Black History Month: Spotlight On Maryjane Bertrand

5 minutes

Maryjane Betrand is a Co-Founder of Uptitek Limited, a indiginous software development firm ...

Maryjane Betrand is a Co-Founder of Uptitek Limited, a indiginous software development firm that specialises in business applications. 

She has established a number of initiatives across the UK and Nigeria, with 6 years of expertise in business development and 4 years as a software developer.

After earning a First-Class Degree Honours in Software Engineering during her undergraduate studies, she went on to earn a Distinction in her Master's in Advanced Computing from the University of Hertfordshire.

She previously worked at the University of Hertfordshire as an assistant web developer before joining Uptitek as a software engineer, business analyst, and web developer. Maryjane is a woman with many talents; she is presently working on developing a course to educate women Java programming, in addition to being a visiting lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire and the author of Fault Aware Software Engineering (FASE).

What is your current role/ bit of background to what you do now?

I’m the co-founder of Uptitek LTD, a software company specialising in business applications.

How did you become interested in working in tech?

 I have always been interested in knowing how things are done and what powers things. I am not the type of person that take things at a face value, I like to ask why and how. I thought I was going to be Lawyer, since everyone told me I asked to many questions. However, Law meant I had to read a lot of principles and laws made by other people with no control. I love to have control of things and tech gives me control of an outcome.

Tell us about your journey into tech as a black woman?

It was simple, I studied Computer Science at University and since then have filled different roles, and eventually opening company. As a woman, it is a very lonely journey, then as a black woman, it’s even more lonely as you either end up being the only female or only black female.

If you could go back in time to the beginning of your career in tech and give yourself a piece of advice, what would you say?

It gets easier, it’s not as scary as it looks, and you are capable of great things.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to black women entering the tech industry?

Look at your abilities and strength not your colour. Excellence always shines, instead of thinking of rejections, think of opportunities and go forward.

What can tech companies do to make the industry more inclusive of black women and other people of colour?

Employ more and not just to fill a quota but because they qualify. Diversity brings its own flavour.

How can we encourage more women, especially minority, to get into the industry?

We have to start early when they are young, be a voice and a role model for others to follow.

What’s a challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?

I have faced the imposter syndrome, feeling like I don’t know enough to pass on, I overcame things by continues mindfulness and self-reassurance and continues training.

What’s has been your career highlight?

Having a SaaS product being consumed by people, building teams across the globe, and helping build up the minority community.

Thank you Maryjane for taking the time to answer our questions and for speaking with us in this interview. 

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