GirlCoder Profile: Zezethu Mhlauli

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Zezethu Mhlauli, I am the last born at home, I am a mother to a 3 year old son. Born and bred in Queenstown in the Eastern cape. I grew up in a loving warm family. I later relocated to Cape Town.

Walk us through your career journey and how you got into I.T?

Well I never liked I.T, but I.T choose me. I wanted to study architecture, so when I was doing matric I applied for it at TUT, during my final exam I was called to write the telematic test in Pretoria, However at the time I was still in Cape Town writing my final exams. I knew my parents wouldn’t afford to buy me the plane ticket because it was the quickest way of traveling as I was writing my exams. I let that opportunity slide, and focused on my exams.

January come! Heey I’ve passed! I was home in Queenstown for December holidays when reality kicked in not knowing where I was going to study. I went to Walter Sisulu University and asked for any available course and they said there’s a space in IT, and I was like WHAT! I.T??? My parents said I must do it then change the following year and do what I want, so I applied, got accepted but it was already closed for NSFAS so my parents had to pay for my fees.

I didn’t like it, I was just doing it for the sake of studying, months went by and I slowly started developing love for programming. When the year ended my parents asked if I applied for architecture and I said no I will carry on with I.T. To summarize it up I AM A SOFTWARE DEVELOPER now.

What is your typical day like at work?

I am not fully exposed into the industry, I just did an internship of a user support technician.

Have you experienced any challenges as a female in this industry and how did you overcome them?

Not challenging ones but when I first came to Grosvenor Primary School where I did my internship, the principal said I thought you were a guy, your field is dominated by men. That’s not a challenge but that’s how people think.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger?

That am destined for I.T, that I.T is Me and I am I.T, and I wish the younger me knew that it won’t be a smooth sailing road, but it will be worth every tear and every sweat.

Whats your advice for other girls considering getting into the tech space?

You can do it, it’s doable, just believe that you can and work hard.

What is your motto in life?

Good, Better, Best, never rest until your Good is Better and your Better is the Best.

Lastly, what do you hope to leave behind as your legacy?

I hope to leave a legacy where girls come into programming and know that they are worthy of being called programmers and that they have what it takes to be them, a legacy where they look at code and be like we were born to do this.

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