< Previous Page
> Next Page

Women Behind Technology: Unleashing Excellence through the Adapt IT Graduate Programme

An interview with Makoele Matsebe – Software Developer at Adapt IT Telecoms

By Katucia Moussongo

In an era where Technology not only shapes our lifestyles but also steers the course of business decisions, many women with a passion for innovation and a drive to make a meaningful impact find themselves drawn to this dynamic, fast-paced realm. This interview delves into the journey of Makoele Matsebe, a woman influenced by the captivating allure of science fiction and who is now navigating the intricate world of Technology.

An interview with Makoele Matsebe – Software Developer at Adapt IT Telecoms

By Katucia Moussongo

“Having the possibility to develop technologies, that address, a specific problem is everything I’ve ever wanted.”

Why did you decide to pursue a career in Software Development?

I chose to pursue a career in Software Development because it offers the opportunity to create. I mean, Technology is so beautiful, and just being able to think of possible solutions to problems and then having the possibility to develop technologies, that address, a specific problem is everything I’ve ever wanted.

To give more detail, my interest in Technology started in my teenage years through science fiction. I enjoyed watching and reading various science fiction materials, such as movies and books. Coming across technologies that no longer exist or may exist in the future inspired me to believe that I, too, could one day use Technology to change the world. 

I wanted to experience a little of what I was watching on TV, and the only area I could enter that aligned with my ambition was Software Development. I tried another field before, but it didn’t work out, so I returned to Software Development.

What attracted you to the Adapt IT Graduate Programme and the Telecom/Tech sector in general?

During the application process, I researched and found that Adapt IT Group was a fast-moving Tech company, that was growing in different industries. So, I thought deeply about the possibility, the growth, and the exposure I would gain from such a company, and I said yes.

Honestly, I had no idea which sector I would be working in. Still, it has been interesting to be exposed to the Telecommunications sector. In hindsight, now that I think about it, it still aligns with my passion for science fiction because Technology is involved. As a result, the desire to create is fuelled by the Telecommunication sector, which offers so much more in terms of futuristic concepts, Technology, and innovation, among others.

Please share your experience in the Adapt IT Graduate Programme and how it influenced your skills and career path? 

During my time in the graduate programme, I had the opportunity to work with many talented individuals, both in terms of technical expertise and those who teach you soft skills. I learned that knowing your skills and owning your craft are important. However, learning soft skills such as communication is crucial, as you will often be communicating with clients and colleagues. Knowing how to communicate with others is essential.

Also, I got to learn that it’s not just about the code. Much goes into it; the environment in which your code sits and the processes that make your code run are as crucial as the code itself. As a graduate, you gain a deeper understanding of the entire system development cycle, including how a system functions and the services that interact to make the system functional. Interestingly, we were given scenarios to practice every day.

Finally, I honed my ability to learn quickly because I realised the complexity of Technology. New frameworks are emerging regularly, which require you to learn how to optimise your code and system. To do that, you need to be able to learn quickly. To work efficiently, I had to develop my own strategy for rapidly learning and implementing things.

What was your perception of the Telecom industry before joining Adapt IT? Has it changed since then

The truth is that I had no idea how the entire Telecom industry operated. When you make a call and hang up, you don’t really think about the details that go into it or what makes it possible to send or receive SMS. It wasn’t something that I actively thought about. I was aware of the fact that we need to communicate, and that Telecoms is a part of it. And that was it.

After joining the Adapt IT Team, I got to learn what it is about, and it piqued my interest. I could look at the codes and get excited with questions on how they interact to create a particular effect.

Do you think women are underrepresented in the Tech and Telecom space? Why?

I will answer this personally because there are so many factors involved. I don’t want to speak for other people. I tried to quit repeatedly because I was too hard on myself. There were times when there were complex principles to learn, and instead of being patient with myself, I would think, “oh well, maybe I’m not good at this” or “maybe I should just leave it”. That’s why I believe many women tend to be very harsh on themselves and, consequently, quit or stagnate.

Moreover, if there are no other females in the field, you are the only one, and certain things are trickier for you to understand, you subsequently start being pessimistic. That’s why it would be good to have women already in the field talk to other women who aspire to join or stay in the field. It can be meeting up with other women still at school for seminars or gatherings, because they need to see a representation of themselves to move forward. It would make things easier. They would now stop undermining or being hard on themselves because they see other women.

Thus, it is imperative that women in technology become more visible if we want more women in the field. It would give the younger ones hope. They can see that reaching and achieving in this space is achievable.

 Ultimately, we are visual beings. We are more influenced by what we see than by what others tell us. So, if you see someone who looks like you or who you believe looks like you, you’ll be more encouraged.  If you don’t see a representation of yourself, it becomes a little bit different. 

What is it that you like the most about your journey at Adapt IT Telecoms?

What I enjoy most about this journey is the opportunity to learn. Looking back, I see that there were many things that I was unaware of that I now know. And I can see the improvement that I’ve made. It’s been exciting to grow in that way, both technically and in terms of soft skills. This includes being able to communicate. I used to get nervous whenever I had to present to a client, but now I am used to it. Over time, that skill develops. Each time you make a mistake, you improve, refine, and become better at what you do. So, being able to reflect on the progress I’ve made is enough for me.

The challenges I faced stemmed from being the only woman on my team. When I started, I struggled with self-confidence in that context, so learning how to work with men was interesting. Again, women and men tend to be slightly different in a work environment, so you learn how to work with them. It’s been interesting in that way. But it was also important not to doubt myself and mentally accept that if I am here, it is because I earned my place through work, and I deserve it like the rest. 

The challenges I’m facing are that working with existing code is more complex than writing your own code from scratch because you must now follow it, read it, and try to understand how it works and how to build on top of it. It can be challenging to follow since there are so many things in between, so many processes. To help myself, I give myself time, break down the code, and avoid being overwhelmed. I also avoid understanding too many components at once.

You have been working on many projects at Adapt IT Telecoms; please highlight a particular project or achievement that you’re proud of? Why?

I will say, getting to work with Vodacom Tanzania, instead of a particular project. Just getting to work on the environment itself because it has a lot in it. I learned a lot about the standards and procedures that go into developing and maintaining a complex system such as Middleware.

Not only do we communicate with clients and provide them with adequate documentation and handovers, but we also learn that there is a specific structure and standard that we adhere to in the code; this serves as Middleware for many channels. 

Also, the architecture in the settings is a little different, so I got to learn exactly what goes into architecture, as well as the various processes that work together to provide us with proper secure and efficient architecture.

As a Woman Behind Technology, what is your advice to other women who aspire to have a career in the Tech & Telecom industry?

My advice is to always encourage yourself and remind your inner being not to be too harsh on your efforts. Making mistakes is a sign of growth; it’s how you know you’re improving. People in positions of authority did not get there because they were perfect. With every mistake, we learn to refine ourselves, and we learn to become better. So don’t be too hard on yourself. After you’ve made a mistake, put yourself back together and consider ways to improve yourself.

It’s important to find people in your life who will help you on your journey, give you good advice, and not try to undermine you.

Technology is broad. Have a look at what you love within the technology space. At school, they tend to class everything under one big umbrella, “IT,” but there’s so much more to it. There are so many fields into which you could go, so much you could do. Give yourself time to figure it out. It’s OK if you find out that you don’t like something; try something else. There’s much more in IT than just development. Therefore, explore.

More Interviews

Trusted By Leading Brands Around The World

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top