The journey of a young woman in tech

Keneilwe Mafatshe
25 May 2020

Keneilwe Mafatshe (young woman in tech)

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” This is a quote from Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead’ book. I can relate to this statement. My career goal has always been to be great at what I do. “Climbing the ladder” was never really my motivation but doing well was. I have and continue to play multiple roles in my career. I take advantage of every opportunity that I can find, whether big or small. This has brought me to where I am today, and I am happy with the trajectory my career has taken.

The journey of a young woman in tech

I started working in the year 2013 as a junior developer at a major financial institution. I was a fresh graduate and I did not join a graduate program but went straight to a junior position. That presented a couple of challenges that I overcame but also made me realize the benefit of graduate programs. I joined a team with experienced individuals, working on a very important project.

I found that it was a challenge for my teammates to ‘accommodate’ me as a new employee joining the field. Sure, there were individuals that were patient with me due to my lack of experience that I will forever be grateful to. But for a long time, it was difficult for me to get exposure to the work at the risk of ‘delaying the project’. Looking back, there could have been ways where this could have been better managed, but I ended up learning other skills in the process such as IT administration and a bit of business and systems analysis, on top of the development work that I was doing.

Career Advancement

Because of my flexibility and adaptability, I got an opportunity to join a consulting firm and my first task was to build a mock business process, using technology that I had no experience in, that I would need to pitch to a potential client. In a matter of weeks, I had to play the roles of project manager, business analyst and developer simultaneously.

Fortunately, I had had exposure to all these roles at my previous job, so I managed it well. The client was happy with my presentation, though they ended up opting for in-house development, with my assistance. While working for this firm, there was an urgent need for a systems analyst at a client and I got the opportunity to play that role as well.

I was approached by two ex-colleagues that had started their own firm to head a project that they had landed. It was a six-month project and they did not have enough capacity, so they asked me to run with it. I was honoured and grateful for the opportunity and I grabbed it with both hands. I was responsible for managing the project, analysis as well as development of the application.

Additionally, I was also tasked with mentoring the client in using this technology. The client was happy with my work that they extended the contract by extending their scope. It was a very interesting experience as it was an agricultural client and I enjoyed interacting with people from a different background to mine.

Joining Integrove as a woman in tech

I joined Integrove in 2017 and it has been a wonderful journey. I worked on a global project, where I had to also play an analysis and development role. The project being global afforded me the opportunity for international travels where I interacted with a diverse group of people. I have had to not only be knowledgeable in my area of expertise but other systems that we have integrated with as well. I continue to work on global projects and that has not only exposed me to different markets but has also allowed me to keep getting better at what I do. Integrove is committed to our career and personal growth.

Being flexible has worked well for me in my journey. I am excited to see what the future holds, for me and women in tech.

Career opportunities at Integrove

If you are a tech enthusiast, looking for an inclusive environment, a place where being yourself is celebrated, then Integrove is the place for you. Join our team below!

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