Head of engineering
10 September 2021
3 min read
Women working in technology at Iress share their inspiring stories.
My interest in technology started in my father’s workshop. A mechanical engineer by trade, he tinkered on designs in his garage at home, where I would watch him for hours. Now I’m a software engineer, designing and building the software that helps financial services companies all over the world.
From mainframes to the Cloud
I loved programming at school so studying Computer Science was a natural choice for me. As luck would have it, schools in South Africa started teaching computer studies during the 1970's, which opened an exciting new world of programming and problem-solving.
A lot has changed since then of course. In those early days, there were no microcomputers for learning purposes, everything happened on enormous mainframes. My journey started with flowcharts, assembler, JCL, and punch cards. Now I program in.Net and C# and am learning about implementing Cloud technology
I’ve been in this job for 35 years but I haven’t stopped learning. Software engineering is constantly evolving, and the rapid acceleration of technology is part of the allure of it all .There’s been times when things haven’t quite worked out as planned but they say “failure is not the opposite of success; it's part of success”, and this has helped me to see every project as an opportunity for growth.
The rapid acceleration of technology is part of the allure of it all.
Nothing stopped me completing my Masters degree in Computer Science. While there were sacrifices to be made in personal time, I loved every minute and got to study areas of software engineering that I wouldn’t have learned about in my day-to-day programming. That’s the great thing about Iress, they encourage everyone to think big and invest in themselves and give you the time to do it.
Do what you really love
My first job was a supporting role, and didn’t focus on developing software. It was a valuable experience, but if I had it to do it all over again, I would do what I really love sooner, and start out as a software programmer.
Don't wait for anybody to make a successful career in tech happen for you.
I think women in particular have certain creative and interpersonal skills, in addition to problem solving, analytical and critical thinking skills, that are an asset in software engineering teams. More needs to be done to get young women involved in computer programming at school, so we have more women aware of career opportunities in information technology and software engineering. You’ve got to have drive - don’t wait for anybody to make a successful career in tech happen for you. You make your own destiny.
Find your dream job at Iress as Alice did - we’re hiring.
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