In Conversation: Kesego Tumisang (Tech Lead, Spectrum Analytics)

Kesego has loved tech since his formative years. Fast forward a few years and a combination of passion and a "knack for problem-solving" has led him to a career journey that has comprised of promoting the growth of tech in Botswana. In this interview, he speaks on his early beginnings, his numerous roles in the Botswana tech ecosystem, and so much more!

In your own words, please tell us who Kesego Tumisang is

Kesego is a tech enthusiast through and through. I am fascinated by anything tech and above all building community around tech, both locally and internationally. 

I’m currently a Tech Lead at Spectrum Analytics

Briefly take us through your tech career journey to where you are at the moment

I did Computer Science at the University of Botswana, and halfway there I discovered that we were not learning enough, it started with the Microsoft Imagine Cup and since then I never really stopped exploring this tech ecosystem, which put me on a path to become a lead organizer for GDG Gaborone, a community of developers interested and enthusiastic about Google Developer technologies.

What motivated you to pursue tech as a career?

I have always been a curious kid and it helped that our village had a Kitsong Center(Technology Center), which was set up by BOTEC(now called BITRI). I used to spend my time there from as far back as 2004 to around 2007. I think my fascination with how tech works is what got me to pursue a career in tech, bundled with the knack for problem-solving. What happened after was just remnants of the stuff I was exposed to as a child.

You are currently involved in a couple of roles in the Botswana tech ecosystem. Please take us through each one and tell us what it entails

My GDG Lead role is just acting as a liaison between my community and the various teams within the developer ecosystem, be it Google Developer technology teams, tech companies both internationally and locally, as well as students across various campuses.

As a World Summit Award Local expert for Botswana, my role is to identify tech projects that can compete for the World Summit Awards as well as advise how best they could package their projects where necessary. I am sometimes on the judging panel.

I also work with Africa Code Week as a trainer, which involves me teaching kids how to code

My role as a tech lead at Spectrum Analytics involves figuring out the tech stack necessary for the kind of job we are supposed to do and figuring out the skills needed to execute.

What is your favorite part of the work that you do?

While it seems mundane, some of the work we do influences the local tech ecosystem. I enjoy teaching kids how to code and it is refreshing to see them figure out how to structure their code and collaborate with each other. 

You have been an active part of the Botswana tech ecosystem for a while now. In your opinion, how much has it grown in the time you have been in it, and what could be done to accelerate this growth?

Honestly speaking, we have come a long way, and I am proud to say the tech ecosystem is growing and one of the things that have been a thorn is underpaid talent. This is slowly getting better though. Some devs are starting to get paid market value. We can accelerate the growth by building a community around tech because until we are collectively level with global talent, we will continue to be overlooked for international talent. Companies should also put resources toward upskilling students in order to ensure a market-ready workforce, which will, in turn, reduce the budget needed to train fresh graduates. This mentality of waiting for already trained devs without contributing to the training must stop, developer communities are an easier and cheaper way to contribute to an upskilled workforce.

Are there any future tech projects that you are involved in, in your numerous roles in the Botswana tech ecosystem, that you would like to give our readers a sneak peek into?

Off the top of my head, I can only mention 2 projects; Hack4Blood and MmaB. The former aims to understand and try to solve the blood shortage in the country using data.

MmaB aims to make the vulnerable people visible to relevant authorities by digitizing the social welfare program processes.

You can also expect to see a lot of social projects where we teach kids coding, that one happens from time to time.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

Being part of a multidisciplinary team is always something I will always be proud of, and it gave us a chance to demonstrate what we usually preach about what kind of team is required to build a tech product

What’s something you know now that you wish you knew earlier in your career?

Developer communities are very important in building a career in tech, they encourage collaboration

If any, what is the best advice you have received in your career?

Fail fast

Career-wise, where do you see Kesego in the next 5-10 years?

That’s a tough one, but my focus is on building and improving my portfolio

What advice can you give to young people who are interested in pursuing a career in tech?

Try as much as you can to be part of developer communities, ask questions

Lastly, please share with our readers your contact details in case they want to get in touch with you  

NB: Interview has been slightly edited for clarity

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