Career Quick Five with Tanaka Dhliwayo: Creating the Future of Tech

Career Quick Five with Tanaka Dhliwayo: Creating the Future of Tech



Tanaka Dhliwayo is a passionate advocate for youth access to technology education, particularly for girls from underprivileged communities in Soweto, South Africa.

As the founder and director of Tanie Codes Org & Edu, a non-profit organization, Tanie designs and delivers digital skills programs and introductory coding lessons in Soweto schools. Her mission is to bridge the digital divide and empower young girls to become the next generation of tech leaders.

Tanie’s programs go beyond just teaching technical skills. She focuses on building confidence, providing knowledge, and fostering an environment that ignites a passion for technology in her students. She believes by sparking early interest in STEM fields, particularly through fun and engaging tools like BBC microbit coding, she can propel girls towards successful careers in tech and engineering.

Tanie’s dedication extends beyond the classroom. She is a vocal advocate for girls and women in STEM, actively promoting inclusivity and diversity within the tech industry. Her work ensures that young girls, regardless of background, have a seat at the table and are equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive in the digital world.

In her free time, Tanie enjoys volunteering, reading, and staying active on social media, particularly TikTok.

1. What practical boundaries have you set to avoid work encroachment on your personal time?

Structured Work Hours: allocating specific hours to focus on business activities. This helps me create a clear separation between work and personal life.

Designated Workspace: I have a dedicated workspace where I conduct most of my professional tasks. This not only enhances productivity but also allows me to physically leave work behind when stepping away.


2. Morning meeting: What animal represents your mood during that first
call?

I’d say a cat because I love my nap! But I also like to stay committed and concentrated to work meetings

 

3. What challenges do you face in staying updated with the latest industry trends and technologies?

As a 21-year-old founder in the tech industry, staying updated with the latest industry trends and technologies is crucial for the success of my ventures. However, I have encountered a few challenges with this:

Rapid Technological Advancements: The tech industry evolves at a rapid pace, with new innovations and technologies emerging frequently. Keeping up with these advancements can be challenging, as it requires constant learning and adaptation.

Time Constraints:Balancing the operational aspects of my business with the need to stay informed about the latest trends can be a juggling act. Finding dedicated time for learning amid a busy schedule is a constant challenge.

4. Flats or stilettos? How do you set the footwear mood for the day

Stilettos for Confidence: I think the added height can provide a confidence boost, and bring out a leading aura

5. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in your career? 
Build a Strong Network: Networking is not just about exchanging business cards; it’s about cultivating genuine relationships. Invest time in building a diverse network of professionals, mentors, and peers. These connections can provide valuable insights, guidance, and support throughout your career.

Prioritize your mental health : In the fast-paced tech industry, it’s easy to get consumed by work. However, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for long-term success and personal well-being. Allocate time for relaxation, hobbies, and spending time with loved ones.

Celebrate Small Wins:
 Acknowledge and celebrate small victories along the way. Building a startup can be challenging, and recognizing your achievements, no matter how minor, contributes to a positive mindset and motivation.

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