When Hannah Sebuliba graduated from Uganda’s Makerere University with a bachelor’s degree in information systems, she already had experienced coursework in systems analysis and design, information security and risk management, and application development. But she was still looking for a specialization in which she could excel. After attending a training hosted by the Research and Education Network of Uganda (RENU) that focused on federated identity management, she was hooked.
In January 2019, Hannah joined RDCT as an intern and worked on projects related to federated identities at the African Center of Excellence (ACE) in Bioinformatics and Data-Intensive Science in Kampala, Uganda. The difference in scale between these projects and those she worked on through her university classes was significant. “I got to work on real-life projects and interact with users and get their input,” she says. She also recognizes that RDCT is where she truly learned to write code. Most importantly, she says, “I learned how to keep learning.”
Today, Hannah uses her experience with virtual reality and federated identities to ensure that staff and students at ACE are able to access global research and education resources using their organizational identities. She also is a regular contributor to the development of open-source identity projects.
Hannah’s advice to students considering a similar path is to seek out all available resources. “If this is something you are passionate about, just do it,” she says. “Tech can sometimes be hard, but you're not expected to know everything right off the bat, so find different ways of learning. There’s always a community of people and resources to learn from.”