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Meet Emily Namugaanyi

Application Developer At Thoughtworks Australia

The world of Information Technology is always changing due to the efforts of men and women with a devine calling to make a difference in the way we communicate, the way we solve problems that affect us and also the way we learn. So behind the phone apps and the software applications are great minds. This day we choose to feature Emily,  a Lady who is at the pinnacle of Software Development at the world reknown software company Thoughtworks. This is what she shared with us

Who is Emily Namugaanyi ?

I am a passionate go getter and life long learner. I live to make a difference in someway even if it is as small as putting a smile on a sad face or as big as creating relevant software for the public. I am a friend, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a colleague, a mentor, a mentee, a Christian and so many other things.

Describe your typical Day? 

My alarm clock goes of at 6am and I get out of bed at 7:00 am. Find my way to work by 9 to 9:15am depending on the traffic situation. I usually read a book on my way to and from work. I check my mail, do anything that might distract me before I work. Go for my first meeting (mainly for the team to know what I did the previous day and what I would like to achieve that day and what my team is did the previous day and what they want to achieve that day). Then I get to work with my team (work is writing software). Have the usual breaks for lunch and bathroom. At 5 pm I head home, take a cup of tea and find myself in bed by 10 pm

What are some of your tasks and responsibilities at work? 

1)  Writing code (software programs to solve various problems).  
2)  Understand users and what they want their software should do.
3)  I take part in the discovery of great talent out there.
4)  I share knowledge with those in the community (they should have the interest).
5)  Testing software and if there is something to do and I notice it, I do it. (working in teams and we support each other as team meambers.)

What are some challenges you face in your line of work ? 

I would not call them challenges really; they are opportunities:

1)  The world of technology keeps changing, once you try to focus on a technology something new comes up. There is a huge opportunity for learning and one for learning really fast.
2)  Talking to people and understanding what they have to say comes with the job description. There is an huge opportunity to learn how to communicate and do it effectively.
3)  Organisations have different structures. There is always an opportunity for me to learn how to contribute and get all the resources I need to make a significant contribution to the team.
4)  Not all team members are great team players and as a team player I get to learn to work with all kinds of people from different walks of life.
5)  When it comes to software, the functionality keeps changing depending on the problem solved. There is always an opportunity for you to learn how to be accommodative of change.
6)  As a woman in technology, it has not been a smooth journey considering not everyone expects a woman to code. This has taught me to focus on my goals and not what society has say about the unwritten laws you want to defy.

What particular skills do you bring to your work place ? 

Mainly coding skills, consulting skills, communication skills and most importantly listening.

What is cool about your job ? 

The power I have to instruct a machine (computer) to do different tasks.

What is not cool about your job ?

I cannot carry around all the people and memories I make in the various places I have been to.

How did you get your job ? 

A team of ThoughtWorkers came to Makerere University and told us how cool it was to work in ThoughtWorks; I was sold. I sent in my application, started the interview process after an unexpected period of time doing interview, I got hired

Which key people influenced your career direction ?

This is a long list because I take learning at all times from various people namely Nodumo Dhlamini ,Lilian Achom and My Family this might come as a surprise but they have...

What subjects did you take in school and how have they influenced your career path ?

I did Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Music at A'level (I am sure that is what you are most interested in ;) ). I was always a Mathematics freak, I liked solving problems and I eventually found that it was through the different facts of life that formulae was created (The same formulae used to solve problems.) In the same way algorithms are written to help solve problems and it just feels like Math again

What is your Education up to date

I have a bachelor of science degree in Software Engineering.

What aspects of your Education System have proven most important for your job?

School taught me how to learn, how to take in information and my educators have always shared their experiences and from there, I learned to focus on what counts.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

The JAMS Workshop Makerere in 2012 and  The Grace Hopper Conference in 2013

What advise would you give someone considering this job?

Passion, determination, and the right attitude will get you to what height you require.

What kind of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

An education in computer science or related computer course and enough knowledge in computer programming

Any concluding remarks ?

Life is what you make it. (You are the reason why you fail or excel in life)

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