We hosted a Software Development Job Shadow for Grade 11 Pupils

June 29, 2022
Blessed Chitamba, Fezile Ngubo, Aphelele Mpakama, Tapiwa Diura, Steve Wang and Tapiwa Savala
From left: Blessed Chitamba (TJ), Fezile Ngubo, Aphelele Mpakama, Tapiwa Diura, Steve Wang (TJ) and Tapiwa Savala (TJ)

On 28 June, we hosted a Job Shadow Day for three Grade 11 pupils from Christel House School. Transaction Junction’s Software Development Manager, Marc Kemsley, wrote about the activities of the day.

We had a great time hosting the learners from Christel House on Tuesday. Fezile Ngubo, Aphelele Mpakama and Tapiwa Diura spent the day job shadowing Blessed Chitamba, Steve Wang and Tapiwa Savala from the development team.

First up, was a trip to Petros, our in-house barista for a round of hot chocolates to get fuelled up for the day. With beverages in hand, we concluded a conversation that started in the car on what Transaction Junction actually does with a drawing on the whiteboard. This was followed by a quick tour of the office to see our monitoring dashboards and QA lab.

At 9AM we joined the development team for a daily stand-up where the learners got to see how we manage our work along with some of the tools we use to do so. Going through our work on a Kanban board sparked a quick conversation about Software Development methodologies.

Aphelele Mpakama and Steve Wang_Transaction Junction hosts a Software Development job shadow
Aphelele Mpakama, Christel House and Steve Wang, Transaction Junction
Blessed Chitamba and Fezile Ngubo_Transaction Junction hosts a Software Development job shadow
Fezile Ngubo, Christel House and Blessed Chitamba, Transaction Junction

From 10AM – 12PM the learners buddied up with our developers who shared info about life as a Software Developer by talking them through their current work in progress. They covered topics like:

  • Build tools (Ant, Mavern, Gradle)
  • Coding languages (Java, Python)
  • Source control (Bitbucket, Git)
  • Technical documentation (Transaction Sequence diagrams, tech specs, user guides and release notes)
  • Developer testing (Unit and module or component tests)
  • Code reviews (using PULL requests)

Hopefully, it was clear that a career in Software Development is not just about writing code.

We broke for lunch at 12PM where our bursary student Sthabile Lushaba shared some of her experiences with the pupils about applying for University and studying for a Computer Science degree. There was a healthy debate about which University was best (UCT vs Stellies vs Rhodes).

Transaction Junction hosts a Software Development job shadow_lunch time
Lunch time in the canteen

Lunch was followed by more job shadowing and at 15:30, we had a wrap-up session in the boardroom where we went over what the learners had been exposed to during the day to make sure we had not scared them off. Thankfully they were still enthusiastic about pursuing a career in Software Development and we had a good conversation about the shortage of Software Developers in South Africa, the opportunities available and the various career paths that could follow with Software Development as a base.

A good day was had by all.

Fezile Ngubo, Aphelele Mpakama and Tapiwa Diura
Fezile Ngubo, Aphelele Mpakama and Tapiwa Diura from Christel House