Tuesday, 17 March 2020

On 20th work-anniversary

This month marks my 20th work-anniversary as an engineering professional. Twenty years with the changing landscape of MediaTech PayTV Software Systems.

Looking back to how it all started: It took a few nervous months to land my first job after graduation '99. Getting anxious by-the-day after previously declining a forensics post at Deloitte; declined another Oracle DB admin at Vodacom as well, I waited for a pukka engineering role. I wanted to build stuff, my hard slog of 4 years studying electronic & software engineering should be put to good use after-all!

Altech UEC (which no longer exists today but was once SA's engineering darling) finally offered an entry-level engineer-in-training post. This introduced me to the world of digital TV set top box development. A year later, I was off to Dublin Ireland, working with Europe's top silicon & software design services house (S3 Group. now Accenture). 20 months later, off to Southampton UK, working with NDS (was Cisco, now Synamedia), the best engineering & management experience - we built some cool stuff light-years ahead of the times; and ran some massively complex projects. I spent 8 years there in UK, before returning home to SA (as a foreigner nogal!), to work with Multichoice, Africa's best storyteller, helping build NextGen Internet-TV products.

From engineer-in-training to CTO-Head-of-Technology in 20 years... Who could've thought, growing up in apartheid South Africa, underprivileged socially & financially, blue-collar family. Engineering was my 3rd choice, the practical one, the one that made most sense economically, after being accepted to medical school but not having the financial support to pursue...

Truly grateful to many-a-friend, family-member & colleagues for helping me get to see this milestone.

#gratitude shout outs to my past colleagues - you've left an impression I will not forget. #shoutout to all these great people that I've learnt so much from, thank you!
Waldemar Keyser David Siedle Rajesh Madhanlala John Maguire Cathy Guinan Hermann Wakolbinger Liam Friel Steve Taylor James Cunningham Brinton King David Dinsdale Stewart Towler Mike Palmer Salik Miah Gareth Bowen Tom Burnley Steven Coul Matthew Howe Matt Spencer James Wilson David Mandelzweig Shlomi Rosenberg Steve Williams James Field Nick Thexton Gerdus van Eeden Phil Nicholson Anand Govender Mark Rayner Graeme Cumming Bradley Daniels John Kotsaftis Bradley Eliot Farid Essack Andrew Dallas

#careeradvice - Work hard, have grit, patience & perseverance. Always do your best work. Only You can make it happen! Take chances. Take calculated risks. Switch jobs every 2-3 years. Switch domains every 2-3 years. Switch industry every 5 years. Always keep moving forward. I am a product of my time, 20 years is too long to be in one industry, stay a maximum 5 years before moving on....I do feel an itch coming on! My next 20 years is going to be different - 2021 should be the year of change!