WeThinkCode_ seeks volunteer mentors to help build SA’s next generation of software developersSubmitted by Kerry Botha
Johannesburg August 18th, 2021 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_.
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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