Local coding initiative opens doors for South African youth

January 25, 2018 • Education, Southern Africa, Top Stories

Local coding initiative opens doors for South African youth

Local coding initiative opens doors for South African youth.

WeThinkCode_, a tuition-free, peer-to-peer technology university has opened its doors to anyone between the ages of 17 and 35 who passes the entrance tests to learn how to code.

Arlene Mulder, MD and co-founder of WeThinkCode_ said, “We are all about finding top talent, no matter where you are from or what you have done before. Our course is completely free to students, no prior coding experience is required and a Matric is optional”.

Working closely with big players in the technology industry, many of whom are corporate sponsors and fund the actual programmes, WeThinkCode_ is able to ensure the training it offers is up-to-the-minute by using technologies that solve today’s problems. The approach to facilitating the learning experience is also dynamic and future-forward.

With no classes and no teachers, students will learn how to use coding as a critical tool in a peer-to-peer environment. “This peer-oriented environment means students also evaluate each other’s work and complete the feedback loop – all extremely valuable processes for hands-on learning,” said Mulder.

Having hosted numerous dynamic hackathons, learning and incubation programmes, and earning itself a name within the local tech community, Workshop17 at OPEN workspaces is the home of WeThinkCode_’s new Cape Town campus. Located in the V&A Waterfront, WeThinkCode_ forms part of the V&A Waterfront’s CSI initiative.

“South Africa’s future lies with our youth and the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. As a developing country, it is imperative that people, businesses and organisations across the South African spectrum do their bit to foster young talent and small businesses. We focused on exactly this in launching Workshop17, our small business innovation hub, that has been very well-received since its opening in 2015,” said David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront.

“Our partnership with WeThinkCode_ is an expansion of this idea, and part of our desire to ensure we always invest in a responsible, impactful manner. The world is witnessing the rapid and significant expansion of tech and tech entrepreneurs, and we believe it is important to look to the future, and help the country’s youth prepare for an ever-changing labour market,” Green adds.

With a shared passion for this collaborative approach to working, Workshop17 and WeThinkCode_ together provide a unique space for students, where no formal trainers means that working together to solve problems is the only way of making progress.

Paul Keursten, OPEN/Workshop17 co-founder said, “Co-working and collaborative learning are absolutely the way of the future and we’re seeing more and more organisations subscribing to this modern-day way of getting stuff done. The days of working in isolation are gone. It’s about the network and pooling ideas and resources for far greater results.

“We love the work of WeThinkCode_ and have a great synergy with this organisation. By attracting real coding talents from a very diverse background, we’re moving closer towards realising the country’s potential as an IT centre”.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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