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Clavian Wiyala

IT Officer

Solargen Technologies Ltd

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Do not fear challenges because they make you better, wiser, stronger and this makes the goal sweeter.


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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a systems administrator and I help the other employees in my organization to efficiently run business operations through the systems I manage. I ensure that an accountant can enter data and figures and that the system automatically gives back the balances owed or the interest accrued by a customer.

I do backend coding for our website so that the information on our website is always accurate and inquiries are redirected to concerned personnel within the organization.

I diagnose and troubleshoot laptops, printers and routers to restore them back to optimum functionality. I train our staff on proper system use and effective use of ICT resources in their daily tasks for sustainability.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I have a background in customer service and sales because I really enjoyed meeting new people and closing on deals. My progress in business administration saw me grow into a retail assistant branch manager for an international brand in the leather industry. It was while I was there that our computers would have problems and my knack for computers would have me solve the small problems we faced at our branch. Team members would call me when their desktops were acting up or when they needed help with computer settings. That is how my interest grew and decided to take that path and further my education in Business and Information Technology.

Looking back at my life, I can say i was meant to do this because I enjoy the problem solving aspect and the exciting bit of building or creating or developing systems from the ground up.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

I come from a family of 6 children and we lost our father when I was 6 years old. The six of us were raised by a single parent and being chased from school because of lack of school fees was a thing we got used to. Other students would pick on me and make fun every time my name was called to leave the classroom but that did not deter me.

I lost a whole year out of school because we we could not raise school fees. I was out of school for a month and a miracle happened when the then headmaster, Mr. Ndonyi of Moi Forces Academy, Mombasa came looking for me. He allowed me finish my studies on credit. I later paid up after I got my first job as a waitress.

My mantra is, “never say die, never give up.”

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

I had thought ICT was for men because growing up, I never knew any woman who was working in this field. I wish i had started with IT as my first career because it is so much fun doing the things I do now and I love it.

Even now it is difficult to find women who are in the same field, for instance I recently went for an interview and there were 7 men and I. We have to normalise and start teaching girls early that the power is in their hands.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

The problem solving and the creation, keeps me learning, excited and energized. I am extremely analytical and see problems even before they happen. I think of that problem, how it would happen, its effects, the possible solutions up to plan D.

They say the secret is in the details, and that is why I love coding because a line of code can fail just because of a syntax or comma. I enjoy meeting people and my work lets me do this everyday through face to face, emails or calls.

The positive impact of solving another’s problem is pure satisfaction and it fuels my zeal in wanting to improve myself which will in turn help me in solving any system issues that may arise.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

To all the girls who will read this, It is okay to listen to opinions but only you know what you want to achieve. You can do it. Dream big then get to work and make it happen.

Do not fear challenges because they make you better, wiser, stronger and this makes the goal sweeter.

INSPIRATION

Our greatest strength is manifested in our hour of weakness.

Respect is earned.

Don't raise your voice, raise your argument.