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.