Passing the baton – ETS builds powerhouse women IT professionals of the future
South Africa is not the only country facing a shortage of IT skills. “The widening of the skills gap requires an urgent intervention,” says ETS CEO Zandi Mbele, who is actively involved in the transfer of skills to young women in IT. This will ensure a relevant and solid skills pipeline equipped to drive the 4IR in South Africa.
Mbele, who acquired a 100% share of ETS Innovations through her Jubilee Line Consulting business, making ETS the only black woman-owned level one B-BBEE Oracle Field Service Delivery Partner in South Africa, is now focused on building the skills of her company’s interns, enabling them to become professional database administrators.
With a passion for skills development, Mbele is taking a personal interest in ETS’s training and professional development programmes, working to certify young ICT practitioners – particularly young women – in areas such as databases, infrastructure, cloud and security.
ETS is a specialised ICT company focusing on providing infrastructure, database, software and integration solutions mainly for Oracle. The company also focuses on cloud services, security solutions and ERP. Mbele says as much as there is a huge uptake of cloud services and migration, there are still lots of clients that have on-premises database appliances that ETS looks after.
It is through this background that ETS’s training focus is on the training of database administrators (DBAs). Senzekile Zwane, now an Associate DBA, is among the interns who have benefited extensively from ETS’s structured training. Zwane joined the internship programme after completing computer sciences studies at Ekurhuleni West Tvet College. She acquired training including Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, Microsoft Azure Administrator, Managing Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365 Fundamentals, Microsoft 365 Identity and Services and Microsoft 365 Messaging.
Following the acquisition of ETS, she realigned to focus on database administration, completing the Oracle Database 19c Overview for Sales, Oracle Database 21c Overview, Database Options Introduction, Oracle Database Diagnostics and Tuning Overview, Maximum Availability Architecture 2021 Solution Engineer, Oracle Database 19c Solution Engineer Specialist, Lab – Database Security Basics 2022 Solution Engineer, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Foundations 2021 Certified Associate-OCI Foundations 2021 Associate 1Z0-1085-21 and Server and Storage Support Consultant Guided Learning Paths training. In addition, she was part of the formal ETS career development mentorship and training.
“Thanks to ETS, I have grown exponentially, and feel confident that I can take over the world in the IT space,” Zwane says. “I’m on a journey to become a fully qualified DBA, addressing challenges and solutions for our clients. Learning Oracle was a particularly exciting step for me, as I had never experienced it before. ETS has also helped refine our communication and general business skills. Our senior executives and all our male colleagues have been totally supportive of us throughout our professional development. This has built our company loyalty – I can’t explain how grateful I am.”
Nolukhanyo Booi, Associate DBA, joined after attaining qualifications in civil engineering from Central Johannesburg College. She discovered an interest in IT and refocused her studies through a learnership programme where she qualified in systems development.
Her certifications acquired as an intern have, over 18 months, included MB-910: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals (CRM), PL-900: Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals, MS-203: Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate, AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, PL-200:Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant, MS-203: Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert, AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies, Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert, MS-700: Microsoft 365 Certified: Teams Administrator Associate, AZ-103: Microsoft Azure Administrator, Certified Change Practitioner (from Prosci Certification Program), Hitachi Vantara Solutions for Sales Professionals (SCC2560), HITACHI: Essential Sales Tools for Partners (XTS4006S) and HITACHI: Essential Sales Tools for Partners (XTS4006S).
Booi too focused on database administration after the ETS acquisition, with her skills development including training such as Database Overview, Oracle Database Licensing Concepts, Oracle Database 19c Overview for Sales, Oracle Database 21c Overview, Database Options Introduction, Oracle Database Diagnostics and Tuning Overview, Maximum Availability Architecture 2021 Solution Engineer, Oracle Database 19c Solution Engineer Specialist, Lab – Database Security Basics 2022 Solution Engineer, Server and Storage Support Consultant Guided Learning Paths, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Foundations 2021 Certified Associate-OCI Foundations 2021 Associate (1Z0-1085-21) (Exam)
Booi believes data is the future, and wants to play a role in this space: “I want to ensure that I’m part of transformation and what’s happening in the tech space. For me, this path is about exploring and learning new things. With ETS, we have been fortunate to attain the tools to navigate the 4IR terrain. I have been supported in refining my career path and developing my skills – both technical and softer skills such as presentation and communication,” she says. As a young woman in IT, she has not encountered challenges working in a male-dominated field, Booi says. “ETS is a large and trusted company, so you already have a seal of approval. In-house, we get so much support from management and our male colleagues, we don’t feel we have to constantly prove ourselves, but can focus on learning.”
Zwane and Booi are among a few young women interns who have benefited from ETS internships in the past two years. Mbele says she is currently focusing on increasing the number of interns and contribute to uplifting the skills of young women in the world of IT. “I don’t only design programmes for training, but also mentor the young interns.
“I believe attitude is everything – if they have the right enthusiasm and willingness to learn, they will always succeed in life.”