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Woman in Tech of the Week – Mikovhe Ramawa

Woman in Tech of the Week – Mikovhe Ramawa

Name: Mikovhe Ramawa
Designation: IT Support Technician
Company: Sage HR & Payroll

What do you do every day? My day starts with a lot of phone calls and emails, unfortunately the early morning calls are not all good morning calls,as most of the colleagues calling are either unable to work or just don’t understand how whatever IT software or resource they are suppose to use works.I attend to different IT queries,I ensure that my colleagues are able to use their IT equipments and softwares.
Somedays I become a teacher,an d an advisor,I mean I have realized that sometimes a user does not call IT support because something is not working,sometimes they do not know how this works then I have to educate,sometimes they want advice on which system/software to use then I become the Advisor,

How did you get into the tech space? Growing up I knew what a computer was but I use to think computers are for playing games, when I got to high school,I was surprised that school assignments are done through the computer and my fellow learners had something called USB’s to save their work (this baffled me and I had no idea how this thing can save all your school work). My high school teacher asked us to type our assignments and hand them in, because I did not know the difference between typing, printing and photocopying,I wrote my assignment and went straight to the internet café and made a copy…That was my typed and printed assignment according to me.This scenarios made me feel like I was living in ancient times and the was something completely wrong with me, that’s when I decided to study IT after Matric.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Do not be afraid to fail. Mistakes should not make you want to quit. You have to learn from them, let them challenge and inspire you to do more ― to take some risks and to step outside of your comfort zone.”

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Get educated and always be willing to learn, the Tech world grows each day and there is so much to learn,There is definitely a room for every hard working individual.The Tech world is missing the balance and support that Women has

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? I am the only women in my department, this gives me so much courage and that “YOU CAN DO ANYTHING” bell keeps ringing in my head and I just see myself someday being a IT Director ,So I jump out of my bed with a smile and dress like a IT Director……remember the saying: always dress the way you want to be addressed?

Who do you want to be when you grow up? If I can always have my mothers courage, strength and the it is ok mindset,I will be a very happy adult.

Twitter handle: Mikovhe Khangale
LinkedIn: Mikovhe Ramawa

 

Do you know an inspirational women in tech? Please get in touch with Robyn (robyn@kato.global) to get her featured!

Do you want to sponsor Women in Tech ZA (our research, website and events around South Africa)? Please get in touch with Robyn (robyn@kato.global).

Do you want to advertise to the  Women in Tech ZA network? Please get in touch with Robyn (robyn@kato.global).

Woman in Tech of the Week – Jade Abbott

Woman in Tech of the Week – Jade Abbott

Name: Jade Abbott
Designation: Senior Software Engineer and Data Scientist
Company: Retro Rabbit

What do you do every day? Developing software and analysing data. I mostly develop backend systems, in a variety of languages, for a variety of sectors – golang is my current favourite programming language. In the past couple of years, I’ve been able to focus on machine learning – my true passion. I’ve been lucky enough to take a machine learning project from beginning to end – from wrangling data, to building machine models, analysing data, to building the scalable infrastructure. I love seeing my work in use! It’s the best feeling ever. When I’m not doing that I’m trying to teach people about machine learning – whether doing guest lectures, showing a CEO the impact it can make or sometimes helping enthusiasts get their hands dirty.

How did you get into the tech space? My dad, as a musician and general nerd, always had computer parts lying around. I was very young when he built me my first computer. I remember puzzling over the registry and wondering why my dad told me not to touch it and fiddling in hex editors to make the cat in that one game extra fluffy and pink. He also introduced me to science-fiction – everything from Star Trek to Isaac Asimov. My mother was a software developer before I was born so she always encouraged me to go into software anyways. I think I was 12 and I knew that I wanted to build my own artificial intelligence friend. I’d say I am one of the lucky ones

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? I was at an Anita Borg Retreat at Google a couple of years back and I was stressing about whether to pursue a career in academia or to carry on in industry. So I asked a Google developer a panel about which to do and she said “Don’t stress when making a decision between two good choices”. I can’t remember her name, but I’ll always remember what she said.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? In software development at least, the philosophy is to fail early and fail often. Try many things (ALL the things). Don’t be afraid if you don’t get it right the first time. Failure is part of the journey.
Surround yourself with people in tech. Go to meetups, hackathons and join the ZaTech slack. They are fun and friendly and there is loads of opportunity to learn
It’s possible to begin a degree in technology part-time while you’re working. Do it! If a degree is not an option – pick up a couple of courses.
Blog about your learnings: https://medium.com/@racheltho/why-you-yes-you-should-blog-7d2544ac1045

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? The opportunity to learn something new and the opportunity to build something cool.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? AAAH! hard question. These 3: Grace Hopper, Rachel Thomas, Patti Smith

Twitter: @alienelf
Blog: https://medium.com/@alienelf/
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jade-abbott-5b3a692a/

 

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Bernelle Verster

Woman in Tech of the Week – Bernelle Verster

Name: Bernelle Verster
Designation: Water Maverick, Shit Stirrer
Company: indiebio
What do you do every day?
Writing, mostly. Sometimes growing things – bacteria, algae, plants, fungi, animals (like flies, worms). I am trying to learn how to play with hardware like Arduino and getting better at data driven visualization to help communicate my work.

I work in beneficiation of diffuse pollution through biology. This includes wastewater treatment, but I’m also moving into urban waterbodies like urban estuaries. I like interfaces, connecting the dots to fill in the gaps. So much of my time is spent translating between what, for example, engineers say and what ecologists say and try to find a way that both can be accommodated. Or, what the public perceives and try to communicate all the trade-offs and complexities. At the moment I am trying to see how to coordinate bottom-up, DIY type behavior with the efficiency and economy of scale that engineers prefer but that comes with environmental trade-offs.

How did you get into the tech space?
I wanted to become a vet, but then fell in love with biochemistry in first year of university and stuck with that. Then I realized the cost of biotech is way too high and needed to learn some tech and engineering to make the biology work better. I’ve sortof just stumbled along with things, there wasn’t ever much direction or specific support.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Do what you can with what you have; and you will always be someone’s dog (in other words, don’t expect to come out ‘on top’ and then all your issues are over. That just doesn’t happen). The advice I never listened to was ‘it’s time you stop dreaming and get a proper job’.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Dream. Big, small, doesn’t matter, but don’t lose sight of reality. Prototype, play, fail fast. Look at what is – the current reality, even if it is uncomfortable. Ask the tough questions, listen to what people say. You don’t have to believe them, but they are coming from somewhere, interrogate what they say. Don’t underestimate the value of incremental change.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday?
Frustration. Having a big goal is nice, but really it’s the frustration of ‘if only this small thing can work better!’ Generally I wake up thinking, I’m going to go at it from this angle, maybe that works today. I think the real value I add to society isn’t through my big dreams and passions, but the little itches and irritations I try to smooth out along the way. Connecting people who can help scratch 😉

Who do you want to be when you grow up?
A whole person. Not a whitewashed darling on a pedestal.

Twitter handle @indiebio
Website: indiebio.co.za
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/indiebio/

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Female Devs Wanted in Cape Town

Female Devs Wanted in Cape Town

Cape is a Silicon Valley backed startup based in Cape Town and San Francisco. Last week we were acquired by Aruba (a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company) for our first of its kind Wi-Fi monitoring product, and for our team! As a result of this deal we’re growing our Cape Town office (currently 12 people) so that we can scale our systems to meet an expected surge in demand as our product is marketed through Aruba’s sales channels.

A bit about Cape:

– Small team (15 people across ZA and USA), founded in Cape Town (2014), backed by Silicon Valley venture capital
– “Full stack” startup: we design & build our own hardware, firmware, back-end and front-end software
– First product of its kind in the world — a device + dashboard that helps companies like Apple, Marriott, Dimension Data make sure their Wi-Fi and SaaS performance is excellent 24/7
– Awarded “Best Startup 2017” from Wi-Fi Now (international industry body)
– Acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise last week(!) for the team and technology (plus huge market)
– Expecting 100X scale in next 18-24 months
– We’re investing significantly in our Engineering & Design team in Cape Town
– We’re hiring senior software engineers (front-end, back-end, iOS, ML, embedded), and a senior UI designer

Cape offers a unique opportunity as a truly full-stack startup. We design our hardware in-house and manufacture in Cape Town. Our back-end and front-end systems and software are built entirely in-house using Python, ReactJS, Java, InfluxDB, and AWS Kinesis among other technologies.

Experience in any of the technologies mentioned above would be a big plus for the engineering roles.

Please contact victor@capenetworks.com if you’re interested in working for us!

If you want to advertise job opening or anything else to our network please get in touch with Robyn Farah.

Link

Yes, We Have Changed Our Logo!

You may have noticed that we, Women in Tech ZA, have changed our logo. We have done this as we have connected with several Women in Tech Chapters around South Africa and Botswana, so we wanted to use a logo that can easily be altered to suit each chapter as well as clearly be associated with their umbrella organisation, US!

About the logo: In 2016 Women in Tech Cape Town ran an online competition for the community to submit designs for the community. After receiving over 20 designs we got the public to vote for their favourite design and the winner was the below by Samuel Molahloe.

 

Women in Tech Chapters:

As of March 2018, Women in Tech ZA is grown from being an online platform to being connected to 4 Women in Tech Chapters around Sub Saharan Africa. (Thank you to Mishal Weston for editing all the logos from Samuel Molahloe’s original design)

 

Women in Tech ZA Goals: In February 2018 Robyn Farah became chairperson for Women in Tech ZA. Her aims are:

  • To have active women in tech communities all over South Africa connected to Women in Tech ZA
  • A “Woman in Tech of the Week” feature on the Women in Tech ZA website weekly.
  • Have active Social Media platforms
  • Get sponsorship to collect data on females in Science, Tech, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in South Africa

Get Involved:

Did you know that Women in Tech is registered as an NPC this means that donations to our organisation are tax deductible!

 

#InspiringFifty South Africa 2018 nominations open on IWD

Call for nominations are now open for #InspiringFiftySA 2018

This year marks the second edition of #InspiringFiftySA, an initiative that benchmarks and awards the 50 most inspiring women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). In celebration of International Women’s Day, the call for nominations has officially opened. The initiative is by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Cape Town.

“The African tech ecosystem is growing exponentially. This is re-shaping the South African
economy as technology and innovation are leapfrogging beyond established technology, ideas,
and infrastructure. The instrumental role played by women in this sector should be made more
visible on a local and global level. These women are the inspiring role models for the future.
Inspiring Fifty South Africa allows us to create a platform for these women in technology,
showing our girls that they can do the same,” says Bonnie Horbach, the Netherlands Consul
General in Cape Town. The collaboration forms part of the Dutch campaign in South Africa,
named #cocreateSA.

Last year #InspiringFiftySA received 252 nominations of which fifty amazing women were
awarded the #InspiringFifty accolade. Amongst these women were Adriana Marais, Aisha
Pandor, Nunu Ntshingila, Portia Maurice, Mickey Mashale, Magda Wierzycka and Yolisa Kani.
What makes this award different, is that it includes women who paving the way in government,
education and the corporate space, to empower girls aspiring a career in STEM.

“To be recognised for doing inspiring work is one thing, but to do so while being featured
alongside the amazing Inspiring Fifty SA women was simply incredible! The initiative introduced
me to incredibly smart and bold women who inspired me to continue being the same. The 2017
cohort proved that there’s a plethora of women doing world class work in STEM and I’m only
excited to meet the nominees for Inspiring Fifty SA 2018. I hope the new nominees jump at the
opportunity!” – Lethabo Motswaledi, winner of the 2017 Inspiring Fifty SA and Co-founder of 3D
Power.

“Being an #InspiringFiftySA judge exposed me to a high caliber of women in the SA tech space
that I didn’t even know existed. It was tough to choose as I was in awe of the 270 nominations
from all over SA. I made new connections with very powerful women in Tech. I believe South Africa has a great pool of role models that need to be exposed to girls and #InspiringFiftySA is
doing exactly that,” said Baratang Miya, #InspiringFiftySA 2017 Judge and Founder of GirlHype.

“​#InspiringFiftySA is a valuable initiative which allows young girls and boys from all walks of life
to see role models across the STEM fields who they can aspire to be. It showcases the
abundance of hard work and talent which our country possesses. Personally for me
#InspiringFiftySA gave me access to a network of women who share the same value of making
our country a better place in growing the STEM field,” said Dr Mmaki Jantjies, winner of #InspiringFiftySA and Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Information Systems,
Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape.

To meet the criteria, a nominee has to be a founder of a technology company; or hold a position in a C-Level position in a technology company; or be an influencer, academic or politician in the technology or innovation space. Inspiring Fifty encourages South Africans and the technology eco-system to nominate their most inspiring female role models.

To nominate your most inspiring women in tech, visit https://inspiringfifty.awardsplatform.com/
For more information on Inspiring Fifty, visit http://cocreatesa.nl/inspiring-fifty-homepage/

One million maths exercises completed on Siyavula’s online learning platform

One million maths exercises completed on Siyavula’s online learning platform

[Cape Town] 25 October 2017: Learners in Grades 8-12 around the country completed one million maths exercises on Siyavula Education’s online learning platform in October – meeting the target of the #1MillionMaths Challenge ahead of schedule, one week before 31 October. The #1MillionMaths Challenge was launched by Siyavula and Google.org at the end of September in a nation-wide drive to promote maths revision and practice for final exams. Siyavula made its platform accessible for free to every single learner in Grades 8-12 in Sout

Siyavula maths challenge participants

h Africa both during and after the challenge – removing the R599 annual subscription fee until 15 December. This means that the huge numbers of learners who signed on to use the tool for free in October will still be able to benefit until after exams are over. But the really big news is that this is just a taste of things to come: the first 150,000 users from low-fee public schools will receive free access for the entirety of 2018 thanks to sponsorship from Google.org, which gave Siyavula a $1.5 million grant in July this year.

To stand a chance to receive one of the 150 000 Google-sponsored subscriptions for 2018, learners can visit the Siyavula website at www.siyavula.com, register for a trial account and redeem the following access code: siyavula-one-million-maths. This code will grant them premium access until 15 December. There are still two more weeks of prizes to be given out, including iPads, Samsung Galaxy phones, airtime, vouchers and the grand prize of a MacBook laptop. We invite learners to join the Siyavula Facebook page to monitor our progress and stay up to date.

MTN announces winners of Women in ICT Partnership for Change Awards

MTN last week announced the winners in the second annual Women in ICT Partnership for Change Awards at a glittering event held in Sandton.

The Awards were hosted by MTN in partnership with Kagiso Media and ITWeb Brainstorm and seek to accelerate the participation of women in the sector through recognising and rewarding those who have made a significant contribution to it.

The Leadership Recognition Award went to Carol Thomas, CIO of the South African Civil Aviation Authority. Technical director at Aurecon Rene Pearson won the Innovator Recognition Award. The SME Recognition Award went to Matua Ramapuputla, CEO of Moepi Publishing. Founder of The Click Foundation Martine Shaffer, won the Community Builder Recognition Award.

Dr HF Swanepoel, who was unfortunately not on hand to receive her award, won the Lifetime Achiever Award. Dr Swanepoel is the Chief Technologist at Eskom Group’s Technology Engineering Division.

ITWeb’s Paula Gilbert and Simnikiwe Mzekandaba jointly won the Excellence in ICT Journalism Award. MTN’s Group CEO and President Rob Shuter handed the CEO’s Award to MTN employee Fatima Mayet. Awards judge Charmaine Houvet from Cisco won the Ministerial Recognition Award.