GirlCoder Experience: Tiisetso

By: Tiisetso Normaline Modubu

It’s a great time to be alive, especially right now with how rapid the tech space is accelerating.

I noticed the gap and a huge role I’d need to play within this space and acquire opportunities to take part in making a change not only on a global scale but within the communities I grew up, like what GirlCode has been able to achieve throughout its establishment is truly one remarkable milestone, especially when it comes to empowering and building up a young girls confidence.

My journey with GirlCode started at the 2017 GirlCode Hack, which was the exact year I first heard of them. My interest in ICT had reached its peak around that time, as I was a regular at most of the hackathons.

GirlCode Hack 2017

Around that year my friends and I attended our first female-only hackathon, it was amazing to see the number of females who shared the same interest as we did. The similarity was amazing but what blew me away was the difference in their implementation and solutions to the same challenges.

Our solution at the GirlCode Hack for 2017 involved an IoT Health-related system which helped combat a lot of our clinic performance issues within our communities where patients aren’t attended to accordingly. Unfortunately, we did not bag the hack that year but it was the beginning of an exciting relationship with the organisation. 

In 2018, we attended our second GirlCode Hack. At that moment I had told myself that this was my last hackathon going forward because I got weary of implementing solutions and later just leaving them unattended. I decided to rather focus on finishing the solutions I had started building and see where they would take me. This time around we vowed to a lot of fun and utilise the new tech stack we had been meaning to use. I truly believe that the mindset going into the hackathon influenced the results which in turn was us winning first place,

GirlCode Hackathon 2018 winners

The prize for winning the GirlCode hackathon was an international trip that same year. We got to travel to Amsterdam and attended the Women in Tech Europe series, where amazing brilliant minded women gathered together to share their experiences and involvements within the tech space. This experience altered my mindset of how important it is to start and make an impact within your current environment.

Women in Tech Series Conference in Amsterdam 2018

A few months later an opportunity arose for me to play my part. GirlCode was hosting another for graduates looking to work in Europe. As a previous winner, I applied to be a mentor for the girls at the SAMEX hackathon hosted by GirlCode and American Express.

The opportunity to work in Europe was extended to everyone and did I not take it gracefully with both hands. The interview process was one like no other as it not only focused strictly on your tech skills but rather also your people skills, as it’s not only about getting the job done but how you interact and build a culture within the workplace.

Mentoring at the SAMEX Hackathon 2019

I’m excited about my journey, and what lies ahead. I wouldn’t have wanted anything different than the life I’ve got regardless of life’s circumstances which are a test of my patience, endurance, and the trust that everything happens for a good reason.

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