Meet Naledi, aka Androva or Andy for short, a South African gamer and streamer. A self-proclaimed geek at heart, Naledi was first introduced to the world of tech when she stumbled on coding as she was trying to delete hidden files off of a flash drive to clear space for a school project. She discovered the Mac terminal on her father’s old eMac, and this sparked her interest in software development and technology as a whole.
Naledi tells us about her love for games and astronomy and her work in tech below:
Tell us about yourself, Naledi.
My name is Naledi Matutoane, but online I go by the tag Androva; you can call me Andy for short. I am an Apex/League of Legends/Valorant streamer by night and by day, I am a Junior Developer with a particular interest in Cloud Development and Backend Development. I have always had an interest in tech and science, and I have a strong interest in Gaming, Radio Astronomy, and Space Technology.
My aim is to be a diverse addition to the South African gaming/streaming/tech scenes.
You work in tech as a backend developer. Was this something you have always wanted to do? How did you get into the tech industry, and what has your experience been?
I didn’t know I wanted to be a developer per se; I knew I wanted to do something in tech, but I didn’t really know what that was until I first encountered coding in my last year in high school. It was a very watered-down version of coding, but it got me interested. I then went to an open day at WeThinkCode where I learned about the more practical and hands-on curriculum and I knew that I wouldn’t want to go to a traditional tertiary institution but do this instead.
Tell us about WeThinkCode.
WeThinkCode is a training programme based on a schooling model that started at Ecole 42 in France. Things have changed a lot since their launch in 2016, and the course is better adapted to our needs here in South Africa. The course takes two years to complete, and during this time, students are granted the opportunity to do 2x 4-month internships, which helps us gain work experience and develop the soft skills needed when entering the work environment. During the other 16 months, students work in a peer-to-peer environment where they are assigned projects and work together to solve the problems brought forward by these projects. There are no teachers/lecturers on campus, so your peers and Google are all the learning resources available to you. There are, however, mentors available to assist with students who may not be performing up to par or who need an extra hand grasping the more difficult concepts.
You have an interest in astronomy and have mentioned on your social media platforms that you are a wannabe pilot. Tell us more about that. Do you tend to gravitate towards aerospace games because of this interest?
I love aerospace games, but I don’t play them often enough, to be honest. My favourite game to date is probably EVE online and I’m going to be investing in Microsoft’s Flight Simulator soon, although I’d really like a VR headset before then. I was on my way to earning my PPL pre-COVID but had to put that on hold (for obvious reasons). I’ll be getting back to that as soon as I possibly can! As for the astronomer part, I’d always dreamed of being an astronaut as a child, but that dream is a little beyond me right now. I still take the time to whip out my telescope when the weather permits.
Have you thought about developing your own game? If so, what would it be about?
Game development is not something that I’m interested in, funny enough. There’s so much intense work that goes into that, and I prefer to admire the work of other developers and artists while playing their games. But this may change in the future, who knows!
What do you hope to achieve in the future in games and your career?
I’m hoping to make a career shift sometime soon. I love development, and I want to use my skills to help small businesses that need it most and can’t afford consultants/development houses.
I’m looking to become a full-time content creator and Twitch streamer soon. Once that happens, I’ll move to passion projects for development part-time but my main goal is to represent other women of colour within South Africa and maybe even on the continent. There aren’t enough of us within the gaming/esports/streaming space and I’d love to be a pioneer in changing that.
What would you like to see more of in the game development scene in Africa and globally?
I would like to see more women of colour and more visibility for everyone interested in the scene.
Anything else you would like to tell us? A fun fact?
I’m currently addicted to Apex Legends and would love to one day go full-time into content creation/streaming.
For more on Naledi:
Articles by her: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/almost-everything-you-want-know-wethinkcode-potential-matutoane/