“Pressure creates diamonds. Fire refines gold.”
Milesh Jivan, Software Automation Engineer currently contracted out to Nedbank through Dynamic Technologies’ group company Inspired Testing, has achieved many milestones in the 4 years since he finished his internship. He believes that nothing of value comes easily and will keep at something until he gets it right. Inspired Testing recognized the potential in this quirky young man ever since his first interview, and through the company’s culture of investing in people, Milesh’s growth was fast-tracked exponentially.
Growing up in Durban, Milesh spent his weekends and afternoons in his parents’ retail stores, getting to know and understand business by becoming more and more involved in the everyday running of the shops. His dedicated work ethic comes from his parents: “They never just gave me something if I wanted it. Rather, I was always given the opportunity to work for it. This taught me that I cannot expect anything I did not earn. For my parents there were no such thing as a 9-to-5 workday – you could only rest once the job was done.”
After school, Milesh did a degree in Software Development at Varsity College in Durban. In his final year, he signed up for Oracle Codefest, together with a team of fellow students. Milesh describes this as his first introduction to the real world of technology, and a career highlight: “Oracle Codefest was a 3-day challenge to create an app that would solve actual government problems. We built an order-off-the-service platform, which earned us a third place in the competition.” This project was also placed in the national Youth Innovation Challenge of 2015, and the team received funding and business mentoring for developing their app. At the end of his final year of studying, Milesh was invited to join Inspired Testing in Cape Town for an internship, which he took up early the following year. The internship grew into a full-time position, and within two years he was appointed as a team lead.
Milesh ascribes his success and fast career growth to Inspired Testing’s practise of targeted 3-monthly performance reviews, the fact that the company continues to challenge and push him, and to the vision of his mentor, Sastri Munsamy.
A few years back Milesh was put forward to work on a Proof of Concept for a large banking group. The client wanted a custom-built solution, which involved combining technologies that did not want to work with each other, and creating the infrastructure to run this custom solution. Milesh describes this as both the lowest point in his career, but also his greatest success: “Projects of this kind normally just involve implementing an applied solution, but in this instance, we had to build something that didn’t exist before. I had no idea what I was doing. It caused me a lot of sleepless nights, and often I didn’t think we were going to get it to work.”
It was also during this project that his mentor and senior, Sastri Munsamy, gave Milesh the opportunity to make presentations to the client, and this experience helped give him the confidence he needed to overcome his shyness and come into his own as an expert. “Confidence comes with knowledge and experience,” he says. “I used to be a very introverted person who struggled to speak and just wanted to sit behind a keyboard. I had to overcome a lot to get to a point where I can speak my truth and put myself out there.”
Milesh encourages young people to persevere and keeping working towards their goals: “It’s easy to get discouraged when things are tough, but this is exactly when you need to continue, because at some point you are going get that breakthrough, and that is so rewarding. You have to go through that process to build yourself. Especially if you are feeling inadequate to the task – you need to fight that feeling, and not give up.” Milesh believes that technology used for the betterment of people’s lives is the ultimate goal, and strives to always achieve this in his work.