Empowering new generation of South African software developers
Coding training academy WeThinkCode is confident the class of 2020, a group of 239 graduates, will make a difference to the software development market in South Africa.
After having completed a 20-month programme and a four-month internship, the students celebrated their graduation in Cape Town and Johannesburg over the weekend.
According to WeThinkCode, many of the students have already secured permanent employment with partners such as BBD, BCX, StructureIT, Yoco, Momentum Metropolitan, OutSurance, Old Mutual and GK Africa.
Nyari Samushonga, CEO of WeThinkCode, said, “It goes without saying that we are exceptionally proud of the class of 2022. These students have demonstrated their resilience and fortitude by overcoming the difficulties of adapting to remote learning and by overcoming major socio-economic barriers to pursue higher education, gaining sought after tech skills. Having witnessed first-hand their ability to show up with perseverance, resilience and self-discipline, this graduation marks a proud moment for the 2020 cohort and the WeThinkCode team who have supported their journey. It also serves as a symbolic handing over of the baton to our sponsoring and hiring partners, who will now continue the learning and growth journey of each student as they launch their careers in tech.”
In April this year Samushonga said that when South Africa switched to remote learning under the government-mandated lockdown, student performance dropped by 22% between January and April 2020.
She added that students from households with incomes of less than R 350 000 p/a were disproportionately affected.
“Our march towards a digital utopia must make a critical stop at the station of inclusion and close structural gaps if it is to ever realise equitable transformation,” she said.
WeThinkCode claims its permanent placement rate post-graduation is 93%.
Mandisa Ntloko-Petersen, Chief Marketing Officer at BCX, “Our skills development initiatives are focused on skilling under-resourced youth with future-ready skills in ICT, such as coding and data science. We do this by partnering with carefully selected, accredited organisations such as WeThinkCode. In doing so, we hope to actively influence social change.”
BCX has funded the opening of the Cape Town campus and continues to fund cohorts of at least 60 students per year. Since 2018, BCX has funded the tuition for 304 students and employed 52 of these students, having recently signed a three-year extended agreement to fund an additional 300 students.
Ntloko-Petersen believes that every company has a responsibility to ensure the development and sustainability of the communities in which they operate. “Our partnership with WeThinkCode helps us do just that. A positive future starts with our youth and in ensuring they are skilled in areas required by the market, such as coding.”