From Coding to Leadership: A Journey with Tech Lead, Renette Ros

Renette Ros, seasoned Technical Lead at Entelect, shares insights into her daily responsibilities, her journey into the tech industry, the challenges she has overcome, and her vision for fostering gender diversity and inclusivity in tech.

Can you share a bit about what it is that you do and what a typical day for you is like?

My job title is Technical Lead – but that means very little because at a lead level, everyone’s job changes based on what is needed in their environment. I do some of what the Team Leads do: I have one-on-ones with my team members and take care of their growth, have regular catchups with my managers (Entelect and the client) and keep an eye on my team’s delivery. In my current role, a lot of my job is thinking about the future of our platform, working with the architecture team to set standards and figure out how our tech should evolve for the future.

“When people need technical help, I am one of the go-to people because of my deep knowledge of our domain and the technology we use.”


What motivated or inspired you to pursue a career in software development? Was it always something you wanted to do?

I have always been interested in understanding how things work and why they work and have also been fascinated by computers since I was a child. My dad and my older sister are both also in IT so it seemed like an interesting career to me!


Can you speak to your journey of entering the field of software development and how you progressed to your current leadership position at Entelect?

I joined Entelect as a graduate in 2017 after finishing my honours degree. Shortly after Bootcamp I joined a project team. In the early days I felt like an impostor – I was one of few women in the team, and my undergrad degree is in BIS Multimedia not in Computer Science. The next year I started getting involved in internal training initiatives and mentoring one of the new graduates that joined our team. At the end of 2019 – after being involved in a few different projects in the space – I moved on to a new client. This was a small team with a culture of ownership, technical excellence, and a willingness to experiment that allowed me to influence the technical direction of the team. I would have been perfectly happy just staying in the “technical” box, but my Team Lead at the time refused to go easy on me. As our team grew and the previous leads left, I took on more and more lead responsibilities.


What obstacles or biases have you faced in your career journey, how did you overcome them?

When I was younger and choosing subjects in high school, I was faced with a lot of doubt around my choice, i.e. “Are you sure you mean IT?”. I’ve never taken well to people telling me what I can or can’t do, so I just stubbornly ignored them all. My direct teams – regardless of gender – have always supported me and had my back.


What advice would you give to other women aspiring to leadership roles in previously male-dominated fields?

  • Your perspective is valuable. Even if – especially if – you feel like an impostor because of a different background.
  • Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.
  • Just because you are a woman, it doesn’t mean you should do the admin or organise the socials. If anyone tries the “but you are so good at it” line, my favourite response is that growth isn’t optional.


Can you describe a particularly memorable project or accomplishment in your career, and what lessons did you learn from it?

From 2018 to 2020, I was involved in the Entelect Challenge – a coding competition organised by Entelect where contestants build bots to play a game against each other. This was my first step into a leadership position and gave me an opportunity to experiment with different technologies and practice making decisions. After we built the 2019 game engine using Kotlin multiplatform, the Solutions Architect who was overseeing the project encouraged me to submit a talk about it to a local tech conference. When my talk got accepted it blew my mind – this little side project we did was interesting to other people!

“Things we think are normal can be amazing or ground-breaking to other people with similar problems.”


In your opinion, what initiatives or strategies can organisations implement to foster gender diversity and inclusivity in tech teams?

  • Make sure there is a support network! Being the only woman in a team isn’t great, and the same goes for other minorities.
  • D&I programs might be valuable, but don’t make only women run them.
  • Improving diversity needs to be a continuous process – you can’t only do it during Women’s Month and then forget about it for the next year.


Finally, what do you envision for the future of women in leadership positions in the tech industry, and what role do you hope to play in shaping that future?

I’m hoping to see more women in technical and non-technical leadership positions, and for the ones already in leadership to be more visible. Since I am here right now, I want to be visible, inspire more women to step into leadership positions and learn from, collaborate with and be inspired by other women already in leadership positions.