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Publication date: 25 October 2022

While some people tend to run away from activities outside their comfort zone, our Charlene embraces them. We had the honor to meet this adventurous cat lover, and listen to her HICO, and life journey.

HICO Journey

HICO tries to keep everyone informed about what is happening in the company and the people have been great. I joined HICO in December 2021. My journey to this point has been very diverse.
I started with studying Information Technology after school, then spent a year in London doing data capturing. There, after I landed up returning to SA and being a draftswoman for 7 years which I found very fulfilling and creative. Thereafter I did a variety of jobs from IT office and project assistant manager to a customer service representative with big profile clients for an international printing company. The last few years though before I joined HICO, I assisted my partner in our own Renewable energy social business doing a variety of tasks from Scrum master, director & software development.

Back to the future

I think AI and VR have really progressed leaps and bounds. I think AI is becoming more prevalent in business, and this is just going to continue. As for VR, the technology has really improved from where it was, and foresee that in the next 10 years it will become a lot more accessible. It will be used in both business (for meeting and presentations) and personal use (gaming etc) on a daily basis in the years to come.

Challenges in the industry?

Not giving up when the task seems unsolvable and getting help from a team member when you reach a ‘dead end’ is one of the hardest challenges. Personally, my biggest struggle is also coming to terms that you can’t always solve everything.

Companies try to convince people that they need to start working full time from an office again. Think we have already proven that work from home or hybrid solutions work so why go back?

A job well done.

Resolving a software bug or getting a new feature to work as anticipated. Empowering the client / consultants to achieve desired results when using the trueChart software.

Who is Charlene Barnes?

I was born and raised in the small coastal town of Port Elizabeth. Roughly 11 years ago I moved to the beautiful mountainous winelands of Stellenbosch and this year I moved ‘down the road’ to Somerset West.
I’m generally a rather private person who likes to spend time with my friends and family, but also need days just being in my own space at home. I’m a nature lover, gamer, and cat person.

If I could choose one thing about me everyone should know, it would be that I really dislike being in front of a camera – I have a hard time posing for photos, or even having to put my camera on for meetings, which is becoming more of a challenge nowadays with it being the new norm with working from home. However, although I hate being in the limelight, the most fun I’ve had was participating in fire dancing performances (poi) with my friends at festivals and events.

“Rapid Fire Questions”

Name someone whose work/life you find inspiring.

Brandon Sanderson. He is not only an amazing author, but a very interesting person I would love to meet.

What is one thing you learned during this year that you are most proud of?

Getting to know business analytics software platforms (Qlik® & Power BI®), which is something totally new to me before I started at HICO-Group.

Name one thing you really COULD NOT live without.


Most exciting piece of technology.

3D printers

What are you looking forward to the most in 2022?

2023 giggles

As a reward to our readers for reading ’til the end, please share your best piece of advice.

Be true to yourself. Always be you.

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