WeThinkCode_ seeks volunteer mentors to help build SA’s next generation of software developers

August 20, 2021 in Mentoring, News, Software, Women in Tech

WeThinkCode_ is looking for experienced software practitioners to mentor its second-year students and help build South Africa’s next generation of software programmers.

Industry mentors will form part of the software programming academy’s new Volunteer Programme, introduced as part of its revised curriculum, which is scheduled to begin next month. 

WeThinkCode_ is an independent South African software training academy that moulds the sharpest young minds from underserved populations into excellent software developers and programmers. The courses are fully sponsored by corporate businesses and funding organisations.

Encouraging  industry mentorship

Mentorship is a core component of the new curriculum and is partly responsible for the 92 percent student retention among the academy’s 2020 cohort.

Nyari Samushonga, CEO of WeThinkCode_, explains, “WTC_ uses a peer-to-peer training methodology that reinforces a structured technical training path. Mentorship support was introduced for first year students by allocating high performing second year students as tech mentors. First years were all put in groups of six and each group was allocated a mentor.

We’re now inviting tech industry experts to mentor our second-year students. The goal is to prepare our students for the transition from the academy to the workplace. In this way, mentors can add enormous value,” says Samushonga.

These external mentors should ideally be experienced software developers or engineers and will be expected to guide a group of between four to six students over a six-month period starting in September.  This commitment will involve a minimum of one hour every two weeks (12 hours total commitment) to align with the curriculum project iterations.

“This programme will suit the professional who enjoys coaching and helping young teams grapple with programming problems. WTC_will supply the tools, context and links with other mentors in an opt-in monthly coaching circle,” says Gina Stoltz, Head of Community at WTC_.

Holistic participation

Apart from group mentorship, WTC_ is also looking for volunteers to assist all students in other areas of its programme.

“In our Interview Readiness Programme, we need members of the tech community to take part in a series of simulated technical interviews. These interviews will help students acquire improved communication and self-reflection skills, enabling them to present themselves with confidence in an actual interview. 

Volunteers for the Interview Readiness Programme are ideally members of the software development community with experience in technical recruiting and hiring,” says Stoltz.

 “For our planned WomenThinkCode= Meetups, volunteers can opt in to host monthly meetups specifically for women students in our programme.  Finally, we are looking for members of the tech community to participate in our community events calendar by hosting one-hour talks to inspire students and alumni by sharing their journeys in the industry and the work in which they are involved.”

“This is an exciting phase for our academy, and we are seeing real results in terms of student performance, retention and engagement, due to the approach we have taken with the new curriculum.   We would like members of the tech community to be part of the journey and help prepare our students to be life- and job-ready upon completion of the course,” Samushonga concludes. 

If you are interested in volunteering or know anyone in your network that could be suitable for any area in our Volunteer Programme, please take a moment to SIGN UP HERE or go to www.wethinkcode.co.za/volunteer.

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About WeThinkCode_

WeThinkCode_ is an independent South African software training academy that was launched in 2015 and welcomed its first coding students in May 2016.  It searches out the sharpest young minds in underserved populations, connects them with global thought leaders and cutting-edge technologies and moulds them into excellent software developers and programmers. Our mission is to train Africa’s next generation of software engineers and, in so doing, drive the digitisation of African business. In 2019, WomenThinkCode= was established to grow the number of women software programmers in the technology sector.

We partner with organisations looking to recruit top tech talent through the sponsorship of our students, thereby providing access to the skills pool of WeThinkCode_ interns and graduates.

WeThinkCode_ has placed hundreds of talented individuals within numerous local and international partner companies across a range of industries.  We have a track record that includes a partner base of over 55 companies and a 92% success rate in securing employment for the over 500 graduates of our software development programme.

Bureau Veritas partners with TWAA in support of women in business in Africa

November 16, 2020 in Mentoring, News
Irene Kiwia, TWAA founder

TWAA founder Irene Kiwia

Bureau Veritas, a global testing, inspection, and certification company, has announced the launch of its “BV Women in Africa Mentorship Program” a strategic collaborative partnership with TWAA, a global and professional networking, knowledge sharing and mentorship platform for women and girls.

The platform provides women with digital tools to connect and find suitable mentors and mentees, share and access opportunities bolstering continuous progress and development. 

Speaking at the launch of the program in Nairobi on 4 November, Marc Roussel, President of Government Services & International Trade & Senior Vice President for Africa commented: “The Bureau Veritas Group operates in several countries across Africa. The organisation has a very strong ethos on gender balance and women empowerment. The TWAA initiative enables us to engage women in supporting each other through a BV dedicated mentorship program. This platform creates a unique opportunity to invite many of the great women of BV to support other women within Africa. The digital tool is an incredible means to reach out to many women even if they are located remotely. 

“This initiative will contribute positively to the social compact and development within the African continent and it is my fervent hope that other companies will come on board and support this program,” he added.

Said Irene Kiwia, Founder of TWAA: “We are thrilled to partner with Bureau Veritas to promote TWAA across Africa and globally. This platform was built to help organisations with a strong women empowerment agenda such as Bureau Veritas accomplish their goals  by providing a platform to engage, connect, mobilise and impact their women communities through mentorship, knowledge sharing and access to opportunities. TWAA provides a safe and private space with relevant digital tools for women to thrive and aims to bridge the gender digital divide which can be ramped up if organisations globally become the drivers of the platform.”

The program is available in English, French and Swahili and in the future will be available in even more languages like Yoruba, isiZulu, Portuguese and Arabic. 

Bureau Veritas enjoys a strong gender social awareness ethos, with the company launching the Ithemba Trust in South Africa in 2019, a women’s empowerment body involved in projects benefiting girls and young women in South Africa. 

TWAA is available as a web portal via https://www.twaa.io with soon to be launched mobile apps.