Tony Chisenga was born in Lusaka, Zambia and is an Our Moon alumnus. After winning a MasterCard Foundation scholarship in 2017, he went on to study for a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the Ashesi University in Ghana. Here, Gemma Drake interviews Tony to find out about his studies and his recent internship experience.
Tony says, “I am very passionate about computer security and would love to develop my skills in this field in the years to come. With the rise in the use of information technology by companies in some sectors in Zambia, attempts by cybercriminals to damage hardware, software and steal companies’ data are inevitable. Hence the rising need for personnel specialized in cybersecurity to protect these companies from such attacks.”
This summer, Tony interned with Computech Limited, a technology company that specialises in the innovation of software and hardware solutions across Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. Computech was founded in Kenya in 1987. It provides a range of services in ATMs and banking, cybersecurity, endpoint devices (a hardware device that communicates across a network such as a laptop), healthcare, infrastructure and other software solutions. Computech is partnered with big companies such as HP, Microsoft and Cisco and is growing a network of clients in the financial sector as well as telecommunications, manufacturing, government and NGOs. It aims to grow across Africa, providing businesses with better and faster communication.
At Computech, Tony worked in the technical services department where he helped to install software updates and fix software and hardware issues on ATMs. Tony reflects on this work as “an amazing experience because it was my first time getting to use an ATM as an administrator and not as a client. Not only was I able to acquire skills in installation, updating of software on ATMs, but I was also able to broaden my understanding of some activities we learnt in school regarding the software development process. For example, I got to broaden my understanding of the importance of testing software before deploying it”.
Tony thinks back upon the first week of his internship with particular fondness. This is where he learnt about the mechanics of an ATM and could put his prior research into context, allowing him to remove and replace the ATM components independently. Tony says, “A few days before the internship, I googled the architecture of an ATM and therefore could identify some parts even though it was my first time seeing the inside of the ATM. Later, I was left under no one’s supervision to try and dismantle and reassemble the ATM components. This was an experience that I really enjoyed”.
Tony’s understanding of technology allowed him to quickly get to grips with tasks that he was given. He also notes that “I was also able to use my communication skills effectively and tried my best to conduct myself professionally. I related well with the team at Computech because I ensured that I listened and respected everyone in the team”.
A final note from Tony: “I would like to thank Computech for the opportunity to intern at the company. The team was really great and helpful to me. I have learnt a lot from them during my internship period. Particularly, I have acquired a lot of knowledge and skills in working with ATMs as a result of the information they shared with me and the hands-on experience that I had while at the company. I would also like to thank them for the advice they gave me regarding my career as a computer scientist. Because of them, I have an interest to learn more about ATM repair and maintenance. I also look forward to learning more about some services that they offer particularly Cisco networking, cybersecurity, and servicing ATMs.”