Tshenolo Lobelo - Web Developer

 

"I grew up with a stammer and that completely killed my confidence to socialize or to make friends as a child. Because of that, I gravitated towards activities/interests that didn't require me to mingle with people, so when my dad bought me a computer in primary school I spent a lot of my time on it.  That grew into a deep interest in the design and building of things and I was that kid coming home from school,  excited  to watch  "Air Crash Investigation" and similar shows on the National Geographic channel. So, I definitely knew from a young age that I wanted a career in the STEM field.


I love that there's always an opportunity for me to up-skill at any moment, and that puts me in a position for even better opportunities to grow in my career. I am currently a web developer but I always end of the year with more skills than I started the year with and it usually just takes commitment, time, the internet and a laptop.  I do want to get into more advanced programming and build even more complex projects that could improve lives at a larger scale.


One major barrier in my career that I still face is Imposter Syndrome! I still battle with it. Despite me doing well, I had this feeling that I don't belong, that this male dominated industry would see me as a fraud. Young girls are not encouraged to get into the STEM field like boys are, so by the time you do have a career in tech, you are so largely outnumbered, especially as a black woman, that you start to doubt if your skills level up with the people around you because so few of them look like you. I now, have to remind myself that I do work hard, that I do put in the hours and I shouldn't deflect praise or brush it off as luck. I worked for it.

Women are grossly underrepresented in the technology industry and right now it's the best time to get into tech if you have the drive or passion for it. There's a lot more access to knowledge, access to resources, tech support groups and the advantage of not having to spend a lot of money if you go the self taught route. Importantly, I know exactly why I was miserable when I was studying Economics but happier when studying Computer Sciences. Neither one is better than the other and both actually have great career prospects, but it's because I love programming and if you love what you do, no matter the challenges and frustrations, you're going to be resilient and keep going." 
To learn more about Tshenolo follow: 
Instagram: @Tshenolo