African Excellence Awards 2021

16 MEA MARKETS / African Excellence Awards 2021 , May21801 WeThinkCode_ is an independent South African software training academy that recruits the sharpest youngminds fromunderserved populations, connects themwith global thought leaders and cutting-edge technologies andmoulds them into excellent software developers and programmers. WeThinkCode_ With a mission to train Africa’s next generation of software engineers and drive the digitisation of African business, WeThinkCode_ partners with organisations looking to recruit top tech talent. These organisations sponsor the tuition for WeThinkCodes_’s students and gain access to its skilled pool of interns and graduates. WeThinkCode_’s programme is accredited by MICT SETA, with graduates acquiring an NFQ level 5 certification in Information Technology: Systems Development, and it has graduated over 500 software developers, having placed 93% of them with over 55 local and international partner companies across a range of industries. WeThinkCode_ is committed to training students through an evolving, cutting-edge and industry relevant curriculum, designed by leading practitioners with decades of collective experience in the field. Its curriculum is designed to facilitate learning that will transform students into competent, entry-level software developers who can quickly add value to software development teams and organisations they join. The students are also equipped with the necessary technical and behavioural skills to self-direct their learning beyond their training at WeThinkCode_. Also, its peer-to-peer project- based pedagogy ensures that its students learn to quickly adopt a teamwork and problem solving mindset, two essential attributes valued by all of its sponsoring partners. Not only this, but WeThinkCode_ partners with grant foundations who enable it to provide additional tooling and support to address the barriers that may prevent its students from completing their training and ensure they can thrive in their programme. Through interventions such as its technical mentorship programme, where second year students are assigned to support groups of first year students, it encourages its students to learn and practice important work-ready behaviours like asking for help, effectively communicating their ideas, and maintaining a growth mindset in the face of challenge or failure. When recruiting students, WeThinkCode_ looks at the individual as a whole, focusing on their potential to succeed, not their prior experience or qualifications. This ensures that it does not exclude young people that may have a strong aptitude for programming but who have previously been locked out of equal education or employment opportunities due to their socio- economic circumstances. With the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and local communities, it is more important than ever to empower youth to support their families by providing access to in-demand skills training and clear pathways to employment. Its inclusive yet rigorous selection process allows it to identify candidates with a strong propensity for problem solving and collaboration. Its online entrance assessment and six- day selection bootcamps are designed to give prospective applicants the opportunity to showcase their potential for succeeding in their programme. WeThinkCode_’s extensive network of top South African companies who are actively looking to hire new talent, alongside its offer of a tuition free, and world-class training experience, attracts a diverse group of extremely talented youth looking to pursue a career in technology. In addition to this, it is, through an initiative called WomenThinkCode=, driving the increased representation of women in its programme and in the broader technology sector. WeThinkCode_ has seen the number of female students increase from just 6% in 2016 to 25% in 2020 and will reach gender parity this year when it launches its 2021 cohort. This year, WeThinkCode_ celebrates five years of being in operation, and later this year, it will be launching its sixth cohort with 475 students enrolled across its Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban campuses. Of these 475 students, over 50% will be women. While it is proud of what it has achieved since opening its doors in 2016 and looks forward to a successful run with its 2021 cohort, WeThinkCode_ is chasing bigger goals for the next five years. It is planning to scale its operations across the country so that it can extend its reach, impact more lives and shift the needle for the technology sector and the African economy. It plans to meet the growing need for digital skills by enrolling up to 2,500 students a year by 2024. Company: WeThinkCode_ Contact: Nyaradzai Samushonga, Chief Executive Officer Email: [email protected] Website: Best Software Training Provider 2021 & Distinction Award for Inclusion-Focused Recruitment & Training