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Profile Silja Blake

Silja Bake is a software development manager at Pragma. She studied computer science at UCT, followed by an MBA through Heriot-Watt University.

Says Silja: “I’ve been at Pragma for two and a half years and before that I worked for Intec Telecommunications Systems as an R&D director, also for two and a half years. I’ve been very fortunate in my career and I’ve been privileged to be part of many huge achievements. But my single greatest achievement is Zenzo, my perfect six-year-old son who is the joy of my life.”

Silja faces her fair share of challenges. “At work my greatest challenge is finding the time for my team to do everything that people are asking for – it is a demanding juggling act on most days.

“Also, a constantly changing technology landscape means that we need to always be thinking a few years ahead. We need to be ready when the technology that we have adopted nears its end of life and we need to anticipate and prepare for the new devices, platforms and ways to transact that our users would like.

“As a result, research plays an important role in our team. Our current research focus is on ways to improve the usability of the On Key suite, as well as on broadening our device and platform reach. Mobile devices are a growing part of our users’ lives and we are looking at ways to build on that.

“Our challenge is to continue to align with market movements, but to make the transition from one On Key release to the next as seamless as possible. We hope to pleasantly surprise our users on all these fronts.”

Silja is married to Giovanni and currently lives in Constantia in Cape Town, but will be moving at the end of the year to be closer to Zenzo’s school. “In my private life my challenge is finding time for myself to get fit again and take part in more sporting activities. I haven’t succeeded yet, but will hopefully manage soon.

“I love spending time with my husband and son and with our extended family. I also enjoy the outdoors and am looking forward to summer so that we can go for more trips up the mountain and to the beach,” she says.

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