How women are dictating the future of tech with the Andela Technical Leadership Program
As it stands, women hold just 26.7% of tech-related jobs worldwide. Deloitte Global predicts that large global technology firms, on average, will reach nearly 33% overall female presence in their workforces by the end of 2022 – but for women to have a say in the future of tech, greater representation is needed.
The Andela Technical Leadership Program, designed for Rwandan nationals, aims to help Rwandan technologists upskill, and to develop careers as full-stack developers. By building the skills they need to lead, graduates can kick-start their careers as developers to eventually manage and lead their own teams.
ATLP graduate Bey Faith, who joined the program with a strong background in business information technology, considers the program to be extremely beneficial to female technologists.
Bey believes that more Rwandan female technologists should consider enrolling in the nine-month course, as the future of tech shouldn’t be dictated by one-half of the population – and that women deserve a seat at the table. We spoke to Bey about her experiences as a student of the ATLP, and why she recommends that everyone should consider applying to our latest cohort.
How did you find the support you received at the ATLP?
Before I joined the ATLP, I was a student at the University of Kigali, and some of the things I used to do during my course were just basic administrative tasks with some of the companies that I worked with on a temporary basis. And I soon discovered that these tasks were not really rewarding, and I tended to feel burnt out from the day-to-day office tasks.
I joined Andela because I wanted to channel my creativity more. I wanted to critically consider problems and come up with solutions to solve them for world-leading companies. My journey with Andela has been rewarding in that I feel like my skills were really valued.
The support I received at the ATLP was amazing. I wasn’t just given these technical skills to learn how to code but also the technical approach to how I executed my work.
I wasn’t someone who was good at working autonomously, without minimum management or supervision, but working remotely – fully remotely – really gave me a chance to really drive myself and execute things to the end. The other thing I would say I got from this program was collaboration. You might be skilled, or you might be good at what you’re doing, but then teamwork had to come in. You had to learn how to approach your colleagues much more to see the fulfillment of a project or even see how far you’re advancing in your journey.
How did the ATLP advance your career in software development?
I would say that in the nine months that I spent in the program, I did not just learn technical skills or technicalities of doing things – I would say I’ve evolved. When I went into the program I didn’t know if it was meant for me because imposter syndrome hit me a couple of times! I just felt like I wasn’t worth it, wasn’t good enough. Sometimes I would wake up and feel like, “Is this meant for Bey? Let me just quit!” And then other times I would wake up and think “Ok, today I’ll debug something. I’m the best decoder in the world!”
Then again, I had a strong support system in my cohort. I used to share my struggles with them, and we went through the transition together with support from the technical and professional skills managers. As a result, I’m now working at an excellent tech company in Rwanda.
Would you recommend the program to someone considering a career in software development?
I would encourage anyone or everyone who wants to join the program, especially women. Because tech is the future, and women are leading that charge. We cannot let just one-half of the population dictate the future, so that’s why I call upon more women to join the program.
What advice would you give someone considering joining this program?
The technical part plays an important role, but I’ll tell you something else that plays an important role… it’s passion. You can be great at something, but if you are not really passionate about it, you can’t get where you want to be (in your career) or see fulfillment.
So I would highly advise women or anyone who wants to join the program to be passionate about it and give it their best. And in the end, you’ll find it incredibly rewarding.
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