Sign Up

Jessica Hawkey

Training Developers

In this recipe, redAcademy MD Jessica Hawkey talks about how to develop tech talent at a pace that keeps up with industry advances.

The managing director of redAcademy, Jessica Hawkey, is an inspiring example of someone who found her way into her passion through career and life experiences.

She started her career in financial services at State Street Poland, one of the world's leading providers of financial services to institutional investors, where she was responsible for the launch and training of the Asset Manager Services division in the country. From there she joined the Carrick group, an award-winning offshore wealth management organisation, in the position of general manager of operations.

Having realised the massive opportunity that lies in the development of software engineers, she founded redAcademy, an innovative skills- and career-development hub that aims to address two pressing challenges in South Africa: youth unemployment and the shortage of software development skills.


Not a Heavy Chef member yet? 

To access all recipes, sign up here.

10 Tasty Bites 

Below is a preview of what you can expect to learn in this recipe. 

Tuck In

Not yet a member? Sign up to Heavy Chef here.

About This Recipe


South Africa has a staggering youth unemployment rate and a crippling shortage of skilled software developers. The solution seems obvious, but it’s taken a financial services professional to come up with a training model that addresses both challenges.

Here the MD of redAcademy reflects on her own entrepreneurship journey, as well as the reality that young people’s training needs extend beyond coding languages. She speaks passionately about the imperative of helping others to believe in themselves, and why it takes facts and figures to turn a vision into reality.

What You'll Learn


This recipe reveals Jessica Hawkey’s views on entrepreneurship, the state of the local software development industry and the origins of the training philosophy on which redAcademy is founded.

You will gain advice on how to approach a career in software development, how much tech entrepreneurs should (or should not) understand about coding, and the knock-on effects of the skills shortage in the tech industry.


Learn from someone who speaks from a position of real authority, perspective and experience.


Implement practical tips and techniques learned in the trenches - doing, rather than talking.


Join a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs in our growing community and share your learnings as you go.

Get Learning

This entrepreneurial micro-course will take you only a few minutes per day (or you can binge if you want to). Feel free to skip around and please let us know what you think. 

Tuck In

Deep Cuts 

Love this recipe? Here are some additional videos to delve even further into the topic.


Got A Minute (Or Two)?


Why Are Heavy Chef Recipes So Highly Regarded? 

One Tasty Recipe.
Ten Tiny Bites. 

Each Heavy Chef recipe is made up of ten focused 'learning bites' of five minutes or less. 

For Entrepreneurs.
By Entrepreneurs. 

Continually focusing on the needs of our ever-growing community of entrepreneurs. 

Access Anytime. Anywhere. Anyhow. 

As long as you have an internet-enabled device, you can digest a tasty learning bite. 

Not yet a member? Sign up here.

Want Even More?

Heavy Chef has thousands of learning bites, just like these. Search from technology, leadership and creativity topics, served up by the heaviest chefs in the world. 

Search Recipes