Community Enterprise Developers Interviews

Meet the Enterprise Developers – Interview Series #4: Cloud Infrastructure DBaaS domain

Enterprise developers play a critical role in driving innovation, maintaining security, and ensuring the smooth operation of large-scale IT systems within organisations. Despite their importance, we have seen a noticeable decline in the number of enterprise developers across various domains. Particularly within the data analytics and business intelligence sectors, this drop is significant, decreasing from approximately 20% last year to around 14% this year (source: Q1 2024 Pulse Report).

In our ongoing Enterprise Developer Series, we’re striving to provide insights from professionals in the field. Our latest interviewee, who wishes to remain anonymous, will be referred to as Dev C. Dev C. shares their experiences and perspectives on working as an enterprise software developer at Oracle, offering valuable insights into the benefits, challenges, and evolving landscape of the industry.

Q. Can you briefly describe your Job as an Enterprise Software Developer?

Dev C. I work in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure – Database as a Service team where we get to work in developing many cloud related services and platforms that help customers.

Q. What are some of the challenges and benefits of working at a large company compared to a start-up?

Dev C. I would say there are no such benefits now, earlier my answer would have been job security but recent trends have proven this wrong, one benefit could be the culture and flexibility you get at least in Oracle. 

Challenges come in the form of financial increments and growth potential in some teams.

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Transparency is needed

Q. If you could change one thing about how your organisation operates, what would it be?

Dev C. I would like a more transparent view about the growth of an individual rather than just be dependent on the manager and I think I would like to hire more people.

Using AI for education

Our latest Pulse Report shows that almost 55% of developers have used AI-assisted development tools for code generation tasks in the past 12 months, however, how does a company like Oracle view AI? Here is what Dev C has to say about Oracle’s policies.

Q. How is AI impacting your day-to-day life? Is there a policy regarding the use of AI tools in your company?

Dev C. Yes there is. But it’s related to not using it to generate code and use company proprietary code there, we can use it to educate ourselves or learn about different services.

Dependency on tools

Q. How much of your work depends on specific tools, frameworks, programming languages or cloud providers?

Dev C. A lot of it is using different frameworks.

Skill Development

Q: How do you keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date?

Dev C. Mostly by working on different projects, but sometimes if I find something interesting out of the scope of my work, I use youtube and other learning tools to update myself.

Mutual decision making

Q: How much influence do you’ve when it comes to procuring a new tool or service to support the projects at work?

Dev C. It’s a mutual team-wide discussion.

Through our conversation with Dev C., we’ve gained a good understanding of the dynamic role enterprise developers play within large organizations like Oracle. From navigating the challenges of growth and financial increments to leveraging AI for educational purposes, their insights highlight the evolving landscape of enterprise development. 

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As we continue our Enterprise Developer Series, we aim to shed light on the experiences and perspectives of professionals who are shaping the future of enterprise technology. Stay tuned for more interviews and insights from the world of enterprise development.

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Community Interviews

[Interview] Women in Tech: Diversity and Inclusion

It is increasingly recognized that a successful workplace depends on diversity and inclusion in any organization. Moreover, we now have proof of the correlation between gender diversity and better business performance. Efforts are made to increase diversity in the more traditional ecosystems, i.e including women in tech, finance or data analytics. However, data show we are not quite there yet: 

Female developers responding to our survey were outnumbered by males by a ratio of 1 to 10 (9% women and 91% men). This suggests a global population of 1.7 million women developers and 17 million men.’ [State of the Developer Nation report, 16th edition]

That said, significant progress has been made in acknowledging the issue, and discussing it openly. We see many inclusion initiatives taking place in different forms and across all fields. In the past, we have interviewed a couple of very dynamic women in tech roles, specifically Silvana and Rachel.

Today, we are meeting with Naomi Molefe, Innovation + Digital Talent Consultant and the SA Chairperson in Women in Big Data to discuss and learn more about this initiative.

In your mission we read “WiBD is an industry initiative with the mission to inspire, connect, grow, and champion the success of women in this field.” Tell us one of the inspiring stories you share with women who reach out to you.

I do not come from a technical background; my training was in the social sciences. I majored in psychology and later completed a business master’s degree in strategic management. When I was interviewing for an internship at data analytics and innovation organisation in Dublin, I told the hiring manager that I did not belong there and that they had made a mistake by shortlisting me. He told me that my business skills were needed by the organisation and my professional background had provided me the kind of exposure and access to leadership that no one in that intern group possessed.

I was selected as one of the 6 interns for that summer and I did not look back ever since. 

The imposter syndrome and self-exclusion is a real thing. I tell the ladies we connect and engage with to be aware of it, but not let it dictate which opportunities they choose to pursue.

What are the questions women that reach out to you first ask? Which problems are they trying to tackle?

There are 2 main types of questions that we get.

The first is:  “How does one get involved in Tech?” (these are women who don’t come from a traditional tech background). The second: “How can I pivot my career and use the skills I have acquired over the years to prepare for the emerging tech roles?” (women who have the technical background required but are interested in the emerging fields like machine learning). 

South Africa, like many emerging markets is leap frogging both in developing technologies and as well as in creating new patterns and ways of working. The demand for tech talent is also huge. Many of the women we engage with seem to be intimidated by the language and framing of how artificial intelligence will disrupt their current roles.

What brought you to WiBD? Where did you kick off your career?

I kicked off my career in academic research with a study that was a collaborative effort between the University of Pretoria and Johns Hopkins University in the USA. It was a phenomenal experience in learning how to collect qualitative and quantitative data and the analysis of it.

I grew into business research and applying it to the search of C-Suite leadership; my reintroduction into Data analytics with tech as an enabler was during a summer internship at AON’s Centre for Innovation and Analytics (ACIA), in Dublin Ireland. When I came back to South Africa, after my studies in Dublin, I wanted to join a community where I would learn as much as I can and grow my Big data skills, particularly for the emerging markets. At the time Big data was not a field that was widely talked about in the media and other forums, so joining such a community seemed like a promising option for me.

I came across an article on LinkedIn by the German chapter lead for WIBD, about an event they would soon be hosting. I connected with her and we started talking about how I could join the community. The more we spoke the more I realised that South African women could benefit from this community too.

So, I was elected to be the founder of the South African chapter. I assembled a team of phenomenal women and we have managed to create quite a significant reach and awareness about careers in Big data. We can’t wait to do more!

Lately we see efforts being made, on a global scale to embrace diversity in all industries. What real challenges are there still for women in tech in South Africa, involved in Big Data?

Breaking into this field is proving to be a challenge because the majority of women in South Africa are in highly administrative roles that don’t require technical skills. We have created training programs in place to assist women who are interested in learning and have an appetite for working in data science or analytics. The programs are beginner and all the way up to advanced level for any topic around Big data.

Fortunately, the companies we have been reaching out to partner with us, have embraced our goal and support efforts to include more women into this field.

This is our first year of operation, and we are confident that the more women become aware of our community, the more our workshops and events will grow. The goal is to help women pivot in their current roles and build on the skills that will help them pursue a career path in Big data.

Most people think that they must be Einstein smart to be in this field; which is not true, anyone can work in Big data. There are challenges around self-deselection and confidence building; particularly because our target audience is women.

And what has been a major breakthrough to celebrate?

We recently hosted an introductory workshop to Machine Learning, for women of all professional levels and ages. We tried to partner with as many community ecosystems as possible, to enable us to reach a diverse pool of women. We focused on bringing in women-centric communities that aim at helping women to develop all types of technical skills- from coding to Ai ethics. We also addressed the broader issue of how to cope with the challenges specific to Africa.
To celebrate our one-year anniversary we are hosting a data challenge hosted by Zindi Africa (a data science competition platform). The exercise is asking participants to provide an estimate of the percentage of female headed households in South Africa, using open source data.

We are extremely proud of this opportunity since it is going to get female data scientists flexing their muscles and connecting with other women in tech and female data scientists on the continent. We will celebrate their efforts when the competition closes (March 2020)-the same month as the International Women’s day.

What would be your message to women trying to get into technology and / or Big Data? How can we have more women in tech?

I always say, start with what you have. The professional skill set, and educational background are a good base that will be beneficial to your chosen field within Big data. Remain curious in finding out how new technologies can help you leverage your current role, Big data cuts across all business functions.
Also, you got this! Don’t let that imposter syndrome tell you any different!

Can you share any KPIs or other indicators that you use to track the impact of your work at the WiBD?

We use different channels to measure our reach and impact. The digital metrics that we focus on are the community numbers on our core social media platforms – LinkedIn and Twitter. We look at the engagement and reach of the forum, because the more people know about us, the more women we will be able to communicate with and attract into the community.

We also look at survey data that we distribute periodically to ensure that we are not putting together content that our members do not understand or cannot engage with. We have video testimonies of members who have attended our events that indicate their sentiment level and willingness to come back and bring friends to other events we host.

Also, we have recently partnered with a telecommunication operator to advertise their Big data vacancies on our local site. The idea is that in the future we will be able to use this metric to understand whether our members are being offered job opportunities that contribute to their professional development and ultimately increase inclusion of women in Big data fields (as per our mission statement).

Do you have a personal vision guiding you? And if so, how is this WiBD part of it?

What has been a motivator for me ever since I was younger, was the power of women, being able to achieve so much with so little. I have always been in awe of my mother’s ability to make more from the little that she has. I approach my goals with that same mindset. WiBD plays a part in that. I live out this vision, together with the leadership team and we are able to touch so many women’s lives with the work that we do. Coupled with that mindset, there is a tenacity that can carry us (me) through some of the most challenging situations, to achieve what we have set our minds to.

WiBD was established by women who wanted to promote evolution in how women saw themselves within Tech. That vision is always guiding us, every time we host an event.

Is there a WiBD upcoming event?

Our latest event was in collaboration with a variety of learning communities for women. Ιt was a workshop on the Ιntroduction to #MachineLearning4womxn by womxn– webpage:

How can one become a member of the WiBD?

We have communities in Europe, LATAM and North America. Those interested in joining us can check out our global page: If you are based in South Africa, you can check out our local page. Τhere is a sign-on tab you can complete and keep in touch with our activities. (Local website:

Bonus part: To contribute to the effort of empowering women in tech worldwide, /Data will be donating $0.10 for every developer who completes the new Developer Economics survey, to the WiBD South Africa. Take the survey here!

Naomi Molefe @_naomiza or LinkedIn:

Short Bio: Naomi is the Chair for the South African chapter of Women in Big Data. A global non-profit organisation with a community of 14000 women, that aims to connect, inspire and increase the inclusion of women in tech and specifically in Big Data fields. Naomi, is part of the organising committee for the Deep Learning Indaba X 2020; an academic community of African researchers and practitioners in machine learning and artificial intelligence. She considers herself a community builder and diversity talent specialist. She has extensive experience in Executive Talent acquisition and management, across sectors in Mining, Telecommunications, Financial Services and Media Entertainment. Naomi holds a Master of Science degree in Strategic Management and Planning from triple accredited UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, in Dublin Ireland.

women in tech

Business Interviews

Developer Heroes: Silvana the Elastigirl on Women in Tech

Recently there’s been a lot of discussion on the role of women in tech. There’s a rising concern about the stereotypical views towards women in the nearshore services market, as the recent article by our partner Belatrix also shows.

Business Community Interviews

Developer Heroes: Meet Rachel a.k.a the Wonder Woman

Who? Developer hero: Rachel Bilski

Where? Brighton, UK.

What? Web developer, agency-side

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 Hello! Tell us about your role and what you do:

 I mainly work as a web developer, both front- and back-end. I do a lot of CMS work, with existing CMS platforms, and I also build content management systems from scratch, mainly working with PHP.

What kind of languages do you work with?

In the front-end, I use the standards – HTML, CSS, JavaScript. I also dabble with things like Python, Ruby on Rails. And of course PHP.

How did you get started?

Well the real story is that, when I was 13, I liked going to fan sites for Buffy the Vampire Slayer – so I learned how to build my own fan site through Lissa Explains it All. Which some developers may remember from back in the olden days!

Can we see that site on the Wayback Machine?

Can you see it? No, you cannot! But, the legit explanation of how I became a web developer is that I originally worked games development, then in QA which I didn’t really enjoy, so I moved to web development.

You’re agency-side. How do you think that compares with in-house development?

I like to say in-house is a little more straightforward, only because you get to work on a project for a long time, for years potentially. But in agencies, there’s usually a wider variety of work, and you have to be pretty flexible.  

What are clients asking for right now?

We get a lot of requests for emerging technologies now, but clients are not necessarily sure what to do with them. They’ll say: “we want to do something with VR or AR” or “we want to do 3D, 360 video or 3D worlds” or whatever. We have to guide them through the options.

How helpful do you find developer surveys?

If you’re a developer who works in an agency or a freelance developer, it’s easy to forget about the business side of things. And maybe you’re not a natural sales person. I mean it’s taken me a number of years to become more commercially minded, which helps me get involved in more business-related decisions about the tech we use and why.

Do you think developers sometimes undersell themselves?

Yeah, I would say so.

Have you found any challenges working in a male-dominated industry?

I’ve had both good and bad experiences. I work in a predominantly female developer team, which has been nothing but positive.

I also go to events for women in technology, because I like to talk to other women who are in my field. But, I’ve also experienced some negative things. Not always outright, but you do pick up on – to use a buzzword – microaggressions.

People can be dismissive. You know, sometimes if I go to a meeting with a male colleague, people will talk to him and ignore me even though on a technical front we’re at the same level. Which is another reason why I like to go to women’s groups because they don’t automatically assume you don’t know what you’re talking about.

You think things are changing?

I think some things are changing. There’s a lot more diversity programmes, not just for women but for LGBT groups and other minority groups.  

But, I think that until there’s a bigger culture change… it’s not that women don’t want to go into tech, it’s just they don’t want to go into this tech environment. They don’t want to go somewhere where they’re not wanted.

So where do you go to get tech-related news?

Well, Twitter. But there are also loads of developers on Reddit, though I rarely comment. But I do have a male-sounding handle on Reddit for when I do comment.

Has that actually helped?

Yeah, people take you far more seriously. In fact, a lot of women do the same thing. That’s sadly the way it has to be sometimes!

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What’s going up and what’s going down in the software industry?

There’s been a lot of focus on how people are using messaging applications more at the moment and generalised open social media is a bit more in the decline, which is leading to a lot more of things such as chatbots which are really interesting, and artificial intelligence (or ‘fake’ artificial intelligence) which I personally find really interesting. From finance, to health, to learning, I think it’s a great way to make these products and campaigns more helpful and user-friendly, keeping up with how our use of technology is changing.

And there’s VR of course, that’s had a real surge over the last year or so as the kits become more affordable and more widespread, especially as use in business seems to be increasing.

Personally I think the use of (and requests for) mobile apps has really declined, as people have realised how much can be done with just the web alone, and more things are done using messaging platforms, people are realising you don’t need an app for every little thing – which is great, because it makes the web a little more open, you aren’t locked away in an app for each activity or company. Similarly, a couple of years ago, everyone wanted a Facebook application – you don’t see those anymore at all!

Are you working on the projects you would like to work on?

I am, I get to work on a real variety of projects which is great. I love the power of the web and what we can do with it now, so I love working on the more cutting edge projects we get to do sometimes, but even something as simple as building a website up from scratch – from just an idea and a goal to a fully formed website that helps people find what they need or helps get a message out there is wonderful. I love seeing our projects go from a quickly sketched wireframe to a real website.

I would definitely like to work with more artificial intelligence type stuff though – so I’m hoping we get some projects like that in soon!

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What super power  would you like to have and  what’s your favourite super hero ?

I don’t know!! I guess if I was a superhero I would like to have the ability to consume and understand huge amounts of information at a time…like a computer.

But it’s not a very good superpower.

My favourite superhero is Wonder Woman of course!

If you would like to feature in our Meet the Devs series, let us know.