Andre offers more than a decade of experience in the IT industry, with a focus on Application Development. With over 15 years in this specialized field, he has delivered projects in several countries including Australia and the United Kingdom fulfilling different roles within the SDLC (System Development Life cycle).

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Andre is currently employed by the Business Connexion Group as a Managing Executive: Application Services. In his role he heads up application development teams that deliver and maintain systems which provide enhanced, measurable and automated business processes that reduce the turnaround times of achieving sales and therefore improving sales productivity for Business Connexion. Specific emphasis is given to driving SaaS (Software as a Service) and Cloud computing strategies.

Andre grew the Business Unit from R6 million to R310 million in 6 years, with 30% year on year growth. Increased the market share to 22% in the South African App Development market.

He holds a BCom in Informatics from the University of Pretoria, (Cum Laude) and graduated top of his class. With passion for software development as well as his accumulated skills and experience, he remains hugely optimistic about IT solutions developed on the African continent.

Specialities:

Mobility | Business Intelligence | Cloud | Apps | Application Services | ECM (Enterprise Content Management)

An average day

My average day consists of being exposed to opportunities, concepts & business proposals.  In this environment, it is absolutely critical to be able to filter through the “not so great” ideas and the ideas that could lead to the next great Application.  You need to be able to trust and rely on your gut feeling to decide which opportunities are worth exploring further.

My days are also filled with various product launches and show & tells from development teams, increasing efficiency & performance, new hires, and leading, mentoring & supporting staff.

Large part of this job is client facing – specifically partnering with clients on new opportunities, assessing new requirements and Account Management.

This type of position requires absolute creativity, it is so critical in order to realize the potential of business opportunities.  It is all about process efficiency and maximized opportunities.

It is an everyday balancing act between being Entrepreneurial, but within a Corporate environment.

Journey to success

I started my career as a programmer in Australia and started in management at a very young age.  I worked in London and then returned to South Africa, intent on making a success of my career.

In terms of qualifications required, a great start for a career in this environment would be to get a certification, especially in a programming language that is in demand.  Prince 2 PM certification is a great added advantage as well as a Business Degree.  Once you have the appropriate experience, an MBA is an absolute must – but never do your MBA too early – it is so much more beneficial once you have the experience.  In essence, a Business Degree complimented with a technical certification is a great start towards your career path.

The normal career path an employee would follow would typically be to start off as a Junior Programmer, advancing to Programmer, Senior Programmer and then Principal Programmer.  The next step would be a Technical lead.  At this stage an employee could decide whether to follow the Sales, Management or Technology stream.

Personality Profile to match

Definitely an extrovert – with loads of creativity, innovation and an entrepreneur at heart.  Communication skills are so important.  An unstructured thinker would thrive in this environment.  You have to have the ability to work in a non routine environment and be comfortable with flexi hours.

Challenges to face head on

The balancing act of leading in a corporate environment while being entrepreneurial and taking new opportunities as ideas and concepts and creating those into Applications.

Show me the Money!

Average market salary currently around R1.5 – R3 million per annum.

Years to reach this level

15 Years

The Environment

It is very much a “Google” type fun environment.  Agile, creation of new products and applications – it is a very happy medium between being professional, and having fun at the same time. 

In closing

This role doesn’t entail being a glorified Project manager – although you would need to be able to manage Project Managers.  It consists of loads of presentations, events, public speaking – so relationships & communication skills are key!

You need to go through the ropes of technical roles and even though at this level you might not be technical on a daily basis, you have to manage technical resources.  The fun part is being exposed to all types of industries and businesses.

About The Author

Heidi Duvenage is a Serial Entrepreneur and has been die Founder of various ICT & Recruitment companies over the last 10 years.She holds a BComm (law) (industrial Psychology), Targeted Selection Administrator and Registered DDI Facilitator. She has in excess of 14 years’ experience recruiting & managing corporate accounts on infrastructure, service & SAP Projects. She has consulted to various recruitment agencies with emphasis on business analysis, profit improvement projects & company restructuring. She was the recipient of the Creating Leadership & Personal Capacity in Women award. You can follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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