Heinrich details how one Friday afternoon, he had a conversation with his friend regarding technology and games, they both shared a fond love for competitive multiplayer games such as Battlefield 4, Dota and CS: GO, not knowing that this “casual” conversation would turn into something that will change both of their lives forever. His friend proceeded to send him a WhatsApp message about a fully funded Software Development programme that he found and suggested applying to see if they could get it. At first, they did not believe that it would be possible for either of them to be selected but they continued to apply regardless and by some miracle, the acceptance came. Heinrich states that “The journey from start to finish from an administrative point of view was not easy as there were quite a few documents one needed to complete and submit but, in the end, it was all worth it”.
We asked Heinrich a few questions about being a part of CapaCiTi and this is what he said:
How was your experience on the programme?
“To be honest, the programme was tough, but it was not made to be easy, because easy is not a reflection of what work and real-life looks like. This is not a quick Software Development programme; this is a problem-solving programme. On completion, you might not use the development language which you were taught but that is okay, because when you enter the “Real World” you quickly become aware of the fact that you need to learn and do whatever it takes to get the job done as quickly and as effectively as you can.”
“The programme teaches you to “FIRST SOLVE THE PROBLEM, BEFORE TRYING TO CODE”. Because as your journey in software development progresses that is something that stays true to heart. You don’t need the computer to solve the problem, it is purely a tool that you can use to create a solution which will solve the problem.”
What has your career progression been since the programme?
“I have been fortunate enough to join companies where I have been nurtured and encouraged to learn and grow. To make mistakes and to find my passion. I started as an intern, and I have made my way to a Data Integration Specialist which is a platform where I solve some of the most complex data integration problems for various clients locally and across the world. I started with support work and now I lead my own integration projects. I also had the privilege of mentoring juniors and interns.”
What is your message to other unemployed youth looking for an opportunity to start their career?
“Be persistent, be curious and be willing to learn. Be okay with not knowing the answers. Be okay with asking lots of questions. Be honest and be truthful. Be yourself and lead courageously, you do not need to be in management to lead.
Work harder than anyone else!”
How did the programme impact you/your life/ family or even community?
“Firstly, it has provided me with the platform to learn how to solve problems and how to use technology and tools to create solutions to address problems.”
“Secondly, it has given me freedom, freedom to keep learning and to continue growing. You NEVER stop learning.”
“Thirdly, it has given me the courage to be myself and to build a legacy not only for myself/friends or family but the people I encounter and the solutions I get to create.”
What does the future hold for Heinrich?
“Not 100% sure with regards to what the future holds for me, I proceeded to start with my Masters Degree in Theology while working part-time as a junior IT technician at the IT HUB within Stellenbosch University. My duties included but were not limited to helping student and university personnel alike with ad-hoc IT related problems. During this time, I learnt valuable lessons with regards to problem-solving and dealing with extremely “frustrated” end-users.”
“Finally, as a final closing summary. I give all glory to God for where I am today because, without Him, I would not be where I am today. I am grateful for the programme and the people who allowed me to take partake in the programme. I am forever grateful. “
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Heinrich is one of our amazing CapaCiTi candidates who improved their digital skills to make a difference in his future prospects. If you want to partner with CapaCiTi to secure or build your talent pipeline or get involved, click here.