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Follow-up On UK Company That Was Seeking Local Developers Earlier This Year- They Want More!

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An 8 months check-in with Action Starter after their recruitment drive here on Techzim Earlier this year!

So we shared opportunities for local developers to outsource their skills to companies in Europe a few times earlier this year. One of those companies is a UK based company called Action Starter which was founded by a Zimbabwean, Simon Kaguramamba. We have caught up with him and he has great feedback.

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Here’s Simon in his own words:

8 months ago, I shared a very personal story about my journey of a piece of software that I had written whilst I was living in Zimbabwe. It went from a small project I was coding on the side to a solution that now serves customers in over 45 countries around the world.

I also mentioned at the time that we were on the look out to recruit some PHP developers to join the team. What I didn’t mention was that at the time of doing this, I was operating under the mandate from my company’s board to treat this as a ‘convert trial’ to see if Zimbabwe actually had world class developers who had the right dev skills, communication skills and are reliable and dependable. Personally I believed this to be true. Bare in mind the company’s board had already set its sights on recruiting additional dev support in Malaysia where we have some contracts in the region and I had once shot to prove my hunch to be right, that Zimbabwean developers were simply unpolished diamonds ready to shine and show the world what they could do.

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Today I’m here to give you a quick update of how the last 5-6 months have played on our journey to recruit software developers in Zimbabwe. To keep things short I’ll just give you a quick timeline of what happened.

In April we opened up the recruitment window and received over 40 applications, we selected 7 for interviews and whittled them down to 4 who eventually joined the team. So 5-6 months on, how have they turned out to be?

I cannot express in words how the decision to give Zim a chance was probably the best decision we made as a business in 2018. Not only have the new team members added a totally new dimension to our already established UK dev team but they have also proved my belief that Zimbabwe has so much to offer the rest of the word and the future is extremely bright. And the cherry on top is as a result I’ve been given the clearance by board to recruit another 5 developers by January 2019. WOW! For those interested in applying, Applications are now open here (https://jointheteam.heiapply.com/application/php-software-developer-application)

I also thought it would be great to showcase the individual stories of the four individuals who joined our team in June, so I asked them each to complete a short profile showcasing what they were doing before, what they are doing now and what they look forward to doing next.

I hope their stories will inspire you to reach for the stars, and show you that when you put your thoughts into action, change can take place.

 

Kudakwashe Thambo

 

Age 26
Where did you go to school (high school) Harare High School
What type of music do you enjoy listening to? Roots Reggae and Conscious Music
Did you get professional coding training or are you mostly self taught? I would say both, however to a greater extent self-taught.
How long have you been coding  Since January 2014, but professionally since December 2015
Your favourite coding language  PHP
Where do you live  Crowborough North, Harare, Zimbabwe

Before Action Starter

 
Briefly describe what you were doing before you joined Action Starter I was working at a local mobile phone distributor that also develops mobile applications and web systems to aid in the sales and after sales processes. I worked there primarily as a PHP Backend Developer.
When was the first time you heard about Action Starter  April 2018
What excited you about the role and the opportunity? The job description appeared to talk to me directly and was a perfect fit for my skill-set and areas of interest.
List your top 3 concerns before you applied for the job?  -Job Security

-Organizational Culture

-Working conditions

How did you overcome these concerns I would say the standard of communication and the interest the organisation showed in me during the recruitment process helped me to clear up these concerns.
How did it feel getting the offer? It felt like the beginning of something great. (I was eagerly waiting for my first day at work).

During

 
Share a few words about your first week at Acton Starter I enjoyed every single day of that week (as I still do to this date). I felt very much wanted and part of something good. And was ready to hit the ground.
What has been the highlight of working at Action Starter?  -The ability to own your work and express yourself in whatever you do.

-The motivation and encouragement.

-The gratitude that everyone expresses even when you would have done something you were supposed to.

Can you share 1 or 2 personal goals you have achieved since joining the company -Managed to obtain my driving Learner’s Licence and working towards my full driver’s licence.

-I have managed to save money significantly towards my first car

Share one project you have enjoyed working on since joining the Action Starter and what level of involvement you have had on it. I have enjoyed all the projects I have worked on so far. The ‘Supplementary Forms’ project is the one I enjoyed the most. To the best of my knowledge I would say I worked on 80% of the project. The project involved adding new functionality on all fronts

.

Future

 
Do you feel you can achieve your personal goals whilst working for Action Starter I believe so, the few months that have passed have been an indication to this effect.
What tips would you have for anyone looking to join Action Starter? Communication (accurate and timely) is a key element of the organisation. Endeavor to always inform and stay informed, ask questions and enjoy what you do.

 

 

Petronela Tom  
Age 35
Where did you go to school (high school) Fatima High, Matabisa, Jotsholo,  Matabeleland, Zimbabwe
What type of music do you enjoy listening to? Jazz, Classic (Mozzart), Kwaito and House Music
Did you get professional coding training or are you mostly self-taught? I got professional training
How long have you been coding 13yrs
Your favourite coding language PHP
Where do you live Harare, Zimbabwe

Before Action Starter

Briefly describe what you were doing before you joined Action Starter I was a free-lance web developer developing websites and web-based systems.
What excited you about the role and the opportunity? Since I was a free-lance developer I was excited by the fact that I 

could work for a UK firm remotely and gain experience from a first world company while in Zimbabwe.

List your top 3 concerns before you applied for the job? My concern was whether I would be able to get a part-time form of employment
How did you overcome these concerns I mentioned it on my application form
How did it feel getting the offer? It felt great to be offered the job because here in Zimbabwe its rare to find companies that are willing to work with your needs as an employee. By getting a part time employment, it made me feel valued as a person and an employee. It showed me that Action Starter does not like to oppress its employees.

During

Share a few words about your first week at Acton Starter My first week was exciting because I had now joined a team of developers. The Action Starter team was very helpful in induction. I was made to feel that I had a support team to help me do my job efficiently.
What has been the highlight of working at Action Starter? My bosses are professional and they have realistic goals  for me. This has resulted in me reaching my projects’ deadlines. This has brought me job satisfaction at the end of each day and I feel motivated to come to work the following day.
Can you share 1 or 2 personal goals you have you achieved since joining the company 1 of my goals was to travel to Mozambique and I managed to do that in September.
Share one project you have enjoyed working on since joining the Action Starter and what level of involvement you have had on it. I have enjoyed working with third-party APIs to link them with our system and have enjoyed seeing all the pieces coming together. My work is part of a bigger picture and that’s a marvel to be part of.

Future

 
What do you hope to achieve as a developer over the next 12 months I would like to improve my skills as a developer and extend my web development knowledge. For example I would like to learn more about noSQL databases, node.js, angular, etc
Do you feel you can achieve your personal goals whilst working for Action Starter Definitely Yes because Action Starter does not encroach on my personal time.  
What tips would you have for anyone looking to join Action Starter? Action Starter is considerate of its employees and very professional. Its a company that is willing to even share its success with its employees. Come and join and see for yourself.

 

Stephen Mudere

 

Age 30
Where did you go to school (high school) The Kadoma High School (Jameson High School)

Neuso High School

What type of music do you enjoy listening to?  Jazz
Did you get professional coding training or are you mostly self taught? Learnt Software Theory at university the languages used were Java and C++ . After training myself my first language (PHP) with assistance from a group of professionals in the industry . I had a giant leap as I could Identify and relate existing code to my theory. In less that 6 weeks I could identify good code and poorly written code. That helped in determining what to take and what to leave as I progressed  with my career
How long have you been coding 3 years
Your favourite coding language PHP
Where do you live Harare

Before Action Starter

 
Briefly describe what you were doing before you joined Action Starter Programing for a software development house
What excited you about the role and the opportunity? Working on and perfecting single product
List your top 3 concerns before you applied for the job?  Boredom

limitation in expansion of skillset

How did you overcome these concerns 1) I try to work at a different place occasionally ( coffee-shops , Wi-Fi hotspots )

2)studying

How did it feel getting the offer? It felt great 

During

 
Share a few words about your first week at Acton Starter It involved initiation
What has been the highlight of working at Action Starter? Attending to support tickets and working on new projects
Share one project you have enjoyed working on since joining the Action Starter and what level of involvement you have had on it. Server configuration full involvement

Future

 
What do you hope to achieve as a developer over the next 12 months Start studying for another masters degree
Do you feel you can achieve your personal goals whilst working for Action Starter Yes
What tips would you have for anyone looking to join Action Starter? Be able to present your ideas well  

 

Tawanda Onyimo

 

Age 31
Where did you go to school (high school) Prince Edward High School
What type of music do you enjoy listening to? Hip Hop, RNB
Did you get professional coding training or are you mostly self-taught? Mostly self-taught
How long have you have been coding 10 years
Your favourite coding language PHP
Where do you live Marlborough Harare Zimbabwe 

Before Action Starter

 
Briefly describe what you were doing before you joined Action Starter Freelance web developer
When was the first time you heard about Action Starter 2018
What excited you about the role and the opportunity?  The product and working in a dispersed team
List your top 3 concerns before you applied for the job?  Remuneration, work environment and support
How did it feel getting the offer?  Best news I got in 2018

During

 
Share a few words about your first week at Acton Starter It was a great experience. Learning about the product
What has been the highlight of working at Action Starter? Working on the Interview Booking Widget
Can you share 1 or 2 personal goals you have you achieved since joining the company I bought my dream car!!!
Share one project you have enjoyed working on since joining the Action Starter and what level of involvement you have had on it. Interview Booking Widget

Future

 
What do you hope to achieve as a developer over the next 12 months Increase my skills in angular.js and change engine to MVC
Do you feel you can achieve your personal goals whilst working for Action Starter  Yes
What tips would you have for anyone looking to join Action Starter?  When in doubt ask for help.
Simon Kaguramamba

Simon Kaguramamba is an Entrepreneur and Technical co-founder of UK based Education-tech Startup named Action Starter. Read More About Simon Kaguramamba

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