to this.

EP – There are so many issues in today’s society that could be focused on more. But unfortunately, in today's day and age other things always take priority.

LT – Synchronising traffic lights and also make them intuitive to the oncoming traffic, especially late at night.

VF – Education. Being a mother of two, currently both my children are doing home schooling and without technology they would not be able to take part in daily classes, or be able to do their work from home. There is still a lot of fine tuning needed for Education but once there is a rhythm found it can help so many children to a better future with access of getting an education.

 

What motivates you to get out of bed every day?

MN – Freshly Brewed Coffee.

EP – Just knowing that things always work out. Life is beautiful and full of ups and downs. So just trusting the process and taking things as they come.

LT – Besides deadlines…. Creating something unique daily.

VF – My family!! Knowing I have two little humans that I need to provide for.

 

What’s next in tech?

MN – So much! From nanorobotics to smart dust to genetic manipulation – the world is really going at it, and the future is exciting. I’m keeping an eye on DNA-based predictions.

EP – Blockchain, 5G, Virtual Reality, Connected Home, Autonomous vehicles ...

LT – AI has been front of mind for a while and will take a lot of precedent in tech-talk for the next few years, but in this time, we have been focusing on ways in which we can simplify business processes for specific business roles. This we have done by the planning, development and deployment of apps, as well as web-based software and API’s.

VF – Currently there are so many new ideas out and about, there are a few that have caught my eye, from the new technology of VR ( Virtual reality ) to Blockchain Technology.

 

 

Interviewees: Monique Naudé (Client Liaison Officer), Elizabeth Provic (Front-end Developer), Lechelle Theron (Web Developer and Graphic Designer) and Vivienne Fourie (Admin and Scrum Master).

 

 

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