In honour of moms in tech this Mother’s Day, we chat with our very own Super Mom, Sharika Seur. A Software Development Team Lead, Sharika is no stranger to juggling work and life and is currently busy with her dissertation for her MBA. She shares her words of wisdom with us below:
How long have you been at Derivco?
What has your career path been like?
I started in software development as an intern, writing code for a procurement system for the municipality without a ‘spec’. This created an opportunity for a fairly new role back then, a Business Analyst. I remained in this role for half a decade until I started managing projects from end to end. After another 5 years I started leading the people in the team, which is my present role.
What made you want to get into “tech”?
Honest answer? My mum forced me too. I had wanted to study Psychology, but my mum forced me to change this to Computer Science. I don’t regret that “forceful” decision at all. After all, mums know best.
What has your experience of being “a woman in tech” been?
Simply amazing. I’ve been challenged to be better, do better and most of all love what I do (you have too, and if you don’t, change it). I have worked with, and still work with, the clever minds with the fascinating personalities.
Do you have children and how old are they?
I’m a mum to 2 and half men, aged 7, 10 and 38!
How do you juggle being a mom with doing your job? i.e. How do you achieve work-life balance?
I don’t believe in work-life balance. It can’t be 50/50. I do what’s enough but sometimes the one can be more demanding than the other. Which is fine, you do what you need to, then move on. Which often means many late nights at the office, but also long family vacations.
When do you find time for yourself? And what do you do?
I make time for myself every day. I’m a runner and I simply love it. I have goals I want to achieve as an athlete. This does means daily training starts at 4:30 a.m. though. No excuses! I also have a clear idea of what needs my time, and I plan accordingly. Be it catch up with friends, a book I want to read, date night or simply couch time.
What’s your super power?
Endurance as a runner, Patience as a wife and Tolerance as a mum. Because you can’t just be Superman, mums need to be Wonder Woman.
What’s your weakness?
Lamb curry with roti.
Any last words of wisdom for new moms in tech?
Surround yourself with the support you need to live a healthy and happy life. Most importantly, love what you do at work, and if you don’t, then change it. We are in the most exciting era, we get to choose what we do and who we become, so don’t waste it. Mums in tech are in one of the most powerful roles – not just beauty but brains too. We don’t only wear our heart on our sleeve, we know when to crack the whip.
Mums, don’t stop believing in yourself, irrespective of your current challenges. Time is flying by and before you know it, the most precious years will be gone. We will become old and unable to enjoy the ride, so do it now.