Name: Cara Turner
Designation: COO & Agile Coach
Company: Project codeX
What do you do every day? At codeX I train talented people to be agile software developers, while setting up and running a disruptive education initiative. As the chairperson of the Scrum User Group SA in Cape Town, I work with a great committee to build the agile community through monthly events and an amazing annual conference.
How did you get into the tech space? I studied to be a sculptor – the last thing I imagined was working in IT! I took a temp job in 2001 and found myself at Software Futures – a large outsourcing company in Cape Town & Joburg. I discovered that my experience on creative projects fitted right in on IT projects, and I fell in love with the projects space. I worked behind the scenes learning the ropes before moving into consulting and eventually finding a real home in the agile community.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Be authentic. Focus on what you care most about, even if it doesn’t make sense to others. It’s the key driver behind what we do at codeX, as well as the creative work I do with (ordinary) software teams.
What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? This is a vast and incredibly varied industry. So pick a focus that you care about and spend a while in that space learning as much as you can – then don’t get hung up on it! There is a huge scope for change – not just in what you do, but also in changing the industry itself. Keep moving in the direction that fascinates you. And collaboration is the secret sauce that strengthens every aspect of our work.
What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Knowing that today is unique and holds untold possibilities for breakthrough change. It really does help to see the magic that happens all the time.
Who do you want to be when you grow up? My biggest inspiration at the moment is probably Linda Rising, a change-management and collaboration expert. At retirement age, she is still traveling the world helping people understand each other in order to work better together.