Tech geek vs. tech god: my inspiration to pursue a career in tech

  • Posted on January 20, 2016

The following blog post was written by Avanade alum Dezi van Vuuren.

Picture: Dezi at an Avanade year-end function with colleagues where she won an award for Delivery Excellence.

I never pictured my life as a software engineer or architect at first, it is more something that just happened, a natural evolution of sorts. Let me tell you a little more about my journey with technology and my inspiration for choosing software engineering as a career.

Windows 95It all started back when I was growing up with my brother, around second or third grade, when we first got a computer in our house (a Pentium 1 or 2 running Windows 95). I still remember the guy who came to install it for us, a real “geek” to some people, but in my eyes he was a “god.” This man, who I only remember as Clinton, made something so ordinary do so much. I was always fascinated by how things work, but this time even more so.

Soon after we received a second computer and the IT guy came out again and connected them together on a network. Back then it was a coax network using a bus topology and I was even more amazed at how ordinary objects could talk to one another. This became the setup my brother played games on over the network.

It wasn’t until sixth grade when I received my own computer to do homework on that I realized I am really good at this. By now our IT guy stopped coming over, my “god” had moved on in his career, and it was up to me to keep things going, making sure the computers still worked, even replacing parts or rebuilding them. The responsibility fell on me mainly because I was the oldest and I think my parents realized I just had a natural touch when it came to technology.

Windows PublisherI remember doing homework and project assignments using Microsoft Publisher that my mom taught me to use back in fourth grade, and the most fascinating thing to me was, “How is this program doing its magic? What makes it work?”

In tenth grade I took a computer class and was introduced to programming. We started off with Turbo Pascal. Although this taught me basic programming, I needed to know more, “How do I create something like Publisher?”

DelphiIn eleventh grade, I switched my computer classes to after hours at a different school that was teaching Delphi 7, and finally I had what I longed for: a decent language and teacher, Ms. Sanders. From then on, I knew that I could do this my entire life, and the love for software engineering just grew stronger.

I went on to study information systems engineering and was introduced to C# and .Net (the best language ever). After I completed school I was selected to go and work for a smaller company in Centurion, South Africa where I learned Web Development and programing with JavaScript.

Eventually I landed a job with Avanade SA, and the excitement never stopped. The different projects, big clients, and learning opportunities is what motivates me. I have since worked on many large business systems and grown my skills even more on every project. I treat every opportunity as a way to learn more.

I started blogging a few years back in order to give back to the world some of the knowledge and experience that I was so fortunate to gain. It is my hope that I can inspire others through my love for technology to do what they love. I hope to make a difference in the world with technology, or at least try my best.

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