Senior Developer. Leader. Woman. Mother. These are just a few descriptions that can be ascribed to Ashleigh Bronkhorst, a dynamic innovator on the WhoYou team. We chatted to Ashleigh to find out more about her role as a developer in South Africa.
What do you enjoy most about being a developer in South Africa?
It’s a very new career path. It wasn’t really even something considered when I was in matric. Every project you work on is something new for the industry and for the country. The work is always new and exciting and you are constantly surrounded by great minds with a thirst for knowledge.
What advice would you like to give to girls and young women wanting to pursue a career in technology and development?
If you are a logical thinker and enjoy problem-solving then do it! If it excites you and you are passionate about it then pursue it, don’t ever let fear hold you back.
What excites you most about the work you do for WhoYou?
I think the most exciting part is the “ah-ha” moment when you have been noodling with a problem for so long and suddenly, out of nowhere you figure it out. These moments for me are generally in the shower or as I am about to fall asleep! When you have been working on a product, that could potentially change the way people work, especially during this pandemic, it is nothing short of rewarding. The late nights of testing and brainstorming pay off. I love my job and I love the work I do, and when you can see it in action, there is nothing more fulfilling.
Technology development is still quite a male-dominated sector. How does it feel being a female developer in this space?
It’s definitely intimidating when you start out. I was always afraid to speak up, and was urged to in meetings. Now they can’t keep me quiet! When you have the right mentor, which I was lucky enough to have, your personal growth can be huge. I was constantly pushed to break boundaries and to believe in myself. Seven years later and I have the confidence to voice my opinions, while expressing it in the open plan, because hey, being a working mom, you do what you have to do.