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Unlocking Potential: Empowering Tech Graduates in the Telecom Industry with Adapt IT’s Graduate Programme

An interview with Simon Masiya – Junior Developer Telecoms

By Katucia Moussongo

Skills development is the primary method by which Adapt IT empowers the Telecommunication sector. In fact, the company has instituted a Graduate Programme where selected top graduates from leading institutions are introduced to the industry and shaped for greatness. In this interview, meet Simon Masiya, a dynamic graduate who stepped into the ever-evolving Tech world through the gateway of Adapt IT’s Graduate Programme.

An interview with Simon Masiya – Junior Developer Telecoms

By Katucia Moussongo

“Finding solutions to complex challenges and providing effective solutions to our clients are the most satisfying aspect of my role”

Can you describe your experience with the Adapt IT Graduate Programme and how it influenced your career path?  

My time in the Adapt IT Graduate Programme was excellent. One of the factors that influenced my decision to join the programme was that Adapt IT is a reputable company, especially in South Africa. I knew a company like Adapt IT would provide me with more robust career development opportunities and mentorship programmes.

Being a part of the Adapt IT Graduate Programme has greatly influenced my career path. I can confidently say that it opened my eyes to the TECH world and broadened my understanding of the Telecom industry as a whole. The company uses many tools and technologies that I was unaware of. I became acquainted with the industry’s technical jargon, and it was interesting to be introduced to senior developers who were exceptionally helpful with our integration into the company. It is so amazing that Adapt IT has officially recognised me as a Software Developer.

Similarly, going through the Graduate Programme alongside other alums has made me realise how important it is to possess soft skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication. Soft skills are just as vital as technical skills; thus, they are important for success in such a group context, particularly in Graduate Programmes.

Before joining the Adapt IT Telecoms team, what were your initial perceptions of the TECH & Telecom industry? Has anything changed since you became part of the company?  

Yes, my perspectives of the TECH & Telecom industry have shifted due to my exposure to a higher level of development inside the company. When I thought about these industries, my vision was mostly centred on networking or front-end issues. It was based on school and personal knowledge. However, as the programme progressed, I discovered that there is much more to it. I was not well informed about the Telecom industry because, ideally, whenever someone mentioned Telecoms, I would think about networking and IP addresses, among other things.

Take the integration of APIs with USSD; for instance, I did not know about it. Once I joined the Telecoms division, I learned more about how APIs (Application Programming Interface software) function in the Telecom area, where they interact with USSD, and how they play a significant role in the network and in the Telecom space itself.

Also, I thought that people in the Tech and the Telecom space are prone to working long hours and that a high stress level is unavoidable due to the workload. I was concerned that I would struggle to maintain a work-life balance. But to my surprise, Adapt IT prioritises a work-life balance.   

Additionally, I realised that having specific skills is not enough; you must constantly evolve with the times, technology, and the latest trends to provide solutions to clients and problems that arise daily. The technology sector evolves swiftly, and remaining current with the latest trends and technologies is essential for long-term success.  

Could you discuss specific skills or qualities you developed or enhanced through the Adapt IT Graduate Programme?  

I mostly enhanced my coding skills during the graduate programme and training because I have a background in C++, where we mainly dealt with Delphi, Embarcadero and a couple of application development. However, once I enrolled in the Graduate Programme, I improved my coding skills, particularly with Golang. I was part of the group that created a desk reservation system project intended to be used during the pandemic by the Telecom Division so that employees could reserve a desk for the day. We improved our skills by attempting to solve the management-proposed project during that time.

I will also add API because API development was our top priority in the Graduate Programme when I arrived. I enhanced my knowledge about API development using a different language called “GO” rather than the ones we were used to, such as Java and C#.

These skills have proven helpful in my current role because they are used regularly in all of the projects we work on.

What challenges did you encounter in the Graduate Programme, and how did you overcome them?  

I’d say the difference in skill levels. Ten people were in the programme, each with a unique skill set, competence level, and understanding of the development environment. Variations in the team’s skill levels cause discrepancies in both overall productivity and the quality of the code. Some were coding in a specific way, some had better coding knowledge, and they could quickly provide effective and practical solutions to issues.

Nevertheless, we took steps to counteract this issue by encouraging knowledge sharing and mentorship among team members to be on the same page. There was a culture of ongoing learning and professional development. We had access to Udemy and worked together as a team.   

In addition, we held a daily stand-up with senior developers to discuss code issues, disagreements, and strategies. They would come in and provide solutions to our problems and ensure that we delivered the highest quality code.  

As a recognised Software Developer at Adapt IT, what do you find most rewarding about your role and the company?  

Finding solutions to complex challenges and providing effective solutions to our clients are the most satisfying aspects of my role. It is rewarding and pleasant to know that you promptly supplied the best solution to clients.

How does the company culture contribute to your sense of satisfaction in your role?

Adapt IT believes in an ethical culture that includes values such as responsibility, honesty, respect, and accountability. These values inspire me to consistently produce high-quality work and give my best in whatever I do in my role.  

When you are assigned a project, you develop a sense of responsibility. You must ensure that the project is completed on time and that you are well ahead of schedule to be held accountable for the quality of your work. It leads you to be honest in your tasks and respectful within the company and your customers. 

Reflecting on your journey, what valuable insights or advice can you offer to aspiring professionals seeking opportunities in the TECH field?  

Continuous learning is key. To stay competitive in the job market, staying up to date with the latest tools and programming languages is essential as technologies are constantly evolving. Also, build strong foundations because no matter where you go, those fundamental principles will apply everywhere.  

In addition, create a portfolio and showcase your skills, whether it’s through varsity projects, school or personal projects. Create a Github account and upload the project you built there.  

Don’t neglect your soft skills while working on your technical skills. They are essential for communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. These are crucial in the industry because you want to build relationships with people and create a network.  

Not all challenges are bad challenges. Take lessons from them and use them as an opportunity for growth and learning.

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