Digi women in tech: Dudu Mhlanga

12 August 2019

Dudu began her career at DigiOutsource in a graphic design internship more than 10 years ago. Her keen interest to learn combined with her go-getter attitude has earned Dudu a role in our leadership team. Let her story inspire you!

What inspired you to pursue a career in the tech space?

I had never imagined that I would have a career in technology. My passion was medicine, but, due to financial hiccups, I couldn’t study in my chosen field. I went to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), browsed through the brochure, and saw Multimedia Technology as an option. I didn’t really know what it was about; I thought it was about Media studies (TV and radio), only to get the shock of my life in my first lecture, which was about programming! I had never had any computer lessons before, the only thing I knew how to do on a computer was open Gmail and send an email. I actually tried to change courses after my first lesson, but all other courses were full, so I was stuck with Multimedia Technology. Three years later, I graduated with my National Diploma.

Talk us through your journey at Digi.

In September 2008, as part of my diploma, I started off as a Graphic Design intern at DigiOutsource, doing my in-service training. As I was about to complete my 3-month internship, I was offered a 6 month contract, and, a day or two later, I was offered a permanent position as a Graphic Designer. It is known that technology evolves at a rapid pace, and, in 2012, technology had evolved to such an extent that more and more of our clients were using their mobile phones rather than desktop computers. As a Graphic Designer, it was quite challenging for me to suddenly adapt to designing mobile-friendly sites. This created growing frustration between our Creative and Dev departments, in that a site did not end up looking like its design. There was constant back and forth around this issue, which is when I decided that I wanted to bridge the gap between the two departments. Every Wednesday, for a 3-month-plus period, my manager gave me the opportunity to sit with our web developers for an hour at a time. That is how my passion for technology was ignited. Eventually, an opportunity arose in the Development team that I applied for, landing a position as a Junior Web designer. I haven’t looked back! I continued to learn and upskill in technology, and here I am today, as a Team Lead in Software Development. I am still growing, continuing to reach for the stars.

What do you think women bring to the technical domain?

Diversity. Having both women and men in your team means you benefit from the different points of view and approaches that come from different life experiences.​

What is your most valued aspect about being a Digi Woman in Tech?

Gender equality, the culture, the opportunities, and support that DigiOutsource offers. Our work culture is about equality in all areas, and the support that I have received has made my journey pleasant. The environment and people here are amazing!​

Do you have any advice to encourage women looking to join the tech space?

I would say go for it regardless of the stigma around it. We need to break the gender discrimination stigma around male-dominated jobs.​