“There is definitely a need to bring younger people into the industry across all regions." - Professor Barry Dwolatzky
The world is becoming an energised planet laced with technological developments. Not quite ‘The Jetsons’ but technology is here to stay and grow forever.
It is an embracing of this concept that Barry Dwolatzky (the professor of Software Engineering at Wits University and Director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits), is asking the world’s youth to understand. In a fast paced world where everything is at our fingertips is important for us to now use technology to create opportunity rather than demand it.
Dwolatzky grabbed the FirstStep.me team’s attention with a single phrase “where are tomorrow’s Software Engineers”. We setup a time with him to find out more – surely in a world engulfed in technology there is a strong workforce driving it!
Dwolatzky has other ideas, with such a high technology demand we need to grow more developers and expand the areas where talent is cultivated. Although Dwolatzky may be softly spoken, his words provide strength that stems from well over thirty years of experience. Our discussion ranges from the importance of mathematics in high school, a need for stronger business acumen to coincide with technology and the creative use of technology. Most importantly though, we discuss how the industry’s future lies in the uncertain hands of the youth.
Representing a South African example, Dwolatzky is pursuing a goal to make the software engineering field an attractive education and career path to follow. South Africa, he explains, provides an understanding of a historical industry that is in desperate need of more skilled people.
“South Africa has one of the oldest software engineering industries in the world. However, it is an industry that is hurting with a lack of interested talent and professionals. The South African software industry needs to face the challenges of perception and the ability to market its offerings better”.
If South Africa is in need of special attention, what is the global status for software engineers and the industry itself? It is a question worth asking. After all if Richard Branson wants to send people to space, the progress of technology now seems outlandish or better still out of this world.
“There is definitely a need to bring younger people into the industry across all regions. Modern day technology hubs within London and Silicon Valley are seen as industry trendsetters. However the key is for regions that haven’t utilised their potential to start doing so. Therefore creating a greater technology pool to choose and create from.”
Professor Barry Dwolatzky speaks enthusiastically about the need for a strong education grounding from a grassroots level and how South Africa has huge potential to contribute to the development of innovative digital technology. Establishing technology hubs in South Africa would drive this process. He is providing a much needed voice for an industry is shaping the world’s needs and wants on a global. More importantly though, he is raising awareness of a talent pool in need gearing itself towards creating instead of demanding.
Find out more about – JCSE.org.za
*Images reproduced with the permission of Brainstorm magazine, photographed by Karolina Komendera