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Disregard Stereotypes: IT is For all, says Dona Musoke to Girls and Women

Dona Musoke, a Senior Infrastructure Network Operations Center (INOC) Engineer at Roke Telkom. COURTESY PHOTO

Dona Musoke, a Senior Infrastructure Network Operations Center (INOC) Engineer at Roke Telkom. COURTESY PHOTO

Dona Musoke is a Senior Infrastructure Network Operations Center (INOC) Engineer at Roke Telkom, a position she has worked hard to get. Prior to securing the position, Musoke joined the company as an intern and during that time she managed to train and develop her skills in networking. Following her thorough training, she later secured the position of Network OPERATIONS Center (NOC) Engineer, where she continued to learn and expand her expertise, leading to her securing her current position as a Senior Network Infrastructure Engineer and team lead at Roke Telkon.

A little bit about Dona Musoke, she was born in Nairobi, Kenya, however, she came to Uganda for her education — attending Gayaza High School (Ordinary Level), Makerere College School (Advanced Level), and then joined Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi where she attained a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology.

Being an International Girls in ICT day, Musoke caught our attention — and while talking to her, she shared her journey in tech and encouraged young girls not to give in to self-doubt or listen to stereotypes that IT professions are only meant for males.

How did you end up in the engineering profession, ICT in particular?

I was drawn to technology at an early age. I would watch as my brothers played with their toy gadgets. Fast forward a few years, and the gadgets had evolved into computers. It was only a matter of time before I took that same direction. My course at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi, a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology allowed me to feed this curiosity. Joining Roke Telkom as an intern allowed me to grow and apply my knowledge in tech in a real-time setting.

As we celebrate International Day of Women in ICT, in your opinion, what is the significance of this day?

This day is of great significance because it highlights the accomplishments and contributions of women in technology while encouraging and empowering young girls and women to pursue careers in ICT. Technology is fast proving to be a vital part of our lives and more girls need to get into the industry and take advantage of the different opportunities it brings. The stereotype that IT professions are strictly male-tailored is fast being proved wrong.

As a woman in ICT, how do you stay current with the changing ICT sector trends?

Two major things; First, I invest as much as I can in professional development. I constantly seek out opportunities for professional development, such as online courses. There’s a new development in the technology world every day, and learning is endless. I try to soak in as much information and knowledge as possible. Secondly, I network with other friends and colleagues in the industry to share knowledge and learn from their experiences.

What has been your biggest achievement in your ICT career?

My biggest achievement has been my professional growth at Roke Telkom. I started as an intern and through dedication and hard work, I have advanced to a senior network infrastructure engineer and a team lead. Witnessing the growth of both the team and the company as a result of our collective efforts is an accomplishment that I am proud of.

What is your view on the existing ICT landscape in Uganda compared to the global ICT industry?

While Uganda is not yet at the level of the world technology giants like Asia, America, and the rest of the world where tech is at its peak, we have shown some significant growth with government initiatives, such as the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure project which aims to enhance communications infrastructure and connectivity. We have several initiatives that facilitate advancements in ICT in Uganda.

By focusing on continued infrastructure development and innovation we will probably get to where the likes of global tech giants are.

How has Roke Telkom shaped your career?

Working at Roke Telkom has been instrumental in shaping my career. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best minds in the industry while also learning from them. Joining as an intern, I was welcomed into an inclusive environment that encourages open communication and collaboration. This culture allowed me to develop critical skills and establish professional relationships.

As I have grown within the company, I have been presented with opportunities to take on new challenges and responsibilities, which has helped me grow both as an individual and in my career.

Your advice to young girls and women aspiring to join the ICT Sector

Believe in yourself and your abilities. Do not let self-doubt hold you back from pursuing your goals, embrace learning by seeking out opportunities to expand your knowledge, and most importantly don’t let gender stereotypes discourage you from pursuing a career in ICT.

Any last words?

Together, let’s continue to encourage and support women in ICT. By empowering women in tech, we can build a more inclusive future for everyone.

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