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Phiwokuhle “Pibo” Shongwe ’14

May 15, 2024

Phiwokuhle “Pibo” Shongwe ’14, who specializes in software development and integration, programming, and IT operations, is a senior software developer at Investec Bank, an international banking and wealth management group headquartered in Sandton, South Africa. His work includes creating microservices for foreign exchange markets and financial intermediaries use cases to ensure banking processes are integrated smoothly with Investec’s open and internal application programming interface (API) offerings.

Phiwokuhle “Pibo” Shongwe ’14Shongwe started his career as a systems administrator and computer programmer at Eswatini Posts and Telecommunications Corp. He went on to work for mobile telecommunications provider MTN as an IT specialist for Mobile Money, a mobile payments system.

Shongwe would eventually serve as a cloud support engineer for Amazon Web Services (AWS). His responsibilities included addressing complex customer solutions and providing cloud integration support. He also specialized in React.js to build internal support tools. React.js is a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces for web applications. Shongwe was recognized by AWS in 2021 as Engineer of the Year among his team in Cape Town, South Africa.

“This was exciting work, and I consider it to be the true beginning of my software engineering career,” he says.

The experience landed him his next position as a senior software engineer at BMW IT Hub South Africa, where he contributed to AWS cloud-based microservices for monitoring electric vehicle charging sessions via Wallbox technology. 

A math major with a computer science minor at Skidmore, Shongwe came to the College as a Davis United World College Scholar. He remembers how impressed the Skidmore admissions representative was when he learned about Shongwe’s extended essay in probability and statistics using the urn model.

“After that, I also did my research and found that Skidmore was a great fit, and indeed it was, from the moment I set foot up until I graduated,” says Shongwe, who grew up in Swaziland and South Africa. “My favorite classes — like Problem Solving, Calculus II, Electricity and Magnetism, and Computer Graphics — involved solving problems or creating something tangible.”

Shongwe, who also pursued engineering coursework at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, continues to advance his skills through a 12-month bootcamp at ALX Africa, focusing on software engineering leadership and technology. 

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