At the Kiwa Nuanua Pacific Tech Summit last week in Auckland, Tisam said “tech is one of those things where you need a certain level of smarts, because it is super-hard”.
However, he also says establishing a career in the industry is just a matter of “buckling down, getting things moving and getting the work done”.
Kiwa Nuanua is an initiative of the Pacific Business Trust which seeks to increase Pacific people’s access and awareness to the opportunities the tech sector has to offer.
Tisam was born in Papua New Guinea and has a Cook Islands mother. After completing his tertiary studies in New Zealand, he returned to the Cook Islands to find work. He taught for a while, then worked for the Ministry of Education. Tisam then became a consultant and led a number of tech projects in Rarotonga, including the establishment of the Cook Islands Maori database.
“Just find out what you like doing and what you are good at and then just follow that,” says Tisam, when asked for his advice to youth wanting to enter the sector.
“Some kids are lucky and they know what they want to do when they grow up. Some aren’t, but you will find it eventually. Just make sure you work hard at whatever it is that you are doing and give it your all.”
Tisam says there are two qualities prospective tech workers must possess: “first you have to be passionate and you have to be smart” he says.
“You can learn how to do things like coding on the internet.”
However, if coding is not for you, Tisam says there are many different parts of tech that are just as valuable. He says people wanting to get involved in the industry can be responsible for other areas such as sales and marketing.
Tisam estimates that within “the next couple of years” the focus will shift away from coding, as it is likely to become automated anyway.